Public appeal as search is made for remains of IRSP man
Public appeal as search is made for remains of IRSP man


There is new hope that the remains of a republican socialist who was killed and secretly buried in mysterious circumstances in France will be found and his remains recovered.

County Down teacher and Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) figure Seamus Ruddy played an important role in the 1981 hunger strike, in which three Volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) died.

His sister, Anne Morgan was the last member of his family to see him alive before he disappeared in 1985 amid a feud within the INLA.

Investigators have been searching a forest near Rouen, the former site of an INLA arms cache, since Monday. This latest search began after new information on the whereabouts of Mr Ruddy was obtained from the IRSP. who have been investigating the death.

Ms Morgan appealed for anyone with information about her brother to come forward, no questions asked.

“If you know anything about Seamus’s disappearance, if you know anything about this site in France, please come forward, even at this late stage,” she said.

“It would be beneficial for me, for my family, for all the ones who are at home in Newry, please come forward.

“If anyone else has information concerning any of the other families we need that information and the commission needs that information to follow through with other searches.”

Mr Ruddy had been working as a teacher in Paris when he was abducted and killed. What happened remains unclear, but it is believed Mr Ruddy was shot dead and buried at the site of a former arms cache. He is one of four victims of the conflict whose remains have never been recovered.

It is understood that former INLA and IRSP members travelled to northern France last year to try to pinpoint the spot where the Newry man was buried. Two of the INLA leaders believed to have been involved in his murder were themselves killed in feuds. The organisation announced it was disbanding in 2009.

There have been previous searches for his remains, but the latest information is thought to give Mr Ruddy’s family their best hope yet of finding him.

Ms Morgan said: “Seamus disappeared almost exactly 32 years ago on May 9 1985.

“All we can do is what we have been doing over these long years since, which is to pray that one day he’ll be found,” she said. “Hopefully that day will come as a result of this search.”


Meanwhile, RTE, the Irish state television network, has faced criticism from victims of over a programme about SAS Captain Robert Nairac, also one of the four ‘Disappeared’.

A ‘Prime Time’ programme, broadcast on Tuesday, claimed to examine the life and death of the undercover British soldier who was killed by the IRA in May 1977 after he had attempted to gather information about the organisaton in a pub in south Armagh.

Margaret Urwin of the Justice for the Forgotten Group also said she was not convinced at ‘convenient’ British claims Captain Nairac he was out of the country on the dates of several attacks in which he is alleged to have been involved.

Stephen Travers, one of the survivors of the Miami Showband massacre in which Nairac is believed to have taken part, said he was “very, very disappointed” at the research in the programme. He pointed to lines of investigation with British military involvement which have still never been investigated and were unreported.

There was also criticism from Eugene Reavey, whose brothers Brian, Anthony and John Martin died after being shot by the Glennane Gang, in which Nairac is believed to have been involved, at their south Armagh home in 1976.

Mr Reavey tweeted: “People of south Armagh are no fools,” later adding: “Never watched such one-sided nonsense in my life.”

In 1979 Nairac was posthumously awarded the George Cross by the British military, the highest ‘peace-time’ gallantry award. A spokeswoman for RTE refused to comment on the criticism.

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