In wake of the reaction to the showing of the BBC/RTE programme “Disappeared” on the IRA abduction, killing and secret burial of some of their victims, Ulster Unionist party MLAs Roy Beggs (East Antrim) and Leslie Cree (North Down) have repeated previous calls for information about the whereabouts of Mark Gourley and Lisa Dorrian in their constituencies. These separate missing person incidents have been widely linked to loyalist paramilitaries.
In September Police in Carrickfergus launched a murder enquiry into the disappearance of Mark Gourley who went missing in March 2009. Lisa Dorrian has not been seen since February 2005 when she had been at a party in a caravan park in Ballyhalbert, North Down.
“Anyone who has watched the programme on the Disappeared cannot fail to have been moved and upset by the dreadful callousness of the republican terrorists who carried out these acts” said Mr Beggs.
“However it strikes me that these issues are not just historical horrors from the past.
Closer to home, in Carrickfergus, the police announced less than 2 months ago that they had launched a murder enquiry into the disappearance of Mark Gourley who has not been seen since March 2009. This has all the hallmarks of what we saw in the BBC programme; a macabre re-creation of an old practice perfected by the IRA, but seemingly copied by some loyalist paramilitaries. It would simply repeat the comments I made in September when the Gourley case became a murder enquiry.”
In a press statement issued on September 10th, the Ulster Unionist Party MLA stated:
“First of all for the sake of his family, I would urge anyone who has any information about what happened to Mark Gourley to tell the police immediately” said the East Antrim Assemblyman.
“‘The Disappeared’ is a term which has been most associated with the IRA over the years, but it seems that in this case so called loyalist paramilitaries have copied their republican counterparts’ old habits. We must remember that the term ‘disappeared’ is a euphemism for someone who has been kidnapped, murdered and their body disposed of to conceal the vile cause of their death. ”
Leslie Cree, Ulster Unionist MLA for North Down commented:
“The BBC programme on the disappeared was a very powerful piece of investigative journalism which has given a voice to the families of those who had their loved ones cruelly taken from them, murdered and secretly buried. Those republicans who were active terrorist leaders in the seventies who now like to portray themselves as peacemakers, have very serious question to answer about what they knew, and what they still know.
Equally the hurt of the families seen in the Disappeared programme must be shared by the Dorrian family in my North Down constituency. It is a shame and disgrace that nearly 9 years since the disappearance of Lisa, her body has not been found. There must be people who know what happened in this case, and if they have any conscience at all they should give the information to the police- to allow the family some closure.”