Northern Ireland news

Brother of Disappeared victim 'prepared to meet the IRA' to get answers

A shrine for Disappeared Columba McVeigh at Bragan Bog, Monaghan, where a search for his remains was being carried out

THE brother of a teenager killed and secretly buried more than 40 years ago has said he is prepared to meet the IRA to get answers.

Several searches for the remains of Columba McVeigh have taken place at Bragan Bog, Co Monaghan by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) following a tip off.

The latest effort ended without success.

Oliver McVeigh said he was prepared to meet the IRA to get the information he needed to lay his brother to rest beside their parents.

"It has to go back to the republican movement now," he said.

"They have to come up with answers now because the commission has dug 21 acres of land, there's been nothing found, and they have proven they can find bodies when they are there.

"I'll go to the devil, I'll talk to whoever I have to talk to, or do whatever I have to do to get the information. I'm prepared to meet anyone or talk to anyone, I will stop at nothing. I would like to meet them and ask them these questions. I want to get answers. They say they have given as much information as they can, I want them to look me in the eye and say that."

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland also appealed to those with information about the Disappeared to end families' heartache.

Archbishop Eamon Martin expressed sadness after the latest search ended without success.

He said the sense of dejection felt by the McVeigh family was "heart-rending".

"His family has suffered too much pain, distress and anxiety over all these years," Archbishop Martin said.

"Columba's mother had dearly wished that he would be found so that he could be buried in the family grave. She has now gone to her rest without finding the remains of her beloved son. Other family members are getting older. They promised their mother they would never give up looking for Columba. Their dedicated and lonely vigil for Columba is agonising.

Louth TD and former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said he was disappointed by the failure to locate Mr McVeigh's remains.

"I would appeal to anyone who might have any information to bring that forward. This includes anyone who was previously in touch with the commission," he said.

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