Gerry Adams welcomes news that human remains found in search for Disappeared man Seamus Ruddy

Gerry Adams welcomes news that human remains found in search for Disappeared man Seamus Ruddy
Undated handout photo issued by the Commissioner for Recovery of Victims Remains of the search operation in a forest in France for the body of Seamus Ruddy.

Update - 5.55pm: Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has welcomed the news from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) today.

Mr Adams said: “I want to welcome the recovery by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) of what appears to be the remains of Seamus Ruddy in northern France.

“I want to commend the commission and all of those involved in today's discovery. Efforts must continue to recover the three remaining bodies.

“I again appeal to anyone with information to come forward.”

Earlier: A search team examining French forest land for the body of "Disappeared" republican murder victim Seamus Ruddy has found human remains.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) announced that the discovery was at Pont-de-l'Arche near Rouen in northern France.

Experts began a fresh search of the area on Tuesday.

Mr Ruddy, from Newry, Co Down, was abducted from Paris, killed and buried by the republican paramilitary group the INLA in 1985.

Seamus Ruddy.
Seamus Ruddy.

The commission said the process of recovering the remains would take some time.

A post mortem examination and formal identification will then be undertaken in conjunction with the French authorities.

The family of Mr Ruddy, who was 32, now face a tense wait for news they have been waiting more three decades to hear.

His sister Anne Morgan visited the search site in France on Friday, just hours before the discovery.

The ICLVR was set up during the peace process by the UK and Irish governments to recover the bodies of those murdered and secretly buried, mainly by the IRA, in the 1970s and 1980s.

There had been three previous searches in the forest area for Mr Ruddy, the most recent by the ICLVR in 2008.

The commission's experts, who require those with knowledge of the crimes to come forward and provide information without fear of prosecution, were confident the guidance they were acting on this time was accurate.

If the remains are those of Mr Ruddy, that will leave three Disappeared victims still to be recovered. The commission was originally tasked to find 16 murder victims.

The remains of Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Robert Nairac have yet to be found.

Sixteen people have been acknowledged of Disappeared victims of the Troubles in the North.

All were abducted, murdered and buried secretly by republican paramilitaries during the conflict.

As tests are carried out to confirm whether remains found in northern France are those of Co Down teacher Seamus Ruddy, here is a list of the other 15 victims.

:: Eugene Simons, from Castlewellan, Co Down, disappeared in 1981. His body was recovered in May 1984 (prior to establishment of commission) in a bog in Dundalk, Co Louth.

:: Eamonn Molloy, from north Belfast, disappeared in 1975. His body was recovered in May 1999 in a coffin left at the Old Faughart Cemetery outside Dandily, Co Louth.

:: John McClory, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1978. His body was recovered in June 1999 in bogland at Colgagh, Inniskeen, Co Monaghan.

:: Brian McKinney, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1978. His body was recovered in June 1999 in the same grave as Mr McClory at Inniskeen.

:: Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. Her body was found in August 2003 at Shelling Beach, Co Louth by a member of the public walking in the aftermath of a storm that had exposed her remains.

:: Danny McIlhone, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1981. His body was recovered in November 2008 in bogland at Blessingtown, Co Wicklow.

:: Charlie Armstrong, from south Armagh, disappeared in 1981. His body was recovered in July 2010 in bogland at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co Monaghan.

:: Gerry Evans, from south Armagh, disappeared in 1979. His body was recovered in October 2010 at Carrickrobin, Co Louth.

:: Peter Wilson disappeared in 1973. His body was recovered in November 2010 buried at a beach at Waterfoot, Co Antrim.

:: Brendan Megraw, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1978. His body was recovered in October 2014 in bogland at Oristown, Co Navan.

:: Kevin McKee, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. His body was recovered in June 2015 from reclaimed bogland at a farm near Coghalstown, Co Meath.

:: Seamus Wright, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. His body was recovered in June 2015 in the same grave as Mr McKee at Coghalstown, Co Meath.

Those yet to be found:

:: Joe Lynskey, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. Searches have been carried out in the same area where Mr McKee and Mr Wright were found.

:: Columba McVeigh, from Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, disappeared in 1975. Searches have been conducted at Emyvale Forest, Co Monaghan.

:: British Army Captain Robert Nairac disappeared in 1977 from a south Armagh pub.


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