Searching For Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee is one of The Disappeared. He was buried in a secret grave more than forty years ago. Both he and the loved ones he left behind were and remain the victims of a war crime, the anguish of which remains unspeakable. Tonight, his sister, Philomena McKee, makes a heartfelt appeal to anyone who might be able to assist in the location of Kevin’s remains.

Kevin McKee

TV cameras, radio and newspaper interviews, I've done them all in trying to highlight the need for new information to locate my Brother’s body. I never thought I'd say putting pen to paper and writing about it would prove the toughest of all. I don't think I'm alone in saying that if we feel or think something in our mind it can be a hectic task to then put those thoughts and emotions onto paper. 

As each year passes from one to the next at times such as Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day or Father's Day I spare a thought for the people who aren't with us on those occasions, as do many people. Most of us find sanctuary, peace and comfort at the graves of those loved ones or perhaps in the thought of knowing they are at peace.

It has been 43 years since I last seen my brother in Moyard of West Belfast, a place that was home; a difficult time in a difficult place for us all. My Brother’s name was Kevin McKee, 16 years old at the time we last saw him. Unfortunately, we are not sure if Kevin lived to see his 17th birthday. 

For 21 years we thought we would see our Kevin again. We thought he would just appear at the door but horribly we learned that in 1999 Kevin, our brother, was dead within months if not weeks of being taken away from us in 1972. The shock, the anger, the sadness, the hurt was unbelievably unbearable for us. But for my mother it was a fate worse than death. You see, my siblings and I had married and had children. My mother however clung to the hope of Kevin walking in the door one day. For 27 years she waited on him with hope and intensity only to find out one day that he was dead long, long ago. I remember the day we found out. She lost that little twinkle in her eye. She lost control of the hope that she so desperately clung to for 27 years. At this point she never recovered.

We believed our Kevin would be returned to us. When the first search began, my mother, with a heavy heart and a sore mind, held on to at least the prospect of Kevin being laid to rest back home where he belonged. To our shock and despair Kevin was not found and the search called off. This finished off the little bit my mother had left in her fight and in her spirit. Sixteen years after the announcement that our Kevin was in an unmarked grave, and numerous searches later, he is still not home. It was with deep heartbreak and regret that our Mother lost her battle with cancer in 2012 and did not see her son come home alive or dead 40 years after she last seen her 16 year old son.

For 27 years she thought she would see him at the door one day. For 13 years she thought she would lay him to rest. But for 40 years she hoped that Kevin would come home dead or alive. It wasn't to be. 

Now we as a family, without our Mother by our side, carry the hope within ourselves that Kevin will come home. It hurts us to know that our mother wasn't given this act of compassion and humanity in her days in which she struggled so hard to cope. This from me is my personal plea to all Republicans across the spectrum to help us end this long torturous journey. We want nothing more or nothing less than for our brother Kevin to be buried beside our mother. Please contact the agency below in a confidential matter if you can help us in our pursuit. We are not the only family suffering. There are unfortunately more in our situation.

If you have any information about the location of the remains of any of the disappeared then please contact the organisation below or by any other means necessary.

Philomena McKee 

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

7 comments to ''Searching For Kevin McKee"

  1. This is one of the saddest pieces that TPQ has ever carried. The amount of people viewing the page and sharing it is incredibly high. If there is anyone who can help relocate the remains of Kevin, there is only one course of action to take. If people have knowledge of the location of his grave there is only one cause served by not coming forward with it: the cause of cruelty. There is only one thing to be done - the right thing.

  2. This really is heart breaking to read. Looking at the photo you have to wonder what could a teen like that with an entire life ahead of done to merit such a fate. The days when people accepted the IRA must have known what they were doing are long long, gone. This is an awful story. All I can do is share it on my facebook page. So truly sad.

  3. A kid Larry: and a mother tormented to her own grave because they did not find her child's grave. Whatever the reason behind it, and there is no defending it, it is more important now that the remains are recovered.

  4. I think that I can honestly state that most republicans and socialists would declare that such actions were not carried out in their names ,certainly not in mine,good luck to that family the passage of time has obviously been no release .I hope they get the peace they deserve.

  5. You know we were just talking about the whole injustice of how those who crossed the"movement" were treated, some left at the side of a road ,some disappeared and then there was those who were just put on a plane, a precursor if one was needed how the rules and regulations laid down in the Green Book were bent to suit family connections, its a sure bet that no Adams or McGuinness would have ever ended up in a bog

  6. Marty

    not unless they were with George Michael.

  7. On numerous occasions Adams has been asked whether he was ever in the IRA, his reply has always been the same and with that rabbit trapped in car headlights expression comes a stern “No!” …but (he adds)… “I’ve never ever distanced myself from the IRA“, which is essentially two lies to one question.
    In his denial he has consciously and consistently prolonged the anguish and suffering of the families of all the disappeared and has rubbed insult to injury.

    McGuinness claims he left the IRA in 1974, and also claims he never heard of the IRA’s Green Book and in the fashion of Pontius Pilot has essentially washed his hands of every IRA action post-1974 including the Derry murders of Joanne Mathers (civilian 1981), Frank Hegarty (IRA 1986),Patsy Gillespie (civilian 1990), and Paddy Flood (IRA 1991) to name but a few.

    Where is Adam’s & McGuinness’s collective responsibility for the actions of the provisional IRA under their command including the taking of this young lads life?

    “ Don’t blame us we weren’t in the IRA when this or that happened”, is the only response one is ever likely to get from those two and by their denials and dismissals they are making fall guys out of dead volunteers.

    The whole thing reminds me of a scene from Schindler’s List where Amon Goeth the SS officer asks a row of inmates “who stole the chicken?” and the indefensible dead guy gets the wrap.


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