– Govt commitment to resources welcome but information will provide the missing links –
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has reiterated his appeal for people who may have information about the location of the remains of the four people referred to as the “Disappeared” to come forward and contact the Gardaí or the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains.
Deputy Smith commented, “The work of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains is founded on information and to date it has been able to reunite the remains of 12 victims with their families and afford them a respectful and decent burial. However, there are still four families whose loved ones are missing and I once again appeal to anyone who may have information about any of these cases to get in touch with the Gardaí or the Independent Commission.
“The families of Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh, Robert Nairac and Seamus Ruddy – are living with the daily heartbreak of not knowing where their loved ones are buried. All they are asking for is to be reunited with their remains so that they can give them the burial they deserve and have a grave to visit.
“I welcome Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s commitment to provide the ICLVR with the resources it needs to support its work and I sincerely hope that these families will have their heartbreak, hurt and anguish eased, and that this dark chapter in our history can be closed”.
QUESTION NO: 101
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Brendan Smith
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 8th November, 2016.
* To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will ensure that adequate resources are provided to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains to enable the greatest possible level of investigations to be carried out to try and recover the remains of the four persons who are referred to as the disappeared; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Brendan Smith
The families of the Disappeared, people who were killed and buried secretly by paramilitary organisations during the troubles, have had to face a very particular tragedy in not only having lost a loved one, but having been denied for so long information about the burial places of their loved ones. I acknowledge the Deputy’s long-standing interest in this issue.
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) was established by the Irish and British Governments in 1999 as one among the actions to acknowledge and address the suffering of the victims of violence as a necessary element of reconciliation in the context of the Peace Process. The ICLVR’s task is to facilitate the location of the remains of the Disappeared.
To date, 12 of the victims on the ICLVR’s list of the Disappeared have been located and the ICLVR is continuing its inquiries in relation to the remaining four cases – Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh, Robert Nairac and Seamus Ruddy – and I can assure the families of my and the Government’s continued full support for this ongoing humanitarian work.
I can assure the Deputy and, indeed, the families of the Disappeared that the ICLVR’s investigation team has had and will continue to have the resources it needs to conduct its work. However, as the Deputy will know the ICLVR’s work is fundamentally driven by information. This is the key resource to support its efforts and anyone who has any information on any of the outstanding cases should bring it to the ICLVR without delay.
With the support of the two Governments, the ICLVR will continue its work tirelessly. Its only aim is to locate the victims’ remains in order that they may be returned to their families to receive a decent burial. In this way the families will then have a grave at which to grieve and to remember.