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Violence - Details of 'the Disappeared'

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Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh and Fionnuala McKenna
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Details of 'the Disappeared'

The following table contains DRAFT information on those people who were abducted and killed, mainly by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), in Northern Ireland between 1972 and 1986, and their bodies secretly buried. They are referred to as 'the Disappeared'. As part of the peace process the IRA passed information on the location of six graves containing eight bodies to the Independent Commission for the Recovery of Victims' Remains. Work to identify the sites and recover the bodies began in late May 1999.

Malcolm Sutton, who compiled the Index of Deaths, has suggested that 'the Disappeared' could be defined as:

Persons abducted, killed and secretly buried during the 1970s and 1980s, whose bodies had not been recovered when the Independent Commission for the Recovery of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) was set up in 1999 following an IRA statement about 'the Disappeared'.

Sutton List of 'the Disappeared' from his Index of Deaths
Name Age Home Killed By Date Disappear Date Recovery
Joseph Lynskey     IRA

Sep 1972

Seamus Wright   Andersonstown, Belfast IRA

2 Oct 1972

Kevin McKee (17) Andersonstown, Belfast IRA

2 Oct 1972

Jean McConville


Divis Flats, Falls Road, Belfast IRA

7 Dec 1972

27 Aug 2003

Peter Wilson (21) St James's, Belfast IRA Aug 1973 2 Nov 2010
Eamonn Molloy (21) North Belfast IRA

1 Jul 1975

28 May 1999

Columba McVeigh


Dungannon, County Tyrone IRA

31 Oct 1975

Robert Nairac   Stationed in County Armagh IRA

May 1977

Brendan Megraw


Twinbrook, Belfast IRA

8 Apr 1978

1 Oct 2014
John McClory


West Belfast IRA

25 May 1978

29 Jun 1999

Brian McKinney


West Belfast IRA

25 May 1978

29 Jun 1999

Gerard Evans


Crossmaglen, County Armagh IRA

27 Mar 1979

15 Oct 2010
Danny McIlhone   West Belfast IRA

Jul 1981

11 Nov 2008
Charles Armstrong


Crossmaglen, County Armagh IRA

16 Aug 1981

30 Jul 2010
Seamus Ruddy


From Newry - abducted in France by INLA INLA

9 May 1985

ICLVR additional death listed as disappeared (body recovered pre-1999)
Eugene Simons (26)   IRA 1 Jan 1981 24 May 1984


The following tables contain other related information on disappearances where the body was recovered prior to the setting up of the ICLVR, and also information on two disappearnces in the mid-2000s.

Cases not on official lists
Name Age Home Killed By Date Disappear Date Recovery
John McIlroy   Andersonstown, Belfast  


Sean Murphy


Cregganduff, County Armagh  



Examples of cases where bodies were recovered pre-1999
Name Age Home Killed By Date Disappear Date Recovery
Hugh McVeigh (36)   UDA

7 Apr 1975

1 Sep 1975
David Douglas



7 Apr 1975

1 Sep 1975
Samuel Miller (71)   UDA 14 Jan 1976 21 Sep 1977
James Galway (33)   UVF Sep 1982 24 Nov 1983
Brian O'Raw (31)   UVF 19 Aug 1997 26 Sep 1997

Recent cases of disappearance that may be paramilitary related
Name Age Home Killed By Date Disappear Date Recovery
Gareth O'Connor



11 May 2003

11 Jun 2005
Lisa Dorrian (25) Bangor   28 Feb 2005  


  • 'The Disappeared' in The Irish News, 29 May 1999
  • 'Group seeks Information about the 14 Disappeared' in The Irish Times, 1 September 1998
  • Letter from Shaun Woodward, then Secretary of State, 14 January 2009
  • Web site of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR)
  • Web site of 'The Disappeared of Northern Ireland'
  • Additional Material:

  • British and Irish Governments. (2006). Joint Statement by the British and Irish governments announcing the next steps on location of 'The Disappeared', (3 August 2006). Belfast: Northern Ireland Office (NIO).
  • Great Britain. Parliament. (1999). Northern Ireland (Location of Victims' Remains) Bill, (13 May 1999). London: HMSO. {external_link}
  • Irish Republican Army (IRA). (1998). Irish Republican Army (IRA) Statement on 'the Disappeared', (10 December 1998). Dublin: Irish Republican Publicity Bureau.

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