Renewed and New Searches (2010-2015)
24 May 2017

From 2007 a team of forensic archaeologists began to re-investigate the existing known sites that had not yielded remains. Charlie Armstrong and Gerard Evans, men that had hovered on the margins of the original list formally released by the IRA back in 1999 were formally added as new information surfaced. These new and renewed searches at Aughrim More, Carrickrobin and Emlagh Bog Oristown usually took about twelve to eighteen months and more often than not, revealed remains but occasionally it was unsuccessful and yet not without further revelations.   Small Acts of Memory (unpublished) explores the renewed search at Coghalstown Wood Wilkinstown for Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee and follows this process through four seasons of looking from 2009-2010. No remains were located after this prolonged search but in 2015 while searching in an adjacent field for Joe Lynskey, who had been recently formally added to the list, the remains of Kevin and Seamus were located. This brought to mind a question that often haunted me during all those years – was I with my so-called photographic truth at times photographing a big lie?

Others like Columba McVeigh, said to be buried at Bragan Bog remained intangible even after six extensive searches over may years. At the time of writing (April 2017) there are 16 people now officially listed as disappeared of which 12 remains have been recovered. New searches are initiated if further credible information surfaces but closure may yet elude some families who go on waiting for ghosts to reappear as the living memory of that period recedes.