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Families of the Disappeared

Throughout the history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland many individuals have been killed and many families and communities have struggled with the aftermath.

One area which has been particularly difficult is the issue of ‘The Disappeared’.

Abducted, murdered and secretly buried, their families have struggled with the pain and trauma of bereavement in addition to the agony of not knowing where their loved ones are buried and why and how they were taken.

In addition, the community has often been silent concerning these cases, with an underlying fear of the consequences of speaking out.

There were nineteen people who ‘disappeared’ as a result of paramilitary organisations during The Troubles/Conflict. Of these nineteen, to date fourteen of the victims have been recovered with five still missing. Lisa Dorrian who disappeared in 2005 and Gareth O’Connor who disappeared in 2003 are included in this 19. Their cases were not included in the remit and legislation for The Independent Commission for The Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) which can only work on the cases of those who disappeared up to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

To date, there have been 19 known cases of individuals who have been murdered and secretly buried.

We provide care and support for people affected by The Troubles in Northern Ireland

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Columba McVeigh

Columba disappeared on 1st November 1975, his body has never been recovered. He was from Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone and was 17 years old when he was abducted and killed. He had been working as a painter in Dublin and had only returned to Northern Ireland a few days earlier. Although extensive searches, based on information received, have been carried out in bogland near Emyvale Co. Monaghan, his remains have yet to be recovered.

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Joe Lynskey

In February 2010, Joe Lynskey was added to the official list of The Disappeared. He went missing from his West Belfast home during the summer of 1972. His body has never been recovered. Joseph Lynskey was a former Cistercian monk from the Beechmount area of West Belfast.

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Robert Nairac

Robert disappeared in 1977. His body has never been recovered. Captain Robert Nairac was an officer with the Grenadier Guards on a tour of duty in Northern Ireland when he was abducted from the Three Steps Pub in Dromintee, South Armagh in May 1977 and murdered. He was 29 years old.

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Lisa Dorrian

Lisa went missing in the early hours of February 28, 2005 after attending a party at a caravan site in the sea side town of Ballyhalbert. Lisa’s case is not included in the remit and legislation of 1999 for The Independent Commission for The Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR).

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Seamus Maguire

In February 2022, Seamus Maguire was added to the official list of The Disappeared. Seamus, who was about 26, vanished in or around 1973-74 after leaving his home at Aghagallon, near Lurgan. He is now the 17th person whose case has been investigated by the ICLVR. It is believed that Seamus was murdered by republican paramilitaries based on information received from the PSNI.

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Eugene Simons

Eugene disappeared on 1st January 1981. His body was recovered by accident when bogland was drained on the 24th May 1984 at Knockbridge, Dundalk.

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Eamon Molloy

Eamon disappeared on 1st July 1975. His body was discovered on the 28th May 1999 at Old Faughart Cemetery, outside of Dundalk.

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Brian McKinney

Brian disappeared on 25th May 1978. His body was recovered on 29th June 1999 at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co. Monaghan along with John McClory’s body. John McClory had been kidnapped an hour earlier.

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John McClory

John disappeared with Brian McKinney. His body was also recovered in June 1999.

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Jean McConville

Disappeared on 1st December 1972. Her body was recovered on 27th August 2003 at Shillington Beach, Co. Louth.

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Danny McIlhone

Disappeared on 1st July 1981. His body was discovered in 2008 in bogland near the Blessington Lakes, Co. Wicklow.

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Charlie Armstrong

Disappeared on 15th August 1981. His body was found  in bogland at Aughrim More, near Culloville, Co. Monaghan on 29th July 2010.

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Gerard (Gerry) Evans

Disappeared on his way home to Crossmaglen.  His body was recovered on 15th October 2010 following an extensive search in bogland near Carrickrobin, Co. Louth.

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Peter Wilson

Disappeared in August 1973.  As of October 2009, his case was officially included under the ICLVR remit. His body was recovered from Waterfoot Beach, Co. Antrim on 2nd November 2010.

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Brendan Megraw

Disappeared from his home in Twinbrook, Belfast on 8th April 1978. His body was found in a drainage ditch on Oristown bog, near Kells in Co. Meath on 1st October 2014.

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Kevin Mc Kee

Disappeared on 2nd October 1972. His body was recovered in a search at Coghalstown for Joe Lynskey on the 25th June 2015 along with the body of Seamus Wright. Kevin McKee was from Belfast and was 16 years of age when he disappeared on 2nd October 1972.

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Seamus Wright

Disappeared on 2nd October 1972 along with Kevin McKee. His body was recovered by ICLVR following a search for Joe Lynskey in the Coghalstown area.

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Seamus Ruddy

Seamus disappeared in Paris on 9th May 1985. Seamus was from Newry and was a 33 year old teacher of English in Paris, France when he disappeared in May 1985. In December 1995 the INLA admitted responsibility for his death. In February 1999 information emerged to suggest that his body was buried in a forest near Rouen, France. His remains have been recovered.

Families of the Disappeared

Still Missing


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Public Mass on Palm Sunday

Public Mass on Palm Sunday to highlight those still missing and to add a further plea for help to resolve the plight of the families concerned

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All Souls Day Silent Walk

All Souls Day Silent Walk held on 2nd  November each year where the families undertake a silent walk at Stormont to symbolise their ongoing plight.A black wreath encompasses white lilies to symbolise those still missing.

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Appeals / Campaigns

Appeals,campaigning and meeting with political parties, Special Envoys, the media etc and other special events as appropriate opportunities arise.

All information is strictly confidential

For more information, please visit the Commission for the Location of Victims Remains website via link.

Contact Us

If you have any information about any of the Disappeared, then you can contact the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains below:

Britian and Ireland Phone

Tel : 00800 – 5558 5500

Confidential Post Box

PO BOX 10827,
Dublin 2,

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Need Support?

Should you require support or service, please call us at the Belfast Centre on

028 9077 9922