End of a long journey as Brendan Megraw finally comes home

Bishop appeals for more information to find final six of Disappeared


At yesterday’s funeral Mass for “Disappeared” man Brendan Megraw, his brother Kieran told of the family’s sense of joy and relief when the cortege bringing the remains from Dublin came in sight of the Divis and Black Mountains overlooking Belfast.

“It’s been a long journey since Brendan was taken,” he told mourners in St Oliver Plunkett Church in Lenadoon in west Belfast yesterday. And now he was home.

During the Mass local parish priest Fr Aidan Brankin said “Brendan was very much into music and also his appearance – making sure every hair was in place before leaving the house, shoes were polished, ironing the crease on his trousers – and then getting onto a motorbike”.

“He loved bikes,” he said.

Garda outriders

Kieran Megraw

“Brendan obviously enjoyed that although he would have been saying, ‘Go a bit faster, go a bit faster’,” he said.

The church in Lenadoon was full for the Mass. There were many members of the Families of the Disappeared there, representing families such as Jean McConville, Seamus Ruddy and Columba McVeigh.

There were also several people from Oristown in Co Meath. It was in a bog in that parish where the remains of Brendan Megraw were discovered on October 1st. Kieran Megraw was careful to thank the people – most likely former IRA members, although Mr Megraw made no such reference – who after previous unsuccessful digs recently provided the final piece of information required.

Those people were also commended and prayed for during the Prayers of the Faithful.

Brendan Megraw was 23 when he was abducted by the IRA from west Belfast, murdered and then secretly buried in Oristown.

Newly married, his wife was expecting their first baby, a daughter. Family members said his wife and daughter were thankful that his body was found but that they were private and preferred to remain out of the limelight.

Journey home

Brendan Megraw’s father died before he was abducted but it was his mother’s unfulfilled wish to see her son brought home to be buried in the family grave at Glenavy in Co Antrim.

Elaborating on that journey home, Kieran Megraw said after seeing Divis and Black Mountains on Wednesday, the family felt relief, joy and freedom. “Freedom from the frustration of not finding him, of not having him home. We know now he is home. Today is a day of sadness and joy; he is reunited now with his family. Thankfully he can now rest in peace with his Mum and Dad and his brothers.”