Annual Silent Walk for the Disappeared takes place today at Stormont

2nd November 2017


Members of the Families of the Disappeared will walk from Carson’s Statue to the steps of Parliament Buildings where they will lay the black wreath with three white lilies representing those who have yet to be found, Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh and Robert Nairac.

Father Turley from Clonard will lead prayers.

In May this year the remains of Seamus Ruddy who was abducted by the INLA from Paris in 1985, murdered and secretly buried ina forest in Pont de l’Arche near Rouen in northern France were found by the Independent Commission for theLocation of Victims Remains (ICLVR).

Seamus’sister Anne will remove the white lily representing Seamus from the wreath before it is carried to the steps of Parliament Buildings.

Annewill speak at the ceremony and is expected to say:

“ The Silent Walk had been very important for the families of the Disappeared over the last 11 years.  For many years we held out little hope that we would be able to lay our brother Seamus to rest. Thanks to the dedication of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) and to the person or persons who provided the final piece of information we were finally able to bring Seamus home for Christian burial to the family grave in Monkshill, Newry.

My mother put Seamus' name on the family headstone before she died in the hope that he would be found. And I know that the Lynskey and McVeigh families have done likewise.

Since the last walk we have lost my sister Cora who walked with us each year and our dear friend Margaret McKinney who was so instrumental to breaking the silence on the issue of the Disappeared. 

Despite these loses the Families will continue to stand together until all the Disappeared are brought home”.

A number of relatives of the Disappeared are travelling from England to join the other families.

They include Deirdre Carnegie whose brother Brendan Megraw was found in Oristown in 2014 and Linda Pywell the sister of Brian McKinney whose mother Margaret was in many ways the matriarch of the Families of the Disappeared and who died in January.

Also travelling from Liverpool will be Dympna Kerr the sister of Columba McVeigh.

Dympna will make an appeal for further information that will lead to the recovery of Columba’s remains:

“My brother Columba was murdered by the IRA and secretly buried in Bragan Bog Co Monaghan.

He is still missing 42 years on. 

Columba was born on 27 September 1955.

He was murdered 20 years later.

But that wasn’t the end.

Until we are able to bring him home to give him a Christian burial and to know that he rests beside our Mum and Dad in the family grave in Donaghmore this torment is not ended. What sustains us is the support we get from the families of the Disappeared and good people the length and breadth of Ireland and beyond.

There were 16 Disappeared now there are three.  

I pray for the day when Columba, Joe Lynskey and Robert Nairac are all brought home and we can remove the lilies that represent them from this wreath too.

To do that the ICLVR needs information and we all urge anyone who has information to get it to the ICLVR”.

In addition to the families, Geoff Knupfer and Jon Hill of the ICLVR and representatives from the WAVE Trauma Centre which has supported the Families ofthe Disappeared since the 1990s will attend.

Anyone with information about any of the three outstanding cases should contact the ICLVR’s confidential telephone number on 00800-55585500 or write to them on ICLVR, PO BOX, 10827, Dublin 2.

Ends.

Membersof the families and ICLVR will be available for interview.