Search team in France looking for body of Séamus Ruddy find human remains

Co Down man was abducted from Paris, killed and buried by INLA in 1985

The search operation in a forest in France for the body of Séamus Ruddy. Photograph:Commissioner for Recovery of Victims Remains/PA

The search operation in a forest in France for the body of Séamus Ruddy. Photograph:Commissioner for Recovery of Victims Remains/PA

 

A team searching for the body of Newry teacher Séamus Ruddy – one of the Disappeared – have found human remains in a forest in northern France.

Investigators from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) had been digging at a site at Pont-de-l’Arche near Rouen since Tuesday.

In 1985, Mr Ruddy was abducted in Paris, killed by the INLA and then secretly buried.

On Saturday morning it emerged that human remains had been discovered by the team trying to locate his body.

The search came after new information on the whereabouts of Mr Ruddy was passed to the ICLVR by the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and former INLA members.

A statement from the commission said: “Human remains have been found in the forest at Pont-de-l’Arche near Rouen in northern France at the site where the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) have been searching for the remains of Séamus Ruddy.

“The discovery was made by the ICLVR team who have been searching since Tuesday 2nd May. The recovery of the remains will take some time and then the process of post-mortem and of formal identification will begin in conjunction with the French authorities.”

There have been three previous searches for Mr Ruddy, the most recent prior to this week’s search was also by the ICLVR in 2008.

He 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.

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has said the thoughts and prayers of the people of Newry are with the family of Séamus Ruddy.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD has welcomed news that it appears that the ICLVR have recovered the remains of Séamus Ruddy.

“I want to welcome the recovery by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) of what appears to be the remains of Seamus Ruddy in northern France.

“I want to commend the Commission and all of those involved in today’s discovery. Efforts must continue to recover the three remaining bodies. I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward,” he said.

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