Northern Ireland

Fresh 'Disappeared' dig for Peter Wilson announced

Peter Wilson was 21 when he went missing from his home in west Belfast Image copyright Other
Image caption Peter Wilson was 21 when he went missing from his home in west Belfast

The organisation responsible for finding the remains of the "disappeared" has announced details of a search for a man believed murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1973.

Peter Wilson was 21 when he went missing from his home in the Falls Road area of west Belfast.

Archaeologists and other experts are now examining a beach at Waterfoot in the Glens of Antrim.

It is the first time such a search has been undertaken in NI.

The investigation by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) was launched following a tip-off.

The commission's senior investigator Geoff Knupfer said the launch of the search at Red Bay beach on Tuesday was "a great step forward" for the family.

Although he would not be drawn on the nature of the new information, Mr Knupfer said it was "reliable and high quality".

"We are very conscious of the erosive properties of the sea but despite all that we've taken advice and consulted with experts and we are hoping that we can recover Peter Wilson's remains," he said.

While Mr Wilson's parents have since died, in a statement his surviving family members expressed hope that their long wait would soon be over.

"We are so relieved that a search for his body will start today," the statement said.

"The beach at Waterfoot was a place we have visited often over the years with our mother and children, unaware that Peter was buried there."

The commission has overseen the discovery of seven bodies and numerous searches since it was set up in 1999 to locate those murdered and buried in secret graves by republican paramilitaries during the troubles.

Remains found in County Monaghan in July were confirmed as being those of Crossmaglen man Charlie Armstrong, a 57-year-old father-of-five who went missing on his way to Mass in 1981.

Earlier this month, human remains believed to be those of Mr Armstrong's neighbour Gerry Evans were found at a site in County Louth.

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