22 March 2023
‘Disappeared’ Lead Investigator to Retire.
Geoff Knupfer who has been the lead forensic scientist and investigator for the Independent Commission for he Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) since 2005 is to retire from the role at the end of March.
The ICLVR was set up in 1999 following the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement to locate and recover the remains of those abducted, murdered and secretly buried during the Troubles, known as the Disappeared.
To date the remains of 13 Disappeared have been recovered from a total of 17.
Paying tribute to Mr Knupfer the joint UK and Irish Commissioners Rosalie Flanagan and Tim Dalton said:
"Geoff’s leadership of the ICLVR investigations team over the last 18 years has been outstanding.
His great experience and expertise transformed the ICLVR and today, largely thanks to Geoff, it is recognised as a world leader in this complex work of searching for and recovering the remains of those have been secretly buried for up to 50 years".
Mr Knupfer thanked the Commissioners past and present for their leadership, the two Governments and successive Garda liaison officers.
Mr Knupfer said:
"It has been an honour to have been given the opportunity to be so closely involved in this humanitarian venture over the 18 years.
The successes that we have had is down to the skill and determination of first class investigators together with excellent forensic archaeologists and contractors.
Everyone who works on these cases in whatever role is acutely aware of the plight of the families.
I know that the Commission will continue its humanitarian work and do everything possible to bring a resolution to these outstanding cases."
Mr Knupfer will be succeeded by Jon Hill who is currently the Senior Investigator with the Commission.
Commenting on his appointment Rosalie Flanagan and Tim Dalton said:
"Having served as Senior Investigator since the formation of the forensic team Jon has a wealth of experience and contacts that will ensure continuity of the excellent work that team has provided.
We appreciate his hard work and dedication and look forward to continuing working with him in his new role as Lead Investigator".
Mr Hill said:
"It has been a real privilege to work with Geoff over the years.
His pioneering vision and leadership transformed the ICLVR and I look forward to building on that to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
The families of those still waiting for their loved ones remains to be found and returned can be assured that everything in our power will be done to bring them home".
Mr Hill renewed the appeal for information in relation to the outstanding cases and emphasised that it is treated in the strictest confidence.
The ICLVR can be contacted by telephone: 00800-55585500 International: +353 1 602 8655
E-mail information to: Secretary@iclvr.ie By post to: ICLVR PO Box 10827