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Joe Lynskey: Fresh search for Disappeared victim to begin

Joe Lynskey was a former Cistercian monk from west Belfast who disappeared in 1972 Image copyright WAVE Trauma
Image caption Joe Lynskey was a former Cistercian monk from west Belfast who disappeared in 1972

A new search is to begin later for the body of Joe Lynskey, who was abducted and murdered by the IRA 42 years ago.

The search is being carried out at Coghalstown, County Meath, close to where the body of another IRA victim, Brendan Megraw, was found in October.

Forensic investigators have said they have narrowed the search to about 15 acres of bog land.

Mr Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk who later joined the IRA, was abducted in west Belfast in August 1972.

He became known as one of the so-called Disappeared; 16 people abducted and secretly buried by republicans in the 1970s and 1980s. So far, the remains of ten people have been recovered.

Geoff Knupfer, lead forensic scientist at the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR), said the task ahead remained difficult.

He said: "We have good reason to believe that we are in the right area and that his remains lie somewhere in the six hectares (15 acres) site, but while the terrain is not as rough as at Oristown Bog, where we found Brendan Megraw, we still have a difficult and complex task ahead of us.

"We are satisfied that the time is right to bring in our team of forensic archaeologists to start the search beneath the surface."

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Media captionThe search is being carried out at Coghalstown, County Meath, as Shane Harrison reports.

'Christian burial'

The ICLVR brought in a specialist search dog last December to help detect signs of human remains at the site.

Mr Knupfer also appealed for more information about Mr Lynskey's secret burial.

"There are people who have information who have not come to the ICLVR even though there is a guarantee of complete confidentiality," he said.

"It would be quite wrong to think that because we have started the search for Joe Lynskey that there is no need for someone who knows something of the events in Coghalstown in 1972 to give us that information.

"It might be the key to finding his remains and returning them to his family for a Christian burial."

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