The confirmation that the body discovered on a beach in Co Louth had suffered a gunshot wound to the head will strengthen the belief that Jean McConville has been found at last.
Certainly, members of the McConville family are convinced that the 30-year search for their mother is over.
Following a postmortem examination at Louth County Hospital yesterday, Michael McConville said he recognised items of clothing which his mother was wearing on the day she disappeared.
Sad though it is, there will be real hope that the discovery of the body at Shelling Hill beach will bring some closure to Jean McConville's children, who have been through an ordeal beyond the comprehension of most people.
The plight of the so-called Disappeared and their families constitutes one of the darkest chapters in republican history.
The IRA abducted and murdered a number of people whom the organisation deemed had transgressed in some way.
Nothing unusual in that, of course. But what made these cases exceptional was the fact that these victims literally disappeared. Their families were not told their fate, they had no body to bury, no grieving process, no grave to visit.
The circumstances surrounding the abduction and murder of Jean McConville were particularly disturbing.
Here was a recently widowed mother-of-10, seized by the IRA and murdered in the most brutal manner.
This barbarous act was compounded by the absence of a body and the silence of those who knew her fate, despite the plight of the 10 bewildered children they had orphaned.
Even with the passage of 30 years, the cruelty and inhumanity of this crime chills the blood.
In 1999, following sustained pressure, the IRA admitted its role in the disappearance of nine people in the 1970s and gave a commitment to help locate the bodies.
However, only three known victims were found and until this week's unexpected development two searches failed to discover Jean McConville.
While a positive identification may take some time, there are reasonable grounds to hope that another victim on the list of Disappeared has finally been found.
And while this may bring some consolation to the McConvilles, it must be remembered that the relatives of other victims including those not on the list offered by the IRA are still waiting. They, too, deserve to have their dead returned to them.