Search resumes for Columba McVeigh
Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains says search not based on any new evidence
A search for the remains of Columba McVeigh, one of the IRA’s “disappeared” victims, resumed yesterday in the Bragan area of Co Monaghan. The search is being conducted by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains. It said it was the second phase in a programme of work that began last year.
Mr McVeigh, from Donaghmore in Co Tyrone, was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975 when aged 17. He had been working as a painter in Dublin and had returned to Northern Ireland only a few days earlier.
His family said previously they were convinced his body was buried in Bragan, a forested and boggy area near the Tyrone border. His mother, Vera, who campaigned for the return of his body, died in 2007 aged 82.
The area, and other areas around Monaghan, were searched before but yielded nothing. A new programme of work began with an excavation last April and work continued in the autumn, stopping for the winter months due to the weather conditions.
Jon Hill of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains said the programme of work could take from eight to 10 weeks unless something was found before then. He said it could take longer if the weather conditions were difficult.
He said the search was not based on any new evidence received. Diggers moved into the area yesterday and an archaeologist was at the scene. Preparatory work will continue today and the search is expected to get under way in earnest next week.