Tag Archives: IRA Internal Security Unit – Nutting Squad

Killing Rage – The life and death of Eamon Collins

The life and death of Eamon Collins

Eamon Collins

Eamon Collins (1954 – 27 January 1999) was a Provisional Irish Republican Army member in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He turned his back on the organisation in the late 1980s, and later co-authored a book called Killing Rage detailing his experiences within it.

In January 1999 he was waylaid on a public road and murdered near his home in Newry in Northern Ireland.

Early life


He was born in CamloughCounty Armagh, his parents being Brian Collins and his wife Kathleen Cumiskey; his farmer father dealt in livestock, and was involved in cattle smuggling.

 Camlough was a small, staunchly Irish republican town in South Armagh. Despite the sentiment of the area, the Collins family had no association and little interest in Irish Nationalist politics. Kathleen Collins was a devout Catholic, and he was brought up under her influence with a sense of awe for the martyrs of that religion in Irish history, in its conflicts with Protestantism.

After completing his schooling, Collins worked for a time in the Ministry of Defence in a clerical capacity in London before studying law at Queen’s University, where he became influenced by Marxist political ideology.

Belfast: Queen’s University

In Easter 1974, as he walked home to his parents’ home in South Armagh during a break from his studies in Belfast, on arrival he found both his parents being man-handled by British troops during a house-to-house raid searching for illegal weapons, and on remonstrating with them Collins was himself seriously assaulted, and both he and his father were arrested and detained.

Troops in Armagh

Collins later attributed his crossing of the psychological threshold of actively supporting anti-British Irish Republican paramilitarism to this incident. Another factor in his radicalization at this time was a Law tutor at university who had persuaded him that the newly formed Provisional Irish Republican Army was a means of opposing British military presence in Northern Ireland, as well as a vehicle for Marxist revolutionary politics, in line with the radical ideological expression of a younger generation in the IRA in the late 1970s that were now replacing an old guard which was more Catholic and nationalist.

Marxist revolutionary politics

Collins subsequently dropped out of university, and after working in a pub for a period, he joined Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise Service, serving in Newry, and would go on to use this internal position within the administrative machinery of the British Government to support IRA operations against Crown Forces personnel.

HM Customs Ensign.svg
Ensign of HM Customs and Excise

Around this time he married Bernadette, with whom he subsequently had four children.

IRA activity

Collins joined the Provisional IRA during the cc inmates in the late 1970s, which sought Special Category Status for Irish Republican paramilitary prisoners, and he became involved in street demonstrations at this time.

He joined the “South Down Brigade” of the IRA, based around Newry. This was not one of the organisation’s most active formations, but it sometimes worked alongside the “South Armagh Brigade”, which was one of its most aggressive units.

Psychologically unsuited to physical violence, Collins was appointed instead by the IRA as its South Down Brigade’s intelligence officer.  

Ivan Toombs was a part-time major in the UDR as well as a senior Customs officer at Warrenpoint

See: 16th January – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

This role involved gathering information on members of the Crown security forces personnel and installations for targeting in gun and bomb attacks. His planning was directly responsible for at least five deaths, including that of the Ulster Defence Regiment Major Ivan Toombs in January 1981, with whom Collins worked in the Customs Station at Warrenpoint, and possibly three times that number.

Many of the bombing targets of his unit were of limited scale, such as the wrecking of Newry Public Library, and a public house where a Royal Ulster Constabulary choir drank after practice.

Collins became noted within IRA circles for his hard-line views on the continuance of armed campaign, and later joined its Internal Security Unit.

See : IRA Internal Security Unit – Nutting Squad

nutting squad

At the instigation of the South Armagh Brigade’s leadership he became a member of Sinn Féin in Newry. The South Armagh IRA wanted a hard-line militarist in the local party, as they were opposed to the increasing emphasis of the Republican leadership on political over military activity.

Collins was not selected as a Sinn Féin candidate for local government elections, in part, due to his open expressions of suspicion of the IRA and Sinn Féin leadership, whom he accused of covertly moving towards a position of an abandonment of the IRA’s military campaign.

Around this time Collins had a confrontation with Gerry Adams at the funeral of an IRA man killed in a failed bombing attack over how to deal with the funeral’s policing, where Collins accused Adams a being a “Stickie” (a derogatory slang term for the Official IRA).

Why did you not join the IRA?” Gerry Adams (FULL INTERVIEW) – BBC News

Despite his militarist convictions at this time, Collins found the psychological strain caused by his involvement in the IRA’s war increasingly difficult to deal with. His belief in the martial discipline of IRA’s campaign had been seriously undermined by the murder of Norman Hanna, a 28-year-old Newry man on 11 March 1982 in front of his wife and young daughter, who had been targeted because of his former service with the Ulster Defence Regiment, which he had resigned from in 1976.

See here for more details on : Norman Hanna killing

See : 11th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Trouble

Collins had opposed the targeting of Hanna on the basis that it wasn’t of a governmental entity, but had been over-ruled by his superiors, and he had gone along with the operation; his conscience burdened him afterwards about it though.

 His uneasy state was further augmented by being arrested under anti-terrorism laws on two occasions, the second involving his detention at Gough Barracks in Armagh for a week, where he was subject to extensive sessions of interrogation in 1985 after an IRA mortar attack in Newry, which had claimed the lives of multiple police officers.

Gough Barracks

Collins had not been involved in this operation, but after five days of incessant psychological pressure being exerted by R.U.C. specialist police officers, during which he had not said a word, he mentally broke, and yielded detailed information to the police about the organisation.

As a result of his arrest he was dismissed from his career with H.M. Customs & Excise Service.

Collins subsequently stated that the strain of the interrogation merely exacerbated increasing doubts that he had already possessed about the moral justification of the IRA’s paramilitary campaign and his actions within it.

These doubts had been made worse by the strategic view that he had come to that the organisation’s senior leadership had in the early 1980s quietly decided that the war had failed, and was now slowly manoeuvring the movement away from a military campaign to allow its political wing Sinn Féin to pursue its purposes by another means in what would become the Northern Ireland peace process.

This negated in Collins’ mind the justification for its then on-going military actions.

Statements against the IRA

After his confession of involvement in IRA activity, Collins became an RUC informant (or “Supergrass“, in contemporary media language), upon whose evidence the authorities were able to prosecute a large number of IRA members.

Crumlin Road Prison

He was incarcerated in specialized protective custody, along with other paramilitaries who had after arrest given evidence against their organisations, in the Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast from 1985 to 1987.

See : My time in the Crum : Extracts from my book A Belfast Child

However, after an appeal from his wife who remained an IRA supporter, and on receiving a message from the IRA delivered by his brother on a visit to the prison, Collins legally retracted his evidence, in return for which he was given a guarantee of safety by the IRA provided he consented to being debriefed by it. He agreed, and was in consequence transferred by the authorities to the Irish Republican paramilitary wing of the prison.

Trial for murder

As a result of losing his previous legal status as a Crown protected witness, Collins was charged with several counts of murder and attempted murder. However, on being tried in 1987 he was acquitted as the statement in which he had admitted to involvement in these acts was ruled legally inadmissible by the court, as it was judged that it had been obtained under duress and was not supported by enough conclusive corroboratory evidence to allow a legally sound conviction.

 On release from prison he spent several weeks being counter-interrogated by the IRA’s Internal Security Unit to discover what had been revealed to the authorities, after which he was exiled by the organisation from the northern part of Ireland, being warned that if he was found north of Drogheda after a certain date he would be summarily executed by it.

nutting squad

 The technical acquittal in the Crown court based upon judicial legal principles made an impact upon Collins’ view of the British state, markedly contrasting with what he had witnessed in the IRA’s Internal Security Unit, and reinforced his disillusionment with Irish Republican paramilitarism.

Post-IRA life

Peter McVerry

After his exile Collins moved to Dublin and squatted for a while in a deserted flat in the impoverished Ballymun area of the city. At the time the area was experiencing an epidemic of heroin addiction and he volunteered to help a local priest Peter McVerry, who ran programmes for local youths to try to keep them away from drugs.

After several years in Dublin, he subsequently moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for a period, where he ran a youth centre. He would later write that because of his Northern Ireland background he felt closer culturally to Scottish people than people from the Irish Republic.

In 1995 he returned to live in Newry, a district known for the militancy of its communal support of the IRA, with numerous IRA members in its midst. The IRA order exiling him had not been lifted, but with a formal ceasefire from the organisation in operation ordered by its senior command, and in the sweeping changes that were underway with renunciations of violence by all the paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland that had followed on from it, he judged it safer to move back in with his wife and children who had never left Newry.

Broadcasting and published works

Having returned to live in Newry, rather than maintaining a low profile Collins decided to take a prominent role in the ongoing transition of Northern Ireland’s society, using his personal history as a platform in the media to analyze the adverse effects of terrorism.


In 1995 he appeared in an ITV television documentary entitled ‘Confession’, giving an account of his disillusioning experiences and a bleak insight into Irish Republican paramilitarism.

Killing R

Just read this book and I will be doing a review shortly.

In 1997 he co-authored Killing Rage, with journalist Mick McGovern, a biographical account of his life and IRA career. He also contributed to the book Bandit Country by Toby Harnden about the South Armagh IRA.

