15 May 2003 Edition

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IRA not involved in O'Connor disappearance

The IRA has denied any involvement in the disappearance of County Armagh man Gareth O'Connor.

The 24-year-old was last seen at 8.30am on Sunday 11 May when he left his home in Armagh City to drive to Dundalk Garda station, where he was due to report as part of his bail conditions. O'Connor was charged in November last year with membership of the so-called Real IRA.

In a statement issued on Tuesday 13 May, the IRA stated that it has no knowledge whatsoever concerning the disappearance or whereabouts of Gareth O'Connor.

Catholic Archbishop of Armagh Sean Brady issued a statement on Monday 12 May saying he was praying for O'Connor's safe return.

Sinn Féin Councillor for Armagh, Pat McNamee, said: "The circumstances surrounding this matter are not clear but I want to reiterate the calls made by Archbishop Brady and Mr O'Connor's family for his safe return."

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