DNA profiling confirms body found in France is that of 'Disappeared' Seamus Ruddy

The body of 'Disappeared' victim Seamus Ruddy has been found in France.

DNA profiling by French investigators confirmed the remains belonged to the teacher, 32, from Co Down - who was abducted from Paris then murdered and buried by republican paramilitary group the INLA in 1985.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) announced on Saturday that it had discovered a body at Pont-de-l'Arche, near Rouen, in northern France.

It later said an identification had been made.

An ICLVR statement said: "The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains has announced that the French authorities have completed the DNA profiling of the remains recovered from a forest at Pont-de-l'Arche, near Rouen.

"The remains have been confirmed as those of Seamus Ruddy. The remains will be repatriated in due course."

Experts began a fresh search of the wooded area a week ago.

The ICLVR was set up during the peace process by the Irish and UK governments to recover the bodies of those murdered and secretly buried, mainly by the IRA, in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) was a republican splinter group.

There had been a number of previous searches in the same forest area for Mr Ruddy, the most recent by the ICLVR in 2008.

The commission's experts, who require those with knowledge of the crimes to come forward and provide information without fear of prosecution, were confident the guidance they were acting on this time was accurate.

The latest recovery leaves three of the 16 Disappeared victims still missing.

The remains of Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Robert Nairac have yet to be found.

Mr Ruddy's sister Anne Morgan told BBC Radio Ulster: "As the family are getting older it is more poignant now we are able to bring him home and at least we will have some sort of closure."

Anne Morgan, Patsy McAteer and Molly Carr

One of her other brothers died last September.

"At this time it becomes a very personal family journey but we are prepared for this and we are all together for this.

"Those 32 years were the longest years that we had to wait for this, the next few weeks won't be as bad."

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald said: "Our thoughts today are with Seamus Ruddy’s family.

"While I know that this news will be bring mixed emotions for them, I hope the confirmation of the discovery of his remains will provide some comfort to his family after such a long period of suffering for them.

"I want to thank the Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains for their tireless, ongoing work on behalf of the families of the Disappeared.

"That work will continue to have our full support with the aim of ensuring that the remains of the other victims will be located. Anybody with any information that can assist in that task should bring it forward without delay."

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