Information disclosed by the Sunday Tribune has led to the discovery of a body in Co Louth believed to be that of Gerard Evans, whom the IRA abducted, murdered, and secretly buried over 30 years ago.
Last year, a masked member of the IRA's South Armagh brigade gave us a hand-drawn map showing where Evans, a 24-year-old painter and decorator, was buried in Carrickrobin, Co Louth.
He also gave a graphic account of the abduction and murder, revealing that he was part of the 12-strong IRA team involved in killing Evans in 1979 for being an alleged informer.
It was the first time anyone involved in a disappearance had spoken to the media. The IRA had consistently denied disappearing Evans. These denials have been repeated by Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy. The IRA man accused the Provisional leadership of "blatant lies".
With his approval, we met the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains and passed on all information that could help locate the body of Evans, who was abducted hitching a lift to his home in Crossmaglen from a dance in Castleblaney.
On Friday, a body was found in Carrickrobin. Gerard Evans' mother Mary was present as the remains were removed in a hearse. DNA tests will now be carried out on the body to determine whether or not it is Evans. A post-mortem will also be conducted. This process will take around four weeks.
"It has been a very distressing time for my family," said Mary Evans, 78. "I am praying that the body found is Gerard's. I have always wanted to be able to lay him to rest before I die myself."
Local SDLP councillor Geraldine Donnelly, said: "It's a time of mixed emotions for the family. There's great sadness about Gerard's death but happiness that the nightmare is ending and Mary can give her son a Christian burial."
The IRA man described how Evans had been marched to his death in darkness across the bogland.
"He pleaded for mercy. He pleaded not to be killed, and then he said his prayers. He was shot once in the back of the head."
After we provided the information, the commission began digging at the site. The Sunday Tribune held several meetings with the commission and was in regular contact with it during the search.
On two occasions, we passed on detailed questions to the IRA man about the burial site that the commission wanted answered. The IRA man answered some questions but not others.
The IRA man was sceptical of guarantees that evidence from the digs, or other information obtained by the commission, could not be used in criminal proceedings.
He also feared the IRA leadership would learn his identity and kill him for speaking out. He reluctantly returned alone to the site to place a marker on a tree in an attempt to help the commission recently. He was extremely worried that someone had seen him in the bogland.
After a 16-month search, the body still couldn't be found but additional information provided in the past week led to Friday's success.
The IRA man said the murder of Paul Quinn, 21, who was beaten to death by the Provisionals in Co Monaghan three years ago this week, had influenced his decision to speak out. "I'm sick of the lies," he said.
While he defended Evans' murder, he said there was no reason, post-conflict, why the IRA leadership lied and refused to provide details of the secret grave.