1 July 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard


A huge search was resumed in North Monaghan this week for the body of a young Co.Tyrone man murdered by the IRA nearly forty years ago with the exhumation on Tuesday last of a body from a churchyard at Urbleshanney near Scotstown, close to the Monaghan/Tyrone border.
The latest search was authorised by the authorities in Co. Monaghan.
It was claimed that the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains received information during the past month that the body of Columba McVeigh, a 17-years-old Northern Ireland man who was abducted and murdered by the Provos, was buried in the churchyard at Urbleshanney .
McVeigh is believed to have been “executed” by the IRA in October 1975 and the latest tip-off suggested the body was interred in an existing grave in the village cemetery.
A spokesman at the Garda Divisional headquarters in Monaghan said detectives and officials in the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains received the tip-off about a body being buried in a grave, where another set of remains was already interred.
The State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, was joined by a batch of officials at the isolated rural churchyard to oversee the exhumation on Tuesday.
The garda spokesman said that a complete forensic examination of a body removed from the plot will take “a very considerable length of time”.
Mr McVeigh was a native of Donaghmore in Co Tyrone. Despite extensive searches in the the Bragan Bog area of Co Monaghan over several years his remains were never found. His mother had campaigned tirelessly, but in vain, for the body of her son to be “returned” before her death.
• Last year, the remains of two other men from Crossmaglen in South Armagh, abducted and killed by the IRA—Charlie Armstrong and Gerry Evans—were recovered on sites in Co. Monaghan.
The Commission has now located the remains of eight of those who were abducted and killed by the IRA.

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