Northern Ireland

Margaret McKinney: Tributes paid to Disappeared campaigner

Margaret McKinney Image copyright Pacemaker

Tributes have been paid to Margaret McKinney, one of the founders of the Families of the Disappeared, who has died aged 85.

Mrs McKinney's son Brian was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1978.

His body was recovered 21 years later, shortly after the establishment of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR).

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

The British and Irish commissioners of the ICLVR, Sir Ken Bloomfield and Frank Murray, described Mrs McKinney as "a tower of strength".

In a joint statement, they added: "Anyone who met Margaret McKinney could not fail to have been impressed by her humanity and her devotion to the cause of the Families of the Disappeared.

"She was there from the beginning and was a tower of strength.

"Brian's body, along with John McClory's, was amongst the first to be recovered under the auspices of the ICLVR and we know that having Brian returned to the family brought her some peace after two decades of anguish."

Sandra Peake, CEO of the WAVE Trauma Centre, described Mrs McKinney as "a truly remarkable woman".

"Mags was never overawed by any occasion and as she told President [Bill] Clinton about Brian [in 1998] he was moved to tears," she said.

"He told her that he would do all that he could to get Brian back."

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