The group charged with locating the remains of those victims who went missing during the conflict is set to add a name to its list of “disappeared”, it has emerged.
It has been confirmed that a member of the Provisional IRA, Joe Lynskey, was killed by the organisation in 1972.
A senior republican, who briefed members of the media this week, said: “Members of Joe Lynskey’s family approached the IRA some time ago seeking information about his disappearance, and for obvious reasons there has been a prolonged investigation. These events occurred almost 40 years ago.”
He said 1972 was a period when the conflict was at its height and that there had been multiple operations in progress at the time.
The republican investigation had been complicated because of “the passage of time, (and) the deaths of many of those directly involved”.
Others approached for information had displayed “open hostility” towards republicans involved in the investigation.
“Initial inquiries following the approach by the Lynskey family uncovered a lot of rumour, but no hard information,” the senior republican said.
But he then revealed the sequence of events -- involving two shootings, which ended in Lynskey’s court-martial and execution by the IRA.
“IRA suspicions were 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 there was another incident, which arose as a direct result of the previous shooting and a man was killed,” the senior republican said.
“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.”
Information gathered by the inquiry has bee passed to the family and the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains.
The commission said it is now at the early stages of investigating the case. “We must establish that the case falls within our remit first.”