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Friday, September 3, 1999 Published at 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK


UK: Northern Ireland

Funeral of Disappeared IRA victim held

John McClory's family have waited two decades to bury him

Several hundred people have attended the funeral in Belfast of one of the Disappeared victims of the IRA.

John McClory's remains were found by Irish police in June after an extensive search in County Monaghan.


BBC NI's Maggie Swarbrick reports
Aged 18, he was abducted from west Belfast where he lived, murdered by the IRA and his body hidden.

At the Requiem Mass at the Holy Spirit Church on the Glen Road, Father Gordon McKendry said John McClory's murder and the concealment of his body was ''a crime of satanic proportions''.


[ image: John McClory was abducted from west Belfast in 1978]
John McClory was abducted from west Belfast in 1978
Mr McClory's remains were found in a shallow grave in Colgagh Bog at Cullaville, Co Monaghan on 29 June along with the remains of his friend, Brian McKinney.

Brian McKinney's funeral will be held on Saturday. They will both be buried near each other in Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast.

The two are believed to have been abducted and murdered at the same time.

Their bodies were found together after information was passed by intermediaries for the IRA to the Commission for the Disappeared in the Irish Republic.

The alleged location of the remains of nine IRA victims killed in the 1970s and 1980s were given.

But only three bodies were found after extensive searches.

The first was that of Eamon Molloy and hope was raised that the remains of the others would quickly be found.

But John McClory and Brian McKinney were the only other victims located after extra information was supplied on their burial sites.

The Search for Peace
The search for the remaining victims was called off in July but families remain hopeful that more exact information will be provided which will pinpoint where their relatives were buried by their killers.

'IRA has more details'

One of the families of the Disappeared believes that the IRA is on the verge of divulging new information, which will pinpoint the remains of its victims.

A member of the McConville family said he had been assured that new information will be forthcoming on the location of the remains of his mother-in-law, Jean McConville.


Seamus McKendry talks to BBC NI's Wendy Austin on his family's new hope
Seamus McKendry told BBC Northern Ireland that he was informed the IRA were hugely embarrassed that initial information did not prove reliable.

"We've been assured in the past week or so that they have returned to the sites. Just how accurate their information is or whether they have been able to pinpoint areas we don't know," he said.

"The trouble is the Commission in the Republic for the return of the Disappeared has been in recess.

"They are only getting together at this moment so once they get through the paperwork and see what has come in so far that they will be able to enlighten us better."

Mother helped wounded soldier

Mrs McConville was abducted from her flat in west Belfast in the 1970s after assisting a British soldier wounded in an IRA ambush.

She was subsequently murdered by the IRA and her remains were buried in a site in the Republic of Ireland.

The search at the beach in Co Louth where the remains were reputed to be buried was abandoned in July after several weeks fruitless digging.

The police in the Irish Republic said on Friday there were no imminent moves to reopen excavations at sites of the Disappeared.





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