Wreath for the Disappeared to be laid at Stormont

The final remaining members of the Disappeared will be remembered at Stormont during an annual silent walk on All Souls Day.

Seventeen people were killed and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles.

In 2005, Co Down hairdresser Lisa Dorrian was also disappeared.

They are set to be remembered by their families and supporters during an annual silent walk on All Souls Day.

A black wreath with five white lilies representing those who have yet to be found – Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh, Robert Nairac, Seamus Maguire and Ms Dorrian – will be laid at the steps of Parliament Buildings.

In 2005, Co Down hairdresser Lisa Dorrian was also disappeared.

Father Joe Gormley will lead prayers and there will be contributions from family members.

Representatives from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR), which found a number of the Disappeared, will also attend.

Sandra Peake, chief executive of the Wave Trauma Centre – which supports the families of the Disappeared, said it is an important date for them.

“This is an important and highly symbolic event for the families and that is why, despite advancing years and in some cases serious illness, so many make the effort to join together in mutual support and solidarity,” she said.

This year’s event comes as the latest search for Mr McVeigh at Bragan Bog in Co Monaghan draws to a close.

Ms Peake said the families will never allow their loved ones to be forgotten.

“Part of the terrible, sinister purpose of disappearing those who had been abducted, murdered and secretly buried was to dehumanise them, to treat them as if they never existed and to deny their families the chance to properly grieve,” she said.

“But as the families coming together today shows this will never be allowed to happen.”

Ms Peake said while Ms Dorrian’s disappearance in 2005 is outside the remit of the ICLVR, which can only take cases from before April 10 1998 – the date of the Belfast Agreement, Wave includes her as one of the Disappeared.

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