The longed for funeral mass for Seamus Ruddy finally took place at 1pm today in St Catherine’s Dominican Church, Newry a lengthy 32 years after he disappeared in France in 1985.

For years his family had searched for his remains following his abduction and murder by the INLA, a search that finally ended when his body was found last month near Rouen in France.

The Funeral of Seamus Ruddy at St Catherine's Dominican Church in Newry. Photograph: NewRayPics
The Funeral of Seamus Ruddy at St Catherine's Dominican Church in Newry. Photograph: NewRayPics

Commenting on the funeral rites of the Catholic church which up until this week the family of Seamus Ruddy were deprived of Bishop John McAreavey commented “This ritual takes place after a wake when those who knew and loved the deceased person or who are related to the family, visit the family home, share a prayer or take time to share some memories of the deceased person over a cup of tea. In the Newry area this traditional practice remains deeply embedded and reflects the desire of the wider community to grieve and to show their support for the bereaved at a difficult time."

Mr Ruddy was finally waked at his sister Anne's house in Newry from Thursday until todays funeral. 

 Bichop McAreavey added "In 1985 32 years ago, Seamus Ruddy died in Paris at the age of 32. Whatever the circumstances of his death, one thing is certain, his death represented the snuffing out of a life that had many wholesome qualities and it also cut off the promise of a new life for Seamus in France. A family account of that time speaks of letters they received and phone calls back and forward from Seamus, visits to him and plans to visit, and then the account says 'There was nothing'..."

Representatives of Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh and Robert Nairac, three of ‘The Disappeared’ who's remains haven’t yet been recovered, brought candles to the altar during the emotional ceremony.

Following the Funeral Mass, Seamus Ruddy was buried in Monks Hill Cemetery beside his parents John and Molly, finally bringing to an end a 32 year search for his remains to bring them back to Newry for a Christian burial.