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Bishop of Meath Dr Michael Smith Photo by: Meath.ie

Bishop of Meath appeals for fresh information on the IRA disappeared

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Bishop of Meath Dr Michael Smith Photo by: Meath.ie

The Bishop of Meath has launched a fresh appeal for new information regarding the missing remains of seven people abducted and killed by the IRA.

Between 1972 and 2003, seventeen people, one woman and 16 men, were murdered and buried at undisclosed locations, mainly by the IRA, during the Troubles. To date ten bodies have been recovered.

Bishop of Meath Dr Michael Smith said the victims endured "horror and barbarity" at a ceremony attended by over 100 people last Saturday.

"Many act foolishly along life's journey, especially when young and immature," Dr Smith said.

"One would hope that the maturity of years and an appreciation of the deep-seated pain still blighting the lives of the families, as well as being true to one's conscience, would encourage anyone with even the slightest piece of information to come forward."

The Irish Independent reports that the crowd gathered at a location in Kells, Co. Meath, where one of the victims is thought to have been secretly buried.

Brendan Megraw, 23, vanished from west Belfast in 1978. His brother Kieran was among the family members of the victims at the ceremony.

"The horror and barbarity of what they suffered caused the deepest of pain which was only added to by the callous manner in which their bodies were disposed," Dr Smith said.

"Not having a focus for grieving gives rise to a permanent nightmare."

Bishop Smith paid tribute to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains, which was jointly established by the British and Irish governments in 1999 to help locate the bodies of the disappeared.

Saturday’s event was organized by the Wave Trauma Centre, a community charity offering care and support to victims of the Troubles.

Commissioner Frank Murray told the crowd that no one had come forward with information about the Disappeared and no one has been prosecuted or arrested.

"No file is ever closed but we desperately need more information," Mr Murray added.

"All searches are information-led and we do not carry out speculative searches."
 
In June Hollywood star Liam Neeson and fellow Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt appealed to the IRA and other Republican organizations to disclose new information about the "disappeared" of the Troubles.

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