Body found in Disappeared search removed from bog as family watches

The body of a man believed to be one of the IRA’s Disappeared victims was moved from a bog in Co Meath yesterday as family members looked on.

Remains thought to be those of newlywed Brendan Megraw, from Twinbrook, west Belfast, were discovered by a drainage ditch in the middle of Oristown bog, Co Meath, on Wednesday.

Following preliminary examinations at the scene, the remains were placed in a wooden coffin yards from where his brother Sean was being comforted by relatives.

“It’s the end of a long search and he can be laid to rest with his mother andfather in the grave — and put our minds to rest,” said Sean Megraw.

The headstone on the family burial plot already carries Brendan Megraw’s name.

He was abducted by the IRA on Saturday April 8, 1978, and murdered and secretly buried. Aged 23, he was awaiting the birth of his first child.

The Megraw family were only told by the IRA in 1999 that he was one of theDisappeared and his body had been dumped on the bogland near the town of Kells.

The discovery was made yesterday morning as contractors working on behalf of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains carried out preparatory works, including clearing patches of ground beside drainage ditches.

Sean Megraw, who travelled to the site on Wednesday and returned to see theremains being moved, stood on the edge of a dirt track running the length of thebogland as the removal took place.

“You can see it’s a desolate place. Just the fact he has been lying here morethan 36 years — 1978 he was put down here,” he said.

Formal identification is expected to take several days.

Three searches had taken place on different strips of the Oristown bog sincethe first information was received 15 years ago.

More detailed forensic excavations were planned on the bog for the coming weeks after specific information was handed over in recent months to the ICLVR, set up by the British and Irish governments to liaise with former paramilitaries to find the Disappeared.

Forensic archaeologists surveyed Oristown bog a month ago and spent the lastfew weeks analysing radar surveys, searching for anomalies in the ground, before the preparatory work led to the discovery.

Separate searches have also taken place on bogland a few miles away, nearWilkinstown, for the remains of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright, both of whom were taken by the IRA in October 1972.


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