At the same time in the media he called for the re-introduction of internment after the Omagh bombing for those continuing to engage in such acts;  published newspaper articles openly denouncing and ridiculing the Real IRA’s campaign, alongside publicly analysing his own past role in such activity, and the damage that it had caused on a personal and social level to the two communities of Northern Ireland.

Witness evidence against Thomas Murphy

Thomas Slab Murphy

See BBC News : Who is Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy?

In May 1998 Collins gave evidence against leading republican Thomas “Slab” Murphy, in a libel case Murphy had brought against the Sunday Times, over a 1985 article naming him as the IRA’s Northern Commander.

Murphy denied IRA membership, but Collins took the witness stand against him, and testified that from personal experience he knew that Murphy had been a key military leader in the organisation. Murphy subsequently lost the libel case and sustained substantial financial losses in consequence.

After giving his testimony Collins had said in the court-room to Murphy :

“No hard feelings Slab”.

However, soon after the trial Collins’ home was attacked and daubed with graffiti calling him a “tout”, a slang word for an informer in Irish Republican circles. Since his return to Newry in 1995 his home there had been intermittently attacked with acts of petty vandalism, but after the Murphy trial these intensified in regularity and severity, and another house belonging to his family in Camlough, in which no one was resident, was destroyed by arson.

Threats were made against his children, and they faced persecution in school from elements among their peers. Graffiti threatening him with murder was also daubed on the walls of the streets in the vicinity of the family home in Newry.


Collins was beaten and stabbed to death in his 45th year by an unidentified assailant(s) early in the morning of 27 January 1999, whilst walking his dogs near the Barcroft Park Estate in Newry along a quiet stretch of country lane at Doran’s Hill, just within sight of Sliabh gCuircin (Camlough Mountain).

His body also bore marks of having been struck by a car moving at speed.  The subsequent police investigation and Coroner’s Inquest commented upon the extremity of weaponed violence to Collins’ head and face used during the attack.

See: 27th January – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Rumoured reasons behind the murder were that he had returned to Northern Ireland in breach of the IRA’s banning order, and further he had detailed IRA activities and publicly criticized in the media a multiplicity of Irish Republican paramilitary splinter groups that had appeared after the Provisional IRA’s 1994 ceasefire, and that he had testified in court against Murphy.

Gerry Adams stated the murder was “regrettable”, but added that Collins had:

“many enemies in many places”.

After a traditional Irish wake, with a closed coffin necessitated due to the damage to his face, and a funeral service at St. Catherine’s Church in Newry, Collins’ body was buried at the city’s Monkshill Cemetery, not far from the grave of Albert White, a Catholic former Royal Ulster Constabulary Inspector, whose assassination he helped to organise in 1982.

See : 18th June – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Subsequent criminal investigations

In January 2014 the Police Service of Northern Ireland released a statement that a re-examination of the evidence from the scene of the 1999 murder had revealed new DNA material of a potential perpetrator’s presence, and made a public appeal for information, detailing the involvement of a specific car model (a white coloured Hyundai Pony), and a compass pommel that had broken off of a hunting knife during the attack and had been left behind at the scene.

 In February 2014 detectives from the Serious Crime Branch arrested a 59-year-old man at an address in Newry in relation to the murder, he was subsequently released without charge. In

September 2014 the police arrested three men, aged 56, 55 and 42 in County Armagh in relation to inquiries into the murder, all of whom were subsequently released without charges after questioning.

 In January 2019 the police released a statement regarding the murder that one of the assailants of Collins had been seriously injured by an accidentally sustained knife wound during the attack, and had left traces of his own blood at the scene, and that recent scientific advances in DNA evidence had increased the possibility of his identification.

In May 2019, three men aged 60 to 62 were arrested and questioned, but then released unconditionally.

See :Bel Tel : Three released without charge in IRA informer Eamon Collins’ murder probe

Main source : Wikipedia

See :

To order a signed copy of my book follow this link : A Belfast Child by John Chambers

See : Killing Rage books I’ve read


Kevin Fulton ( aka Peter Keeley ) – Double Agent ?

Kevin Fulton aka Peter Keeley – Double Agent ?

Kevin Fulton is a British agent from NewryNorthern Ireland, who allegedly spied on the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) for MI5. He is believed to be in London, where he is suing the Crown, claiming his British military handlers cut off their connections and financial aid to him. In 2004 he reportedly sued the Andersonstown News, an Irish republican news outlet in Belfast, for revealing his identity as well as publishing his photograph. The result of that suit has not been made public.

– Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in these blog posts/documentaries are solely intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors

Undercover activity

In Unsung Hero, “Fulton” claims he worked undercover as a British Army agent within the IRA. He was believed to have operated predominantly inside the IRA’s South Down Brigade, as well as concentrating on the heavy IRA activity in South Armagh. “Fulton” and four members of his IRA unit in Newry reportedly pioneered the use of “flash guns” to detonate bombs.

In one incident, “Fulton” was questioned on responsibility for designing firing mechanisms used in a horizontal mortar attack on a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) armoured patrol car on Merchants Quay, NewryCounty Down, on 27 March 1992. Colleen McMurray, a constable (aged 34) died and another constable was seriously injured.

“Fulton” claims he tipped off his MI5 handler that an attack was likely.

IRA Informer on British Intelligence | Kevin Fulton


On 5 November 2006, he was released without charge after being arrested in London, and transferred to Belfast to be questioned about his knowledge or involvement in the deaths of Irish People’s Liberation Organisation member Eoin Morley (aged 23), Royal Ulster Constabulary officer Colleen McMurray (34), and Ranger Cyril Smith (aged 21).

“I personally did not kill people”,

he stated. His lawyers asked the British Ministry of Defence to provide him and his family with new identities, relocation and immediate implementation of the complete financial package, including his army pension and other discharge benefits, which he had been reportedly promised by the MoD for his covert tour of duty. His ex-wife, Margaret Keeley, filed a lawsuit in early 2014 for full access to documents relating to her ex-husband.

She claims to have been wrongfully arrested and falsely imprisoned during a three-day period in 1994 following a purported attempt by the IRA to assassinate a senior detective in East Belfast.

Legal cases

On 26 November 2013, it was reported that The Irish News had won a legal battle after a judge ruled against Keeley’s lawsuit against the newspaper for breach of privacy and copyright, by publishing his photograph, which thereby also, he argued, endangered his life. Belfast District Judge Isobel Brownlie stated at least twice that she was not impressed with Keeley’s evidence and described him as “disingenuous”. Under British law, Keeley will also be billed for the newspaper’s legal costs.

On 31 January 2014, the Belfast High Court ruled that “Fulton” had to pay damages to Eilish Morley, the mother of IPLO member Eoin Morley, shot dead at age 23 by the IRA. The order was issued based upon his failure to appear in court. The scale of the pay-out for which he is liable was to be assessed at a later stage but was never published.

Covert Recording of MI5

Attempted Recruitment by MI5 Recorded


  1. ^ Keeley and Smithwick Tribunal, Bbc.com; accessed 5 May 2014.
  2. ^ “Former spy released without charge”Rte.ie. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. Jump up to:a b Fulton, Kevin, Jim Nally, and Ian Gallagher. Unsung Hero, John Blake Publishing Ltd., London (2006); ISBN 978-1-84454-034-1, pp. 146-47.
  4. ^ BBC‘s Hard Talk interview, 4 October 2006.
  5. ^ “Informer’s ex-wife Margaret Keeley to battle MoD legal move”BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  6. ^ “Stakeknife damaged my life – MI5 agent’s ex-wife”Bbc.co.uk. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  7. ^ Suzanne McGonagle, Irish News wins legal battle regarding spy’s photo”, Scribd.com; accessed 4 May 2014.
  8. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. “CAIN: Issues: Victims of the Northern Ireland Conflict”Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  9. ^ “British agent in IRA must pay damage to victim’s family, says court order”Belfast Telegraph, 31 January 2014; accessed 4 May 2014.

Main source : Wikipedia Kevin Fulton

See: Peter Keeley Wikispooks

See: Books about the Troubles

See: Double Agent : My Secret Life Undercover in The IRA

See: IRA Nutting Squad

See: Belfast: Telegraph Former intelligence agent Kevin Fulton, who was born in Newry but now lives “somewhere in the UK”……

See Irish News: Secret file proves existence of IRA informer

Posts about the Troubles

Jean McConville – The Shameful & Unforgivable Murder of a Widow & Mother of Ten

Jean McConville

Jean McConville

The Shameful & Unforgivable Murder of a Widow & Mother of Ten

Jean McConville (née Murray; 7 May 1934 – December 1972) was a woman from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who was kidnapped and shot dead by the Provisional IRA and secretly buried in County Louth in the Republic of Ireland in 1972 after being accused by the IRA of passing information to British forces.

In 1999, the IRA acknowledged that it had killed McConville and eight others of the “Disappeared”.

It claimed she had been passing information about republicans to the British Army in exchange for money and that a transmitter had been found in her apartment.

A report by the Police Ombudsman found no evidence for this or other rumours. Before the Troubles, the IRA had a policy of killing informers within its own ranks; however, from the start of the conflict the term informer was also used for civilians who were suspected of providing information on paramilitary organisations to the security forces. Other Irish republican and loyalist paramilitaries also carried out such killings.

