Disappeared families at dig site as remains removed

Relatives of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee hold a prayer service at the site in Coghalstown, Co Meath, where two bodies were discovered
Relatives of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee hold a prayer service at the site in Coghalstown, Co Meath, where two bodies were discovered

The families of two of the IRA Disappeared have visited a reclaimed bog in the Irish Republic where it is believed the remains of their loved ones have been found.

The bodies – which will undergo DNA tests over the next few weeks – are thought to be that of IRA men Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, both abducted and murdered by fellow members of the terror group in Belfast in October 1972.

The grave is believed to have been about one metre (3.28ft) deep when it was dug in the 1970s and remained untouched since.

The two bodies had been dumped one on top of the other.

The grave was found during the search on a farm near Coghalstown in Co Meath for Joe Lynskey, a former monk who had also joined the IRA.

He had also gone missing from Belfast in the same year.

Geoff Knupfer, lead forensic investigator with the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR), said work to find Mr Lynskey will not end.

“Speculation at this stage is that these could be those two boys. We don’t know and obviously it’s too early to start jumping to conclusions,” he said.

“But if it turns out that it is Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee we will continue to search this site for Joe Lynskey.”

Members of the Wright family were first on the site on Friday, spending several hours talking to ICLVR investigators and overlooking the grave area.

Some of the McKee family joined them later. Mr Lynskey’s niece Maria had visited the site the previous night.

After the remains were removed, post-mortem examinations will take place over the next few days.

Forensic archaeologists had been excavating at Coghalstown since March for the remains of Mr Lynskey, acting on information confidentially passed to the ICLVR.