Search for remains of Joe Lynskey ‘could take months’

Search underway for one of 16 victims ‘disappeared’ by republican paramilitaries


Preliminary work in the search for the remains of Joe Lynskey, one of the so-called Disappeared, took place today on a 15 acres site at Coghalstown, Co Meath.

Dennis Godfrey of the International Commission for the Location of Victims Remains told The Irish Times “we’re very much on page one” in a process “that could take a lot of months at least.”

Mr Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk, went missing from west Belfast in August 1972. Almost 40 years later, the IRA admitted it had kidnapped, killed and secretly buried him. He was one of 16 people who ‘disappeared’ during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Provisional IRA admitted responsibility for 13 of the 16, while one was admitted by the INLA. No attribution has been given to the remaining two. To date the remains of 10 victims have been recovered.

Mr Godfrey recalled that “it took four searches over nearly 15 years before we found Brendan Megraw”, whose remains were uncovered last October. He said a geophysical survey of the site was underway and a cadaver dog had been along to assist. Such dogs are trained to detect human remains.

This work would help narrow down an area of the site for more thorough investigation and at that point forensic archaelogists would be brought in, he said. The searches are being carried out close to Oristown Bog where the remains of Brendan Megraw were found.