As she was a widowed mother of ten,  the McConville killing was particularly controversial. Her body was not found until 2003, and the crime has not been solved. The Police Ombudsman found that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) did not begin to investigate the disappearance properly until 1995.


Jean Murray was born on 7 May 1934 to a Protestant family in East Belfast but converted after marrying Arthur McConville, a Catholic former British Army soldier, with whom she had ten children. After being intimidated out of a Protestant district by loyalists in 1969, the McConville family moved to West Belfast’s Divis Flats in the Lower Falls Road. Arthur died from cancer in January 1972.

At the time of her death, Jean McConville lived at 1A St Jude’s Walk, which was part of the Divis Flats complex.  This was an IRA stronghold, from which attacks were regularly launched against the British Army and RUC. Since the death of her husband, she had been raising their ten children, who were aged between six and twenty.

Their son Robbie was a member of the ‘Official’ IRA and was interned in Long Kesh at the time of her death; he would defect to the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1974.


In the months leading up to her death, tension and suspicion grew between McConville and her neighbours.  One night shortly before her disappearance, she was allegedly attacked after leaving a bingo hall and warned to stop giving information to the British Army.

According to police records, on 29 November 1972 a British Army unit found a distressed woman wandering in the street. She told them her name was McConville and that she had been attacked and warned to stop informing.

One of McConville’s children claimed she was kidnapped the night after this incident, but others gave the date of the kidnapping as 7 December.

On the night of her disappearance, four young women took McConville from her home at gunpoint, and she was driven to an unknown location. Dolours Price admitted that she was one of those involved in driving her across the border.

McConville was killed by a gunshot to the back of the head, there was no evidence of any other injuries to her body.

Her body was secretly buried across the border on Shellinghill Beach (also known as Templetown Beach) on the Cooley Peninsula in the north of County Louth, about 50 miles from her home. The place of her death is uncertain.

Although no group admitted responsibility for her disappearance, there were rumours that the IRA had killed her for being an informer. Another rumour is that she was killed because neighbours claimed they saw her helping a badly wounded British soldier outside her home; however, there is no record of such an incident.

McConville’s children say they recall her helping a wounded British soldier some time before their father died in January 1972.

In a 2014 interview published in the Sunday Life, former veteran Irish republican Evelyn Gilroy claimed the person who had tended to the soldier was her [Gilroy’s] sister.

The IRA did not admit involvement until after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. It claimed she was killed because she was passing information about republicans to the British Army. Former IRA member Brendan Hughes claimed the IRA had searched her flat some time before her death and found a radio transmitter, which they confiscated.

He and other former republicans interrogated her and claimed she admitted the British Army was paying her for information about republicans. Hughes claims that, because of her circumstances, they let her go with a warning. However, he claims when the IRA found she had resumed working for the British Army, it decided to “execute” her.

Reluctant to kill a clearly desperate woman – not least because of the adverse publicity it would engender – the Brigade HQ Staff allowed McConville to live, albeit with a warning of fatal consequences should she be caught spying again. By December their patience was ended and after a short discussion over “banishment” versus “execution” her death was ordered through a majority vote. Among those supporting the latter option was the brigade OC or officer commanding,

Gerry Adams. However the manner of her killing was hotly debated. There were continuing fears that the acknowledged detention and killing by (P)IRA of a widowed mother of ten children (including a young political prisoner) would have a disastrous effect on support for the movement; that it would be exploited by Britain’s well-oiled propaganda-machine, as well as Republican rivals in (O)IRA; and that the slaying could reduce moral among local Volunteers. In the end those favouring a “public execution” were out-voted by those supporting a secret death sentence and “disappearance”, a solution which would have the added benefit of sowing confusion amongst their adversaries in the British intelligence groupings.

This was a practice that was already beginning to take root – albeit intermittently and with a great  deal of controversy – in the conflict-cockpit of Belfast. In this decision it seems that Gerry Adams was again in the majority camp.

See: AN SIONNACH FIONN for full story

Usually the bodies of informers were left in public as a warning, but the IRA secretly buried McConville, apparently because she was a widowed mother-of-ten. The IRA had first done this two months earlier, when it killed and buried two IRA members who were found to be working undercover for the British Military Reaction Force (MRF).


After her disappearance, McConville’s seven youngest children, including six-year-old twins, survived on their own in the flat, cared for by their 15-year-old sister Helen. After three weeks, the hungry family was visited by a stranger, who gave them Jean’s purse, with 52 pence and her three rings in it.

On 16 January 1973, the story of the abduction appeared on the front page of the Belfast Telegraph, under the headline:

“Snatched mother missing a month”

The following day, the children were interviewed on the BBC television programme Scene Around Six. The children reported to the social services, and were immediately brought into local council care.

The family was forcibly split up by social services.Among the consequences of the killing, Jean’s orphaned son Billy was sent to De La Salle Boys’ Home, Rubane House, Kircubbin, County Down, notorious for child abuse; he testified in 2014 to the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, describing repeated sexual and physical abuse, and starvation, saying :

“Christians looking after young boys – maybe they were Christians, but to me they were devils disguised in that uniform.”

Within two days of her kidnapping, one of her sons reported the incident to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the British Army. However, the Police Ombudsman did not find any trace of an investigation into the kidnapping during the 1970s or 1980s.

An officer told the Ombudsman that CID investigations in that area of Belfast at that time were “restricted to the most serious cases”. On 2 January 1973, the RUC received two pieces of information stating:

“it is rumoured that Jean McConville had been abducted by the [IRA] because she is an informer”

In March 1973, information was received from the British Army, saying the kidnapping was an elaborate hoax and that McConville had left of her own free will.  As a result, the RUC refused to accept that McConville was missing, preferring to believe an anonymous tip that she had absconded with a British soldier.

The first investigation into her kidnapping appears to have taken place in 1995, when a team of RUC detectives was established to review the cases of all those who were thought to have been kidnapped during the conflict.

In 1999, the IRA gave information on the whereabouts of her body.  This prompted a prolonged search, co-ordinated by the Garda Síochána, the Irish police service, but no body was found. On the night of 26 August 2003, a storm washed away part of the embankment supporting the west side of Shellinghill Beach car park, near the site of previous searches. This exposed the body.

Jean McConville boby.jpg

On 27 August, it was found by passersby while they were walking on Shellinghill Beach (also known as Templetown Beach) in County Louthat the eastern tip of the Cooley Peninsula. McConville was subsequently reburied beside her husband Arthur in Holy Trinity Graveyard in Lisburn.


Police Ombudsman’s report

In April 2004 the inquest into McConville’s death returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

In 2006 the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Nuala O’Loan, published a report about the police’s investigation of the murder. It concluded that the RUC did not investigate the murder until 1995, when it carried out a minor investigation. It found no evidence that she had been an informer, but recommended the British Government go against its long-standing policy regarding informers and reveal whether she was one.

Journalist Ed Moloney called for the British Government to release war diaries relating to the Divis Flats area at the time. War diaries are usually released under the thirty-year rule, but those relating to Divis at the time of McConville’s death are embargoed for almost ninety years.

The police have since apologised for its failure to investigate her abduction.  In January 2005, Sinn Féin party chairman Mitchel McLaughlin claimed that the killing of McConville was not a crime, saying that she had been executed as a spy in a war situation.

This prompted Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole to write a rebuttal, arguing that the abduction and extrajudicial killing of McConville was clearly a:

“war crime by all accepted national and international standards”

The IRA has since issued a general apology, saying it :

“regrets the suffering of all the families whose loved ones were killed and buried by the IRA”.

PSNI investigation and Boston College tapes

In August 2006, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Sir Hugh Orde, stated that he was not hopeful anyone would be brought to justice over the murder, saying:

“[in] any case of that age, it is highly unlikely that a successful prosecution could be mounted.”

Boston College had launched an oral history project on the Troubles in 2001. It recorded interviews with republicans and loyalists about their involvement in the conflict, on the understanding that the tapes would not be released until after their deaths.

Two of the republican interviewees, Brendan Hughes and Dolours Price, both now deceased, admitted they were involved in McConville’s kidnapping. Both became diehard opponents of the Good Friday Agreement and Sinn Féin’s support of it. They saw Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams as a traitor for negotiating the Agreement and persuading the IRA to end its campaign.

In 2010, after Hughes’s death, some of his statements were published in the book Voices from the Grave.   He claimed McConville had admitted being an informer, and that Adams ordered her disappearance.

In a 2010 newspaper article, Price also claimed McConville was an informer and that Adams ordered her disappearance, which has been strenuously denied by Ed Moloney.  Price, who died in 2013, said she gave the interviews as revenge against Adams.  Former republican prisoner Evelyn Gilroy, who lived near McConville, claimed Adams was an IRA commander and the only person who could have ordered the killing.

Adams has denied any role in the death of McConville. He said:

“the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family”

In 2011, the PSNI began a legal bid to gain access to the tapes.  Acting on a request from the PSNI, the United States Justice Department tried to force Boston College to hand them over. Boston College had promised those interviewed that the tapes would not be released until after their deaths, and other interviewees said they feared retribution if the tapes were released. Following a lengthy court battle, the PSNI was given transcripts of interviews by Hughes and Price.

