Further ‘Disappeared’ Search At Bragan Bog.
3 October 2022.
The Commissioners of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR), Tim Dalton and Rosalie Flanagan, have agreed that the ICLVR investigations team will return to Bragan Bog near Emyvale Co. Monaghan today (Monday 3 October) to carry out a further search for the remains of Columba McVeigh, one of the Disappeared who was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1975.
To date five searches, the most recent ending in September 2019, have been carried out on Bragan Bog since 1999 initially by the Garda and subsequently by the ICLVR covering an area of over 21 acres.
Geoff Knupfer the ICLVR’s lead forensic investigator said:
“I’ll repeat what I said when we commenced the last search four years ago: we remain convinced that Columba was buried in Bragan Bog.
The fact that we have not found his remains after a number of searches is deeply disappointing and frustrating especially for the McVeigh family.
But in this work that is not in itself unusual I’m afraid.
Back in 2014 we found Brendan Megraw’s remains fifteen years after the first search on Oristown Bog, Co Meath.
We constantly review information and refine it.
While we never discuss the information we are working from suffice it to say we would not be searching unless we believed that there was a credible reason for doing so..
But even though we are searching an area does that not mean that people should assume that we have all the information we need.
Anyone who knows something that could help recover Columba’s remains should get that information to us safe in the knowledge that it will be treated in the strictest confidence”.
Jon Hill senior investigator with the ICLVR who will take operational control of the search said:
“We are looking at an area of around two acres in total which we’ll work on in two phases.
I can’t put a timeframe on the search but obviously we would hope to see success in phase one which starts today.
In terms of how the search will progress, much will depend on the weather and the state of the bog as we move through the autumn.
There is an additional challenge in that part of the area is forested but we’ll deal with that if we have to further down the line.
We are working with a highly experienced team of contractors and archaeologists and we will do our utmost to bring this search to a successful conclusion for the McVeigh family.
We all know how much it would mean to them”.
Geoff Knupfer reiterated his appeal for information in the four outstanding cases: Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh, Robert Nairac and Seamus Maguire.
“The role of the ICLVR is purely humanitarian and our only desire is to bring the remains of their loved ones home to their families so that they can be given a Christian burial.
But we need help to do that.
The ICLVR is entirely information driven.
We do not carry out speculative searches.
We need information on all the outstanding cases and I want to emphasise that any information that comes to us can be used only to locate the remains of those still missing.
It will not be shared with any outside body or agency.
The Crimestoppers reward of $60k US dollars put up by an anonymous donor some years ago is still in place”.
The ICLVR can be contacted by telephone: 00800-55585500 International: +353 1 602 8655
E-mail information to: [email protected]
By post to: ICLVR PO Box 10827
CrimeStoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 and the untraceable anonymous online form is at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Contact Dennis Godfrey (ICLVR): +44 7771 642348.