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11 February 2010 Edition

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Investigation confirms 1972 disappearance

A republican source in a briefing to the media this week confirmed that the IRA had executed and secretly buried Belfast man Joe Lynskey.
An Phoblacht has been told of the sequence of events that lead to the arrest, court- martial and execution of Lynskey for breaches of IRA Standing Orders.
Joe Lynskey was an IRA Volunteer in Belfast.
IRA suspicions had been raised when a republican supporter was shot and seriously injured at the home of a relative in West Belfast.
A short time after that shooting in another incident, which arose as a direct result of the previous shooting, a man was killed.
The source stated: “An IRA investigation revealed that Joe Lynskey had ordered another IRA Volunteer to shoot the first man. Joe Lynskey was having an affair with that man’s wife.
“Lynskey was summoned to a meeting outside Belfast by the then leadership.  He was arrested and court-martialled for breaches of IRA Standing Orders. He was subsequently executed and buried in an unmarked grave.”
The source went to explain that: “Some time ago members of the Lynskey family approached the IRA seeking information about his disappearance, and for obvious reasons there has been a prolonged investigation.  These events occurred almost 40 years ago.
“Initial inquiries following the approach by the Lynskey family uncovered a lot of rumour, but no hard information.
“1972 was a period when the war was at its height.  There were multiple operations on a daily basis.  British intelligence services and loyalist death squads were also very proactive.”
The source went on to explain that number of factors had hindered and prolonged the search for information: “The passage of time and the deaths of many of those directly involved, coupled with open hostility towards current republican politics from others approached for information, have all impacted negatively on efforts to bring closure.”  
An Phoblacht was told that efforts to identify the precise location of Joe Lynskey’s remains were ongoing.
We were also told that any information gleaned would be passed to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR).
An Phoblacht understands that members of all of the families concerned were contacted in advance of the briefing.
Sinn Féin has supported the demands of the families of all of the disappeared for anyone with information to bring that information forward.  That call was endorsed by the republican source in relation to the Lynskey case.
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