2014 arrests

In March and April 2014, the PSNI arrested a number of people over the kidnapping and killing of Jean McConville. Ivor Bell, former IRA Chief of Staff, was arrested in March 2014.  Shortly afterwards, he was charged with aiding and abetting in her murder.

In April, the PSNI arrested three people who were teenagers at the time of the kidnapping: a 56-year-old man and two women, aged 57 and 60. All were released without charge.

Following Bell’s arrest in March, there was media speculation that police would want to question Gerry Adams due to the claims made by Hughes and Price. Adams maintained he was not involved, but had his solicitor contact the PSNI to find whether they wanted to question him.

On 30 April, after being contacted by the PSNI, Adams voluntarily arranged to be interviewed at Antrim PSNI Station. He was arrested and questioned for four days before being released without charge. A file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to decide whether further action should be taken, but there was “insufficient evidence” to charge him.

The arrest took place during an election campaign. Sinn Féin claimed that the timing of the arrest was politically motivated; an attempt to harm the party’s chances in the upcoming elections. Alex Maskey said it was evidence of a “political agenda […] a negative agenda” by elements of the PSNI.

Jean McConville’s family had campaigned for the arrest of Adams over the murder. Her son Michael said:

“Me and the rest of my brothers and sisters are just glad to see the PSNI doing their job. We didn’t think it would ever take place [Mr Adams’ arrest], but we are quite glad that it is taking place.” 

In a later interview on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, he stated that he knew the names of those who had abducted and killed his mother, but that:

“I wouldn’t tell the police [PSNI]. If I told the police now a thing, me or one of my family members or one of my children would get shot by those [IRA] people. It’s terrible that we know those people and we can’t bring them to justice”

Anthony Mc Intyre and the Boston Tapes

See: IRA Nutting Squad

See: The Disappeared – Northern Ireland’s Secret Victims 

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1st July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles



Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

1st July


Wednesday 1 July 1970

Reginald Maudling, then Home Secretary, paid a visit to Northern Ireland.

As he boarded the flight out of Northern Ireland again he was reported to have said:

“For God’s sake bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country!”.

The Criminal Justice (Temporary Provisions) Act was passed by the Stormont government introducing a mandatory prison sentence of six months for rioting.

Sunday 1 July 1973


William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State, travelled to Chequers for a meeting with at 8.00pm with Edward Heath, then British Prime Minster.

[Public Records 1972 – Released 1 January 2003: Note of meeting between William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State, and Edward Heath, then British Prime Minster. ]


Wednesday 1 July 1981

hungry strikes

See Hunger Strike

Thursday 1 July 1982

The Garda Síochána (the Irish police) found a large cache of bombs at Castlefin, County Donegal.

Wednesday 1 July 1992


Gregory Burns, John  Dignam & Aidan Starrs

The bodies of three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members were found in different parts of south Armagh.

The three men were shot dead by the IRA which alleged that the men had acted as informers for the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and MI5 (British Security Service).

In a significant shift in approach the Unionist parties agreed to talks with politicians from the Republic of Ireland under Strand Two of the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks).

The Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) came into being. The regiment was formed by the amalgamation of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the Royal Irish Rangers.

[The UDR had been the subject of sustained criticism from Nationalists since its formation in 1970. The merger meant that the former UDR battalions, a total of approximately 6,000 soldiers, would continue to operate in Northern Ireland while the two former Rangers battalions would be reduced to a single general service battalion, approximately 900 soldiers, that would serve abroad as well as in Northern Ireland.]

Thursday 1 July 1993

The annual report of the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights (SACHR) was published. SACHR called for a review of the legislation that covered the use of lethal force by the security forces.

The report also supported the use of video recording of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) interviews of people suspected of paramilitary related offences.

Tuesday 1 July 1997

The offices of the Irish News were slightly damaged in an arson attack.

The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition announced that they were organising a street festival for Sunday 6 July 1997.

This would coincide with the disputed Orange Parade.

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and his ministerial team held talks in Belfast with Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, about the ‘marching season’. Ahern said that it would be a mistake to force the march along the Garvaghy Road.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said that they would only announce their decision on whether or not the march could proceed along the Garvaghy Road, two or three days in advance.

This was in spite of a promise by Mowlam to reveal the decision at lease six days in advance.

Wednesday 1 July 1998

First Meeting of ‘Shadow’ Assembly ‘First Minister Designate’ and ‘Deputy First Minister Designate’ Elected


All the political parties who had won seats during the Northern Ireland Assembly election took their places in the new Assembly chamber at Stormont. The Assembly met in ‘shadow’ form as powers had not yet been devolved. Those present included the parties, and candidates, who had opposed the Good Friday Agreement.


[The event was televised live in Northern Ireland and many people found it almost surreal to see Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), sitting in the same debating chamber as Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).]

During the first session on the new Northern Ireland Assembly David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was elected ‘First Minister Designate’ of the new Assembly. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was elected ‘Deputy First Minister Designate’.


John Alderdice, formerly the leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), was appointed as the ‘Presiding Officer Designate’ (the Speaker) of the new Assembly.

Thursday 1 July 1999

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, claimed that the Stormont talks had brought about a “seismic shift” in the political landscape of Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) continued to insist that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) should decommission its weapons and explosives in parallel with the creation of the Northern Ireland Executive.

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) sources believed a possible solution was emerging. (Blair’s attendance at the Stormont talks meant that he missed the opening of the Scottish Parliament.)

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won a council by-election in Lisburn. Peter Robinson, then Deputy Leader of the DUP, said this victory in a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) safe seat was a “final warning” to David Trimble  then leader of the UUP.

Those Loyalist paramilitary groups who were then on ceasefire issued a warning to “hooligans and looters” that pro-Drumcree rioting would not be tolerated.

drumcree church at night

See Drumcree Conflict

William Whitelaw, who had been appointed as the first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland following the imposition of Direct Rule in 1972, died in London aged 81.

Sunday 1 July 2001

Trimble Resigned As First Minister

The resignation of David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), as First Minister took effect as of midnight on Saturday.

Trimble called on Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, to suspend the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) and the other institutions established under the Good Friday agreement.

The procedures of the NIA allowed for a six-week period during which a new First Minister and Deputy First Minister would have to be elected otherwise new elections to the Assembly would have to be called.

Another option would be for the British government to suspend the Assembly and the institutions and reintroduce Direct Rule. The final option was for there to be a temporary suspension which would have the effect of extending the period in which to find agreement.

The Assembly was suspended for 24 hours beginning on Friday 10 August 2001.



Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

10 People lost their lives on the 1st July between 1972 – 1992


01 July 1972
Paul Jobling  (19)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
English visitor. Found shot on waste ground, Westway Drive, Glencairn, Belfast.


01 July 1972
Daniel Hayes  (40)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot in playground, Penrith Street, Shankill, Belfast.


01 July 1973
Reginald Roberts   (25)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Bull Ring, Ballymurphy, Belfast


01 July 1976
Brian Palmer   (39)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in Finaghy Roadhouse Bar, Finaghy Road North, Belfast. Alleged informer.


01 July 1980

Terence O’Neill   (26)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot while running away from Whiterock Community Centre, Ballymurphy, Belfast.


01 July 1986

Robert Hill  (22)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car outside his home, Drumaness, near Ballynahinch, County Down.


01 July 1989

Norman Annett   (56)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while visiting his mother’s home, Carhill Road, Garvagh, County Derry


01 July 1992

Gregory Burns   (34)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot Cullaville Road, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. Alleged informer.


01 July 1992

John Dignam  (32)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot at Mountain Road, Lislea, County Armagh. Alleged informer.


01 July 1992

Aidan Starrs  (29)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA), K

illed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot at Dundalk Road, near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. Alleged informer.


See: IRA Nutting Squad 


13th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

13th February


Friday 13 February 1976

There were riots in Belfast and Derry following the news of the death of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) hunger-striker Frank Stagg in a prison in England on 12 February 1976.

Saturday 13 February 1988

Representatives of Sinn Féin (SF) endorsed the talks between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then leader of Sinn Féin (SF).

Tuesday 13 February 1996

John Major, then British Prime Minister, met Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), for talks at Downing Street, London.

Saturday 13 February 1999

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) released figures on the number of paramilitary ‘punishment’ attacks carried out by Republicans. There had been 18 attacks from 1 January 1999 to 2 February 1999 but no attacks since that date

Tuesday 13 February 2001

British Army (BA) technical experts have made safe a pipe-bomb in Belfast that had been picked up by a 4 year old girl and carried into her home. The target of the attack was a Catholic family living on the Springfield Road in the west of the city. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Wednesday 13 February 2002

Two men were charged in London with bombing offences during 2001.

The Metropolitan Police charged one man (33) with causing explosions outside the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 3 March 2001, in Ealing on 3 August 2001, and in Birmingham on 3 November 2001, and with a number of other offences. The second man (24) was charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion on or before 14 November 2001.

[The two men had been arrested separately in Northern Ireland on 6 and 9 February 2002. The men appeared at Belmarsh Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 14 February 2002.]

Jane kennedy, then Security Minister, announced in the House of Commons extra funding of £16 million for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The additional funding takes the total figure to £656 million. Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said the extra funding was not enough for policing needs.

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, called on Sinn Féin (SF) to take note of the plight of ‘exiles’ – people who had been forced to leave Northern Ireland by paramilitaries. He said that a resolution of the issue was an important part of the peace process.

