Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

Family of IRA victim 'at peace'

The IRA claimed Danny McIlhone died in a struggle with a captor
The IRA claimed Danny McIlhone died in a struggle with a captor

The family of Danny McIlhone, one of the so-called Disappeared whose remains were discovered in County Wicklow, have said they are "now at peace".

The group searching for the bodies of the Disappeared said remains found last month had been confirmed by the Dublin coroner as those of Mr McIlhone.

Mr McIlhone went missing from his west Belfast home in 1981. The IRA has since claimed responsibility for his death.

The family said it was "eternally grateful" that its search had ended.

"We as a family are now at peace and now have the opportunity to given our brother Danny a Christian burial and to lay him to rest with our beloved mother and father," said the statement.

"While we have now found peace, our thoughts and prayers remain with and will always be with the families whose anguish and loss continues."


Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said he hoped the family could now have some "closure".

"The McIlhone family have endured great anguish and pain over the last 27 years," he said.

"Anyone with any information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, must come forward to help end the families' suffering and agony."

A spokesperson for the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the McIlhone family at this time and we hope that the confirmation that the remains of their brother have been recovered will bring them closure.

"The work of the commission continues and we hope that we can also bring closure to other families of the disappeared."


There had been two previous unsuccessful searches - in 1999 and 2000 - for Mr McIlhone's remains.

In a statement in 1999, 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.

The IRA admitted in 1999 that it murdered and buried nine of the so-called Disappeared - Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, Eamon Molloy and Mr McIlhone - in secret locations.

The bodies of five - Eamon Molloy, Brian McKinney, John McClory and Jean McConville and now Danny McIlhone - have been found.

Others who vanished during the Troubles include Gerry Evans, Charles Armstrong, Robert Nairac and Seamus Ruddy, who disappeared in France and whose murder was admitted by the INLA.

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