Victim was shot in the head

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The inquest into ‘Disappeared’ man Brendan MeGraw, who was finally laid to rest in Glenavy last year, was told he had been shot in the forehead.

Mr Megraw (22) was abducted from his home in Twinbrook in April, 1978, and murdered by the IRA.

His remains were found in bogland in County Meath last year. The Irish state pathologist told the inquest that Mr Megraw had been shot in the forehead and possibly a second time in the arm.

Dr Marie Cassidy said she observed an exit wound on the back of the neck and his remains were found bent over and his ankles crossed.

She concluded that it was most likely that he died as a result of a gunshot injury to the head.

Marie Megraw, who married Brendan in 1977, told the inquest she had no idea why her husband was taken.

She said a gang of nine men forced their way into their home on the morning on April 8, 1978.

Brendan Megraw and his wife were expecting a baby when he was abducted then killed. Mrs Megraw said the men pushed past her and and asked where her husband was. Mr Megraw was out shopping.

Marie Megraw, who was pregnant at the time, said she asked why they wanted him and was told he had stolen a TV and a cassette player.

Mrs Megraw told the inquest that she was tied up in the bedroom and injected with a substance that would “calm her down”.

She said when her husband returned the men took him.

Ms Megraw said she was warned there would be serious consequences if she went to the police.

Seán Megraw, Brendan’s brother, told the inquest the murder had a had a traumatic effect on the family.

He said his mother, Bridget, had died not knowing what happened to her son. He said his brother is no longer resting in a cold bog grave.

“We now have a grave to visit”, he said.