[The issue was debated in the House of Commons on Thursday 14 February 2002.]


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live  forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

3 People   lost their lives on the 13th  February  between  1972 – 1984


13 February 1972
Thomas McCann,  (19)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
From Dublin. Off duty. Found shot, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh.


13 February 1976
Sean Bailey,  (20)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died one day after being injured in premature bomb explosion in house, Nansen Street, Falls, Belfast.


13 February 1984
 James Young,  (41)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Blaney Road, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. Alleged informer



See: IRA Nutting Squad

26th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

 26th October


Tuesday 26 October 1971

A man was found shot dead in Belfast.

An Assembly, attended only by Nationalist politicians, and acting as an alternative to Stormont, met in Dungiven Castle.

[The Assembly only ever met on two occasions.]


Monday 26 October 1981

Kenneth Haworth

Kenneth Haworth (49), a police explosives officer, was killed when the bomb he was trying to defuse exploded in Oxford Street, London.

Kenneth Robert Howorth, GM, (28 September 1932 – 26 October 1981), was a British explosives officer with London’s Metropolitan Police Service who was killed whilst attempting to defuse a bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in Oxford Street.

Howorth served for twenty-three years with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) with postings to Austria, Japan, Tripoli in Libya, Stonecutters Island in Hong Kong and various United Kingdom bases. He reached the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 (Conductor) before leaving to join the Metropolitan Police Service as a civilian explosives officer in 1973.[1]

On 26 October 1981, police received warnings that bombs on a busy shopping street in central London would explode within thirty minutes. A booby-trapped improvised explosive device (IED), planted by the IRA, was discovered in the basement toilet of a Wimpy restaurant on Oxford Street. While attempting to defuse the bomb, Howorth was killed instantly when it detonated.[2]

Howorth was survived by his wife Ann (died 25 November 2003), his son Steven and his daughter Susan. In 1983, he was posthumously awarded the George Medal for gallantry.

In 1985, IRA volunteers Paul Kavanagh and Thomas Quigley, both from Belfast, were convicted of his murder (along with other attacks including the Chelsea Barracks nail bomb in September 1981) and each handed five life sentences with a minimum tariff of thirty-five years. They were released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement

The Long Walk

See: The Long Walk – Iconic Pictures & Story behind them


Thursday 26 October 1989

A member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and his six-month old daughter were killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack in Germany.

Tuesday 26 October 1993

Gerry Adams carrying the coffin of IRA bomber Thomas Begley in 1993

Two Catholic civilians were shot dead and five others injured, in a Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), gun attack at Kennedy Way in west Belfast.

At the funeral service of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) member killed in the Shankill Road Bombing on 23 October 1993, Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), helped carry the coffin.

See Shankill Road Bomb

Thursday 26 October 1995

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that the oath of allegiance to the Queen made by Queen’s Councils (QCs) in Northern Ireland would be repealed. Unionists criticised the decision.

Sunday 26 October 1997

A Protestant parish hall in Millfield, Belfast, was damaged in an arson attack. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) rerouted a planned parade by Ballynafeign Orange Lodge through the Nationalist lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast.

Monday 26 October 1998

Hew Pike (Sir),

Hew Pike (Sir), then a Lieutenant-General in the British Army, became the commanding officer of the army in Northern Ireland. Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that Whiterock army base in west Belfast would close. Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that there was no chance of the North-South Ministerial Council being established before the 31 October 1998 deadline.

David Trimble, then First Minister designate, said that the 31 October was not an absolute deadline. Martin McGuinness, the Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), accused Unionists of trying to rewrite the Good Friday Agreement. In a book of memoirs Conor Cruise O’Brien said that Unionists may one day have to negotiate entry into a United Ireland.

[Following the revelation of the book’s content O’Brien felt obliged to resigned from the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP).]

Tuesday 26 October 1999

Two men e arrested near Dungannon, County Tyrone, after the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) discovered explosives in their van. Army technical experts then carried out a controlled explosion on the vehicle. The men are thought to be involved with dissident Loyalists; the van contained a pipe-bomb and two hand grenades.

Clifford Peebles

One of the men arrested was Clifford Peebles, then a preacher based in Woodvale in north Belfast.

[The men appeared in Cookstown courthouse on 29 October 1999.]

Thursday 26 October 2000 A pipe-b

A pipe-bomb was discovered underneath an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer’s car close to the courthouse in Antrim. A fuse had been lit but had burned out without detonating the pipe-bomb. Loyalist paramilitaries were blamed for the attack on the officer who was a witness in a Northern Ireland arms trial.

Friday 26 October 2001

A British Army soldier (18) was seriously injured when Loyalist paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at a group of soldiers in the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast, at 9.00pm (2100BST).

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) claimed that the soldiers had been lured into an ambush and that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was responsible for the attack. Several RUC officers were also injured in the attack. Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in the Waterside area of Derry. The attack happened shortly after midnight (0015BST) and there was extensive damage to the house but no injuries to the six occupants. The dwelling was home to a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor.

[The RUC said that it was the most powerful pipe-bomb ever to have been used and it contained four inch nails. The incident was part of an extensive series of on-going attacks across Northern Ireland on Nationalist political representatives and Catholic families.]

A Catholic boy (14) was attacked and beaten up by a gang of Loyalist youths in Galgorm Road, Ballymena, County Antrim

. [The boy is believed to be Kieran O’Loan the son of Nuala O’Loan, then Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, and it is thought he was singled out for attack.]

Two people were arrested during the the Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Loyalists had tried to block the road and prevent parents from gaining access to the school.



Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live  forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

  11 People lost their lives on the 26th  October  between 1971 – 1993


26 October 1971

Robert McFarland,  (26)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot in Altcar Street, Short Strand, Belfast.


26 October 1976

Joseph Wilson,  (55)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, supermarket, Eglish Street, Armagh.


26 October 1981

Kenneth Howorth,   (49) nfNIB
Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed while attempting to defuse bomb in a cafe, Oxford Street, London.


26 October 1983

Gerard Barkley,  (27)

Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Found shot near Redhills, County Cavan. Alleged informer.

See: IRA Internal Security Unit – Nutting Squad


26 October 1988
Wilson Smyth,   (41)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car at his workplace, postal sorting office, Tomb Street, off Corporation Street, Belfast.


26 October 1988

Huge McCrone,  (20)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot by sniper while driving his car shortly after leaving Kinawley Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Fermanagh.


26 October 1989
Maheshkumar Islania,   (34) nfNIE
Status: Royal Air Force (RAF),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot during gun attack on his car while at petrol filling station, Wildenrath, West Germany.


26 October 1989
Niurati Islania,  (0) nfNIE
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during gun attack on her Royal Air Force (RAF) member father’s car while at petrol filling station, Wildenrath, West Germany.


26 October 1990

Thomas Casey,   (57)

Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Sinn Fein (SF) member. Shot outside neighbour’s home, Kildress, near Cookstown, County Tyrone.


26 October 1993
James Cameron,  (54)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Council Depot, Kennedy Way, Andersonstown, Belfast.


26 October 1993

Mark Rodgers, (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Council Depot, Kennedy Way, Andersonstown, Belfast.


The Disappeared – Northern Ireland’s Secret Victims

Update: 17th  May 2017

Disappeared victim’s funeral has taken place

Seamus Ruddy's coffin carried into the Chapel
The requiem mass took place at St Catherine’s Dominican Chapel

The funeral of Seamus Ruddy, one of the Disappeared victims, has taken place in Newry.

Mr Ruddy, 32, was murdered and secretly buried in France in 1985 by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

The remains of Seamus Ruddy were uncovered at a site in a forest at Pont-de-l’Arche outside Rouen in northern France last month.

Mourners gathered at St Catherine’s Dominican Chapel for requiem mass to pay their respects.

Seamus Ruddy will be buried in Monkshill cemetery.

See BBC New for full story

Update: 6th May 2017

Seamus Ruddy

Image result for Seamus Ruddy

Finally  some good News in what has no doubt been a long and never ending nightmare for the families of the “Missing”  those secretly killed and buried in unmarked graves , mainly  due to Republican & Loyalist paranoia.

To lose a family member in an act of terrorism is an open wound that never  heals and never ends – but to be killed due to paranoia and  accused of being a tout or spy or  worse –  a pawn in political and paramilitary espionage , is a stain that  engulfs your entire family and mentally abuses and mocks  you daily. The grief of separation is suppressed and the stigma of guilt hangs over you like a dark cloud and the local community whisper and point behind your back.

Image result for seamus ruddy

Such was the life of the families of the Disappeared in the sectarian Badlands of West Belfast & throughout Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Now at least an end for one families misery – who will be given the spiritual healing of closure , a  Christian burial and the beginning of a life that can only get better , although grief never leaves us completely .

Sometimes it seems to me  The Gods love to ignore the suffering of mortal man and yet we follow them blindly in the hope of a protection that seldom comes.

Image result for Lisa Dorrian
Lisa Dorrian



There are STILL four more ( including Lisa Dorrian ) that remain missing. They are Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Army Capt Robert Nairac.

          Image result for Columba McVeigh      Image result for Joe Lynskey

Columba McVeigh                                        Joe Lynskey

Image result for Capt Robert Nairac

Capt Robert Nairac

Lets hope that soon they can all be returned to their families and laid to rest in eternal peace.


