A text message to my phone mid-morning on Saturday delivered the news of an expected breakthrough in the search for the remains of Seamus Ruddy.
He was disappeared by the INLA in France in 1985.
Within minutes of that text message, I spoke to Willie Gallagher of the INLA-linked Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP). Over a significant period of time, Gallagher has been in contact with the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains.
And, just days ago, a new search began in the forest in France where Seamus Ruddy was disappeared.
In that phone conversation on Saturday, Gallagher told me he was “100 percent confident” about new and specific information that had been supplied to the Commission, and told me he was “expecting imminent news in relation to Seamus Ruddy’s remains”.
In a process that began a couple of years ago, the INLA/IRSP had reexamined all information available to them. A rumour, initially believed to be insignificant, led to further information and renewed contact with the Independent Commission.
Gallagher, with former members of the INLA, visited and re-visited the forest in France. This included in the spring of 2016. Months later, Seamus Ruddy’s sister Anne Morgan, told me she was hopeful that there would be another search.
And, from the scene of that search on Saturday, came the news that human remains have been found.
Gallagher urged others with information on the disappeared to contact the Independent Commission. He spoke of the “confidentiality” of the process. “No information leaked,” he told this website.
Robert Nairac, Joe Lynskey and Columba McVeigh were also disappeared. Their remains have not been found.
Families are still waiting – waiting for information.