Move to distance IRA from missing west Belfast man

The republican leadership last night moved to distance the IRA from the disappearance of west Belfast man Peter Wilson in 1973.

Last week, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains confirmed that another case had been reported to it.



Since then, there have been news reports suggesting Mr Wilson may have been abducted and shot by the IRA — making him one of the “disappeared”.



But now a senior republican source has contacted sister paper The Belfast Telegraph. The paper knows his identity.



On many occasions in the past he has spoken with the authority of the republican leadership at key moments in the peace process.



In a brief comment the source told the Belfast Telegraph: “The IRA was not responsible for the disappearance of Peter Wilson.”















That comment, the source said, was “on-the-record”. This is the IRA speaking in all but name.



Since the ending of its armed campaign and the decommissioning that followed, that organisation has only rarely issued public statements.



One of the last times it did was in July 2006 when it repeated its claim that Jean McConville was “working as an informer for the British Army”.



In 1972, the IRA “executed” and “disappeared” the Belfast mother-of-ten.



Her remains were not found until 2003.



The IRA’s position on the “disappeared” was set out in a detailed briefing more than 10 years ago, in March 1999.



At that time the republican organisation, speaking through its leadership spokesman ‘P O’Neill’, said it believed it had |located “the whereabouts of |the graves of nine people”.



Their names were then listed — Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Eamon Molloy, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney and Danny McIlhone.



The IRA also said it had “endeavoured to locate the burial site of British SAS operative Robert Nairac”, but was unable to do so.



Since that statement a decade ago the remains of a number of those named have been found, but the graves of others have not yet been located.



There was no mention of Peter Wilson in that briefing more |than a decade ago, nor has he been named in the many IRA statements on the disappeared since.



The west Belfast man was 21 when he went missing in 1973.



The senior republican who |contacted this newspaper yesterday, has now dashed hopes that the IRA might be able to provide information on this case.



This newspaper understands that republicans are still cooperating with the Independent |Commission for the Location |of Victims’ Remains on other cases.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before