The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) met today with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
The Commission took the opportunity to brief the Committee Members on the Commission’s work to date in recovering the remains of a number of victims of paramilitaries who had been buried in secret locations. This has helped to bring closure for their families. The Commission emphasised that it will maintain its efforts in respect of the other victims whose remains have not yet been recovered.
The two Commissioners, Frank Murray and Sir Ken Bloomfield, confirmed to the Committee that the Commission’s current work programme of investigations to follow up on information received was almost completed and that further work is planned this year. They also emphasised the importance of the Commission as an example of successful cross-Border co-operation.
Sir Ken Bloomfield said: "With the support of the two Governments the Commission has worked tirelessly for the victims’ families in recent years. We recognise the continuing hurt of those families whose loved ones have yet to be recovered to them and we hope, for their sake, that we will be able to make further progress."
Frank Murray said: "We are grateful for the support expressed by TDs and Senators and the Northern Ireland MPs for the work of the Commission. The Commission is very conscious of the ongoing suffering of the victims’ families and we will continue to do all that we can to give them closure."
The two Commissioners repeated the Commission’s standing call for further information from the public to help it to locate the remains of the Disappeared who have not yet been recovered. All information provided to the Commission is treated in absolute confidence. It cannot be used for any purpose other than to locate and identify the victims’ remains.
The Commissioners said: "The Commission’s investigations are complicated and difficult, and information from the public is absolutely vital to our work. We appeal to anyone with information about any of the Disappeared to contact the Commission in complete confidence through our freephone number or PO Box address. All information will be treated as strictly confidential and it cannot be used for any purpose other than locating or identifying the bodies of victims. It is essential to the Commission to have whatever information may be out there so that it can bring forward the process of finding those victims who have not yet been recovered."
Notes for Editors
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains was established by an intergovernmental agreement between the British and Irish Governments, signed on 27 April 1999, and by legislation enacted in the two jurisdictions. The Department of Justice and Equality and the Northern Ireland Office provide financial support for the Commission.
The Commission is responsible for facilitating the location of the remains of victims of paramilitary violence who were murdered and secretly buried arising from the conflict in Northern Ireland.
The Commission has in place a confidential free-phone number and post office box address through which information can be passed to it. Any such information will be treated in the strictest confidence and it cannot be used for any purpose other than locating the remains of victims.
Confidential free-phone number: +800-55585500
PO Box 10827
Further information about the Commission and its activities and about the Disappeared is available at www.iclvr.ie.
There are 16 persons on the Commission’s list of the Disappeared, nine of whom have been recovered to date.
• Joe Lynskey
• Seamus Wright
• Kevin McKee
• Jean McConville (Recovered 2003)
• Peter Wilson (Recovered 2010)
• Eamon Molloy (Recovered 1999)
• Columba McVeigh
• Capt. Robert Nairac
• Brendan Megraw
• John McClory (Recovered 1999)
• Brian McKinney (Recovered 1999)
• Gerald Evans (Recovered 2010)
• Eugene Simons* (Recovered 1984)
• Charlie Armstrong (Recovered 2010)
• Danny McIlhone (Recovered 2008)
• Seamus Ruddy
*Eugene Simons was recovered before the establishment of the ICLVR.