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The remains of Jean McConville are carried away from Shelling Beach

New hope in search for body of IRA 'disappeared' Charlie Armstrong

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The remains of Jean McConville are carried away from Shelling Beach

The family of Charlie Armstrong, one of the 14 people who "disappeared" during the Troubles in Northern Ireland have been given new hope that his body will finally be found.

Armstrong, who was from Crossmaglen in South Armagh, was killed by the IRA in 1981 and his body buried in a secret grave.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains says it has received "potentially significant" new information on the grave's whereabouts.

An anonymous source sent in a map which shows a previously unsearched area in County Monaghan on the Irish border.

The commission - which was set up to specifically look for the 14 disappeared - has now appealed for that source to make further contact.

They say this is the third map they have received and confirms their belief as to where Armstrong is buried.

"It is crucially important that we speak to the person who has sent the map. We believe we could be close to finding Charlie Armstrong's remains and a conversation with the person who sent this map could provide that vital, final piece of information we need."

Armstrong's daughter, Anna McShane also appealed for the person to make contact. "I would appeal, from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my mother Kathleen, for the person who sent the map to contact the Commission.

"All we want is to bring daddy home for the last time, give him a Christian burial and let us have a grave to visit and grieve," she said.

McShane said the family was caught between hope and heartbreak. "It's difficult to keep your feelings in check because being one of the families of the disappeared is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. On the one hand this could be the breakthrough we've been praying for over the years and on the other, it could lead to further heartbreak."

The bodies of the following five people have so far been recovered since the commission was set up.

Eamon Molloy: Molloy, an alleged IRA quartermaster in a Belfast brigade, was abducted by the IRA from his home in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast in 1975, He had been accused of being an informer. His body was dumped in a coffin at Faughert graveyard near Dundalk, County Louth in 1999.

Brian McKinney: McKinney, 22, was abducted in 1978 with his friend John McClory just days after an earlier disappearance when he had been beaten. He was said to have admitted to stealing IRA guns for use in robberies but his family made him give back the money. A few days later he disappeared again. His body was discovered in a bog in County Monaghan in 1999.

John McClory: McClory, 17, was abducted with McKinney. His body was also found at the same site.

Jean McConville: McConvillle, 37, was a widow and a mother of 10 when she was killed in 1972 after trying to help a British soldier as he lay dying outside her home in west Belfast's Divis flats. Her remains were found after several searches at Shelling Hill beach in County Louth in August 2003.

Danny McIlhone:  McIlhone went missing in 1981 after being hauled in for questioning by the IRA over stolen weapons. The IRA claimed he was killed in a struggle with the person who was guarding him. His body was found in the Wicklow mountains in November 2008.

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