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Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
'My tears for Brian'
Margaret McKinney at her son's funeral
Margaret McKinney (centre) buried her son in 1999
Margaret McKinney's 22-year-old son Brian disappeared in May 1978 on his way to work.

More than 20 years later his body, and that of his friend John McClory, were found in a bog in the Irish Republic.

Their remains were located using information provided by an IRA intermediary.

Here is Margaret's reaction to the IRA's apology.

Yesterday was the first time that the IRA has ever apologised, as far as I know.

But this apology does not help me. Nothing can change the hurt that we have suffered.

I still need answers. I want to know why Brian was murdered, why his body was hidden for all those years and why they denied what happened.

And it's not just us. Lots of families have been affected over the years.

I have to be grateful that I have a grave to visit. But other families - their loved ones have never been found and their suffering goes on.

Brian McKinney
In 1999 the IRA admitted killing Brian McKinney
For all those years, we wondered where he was. Was he buried under this building? Was he under that row of houses?

I cannot erase from my mind what his last moments would have been like. And I know in my heart that I would have been the last thought in his head.

He would have known how worried I was about him.

If this apology means that there will be no more killings and no more punishments then that is wonderful.

But I don't think that in my day there will be peace, real peace.

It's been going on too long - I just cannot see it ending. We had the ceasefire in 1994. Then it was broken and the suffering went on.

But I do want it to so end that my grandchildren and their children can live in peace. And I hope that this statement is the start of something.

It helps to be able to talk about it as we were deprived of it for so long.

I still shed tears for Brian. He should be here with us.

Find out more about the latest moves in the Northern Ireland peace process

Devolution crisis

Analysis

Background

SPECIAL REPORT: IRA

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

01 May 02 | N Ireland
31 Oct 01 | N Ireland
24 Nov 99 | N Ireland
04 Sep 99 | N Ireland
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