30/07/2010

'Disappeared' Body Found Along Border

Human remains found in County Monaghan during a search for one of the victim's of the IRA during The Troubles are to be taken to Dublin for examination.

The macabre find came after teams searching for a man who disappeared near the border almost 30 years ago located the remains.

The body is said to be one of the so-called 'Disappeared' - the 14 men and women abducted and killed by republican paramilitaries at the height of the violence - of whom only five bodies have been recovered to date.

Father-of-five Charles Armstrong, 57, from Crossmaglen, south Armagh, went missing on his way to Mass in 1981.

Last night, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains said the remains were found in Co Monaghan and Mr Armstrong's family have been informed, along with police in the Irish Republic and their State Pathologist.
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A year ago, forensic experts searching for Mr Armstrong's remains were handed a map which was thought could provide vital clues after the fresh information was sent anonymously and indicated a previously unsearched area in Co Monaghan.

At the time, several locations had already been searched near Carrickmacross, not far from the border with Northern Ireland.

The IRA admitted in 1999 that it murdered and buried nine of the Disappeared - Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, Eamon Molloy and Danny McElhone - in secret locations.

The bodies of Mr Molloy, Mr McKinney, Mr McClory, Ms McConville and Mr McElhone have been found.

Others who vanished during the Troubles include Gerry Evans, undercover Army officer Captain Robert Nairac and Seamus Ruddy, who disappeared in France and whose murder was admitted by the INLA.

Irish police have preserved the area where the remains were found as a crime scene.

Commenting on media reports that the remains of Charlie Armstrong have been discovered. Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: "If this is true it will come as a huge relief to the family of Charlie Armstrong who for almost three decades have never given up hope of finding him."

(BMcC/KMcA)

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