Northern Ireland

Disappeared search body moved from County Meath bog

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Media captionBrendan Megraw's brother, Sean, said it was a good but sad day

Human remains thought to belong to one of the Disappeared have been moved from a bog in County Meath.

It is believed the remains, which were found near Kells, are those of Brendan Megraw.

He was kidnapped from Twinbrook in Belfast in 1978 and murdered by the IRA. It claimed he had confessed to being a British agent.

He was one of 16 murder victims who became known as the Disappeared.

The remains were found on Wednesday in a drainage ditch on Oristown bog by contractors called in to prepare the site for forensic excavations.

The land was being examined in the search for Mr Megraw.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) said the information came from a "long-standing republican contact".

His body was taken away in an ambulance.


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Media captionMarie Megraw spoke to BBC Northern Ireland's Wendy Austin after her husband was taken from Twinbrook in 1978

It is expected that a post-mortem examination will take place on Thursday or Friday to try to identify the cause of death.

DNA samples will be taken and compared through a database belonging to the ICLVR to try and establish the identity of the remains.

Members of Mr Megraw's family visited the site on Thursday morning to witness the removal of the remains.

His brother, Sean, said he had delivered the news to Brendan's former wife.

"She was very delighted to hear the news. It will be a hard time now for his daughter and he had grandchildren as well. It's something we will all have to get used to," he said.

"It's just, taking it all in, it's difficult. Even coming here this morning it's good, but it's a sad time as well."

Brendan Megraw's family would like to have his remains buried with their parents in Glenavy, County Antrim, near the shores of Lough Neagh.

There have been three unsuccessful searches for Mr Megraw.

Image caption The remains were discovered in a drainage ditch on Oristown bog, near Kells

In August, the ICLVR announced that a new search for Mr Megraw would get under way.

They said that a "geophysical survey" would be carried out on 2.5 hectares of land.