'Disappeared' remains removed from County Antrim beach

Published

Human remains believed to be those of one of the "Disappeared" have been removed from the County Antrim beach where they were found on Tuesday.

Peter Wilson was 21 when he went missing from his home in the Falls Road area of west Belfast in 1973.

He is believed to have been abducted and murdered by the IRA.

His family walked behind a hearse which took away the remains from the beach at Waterfoot on Wednesday at about 1400 GMT.

The remains were taken away from the beach at Waterfoot on Wednesday at about 1400 GMT with Mr Wilson's family following at the back of the vehicle.

Geoff Knupfer from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains said he was "really pleased" that the remains had been discovered but acknowledged that the discovery was "tinged with sadness" given the tragic circumstances.

On Tuesday night, local people from the village and surrounding areas held a prayer vigil beside the search site.

The commission has overseen the discovery of seven bodies and numerous searches since it was set up in 1999 to locate those murdered and buried in secret graves by republican paramilitaries during the troubles.

'Great sadness'

Peter Wilson's family had just attended a walk at Stormont on Tuesday in memory of the "Disappeared" when a call came through to say his remains had been found.

His sister, Anne Connolly, said it was a shock to have found out that he might be buried there as her mother, Lily, who died three years ago, often sat on Waterfoot beach.

She spoke of a "mixture of relief, and great sadness" to learn that his body had been found so soon after the dig began on Tuesday.

The investigation by the ICLVR was launched following a tip-off.

Remains found in County Monaghan in July were confirmed as being those of Crossmaglen man Charlie Armstrong, a 57-year-old father-of-five who went missing on his way to Mass in 1981.

In October, human remains believed to be those of Mr Armstrong's neighbour Gerry Evans were found at a site in County Louth.

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