Human remains found in France in search for ‘disappeared’ Seamus Ruddy

Human remains have been found at the site in northern France where a search has been taking place for the body of Seamus Ruddy, one of the Disappeared.

News that human remains had been uncovered came early on Saturday morning.

Investigators from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains have been digging at the site in a forest near Rouen since Monday.

Mr Ruddy was working as a teacher in Paris in 1985.

He was murdered by republican paramilitaries, the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), and secretly buried.


The Disappeared are those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

See:  BBC News for full story

See:  Below for more details on Seamus Ruddy & The Disappeared – Northern Ireland’s Secret Victims

Below is a Tweet from Jeremy Corbyn –


Jeremy Corbyn MP

@jeremycorbyn 52m52 minutes ago

1yr anniversary of disappearance of 43 Mexican students. I’ve written to the Ambassador with investigation concerns

Whilst for once I agree with him in that something should be done about these poor  Mexican students , what about The Disappeared from Northern Ireland ? – which is a bit closer to home and should be receiving his attention above these unfortunate students.

I’m sure it wouldn’t tax him too much to pick up the phone and ask his best buddies Adam & McGuiness to have a word with their “mates” about the whereabouts of the remains of these innocent  victims of Republican paranoia.

But wait , I had almost forgotten that Adam’s & McGuiness are now states men and working for the good of the peace process. In fact they are in such denial that I’m sure they honestly believe that they have nothing to feel guilty about and have no regrets about their dodgy past.

Well in my book these  two vile humans being represent the worst of the Troubles and the fact that they are now living comfortable lives and have a say in the running of Northern Ireland disgust me and I’m sure many others in mainland Britain. and Northern Ireland would agree. They are both drenched in the blood of the innocent and no matter what they say or do will never change my attitude towards these two IRA thugs.

But I digress – apologies for that  – but my revulsion of these two is all consuming and sometimes I get carried away and go off track. The point I was trying to make is that Corbyn needs to look closer to home and use his influence with SinnFein/IRA to bring some closure to the issue of The Disappeared of Northern Ireland and perhaps in doing so he can give the families a little comfort and a chance to give their loved one’s a Christian Burial.

It is the very least they deserve!

Please see below  for an article on The Disappeared –


Corbyn’s Letter


The Disappeared

The Disappeared are those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams denies he was involved in Jean McConville’s disappearance

Gerry Adams sparks outrage as he says abduction and murder of Jean McConville is ‘what happens in wars’


The Disappeared


Despite extensive and painstaking searches, the bodies have never been found of four out of 16 people listed by the commission set up to locate victims’ remains.

Searches have been carried out by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains, established in 1999 by treaty between the British and Irish governments to obtain information in strictest confidence that may lead to where the bodies are buried.

The Disappeared is a term which refers to people believed to have been abducted, murdered and secretly buried during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains is in charge of locating the remaining bodies,  and was led by forensic archaeologist John McIlwaine

16 people, all Catholics, including one British Army officer, all males, except for Mrs. Jean McConville, are believed to have been kidnapped and killed by republicans during the Troubles.  The Provisional IRA admitted to being involved in the forced disappearance of nine of the sixteen – Eamon Molloy, Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, and Danny McIlhone. British Army officer, Robert Nairac, who disappeared from South Armagh, was a Mauritius-born Roman Catholic.

The organisation said they could only accurately locate the body of one of their victims, but gave rough ideas for the remaining eight.  As of November 2013 only seven bodies have been found.

Another Catholic victim, Gareth O’Connor, is believed to have been killed by the IRA after the Good Friday Agreement. Lisa Dorrian, a young Catholic woman, is believed to have been killed by Loyalists, taking the total number of ‘Disappeared’ up to eighteen.

Who are they?



Brendan Megraw


Brendan McGraw
The IRA claimed that the 24-year-old from Belfast confessed to being a British provocateur and Military Reaction Force undercover agent in 1978

Disappeared from his home in Twinbrook, Belfast on 8th April 1978.

Found: His body was recovered on 1st October 2014

Brendan, by his family…

When Brendan disappeared on Saturday 8th April 1978, he was 23 years old. He was 5ft 8in tall and had very dark brown hair, which he wore long as that was the style at the time. He also had sideburns, a thin brown moustache and blue eyes.

Brendan was very much his own man. He didn’t like being told what to do. He was very particular about his appear-ance; always had a shine on his shoes. He had attended St Finians and La Salle schools and he had served on the altar at Clonard. He worked at a number of different jobs—hotel work, in a carpet factory and a sign making com-pany, which he enjoyed but for a variety of reasons were not long-term.

Brendan was happily married for almost a year and he was living for the day of the birth of his daughter and being a dad. Within his own band of friends Brendan would have been talkative with a mischievous sense of humour. At lar-ger gatherings or more formal social occasions, Brendan would have been quieter. He was a friendly person who en-joyed life and just wanted to have a good time.

As his mum always said, “he was motorbike mad”. He enjoyed taking them apart, fixing them, cleaning them and racing them. He went for day trips on the bike with his friends or to the races at Kirkstown/Dundrod. Brendan was al-ways engrossed in cars and kept his MG Midget spotlessly clean. His two pet hates were football and politics.

His friends described him as a good friend who could be relied upon and he was good company.

The remains were discovered in a drainage ditch on Oristown bog, near Kells
Human remains found in County Meath in October were those of IRA murder victim Brendan Megraw, it has been confirmed



Eamon Molloy

Abducted from his home in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast in July 1975, after being accused by the IRA of being an informer. It was claimed he was quartermaster in one of the IRA’s three Belfast brigades and that his activities forced the IRA into calling a ceasefire that year

Eamon disappeared 1st July 1975.

Found: His body located on the 28th May 1999 at Old Faughart Cemetery, four miles outside Dundalk

Eamon, by his family…

“Eamon was of average size. He was 21 years old when he disappeared. He had dark brown hair and brown eyes. Eamon was very thoughtful to others less fortunate than himself. He was a shy young man and was easily embarrassed when he was younger but he grew out of that as he got older”.

“He loved playing snooker and he was learning to play the mandolin at the time of his disappearance”.

“He had so many friends. Some of them still call to see me and they talk about things that happened when they were young and the things that happened in school. They still talk about how they miss him and the fun they all used to have together”.

Eamon Molloy’s remains were found in a coffin left above ground in a cemetery 25 years after his death



Brian McKinney

Twenty-two when he was abducted with his friend John McClory in 1978, he had first gone missing a few days beforehand, but returned 48 hours later, beaten and distraught. He had allegedly admitted to stealing IRA weapons for use in robberies.

Brian disappeared 25th May 1978.

Found: His body was located on 29th June 1999 at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co. Monaghan along with John McClory’s body. John McClory had been kidnapped an hour earlier

Brian, by his family…

“Brian was small and his nickname was “Bru” because of Brian Bru was a giant and he was so small. He had dark brown hair, which he loved, and he kept it well groomed. He was 22 years old when he was taken away from us”.

“Brian was never a well boy. He was in and out of hospital and had bad asthma and eczema. When he was 14 years old he was diagnosed as having the mind of a six year old. It was genetic thing. We were all very protective of Brian. He was very popular in the area with the neighbours and he was always singing and he played a mouth organ and the guitar. In fact, sometimes you had to tell him to be quiet. He was very musical. Brian was funny without even meaning to be, he hadn’t an ounce of sense”.

“He went out to work on Thursday 25th May 1978 and he never came home. I still can’t get him out of my mind especially what he must have felt like in his last moments. I know he would have cried”.

“His friends would tell you how good natured he was. He would have given away his last penny. He would have been very easily led but he wouldn’t have harmed a fly. He is still so much missed by us all”.

His body was located on 29th June 1999 at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co. Monaghan



John McClory

John McClory
The 17-year-old was a friend of Brian McKinney and went missing at the same time. His body was also recovered at the same site. He had allegedly admitted to stealing IRA weapons for use in robberies

John disappeared on the 25th of May 1978.

Found:  His body was located on 29th June 1999 at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co. Monaghan

John, by his family…

“John was very tall with long black hair. He was very tall for his age. He was almost 19 years old when he disappeared. He was a friendly boy and always tried to help the elderly neighbours who lived beside us. He would help them carry their shopping to the house. He was very outgoing, funny and very talkative”.

“John took great pride in his appearance especially his long hair. His hair was his pride and joy!”

“He loved sports but was an armchair fan, rather than actively playing any sports. He was just like any other 18 year old, living life to the full and enjoying himself”.

“His friends and his family miss him very much. I know his friends would have viewed him differently than me. I only had seen him as my brother, although when I talk to some of his friends we have a laugh about what he used to get up to”.

His body was located on 29th June 1999 at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co. Monaghan



Jean McConville

Jean McConville
The IRA Accused her of being an informer. She was widow and mother of 10 children.

Jean disappeared on the 7th December 1972.

Found:  Her body was recovered on 27th August, 2003 at Shillington Beach, Co. Louth.

Jean, by her family…

“Mum was 37 years old and she had dark brown hair and lovely blue eyes. She was small in height and she was a very quiet woman who was gentle and caring”.

