‘No IRA role in disappearance’

The IRA has said it was not behind the death of west Belfast man Peter Wilson in 1973.

The west Belfast man was 21 when he went missing in 1973.

In the past week, there have been news reports suggesting Mr Wilson may have been one of the “disappeared” -- a small number people who died in the conflict but whose remains were never recovered.

An established republican source has contacted newsrooms today [Monday] to say: “The IRA was not responsible for the disappearance of Peter Wilson.”

The IRA’s position on the “disappeared” was set out in a detailed briefing more than 10 years ago, in March 1999.

At that time it said it believed it had located “the whereabouts of |the graves of nine people”.

The IRA also said it had “endeavoured to locate the burial site of British SAS operative Robert Nairac”, but was unable to do so.

Since that statement a decade ago the remains of a number of those named have been found, but the graves of others have not yet been located.

There was no mention of Peter Wilson in that briefing more than a decade ago, nor has he been named in the many IRA statements on the disappeared since.

It is understood that work to recover the remains of other victims is continuing.

Sinn Fein junior minister Gerry Kelly said last night that he did not know who or what was behind the disappearance of Mr Wilson.

He said anyone who had information should make it available to the Dublin-based body, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains.

“I have no idea who is behind this,” he said.

“What I would say that if there is information that could assist then that needs to be brought forward and made available.”

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