Funeral of ‘disappeared’ victim Seamus Ruddy held

Remains of Co Down teacher were found near Rouen in northern France last month

 

The funeral one of the ‘disappeared’ victims, Seamus Ruddy, has taken place in Co Down after his remains were recovered in France last month more than 30 years after his murder.

In 1985 the 32-year-old Newry teacher was abducted in Paris, killed by the INLA and then secretly buried.

His remains were found by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) on May 6th after new information was passed to them by the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and former INLA members.

Then earlier this month he was brought home from Pont-de-l’Arche near Rouen via Dublin.

Mr Ruddy’s funeral was held on Saturday with a service at Saint Catherine’s Church in Newry followed by burial with his parents Molly and John.

Some families of the other ‘disappeared’ victims were in attendance.

Co Down teacher Seamus Ruddy who was abducted in Paris in 1985 then killed and buried by the INLA.
Co Down teacher Seamus Ruddy who was abducted in Paris in 1985 then killed and buried by the INLA.

Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, spoke of Mr Ruddy’s family wish of giving him a “dignified farewell” coming true.

He told mourners: “On Thursday Seamus’ family and friends welcomed him home to Newry.

“They have finally been able to do what they always wanted to do: to have a wake, to celebrate a funeral Mass for Seamus and to say a personal and dignified farewell to him through the funeral liturgy.

“And in the months and years ahead they will be able to visit the grave where Seamus lies.”

Long vigil

Bishop McAreavey spoke of the long vigil his family and friends had kept over the years and of their grief, prayer and support from the public and other families of the ‘disappeared’.

“In recent years they rejoiced with the families of ‘the disappeared’ whose prayers were answered; they continue, as they did at the opening of this Mass, to reach out to those families who are still waiting,” he added.

Mr Ruddy is part of a group of 16 victims known as the disappeared who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The remains of Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Robert Nairac have yet to be recovered.

Anyone with information on the Disappeared can contact the ICLVR in confidence on 00800 555 85500, by writing to ICLVR, PO Box 10827, Dublin 2 or via the website iclvr.ie.

ICLVR was established by an intergovernmental agreement between the Irish and British Governments in 1999.