The Disappeared: Kevin McKee's sister thanks public

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Media caption,

The bodies were found in a bog in Coghalstown, County Meath in June

The sister of one of the Disappeared has thanked "from the bottom of my heart" those who brought forward information that led to the discovery of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright.

On Tuesday it was confirmed that the remains were that of the two men.

They were found in a single grave in Coghalstown, County Meath, in the Republic of Ireland in June.

The Disappeared are victims murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the conflict.

Kevin McKee's sister Maria said she was crying tears of joy and sorrow at the "bittersweet news".

She said what happened to her brother was inhumane.

Image caption,
Maria McKee said the abduction and murder of Kevin McKee "destroyed our lives"

"You don't kill a person and then just bury them somewhere, where their family can't grieve," she said.

"May God forgive them."

Mr McKee and Mr Wright were both IRA members who were abducted and murdered by the organisation in 1972.

Maria McKee said they were glad that 43 years after his death they can bury Kevin with their mother.

"For the last 40 years of her life, she was in and out of mental institutions, she just couldn't cope," she said.

"She used to asked me to bring dinners up to the hot press because Kevin would be coming home.

"I never thought I'd see the day when Kevin was put in the grave with her. Lucky enough, we've all seen it."

'Shock of reality'

The bodies of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright were found unexpectedly during a search for another of the Disappeared, Joe Lynskey.

Maria McKee said the Wright family were "torn to pieces" at the news.

Over the past 16 years, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) has searched for 16 people who were officially listed as the Disappeared.

The remains of 12 of the victims have been recovered and formally identified to date.

In a joint statement, ICLVR commissioners, Sir Ken Bloomfield and Frank Murphy, said they had received the results from DNA samples.

Image caption,
Kevin McKee was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972

"The results positively indicate that the remains are those of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee," the statement said.

"Dr Brian Farrell, coroner for the City of Dublin, has accepted this as evidence of identification and will shortly authorise the release of the remains to the families."

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the news would "bring an end to the uncertainty for the McKee and Wright families".

"I want to appeal again for anyone with any information on those remains still not found to bring that information forward to the families, to the commission or myself," he said.

Maria McKee also urged people with information to keep giving whatever detail they could "to get the rest of the bodies home".