Northern Ireland

'The Disappeared': Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright 'shot in the head'

Members of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains work at the scene Image copyright PA
Image caption The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains recovered the two bodies at a bog in County Meath in June 2015

An inquest into the deaths of two of the Disappeared victims has heard both young men were shot in the head after the IRA kidnapped them 44 years ago.

The Disappeared were people abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during in the Troubles.

Kevin McKee, 17, and Seamus Wright, 25, went missing from Belfast in October 1972.

Their remains were found together in a single shallow grave in County Meath during a dig in June 2015.

The discovery was made in a bog in Coghalstown by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR).

On Thursday, the Coroner's Court in Dublin was told the skeletal remains were examined by Irish State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy.

She said the results of the post-mortems indicated that both victims had died from gunshot wounds to the head and had been dead for about 40 years.

Image caption Kevin McKee was 17 when he was murdered by the IRA in 1972

Geoff Knupfer from the ICLVR told the court that in 1999, the IRA admitted its involvement in the deaths of nine men, including Mr McKee and Mr Wright.

The commission later received information that their bodies had been buried in the Coghalstown area.

Several unsuccessful digs took have taken place in the area since 1999, but their remains were not discovered until last year, during a search for another of the Disappeared, Joe Lynskey.

Mr McKee's sister, Philomena McKee, told the inquest that when the IRA abducted her brother, they had also taken her mother, who later suffered mental health issues.

Mr Wrights's sister, Breige Wright, said her family searched everywhere for him when he disappeared in 1972, including contacting the British army and MPs.

The inquest recorded verdicts of unlawful killing.

The ICLVR has searched for 16 people who were officially listed as the Disappeared.

The remains of 12 of the victims have been recovered and formally identified to date.

After the inquest, both families urged anyone with information about the fate of the remaining four to come forward.

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