Searching for the Disappeared

The seven people who are still missing

There are seven Disappeared people whose bodies remain missing, according to the North-South Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains. Ten bodies have been recovered.

The commission has no leads about Joe Lynskey, who disappeared from west Belfast in 1972, when he was in his 40s, or about Capt Robert Nairac, who was shot dead just south of the Border in 1977. Both were killed by the IRA.

Only three years ago the IRA admitted Joe Lynskey was one of the Disappeared. A former Cistercian monk, he was abducted and killed as, the IRA ruled, he was seriously compromised by an alleged relationship with the wife of an IRA prisoner.

Information was received about Seamus Ruddy, who was killed by the Irish National Liberation Army in Paris in 1985 because of an internal feud, but it was the wrong information.


The commission is convinced that Columba McVeigh, who went missing in 1975, is buried in Bragan bog, near Emyale in Co Monaghan, but despite several excavations since 1999 his body has not been found.

The commission also believes that Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright, who went missing from west Belfast in 1972, are buried in a bog at Coghalstown, near Wilkinstown in Co Meath.

The commission has "high-grade information" that Brendan Megraw, who disappeared from Twinbrook in west Belfast in 1978, was buried in nearby Oristown, Co Meath.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times