Irish police believe that a body found yesterday in an Oristown, County Meath bog is that of “disappeared” IRA victim Brendan Megraw.
Brendan Megraw was a newly-wed 23-year-old man from West Belfast who was killed and secretly buried by the IRA in April 1978. He was accused of informing.
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) is an expert group established in 1999 as part of Northern Ireland’s peace process – its aim is to pinpoint the unmarked graves of 14 known victims who were kidnapped, killed and buried by the IRA between 1972 and 1981.
The newly discovered remains were found in boggy farmland near a drainage ditch in Oristown, Co. Meath. Though an IRA source identified the resting place as that of Brendan Megraw, the ICLVR hasn’t yet confirmed whether the remains are those of Megraw or a member of the fourteen on their list.
Previous searches inspired by IRA tip-offs have found remains from seven of the fourteen people, most notoriously the body of Jean McConville, a mother of ten who was brutally killed in 1972 and whose body was uncovered in 2004 on a border beach. The other seven – six Catholic civilians and a British Army Officer – are still being located.
Three previous efforts to find Megraw in the Oristown area failed; the most recent search was carried out in 2010.
New search methods by the ICLVR, involving ground-penetrating radar, began in late August.
Brendan's brother Kieran said the family is hopeful that Brendan’s body has been found.
“For our own family it was not until 1999 that we knew Brendan was dead and buried in Oristown. There will always be questions, but if this is Brendan and we get him home, that is the target.
“I didn't really expect to get the call. And it is looking like it really is Brendan, obviously there will be DNA tests and so on.
“It is quite a shock for the family. Sometimes you maybe ask yourself twice, has it really come about, but there's joy and relief that it looks like it is his body.”