A report into the disappearance of an Irish soldier in Lebanon 34 years ago has been presented to the Minister for Defence.
Retired High Court Judge, Mr. Roderick Murphy, has presented his report to the Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., of the review of the investigation of the death of Private Hugh Doherty and the disappearance of Private Kevin Joyce (Caomhán Seoighe), on 27 April 1981 while serving as members of the Irish Battalion with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Last December, the Minister for Defence informed the Doherty and Joyce families that he had commissioned an independent review into the investigation of the death of Private Hugh Doherty and the disappearance of Private Kevin Joyce (Caomhán Seoighe). Later that month, Minister Coveney announced that he had appointed Mr. Roderick Murphy, to carry out this review.
Commenting on receipt of the Report, Minister Coveney stated: “I would like to thank Mr. Roderick Murphy for his work in compiling this report.” The Minister went on to say ”I would like to reassure the families that I intend to publish the report, once all legal issues arising from the report have been addressed”. The Department has been in contact with the Doherty and Seoighe families to advise them that the Minister has now received the completed report.
Private Hugh Doherty and Private Kevin Joyce (Caomhán Seoighe), were serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1981. On 27 April 1981, an observation post at Dayr Ntar manned by Private Doherty and Private Joyce came under attack. Private Doherty was later found dead from gunshot wounds and Private Joyce was missing. The attackers are unknown. Over the years, extensive diplomatic and military efforts to locate Private Joyce have proved fruitless. To date, no information has been elicited to lead to the recovery of Private Joyce’s remains.
The UN completed a Board of Inquiry into the incident in November 1981. The Irish military authorities considered that the UN report was inadequate in certain respects and conducted a further investigation. This further investigation was conducted by the then Director of Operations, Col. V. Savino and reported in August 1982. Retired Judge Roderick was appointed by Minister Coveney in December 2014.