INVESTIGATORS say that more than one body has been discovered during a search for one of the IRA’s ‘Disappeared’.
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) had found remains it suspects are that of Jo Lnyskey.
He was abducted in west Belfast in 1972, and was murdered and secretly buried by the IRA.
But after Thursday’s find, the ICLVR said more remains had since been discovered at a bog in County Meath.
The term the Disappeared refers to victims who were murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles
Senior investigator Jon Hill said identification was at an early stage and it would be a difficult recovery process.
He said the bodies of two of the Disappeared, Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, were “believed to be buried within a couple of hundred yards of here”.
“There are most certainly two bodies – we’re at quite an early stage but there may be more,” he said.
“We were looking for Joe Lynskey, expecting it to be a single grave and quite clearly that isn’t the case.”
Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright were both IRA members who were abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972.
In a brief statement, Maria Lynskey, the victim’s niece, thanked the ICLVR “and those who have engaged with the commission in the search for Joe”.
“Our thoughts are with the other families whose loved ones remain disappeared,” she added.
The discovery was made on Thursday by contractors under the supervision of a forensic archaeologist.
The state pathologist will now conduct a post-mortem examination and begin the process of formal identification.
Mr Lynskey was a former Cistercian monk from the Beechmount area of west Belfast who later joined the IRA.
He was abducted close to his home in August 1972.
When excavations began at the Coghalstown bog in March, forensic investigators said they had narrowed the search to about 15 acres of bog land.
Last month, Ms Lynskey visited the search site in person and made a public appeal for help in finding his body.
She said her family had suffered “years of pain” after his abduction.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said: “The uncertainty over who has been recovered must be hugely traumatic for the families involved.”
He added: “I thank everyone who has helped in the search of the remains of those who were killed and secretly buried by the IRA.
“Republicans have co-operated fully with the commission and we now need to continue to do our utmost to bring closure for the remaining families.”