Belfast Telegraph

Help us find Cpt Nairac's body, unionists tell SF as collusion claims rejected

By Rebecca Black

Republicans have been challenged to reveal the location of the body of a soldier abducted and murdered 40 years ago.

Earlier this week, the man in charge of searches for the Disappeared dismissed claims that Captain Robert Nairac had colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in murders as nothing but "wild allegations".

Geoff Knupfer, the lead forensic investigator at the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains, also insisted Mr Nairac had no involvement in five Troubles-era incidents to which his name was previously linked.

The Grenadier Guardsman was murdered on May 15, 1977, by members of the IRA in Co Louth after being abducted from a bar in south Armagh.

No trace of his remains has ever been found.

Now unionists have challenged Sinn Fein to reveal where he is buried.

DUP Lagan Valley Westminster election candidate Jeffrey Donaldson described the comments from Mr Knupfer as "very significant" and said they should put a "focus back on republicans and place a fresh responsibility on them to do more in assisting this case".

"It would seem republicans not only murdered and disappeared Captain Nairac, but also helped prevent evidence from coming forward because of the wild rumours circulated about him," Mr Donaldson added.

"All too often, it has been easy for republicans to attempt to discredit members of the security forces by using allegations of collusion or other unsubstantiated claims.

"With repeated republican demands put forward of others to deal with the legacy of the past, this case reminds us of how those involved in PIRA terrorism have done little to assist even the recovery of a body, let alone uncover the truth about his abduction, likely torture and eventual murder.

"It is vital that republicans are pressed on their silence and obstruction."

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie also accused republicans of "blatant hypocrisy".

"They demand respect from others, yet cannot show any themselves, not even to the body of a man they murdered," Mr Beattie added.

"The next time Michelle O'Neill attends a commemoration for dead terrorists and demands respect, she should ask some of those assembled to tell the truth so that Captain Nairac can be given a Christian burial."

Mr Knupfer, who believes the soldier is buried in north Co Louth, also dismissed a rumour that Captain Nairac's body had been put through a meat processor, claiming the story was put about by his killers to distract from the murder scene.

A Sinn Fein spokesperson said: "Sinn Fein has consistently called for anyone with information that could lead to the retrieval of bodies in the outstanding cases, including Robert Nairac, to come forward to the commission."

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