Body of Seamus Ruddy recovered


Remains found near Rouen in northern France have been identified as those of republican socialist Seamus Ruddy, who disappeared in unexplained circumstances 32 years ago.

It is understood that Mr Ruddy was killed and buried in secret by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1985 as a result of an internal dispute.

His sister, Anne Morgan (pictured, left), welcomed the news that French investigators have confirmed that a body found last Saturday belonged to the 32-year-old teacher.

Ms Morgan told BBC Radio: “All those years of waiting to get this news, inside a minute life has changed once again for us.”

She said the body will have to be taken to Dublin “and eventually we will take him home to Newry”.

“As the family are getting older it is more poignant now we are able to bring him home and at least we will have some sort of closure,” she said.

One of her other brothers died last September.

“At this time it becomes a very personal family journey but we are prepared for this and we are all together for this,” she said. “Those 32 years were the longest years that we had to wait for this, the next few weeks won’t be as bad.”

Mr Ruddy was working as an English teacher in Paris when he went missing. Experts began a fresh search of the wooded area a week ago.

There had been a number of previous searches in the same forest area for Mr Ruddy, the most recently in 2008, but new information came to light in recent months. The new information was passed on to authorities by the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) - the political group linked to the INLA of which Mr Ruddy was a senior member.

The IRSP has not commented on the developments.

Mr Ruddy’s brother, Terry, said: “When I got the news this morning I could have danced and cried - and I did cry. I didn’t quite dance, but it was a hugely emotional moment.”

Another of his brothers, Kieran, indicated that the family had long accepted that he was dead.

“My mother went as far as to have his name inscribed on the headstone you see behind us,” he said. “That was her wish - that he would be remembered whether we found him or not.”

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