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Missing Persons: Religion

Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland are classed as disappeared; what percentage are (a) Catholic and (b) Protestant; and if he will make a statement. (150929)

‘The disappeared’ is the term used in respect of those individuals widely believed to have been murdered by paramilitaries during ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland, and whose bodies were secretly buried. Only those who disappeared prior to the signing of the Good Friday agreement (10 April 1998) fall within the remit of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains.

14 people fell into this category. To date, five bodies have been recovered, but the burial sites of the remaining nine are unknown. PIRA admitted responsibility for 10 of the 14, while one was admitted by the INLA. No attribution has been given to the remaining three, but it is largely the view of the families that they were victims of PIRA.

100 per cent. of those referred to as ‘the disappeared’ were from the Catholic community.