“I remember Mum and Dad always together and can remember Mum always wearing an apron like the one in the picture and she always folded her arms like the way she is in the picture Mum and Dad were close and we were a close family. She always came round at night and gave us a good night kiss. After my Daddy died she was just trying to raise her own children by herself and that couldn’t have been easy but she did her best”.

“Mum was always busy and she was rarely out of the house. She was at home all the time in the house clearing and making sure we were all clean and that there was food on the table for us. She had a good sense of humour too and always had time for her family. The one hobby she enjoyed was bingo and other than that she was always with her children”.

“It has been terrible since she was taken. From day one we were put in a home and we had to learn how to survive on our own. You had to learn to survive if you wanted to get on with your life because the home wasn’t easy. It was very strict but being split up from your brothers and sisters was the hardest thing of all”.

Jean McConville. her body was found at Shillington Beach, Co. Louth.



Danny McIlhone

Danny McIlhone
The IRA said Mr McIlhone was not suspected of being an informer but was being questioned about stealing weapons – it was claimed he was killed in a struggle with the person who was guarding him.

Danny disappeared on 1st July 1981.

Found: His body was discovered in 2008 in bogland near the Blessington Lakes in Co. Wicklow.

Disappeared IRA victim Danny McIlhone was shot a number of times before being buried in a secret grave on a remote mountainside, an inquest has heard.

The IRA had admitted taking Mr McIlhone to a “premises” in Ballynultagh for questioning about “certain matters” and that a Provo had shot him a number of times when a struggle broke out between them.

His body was discovered in 2008 in bogland near the Blessington Lakes in Co. Wicklow



Charles Armstrong

Charlie Armstrong
The 57-year-old father-of-five from Crossmaglen in south Armagh, went missing on his way to Mass in 1981. His car was later found near a cinema in Dundalk. The IRA denied any involvement in his disappearance at the time

Charlie disappeared on 15th August 1981.

Found: His body was found in County Monaghan in July 2010

Charlie, by his family…

“Charlie was medium in height and roughly 5 ft 4”. He was 54 years old when he disappeared and he had receding brown hair. Charlie was a very pleasant, outgoing man. He was a very talkative person who loved a bit of craic with other people and he could be very funny. His hobbies were mainly around animals. He loved horse racing and backing horses, he also loved dogs and caged birds. He was a football fan and enjoyed gardening, decorating and fishing”.

“Charlie’s friends would describe him as being very obliging, always willing to help neighbours. Nothing was too much for him to do for other people”.

“Charlie was a very good husband and father. He was a very caring person”.

On the day he disappeared, his wife walked with their daughters to Mass, where they had planned to meet him after he drove a friend to it. He did not appear and it was only when they got home that they discovered that he had not met their friend. Initially, it was thought that he had had an accident, so his family and friends searched the area, but there was no sign of him. The next day, a friend phoned the family to tell them that his car had been found outside the Adelphi cinema in Dundalk.

His name did not appear on a list of nine people whose disappearances the Provisional IRA admitted responsibility for in 1999. Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Féin, denied that the IRA was responsible, but journalist Suzanne Breen said that she had been contacted by a member of the IRA who said that it was.

A team looking for Mr Armstrong found human remains in County Monaghan in July 2010. Two months later, the remains were confirmed as being those of Mr Armstrong.



Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson (21 yrs), was last seen in Falls Park in August 1973. Peter did not return to his home at St James’s Road, Belfast

 Peter disappeared August 1973.

Found : November  2010

Reports suggest he may have been abducted and murdered by the IRA. His name was added to the list of the Disappeared in 2009 after new information became available.

For four days before he disappeared he lived with an Army unit at their headquarters near his Falls Road home. At the time the Army was accused of using a vulnerable person to gather information on the IRA, but the Army said they wanted him to experience military life.

His remains were found at Waterfoot beach in County Antrim in November 2010



Gerard Evans

Gerry Evans
Gerry Evans went missing aged 24 in County Monaghan in 1979

Gerard Anthony disappeared on his way home to Crossmaglen March 1979. . He was last seen on the roadside out of Castleblaney trying to hitch a lift back home.

Found: His body was found in October 2010.

Gerard, by his family…

“Gerry was 24 years old and 5ft 10”. He had dark brown hair. Gerry was the eldest of five boys and he was a very loving, kind son who was matured for his age. He loved his home and family. He had a lovely personality, quiet and but funny at times. He enjoyed being with his younger brothers, especially Sean who has Down Syndrome. Sean still misses Gerry very much. Gerry’s hobbies were darts and snooker, any kind of sport and a night out with his mates”.

“I think Gerry’s friends would describe him as a good friend and fun to be with. They still miss him and he had no enemies that we know about. Gerry would never have hurt anyone”.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better son”.

Last seen hitch-hiking in County Monaghan in March 1979, no-one has ever admitted responsibility for the 24-year-old’s death. In March 2008, his aunt was given a map claiming to identify the location of his body. Mr Evans’ remains were found at a site in County Louth in October 2010.

His remains were found at a site in County Louth in October 2010.



Eugene Simons

The 26-year-old went missing from his home near Castlewellan, County Down, on 1 January 1981.

 His body was discovered by chance in May 1984 in a bog near Dundalk, County Louth.

Eugene, by his family…

“Eugene was fairly tall, about 5ft 11”. He was 26 years old and he had brown hair. He was abducted on New Years Day in 1981”.

“Eugene was a plumber by trade and he was never out of work. He was a very good tradesman. He loved angling, darts and a social night out”.

“He got on well with all he came in to contact with but sadly it was some of his so called friends that set him up for abduction”.



Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee
An IRA member, the Belfast man was alleged to have been a British army agent and member of its Military Reaction Force, an undercover unit

Kevin disappeared on 2nd October 1972.

Found: His body was recovered on June 2015

The 17-year-old was killed in 1972 along with Seamus Wright, 25, by the Provisional IRA in Belfast. The pair were accused of working for a secret undercover British army unit at the time.

Kevin, by his family…

“Kevin was 17 years old and he was very tall. He had dark curly hair. He had beautiful white curly hair as a baby, but as he grew older he didn’t like his curls. Kevin was a very caring young boy. He was the first-born and was always very protective of his younger siblings. He was very much family orientated and fiercely loyal. He was shy but very helpful to elders; he was quiet and spent most of his time at home with his family. He was very close to his mother and would do odd jobs to help support the family. He was very athletic and loved football and sports. He could possibly have been very successful at school. He loved playing football and he loved drawing. He was a very good artist. He would sketch and draw in his spare time. Kevin was outgoing but he was shy too”.

“He has lots of mates both in school and outside of school. He was a typical mischievous youth. His friends described him as a tall likeable gentleman. He had a good sense of humour and he was loved by all who knew him. His disappearance was a tragedy. He had been engaged to a very pretty young girl just before he disappeared”.

The coffin of Kevin McKee is carried to St Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast by members of his family
His body was discovered in Coghalstown, Co Meath, in June 2015.



Seamus Wright

Wright is believed to have been abducted, interrogated, shot dead and buried in secret by the IRA in 1972

The Belfast man was an IRA member, but in 1972 he was interrogated and murdered by his former colleagues who accused him of being a British army agent and a member of its Military Reaction Force. His body was discovered in Coghalstown, Co Meath, in June 2015.

He vanished in 1972 alongside Kevin McKee after the IRA suspected the pair of working as undercover agents for a secret army unity known as the Military Reconnaissance Force, which was carrying out a covert war against the IRA in Belfast during the Troubles’ bloodiest year.

They are believed to have been abducted from their homes in west Belfast, driven across the border, interrogated, shot dead and buried in secret

Friends and family carry the remains of one Seamus Wright.
Friends and family carry the remains of one Séamus Wright.


Gareth O’Connor

O’Connor was a member of the Real IRA who disappeared after driving through Newtownhamilton in 2003

Gareth disappeared 11th May 2003.

Found: His body was found June 12th 2005 at Victoria Lock, just outside of Newry.

Gareth, by his family…

“Gareth was very tall and well built with short dark brown hair. He was 24 years old when he disappeared”.

“Gareth was a very good-natured person and he was friendly and easy to get on with. He would have been the first person to help you when needed. Gareth was a very outgoing person and was also a practical joker. He was always playing some sort of jokes on people”.

“Gareth’s hobbies were around fixing up old cars and bodybuilding. He would have trained 7 nights a week at a local gym”.

“I think Gareth’s friends would have described him as a very loyal friend and fun to be with. His friends miss him badly. His close friends find it hard to talk about what has happened”.

Gareth O’Connor was not included in the remit and legislation of 1999 for The Independant Commission for The Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR)

O’Connor was a member of the Real IRA who disappeared after driving through Newtownhamilton in 2003. On 11 June 2005, his badly decomposed body was discovered in his car in Newry Canal, County Down. His father, Mark, believes that the Provisional IRA were responsible for the murder, as they had threatened father and son. Mark O’Connor said: “I gave those names [of the killers] to Gerry Kelly (Sinn Féin assembly member). But nothing has been done. Gerry Adams ignores us and ignores all the families of the Disappeared.”

Armagh - Gareth O'Connor funeral
Armagh – Gareth O’Connor funeral


Still Missing

Seamus Ruddy

Seamus Ruddy
The 32-year-old from Newry, County Down, was working as a teacher in Paris when he went missing in 1985. It is believed he was killed by members of the INLA.

