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Families of the remaining Disappeared need closure

Confirmation that remains found in Co Meath are those of two of the Disappeared marks yet another important step towards bringing this shameful episode in our recent history to a close.

The families of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright, who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried more than 40 years ago, can finally bring them home for a Christian funeral.

As the sisters of Mr McKee said, the news that their brother has been formally identified is ``bitter sweet'' but they are glad they can now lay him to rest with their mother, who never got over his disappearance.

It is just over two months since specialists engaged in searches for the Disappeared found the bodies in a shallow grave near Coghalstown.

At the time, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) had been looking for another of the Disappeared, former Cistercian monk Joe Lynskey.

He was abducted and murdered by the IRA in August 1972 but this crime was only admitted by the organisation in 2010.

When searchers found a body in June, it was assumed to be Mr Lynskey. However, the unexpected discovery of a second body suggested it was actually Mr McKee and Mr Wright, who had gone missing the same year.

While the families of Mr McKee and Mr Wright now have the information they have long waited for, the agony goes on for the relatives of Mr Lynskey, who had their hopes raised only to be disappointed.

Forensic investigator Geoff Knupfer said the dig for Joe Lynskey will continue over the next few weeks and he was ``hopeful'' the search would prove successful.

Tribute must be paid to the relatives who have endured such prolonged suffering. Those who have undertaken the valuable and painstaking work to uncover remains must also be commended.

But there are still families waiting and hoping.

Anyone who can help to bring their wait to an end must do so now.

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