Belfast Telegraph

Commission appeals for more information on where Cpt Nairac’s remains are buried

By Staff Reporter

The commission that has helped uncover the remains of 10 of the Disappeared has said Captain Robert Nairac is the only case where it hasn't received enough information to start breaking ground.

The British Army officer was working undercover when he was abducted from Three Steps Bar in Drumintee in south Armagh on May 14, 1977 - 40 years ago yesterday.

He was taken to Ravensdale Forest near Dundalk where he was beaten and shot dead by the IRA. The Grenadier Guards officer was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

Geoff Knupfer, the chief investigator of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR), renewed an appeal for help in finding the soldier's body after the remains of INLA victim Seamus Ruddy were recovered in a French forest last week.

He described Nairac as "one of our highest profile cases and it is also the one on which we have least information".

Mr Knupfer added: "It is the only case in which we have been unable to even begin to search on the ground.

"I think it's likely that Robert Nairac's remains are buried somewhere close to where he was murdered near the bridge over the Flurry River in Ravensdale," Mr Knupfer said.

"As our recent success in finding the remains of Seamus Ruddy in France shows, when we have the right information we will find and recover the remains and return them to the family for a Christian burial.

"That is all that we and the families are interested in.

"Anyone who brings information to the ICLVR can do so in complete confidence.

"In all the years we have been doing this work, the identity of those who supply information has never been revealed and nor will it in the future."

Last week, Mr Knupfer said it was a myth that Captain Nairac's body was put through a meat mincer after the IRA shot him.

He has also dismissed as "wild allegations" claims that Nairac colluded in loyalist killings while he was active.

Ulster Unionist MLA and former soldier Doug Beattie called on Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill to use her position and appeal to republicans to bring closure to the families of the remaining 'Disappeared'.

Mr Beattie said: "This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the abduction, torture and murder of Captain Robert Nairac GC by the IRA.

"His body now lies in an unmarked grave, denied a Christian burial.

"I would again ask Michelle O'Neill to use her position as the leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland to appeal to former members of the Provisional IRA to demonstrate respect for the remains of Captain Nairac and his family by directing the ICLVR to where they buried his body."

Mr Beattie said he was certain someone in the republican movement knows where Captain Nairac's body lies.

"The IRA continue to hide his body in some sort of macabre revenge just because he was a British soldier," he said. "It's time to bring this to an end."

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