The senior investigator for the Independent Commission for the Recovery of Victims' Remains said that it would be at least two weeks before a proper search for the body of one of the disappeared, Joe Lynskey, can begin at Oristown Bog.
Jon Hill said that contractors employed by the commission would first have to clear an area of trees and shrubbery in the area before ground-searching rader is brought in. Contractors using heavy equipment began work on the site on the remote Bog Road, 100 metres from where the body of another of the Disappeared, Brendan Megraw, was found in 2014.
Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey placed a prayer card and a miraculous medal at the site being cleared by the commission.
A previous search for the remains of Mr Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk, who joined the IRA but was abducted and murdered by the IRA in August 1972, was carried out by the comission at another location at Coghalstown in 2015 but was unsuccessful. During that search the bodies of two more of the Disappeared, Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, were found.
At the Oristown site today, Jon Hill said that the location they would be searching was less than an acre in size. He said the trees being cut down today had been planted in 1975, about two to three years after Joe Lynskey was abducted. Of the 16 Disappeared, the remains of 13 have been recovered. The remaining three are Mr Lynskey, Columba McVeigh and Robert Nairac.
At Oristown today, Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey placed a prayer card and a miraculous medal at the site being cleared by the commission. She was accompanied by Ann Morgan, a sister of Seamus Ruddy who had been abducted and murdered and whose remains were recovered by the commission in France in May 2017, and by Sandra Peake of the Wave Trauma organisation in Belfast. They also visited the spot, 150 yards from where the tree clearance is taking place, where Brendan Megraw's body was found.
The site at Oristown being cleared ahead of a new dig in the search for Joe Lynskey's remains
Ms Lynskey said that it was a cruel way for people to end their lives, in lonely places where it would be difficult to recover remains for proper burial. It was also a terrible blow for the families not to be told for decades where their loved ones were buried.