Northern Ireland news

Simon Coveney to raise disposal of Aidan McAnespie body part with Karen Bradley

A body part belonging to Aidan McAnespie has been disposed of
Connla Young

TÁNAISTE Simon Coveney has told the Dáil he will raise the disposal of a body part of Aidan McAnespie with secretary of state Karen Bradley.

The 23-year-old was shot dead by a British soldier close to a checkpoint at Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone in 1988 as he made his way to a local GAA field.

Last week The Irish News revealed that State Pathologist for Northern Ireland Dr James Lyness had confirmed a section of the Tyrone man's rib cage was removed and later "disposed of".

The body part was taken during a post-mortem without the knowledge of his family, which had campaigned for its return for Christian burial.

It emerged this week that Archbishop Eamon Martin had appealed to Secretary of State Karen Bradley to help locate the missing body part.

Speaking in the Dail yesterday, Sinn Fein TD Caomhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste to join him in "expressing alarm and exasperation" at the revelations in Dr Lyness's correspondence to the McAnespie family solicitor Darragh Mackin.

The TD also asked Mr Coveney to raise the matter with Ms Bradley.

Mr Coveney said he "can certainly raise concerns with the Secretary of State", adding: “This painful information must be all the more distressing by the long time the family have had to wait for it.

"We will try to establish the facts surrounding some of the issues that you have outlined and I will ensure that the issue is raised with the appropriate authorities."

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