The families of two men who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA are making funeral arrangements after DNA tests were completed.
The bodies of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee were recovered from a shallow grave on reclaimed bogland in June during a dig to find a third man killed and Disappeared by the Provos.
Tests on the remains have been ongoing throughout the summer, with Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) confirming they had been formally identified.
The scene of the search in Meath last June.
Ken Bloomfield and Frank Murray, commissioners of the ICLVR – which coordinates liaisons with former terrorists, the dig and recovery operations, said the remains will be released to relatives in the coming days.
“The thoughts of everyone in the commission are with the Wright and McKee families at this difficult time,” they said.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course by the Wright and McKee families.
The two IRA victims were unearthed on a farm near Coghalstown, Co Meath, after laying undisturbed for about 40 years in a shallow grave – one body on top of the other.
The pair vanished from Belfast in October 1972.
When originally dug by terrorists, the grave is thought to have been about one metre deep in the middle of a bog measuring at least 60,000 square metres.
The ICLVR was on site for several months this year searching for the remains of former Cistercian monk Joe Lynskey, also a victim of the IRA’s “Disappeared” tactic, when the other bodies were found.
It is also only a few miles from where the body of Brendan Megraw was dug up last year following searches at Oristown, Co Meath.
Separate inquests will be held in front of Dr Brian Farrell, coroner for Dublin city.