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The BBC's Kevin Connolly
"The most delicate of tasks"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 2 May, 2000, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Search for Disappeared restarts
Digging for the Disappeared
Gardai dig at Templetown Beach in search of remains
Police have begun the final search for the remains of IRA murder victims secretly buried in the 1970s.

Five sites, believed to hold the bodies of six members of the Disappeared, are being investigated in the Republic of Ireland.

Excavations for the bodies began in May 1999, but were stopped in July after extensive digs because of a lack of precise information from the IRA.

Three sets of remains were found last summer, but the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains has said it has received new information on where to dig for the other six.

Jean McConville was abducted by the IRA in 1972
Jean McConville was abducted by the IRA in 1972
The sites which will be searched this time include a beach and bogs and geologists believe there would have been substantial underground changes.

Seamus McKendry, whose mother-in-law Jean McConville vanished after she comforted a British soldier fatally wounded in an IRA attack outside her home in 1972, said he was optimistic.

'Horrendous wait'

"I believe that we'll find them this time. The Provisional IRA dismembered this family all those years ago.

"The wait for news is horrendous, but it would be a huge relief to finally locate them."

Seamus McKendry: We can't give up hope
Seamus McKendry: We can't give up hope
Mr McKendry and his wife, Helen - who was 15 when her mother disappeared - spent weeks watching the unsuccessful excavation at Templetown beach on Carlingford Lough in County Louth along with other family members last year.

Police also hope to find the remains of Columba McVeigh at Bragan in County Monaghan, Danny McIlhone at Ballynultagh in County Wicklow, Seamus McKee and Seamus Wright in Coghallstown near Navan in County Meath, Brendan Megraw at Oristown near Kells in County Meath.

Last year investigators recovered the bodies of Eamon Molloy, left in a coffin in a graveyard in County Louth, and John McClory and Brian McKinney, whose remains were found after weeks of digging in County Monaghan.

The campaign to find the Disappeared began five years ago, spearheaded by Mr and Mrs McKendry.

John Wilson, chairman of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains, said new digs would be "focused and limited in extent".

He said he did not expect any to last more than three weeks, whether or not any remains were found.

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See also:

29 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
New victims search welcomed
07 Dec 99 | Northern Ireland
Hopes raised over 'Disappeared' remains
30 May 99 | Europe
Long wait over IRA victims
30 May 99 | Europe
Search resumes for IRA victims
28 May 99 | UK
Tragedies of the Troubles
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