By Sarah Mac Donald - 19 March, 2015
Bishop Michael Smith of Meath has made a fresh plea for any information that might help locate the bodies of those who disappeared during the Troubles.
His intervention follows the launch of a new search for the body of 40-year-old Joe Lynskey from Belfast, who was disappeared and presumed killed by the IRA in 1972.
On Wednesday, Dr Smith underlined that, “All the families want is to give their loved ones a decent Christian burial. No retribution is suffered by anyone giving information since a law enacted both here and in Britain protects them.”
His comments were made as the search for Joe Lynskey continued in Coghalstown bog, close to Oristown in Co Meath where the body of Brendan Megraw was discovered last October.
At the close of a Confirmation ceremony in Oristown parish, Bishop Smith commented, “You will be aware that the Commission searching for the Disappeared is engaged at present in another search at Coghalstown bog, prompted by new information received.”
“That four young men were murdered and their bodies dumped in unmarked graves in this area is a deep stain on the good name of this parish.”
“These actions have brought immense pain and suffering to their extended families over the past forty years.”
“Sadly there may be people in the area that have information which would help in bringing closure to this sorry saga.”
“In these circumstances, that anyone in a position to relieve the suffering and pain of the families would refuse to do is a challenge to their conscience. They will ultimately be accountable before God.”
In eight of the ten cases where the remains of members of the Disappeared were recovered, information was provided in confidence which proved crucial.