Seamus disappeared in Paris on 9th May 1985.

Still Missing: His body has never been recovered.

 It is believed he was killed by members of the INLA. Fresh searches were carried out in 2008 after his family were told his remains were in a forest in Normandy, but they found nothing.

Seamus, by his family…

“Seamus was of average build, about 5ft 6” with dark brown hair. He had a beard, although in springtime he sometimes shaved it off to leave just a moustache. Under his glasses he had the most beautiful blue eyes. He was 33 years old when he disappeared. He was the youngest boy of a family of 9. He had 5 sisters and 3 brothers. He lived in Newry and educated at Newry CBS”.

“You couldn’t say Seamus was one type of person. He was a different person to everyone who knew him; I only discovered that after his disappearance”.

“Seamus was a kind hearted, thoughtful and humorous person. He was wise, caring, a walking encyclopaedia, meticulous and a hard worker at whatever he chose to do. He was always concerned about the welfare and well being of his 34 nephews and nieces. On Christmas morning he visited as many of Santa’s houses as he could to play with the children’s toys!”

“He was a very good listener and he was able to enjoy the craic wherever he went. He enjoyed a good laugh and always looked for the positive side of the situation. His laugh was an infectious one, so when he laughed you laughed too”.

“Seamus really enjoyed all types of music especially The Chieftains, Christy Moore and Planxty. The Flead Cheoils were a part of his life. Otis Reading and Aretha Franklin were also appreciated by him. Rory Gallagher and Thin Lizzy were rated highly too”.

“He was an avid reader especially politics and world affairs and he could discuss the current affairs of any country in the world”.

“Seamus was always there for his friends, no matter who needed help he would come to their aid. He even played hurley once for Newry Shamrocks because they were a man short and he was co-opted on to the team”.

“He definitely was not athletic but still played to help the team out. Seamus always fulfilled his promises. It was not in his vocabulary to let anyone down. I think friends would describe him as dependable, kind and trustworthy”.

Read  more :

Family of INLA murder man misled


Still Missing

Captain Robert Nairac

Captain Robert Nairac
The SAS-trained officer was abducted by the IRA in Jonesborough County Armagh, in May 1977.

Robert disappeared in 1977.

Still Missing: His body has never been recovered.

See Robert Nairac Page

The 29-year-old was abducted when he visited a pub at Dromintee, south Armagh. He had been in the pub singing rebel songs. He was seized during a struggle in the pub’s car park and taken across the border to a field at Ravensdale, County Louth, and later shot dead.

Read More

McGuinness in Nairac body appeal


Still Missing

Joe Lynskey

In February 2010 Joe Lynskey was added to the official list of The Disappeared. He went missing from his West Belfast home in 1972.

Joe went missing in !972

Still Missing: He’s body has never been found

A former Cistercian monk from the Beechmount area of west Belfast, he later joined the IRA. Mr Lynskey went missing in 1972, and republicans have claimed Mr Lynskey was “executed and buried” by the IRA.

Read more:  Commission to probe Lynskey death


Still Missing

Columba McVeigh

Columba McVeigh
Columba disappeared on 1st November 1975, his body has never been recovered.

Columba disappeared on 1st November 1975,

Still Missing:  his body has never been recovered.

The 19-year-old from Donaghmore, County Tyrone was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975 after allegedly confessing to being a British army agent with instructions to infiltrate the IRA.

Extensive searches for his body were carried out in 2003 at a bog in Emyvale, County Monaghan, but nothing was found. His mother, Vera, was a tireless campaigner for the return of his remains – she died in 2007. Mother of Disappeared victim dies

A specialist forensic team spent five months in 2013 digging in a bog in County Monaghan for Mr McVeigh’s remains, but found nothing.

Columba, by his family…

“Columba was the third of four precious children born to Paddy and Vera McVeigh.He grew up in the rural setting of Castlecaulfield in Co Tyrone where life was sometimes hard making the security of a loving family very special. Columba grew up to be a fine big tall and handsome fella with curly golden hair”.

“He enjoyed being outdoors, riding his bike, playing football, often returning home covered in muck from head to toe. He had a great sense of humour and enjoyed playing a trick on family and friends. He worked hard and went to Dublin to take up a job. It was from there that Columba disappeared 29 years ago at the age of 17”.


Still Missing

Lisa Dorrian

Lisa went missing in the early hours of February 28, 2005 after attending a party at a caravan site in the sea side town of Ballyhalbert.

Lisa went missing on 28th February 2005

Still Missing: Her body has never been found

It is widely believed she was abducted and murdered by member of the Loyalist Volunteer Force.

Lisa Dorrian was not included in the remit and legislation of 1999 for The Independent Commission for The Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR)

Read More

Lisa, by her family…

“It is 4 years since we last saw our beautiful daughter Lisa. They have been two long and hard years, which have taken their toll on all our family. We were never given the chance to say goodbye to Lisa. “Lisa’s youngest sister Ciara, who was only eight years old when Lisa disappeared, has panic attacks at night, screaming and crying for her Lisa. We, as parents, should be able to alleviate her fears, but we can’t because we don’t have the answers.

“We are appealing to anyone who knows anything to please tell the police, no matter how trivial it may seem. It may help us as a family to grieve and try to accept that Lisa is never coming back. They say time is a great healer, but for us it just gets worse.”

Read: Lisa Dorrians family call on last man to see her alive to break his silence

Timeline: The disappearance of Lisa Dorrian


Do you know anything ?

The Disappeared of Northern Ireland

Visit the website

See: IRA Nutting Squad 

Jean McConville

See: Jean McConville – The Shameful & Unforgivable Murder of a Widow & Mother of Ten

See: Dolours Price IRA Icon ? Life & Death


8th September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

8th September

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Wednesday 8 September 1971

Harold Wilson, then leader of the Labour Party, announced details of a plan for a united Ireland.

Friday 8 September 1972

[Public Records 1972 – Released 1 January 2003: Memo from the Cabinet Secretary to Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister. This memo covered: the future of Northern Ireland; the Security Package; and changes in the administration of justice (most notably the introduction of special courts).]

Monday 8 September 1975

During a United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) meeting William Craig was the only member to vote for a voluntary coalition with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Sunday 8 September 1985

A married couple Gerard and Catherine Mahon, both Catholic civilians, were found shot dead in Turf Lodge in west Belfast. The couple had been shot by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who alleged that they were informers working on behalf of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Thursday 8 September 1994

The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) set out a list of issues that it wished to receive assurances on before it considered calling a ceasefire of Loyalist paramilitary groups. In particular the CLMC wanted convinced that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire was permanent and that no secret deal had been done to achieve it. British Army soldiers wore berets instead of steel helmets while on patrol in Belfast.

[It was viewed as a symbolic gesture representing a relaxation of security measures.]

The Belfast Coroner abandoned the Inquest into the deaths of the six men at the centre of the alleged ‘shoot to kill’ incidents in November and December 1982. The reason given for the action was the decision of Hugh Annesley (Sir), then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), not to provide the Inquest with a copy of the Stalker report.

[The Belfast High Court had ruled against the Coroner on 11 July 1994 when the court said he could not have access to the contents of the Stalker report.]

Friday 8 September 1995

Trimble Elected Leader of UUP The Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) held a meeting to choose a new leader following the resignation of James Molyneaux on 28 August 1995. David Trimble, then UUP MP, won the contest on the third count beating John Taylor, then UUP MP, who had been considered the favourite to win. Trimble won by 466 to 333 votes.

Sunday 8 September 1996

An Orange parade in Dunloy, County Antrim was rerouted by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). In protest at this decision the Orangemen held a short stand-off at a police line.

Monday 8 September 1997

Mary Robinson, then President of the Republic of Ireland, paid her final visit before retiring to Northern Ireland. Robinson attended a meeting of the Council for Ethnic Minorities and also addressed a special meeting of community and voluntary sector groups at Balmoral, Belfast.

[Previous visits by the President had been criticised by Unionist politicians particularly when she shook hands with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), in 1993.]

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), announced that he would not be standing in the forthcoming Presidential election in the Republic of Ireland. Hume said that he felt a duty to stay with the SDLP at the “crucial stage” of the peace process.

Saturday 8 September 2001

A Catholic primary school Newington Avenue in north Belfast was damaged in an arson attack.

Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

6 People lost their lives on the 8th September  between 1969 – 1985


08 September 1969
John Todd,  (29)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot during street disturbances, Alloa Street, Lower Oldpark, Belfast.


08 September 1974
Arthur Rafferty,   (56)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died three weeks after being shot in Newington Street, New Lodge, Belfast.


08 September 1975
Andrew Craig,  (20)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot at corner of Alfred Street and Russell Street, Markets, Belfast.


08 September 1977
Hugh Rogers,  (50)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Orchardville Crescent, Finaghy, Belfast.


08 September 1985

Gerard Mahon,  (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, together with his wife, in entry off Norglen Crescent, Turf Lodge, Belfast. Alleged informer.


08 September 1985

Catherine Mahon,  (26)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, together with her husband, in entry off Norglen Crescent, Turf Lodge, Belfast. Alleged informer.

Main source CAIN Web Service

Major Events in the Troubles

See: IRA Internal Security Unit – Nutting Squad

See: 9th September