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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Hope over missing brother mystery
Disappeared dig
The bodies of four of the disappeared have been recovered
The brother of a man who disappeared 27 years ago has said he hopes Sinn Fein can help to find his body.

Gerry Evans, 24, from Crossmaglen in south Armagh, went missing in March 1979. No-one has ever claimed responsibility for his disappearance.

Noel Evans said the family is now hopeful of a breakthrough.

"What you're hoping for is because it's been pushed to the forefront now and the publicity, it might prick someone's conscience," Mr Evans said.

"People aren't interested in recriminations anymore, what they want to do is to have the bodies returned and to be able to give them a Christian burial."

Gerry Evans had been hitching a lift from Castleblayney in County Monagahan at about 2330 BST on a Sunday night. Since then the family has not heard anything about him.

"We've come to the conclusion that he's not with us anymore, what happened to him we have no idea," Noel Evans said.

Neighbour

A neighbour of the Evans family, Charlie Armstrong, went missing in 1981 and is believed to have been abducted and murdered by the IRA.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said he will try and do all he can to try and have the bodies of the two men recovered.

"We feel now that with Gerry Adams's backing, if you want to term it that way, that people might feel more at ease to some forward with information, regardless of what sector they're from," Mr Evans said on Monday.

"We have the backing of all the political parties, we have the support of the community and we think with that, it will drive it forward, that we hopefully will get some news of what happened pretty soon."

In 1999, the IRA admitted it abducted and murdered nine of the "disappeared" who went missing in the 1970s and early 80s.

The bodies of four of those people have since been recovered.

However, no-one has ever admitted killing a number of other missing men, including Mr Evans and Mr Armstrong.




SEE ALSO
Move on NI 'disappeared' graves
03 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland
IRA 'owe McConvilles an apology'
10 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
Search for man's remains ended
15 May 02 |  Northern Ireland

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