Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Family hopeful after remains find

A previous search for Danny McIlhone 's remains
DNA tests on the remains are being carried out

The family of Danny McIlhone have said they are hopeful remains discovered during a search in County Wicklow may be those of the west Belfast man.

Mr McIlhone was 19 when he was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1981.

However, it was not until 1999 that the paramilitary organisation claimed responsibility for his death.

"We hope and pray for good news," read a statement from Mr McIlhone's family. "We also ask the media to respect our privacy and stay away from the family."

DNA tests on the remains, found on Saturday, are being carried out.

The search in the Ballynultagh area was being carried out on behalf of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains, which liaises with families of the so-called Disappeared.

There have been two unsuccessful searches - in 1999 and 2000 - for Danny McIlhone's remains.

In a statement nine years ago, the IRA said Mr McIlhone was not suspected of being an informer but was being questioned about stealing IRA weapons.

It was claimed that he was killed in a struggle with the person who was guarding him.



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