Belfast Telegraph

Ex-RUC officer claims 'no evidence' Robert Nairac killed IRA man John Francis Green

Robert Nairac
Robert Nairac

A former RUC officer has said there is no evidence that British Army Captain Robert Nairac assassinated senior IRA member John Francis Green.

The IRA man from Lurgan was shot dead in a farm house in Co Monaghan in January 1975.

Earlier this year, Fred Holroyd, a former army captain and military intelligence officer, claimed that he has offered to give evidence about Robert Nairac’s involvement in the killing in secret court hearings.

However, the BBC has reported that a retired detective who investigated the claim that Robert Nairac, who was himself murdered by the Provisional IRA in May 1977, killed the IRA man have proven to be false.

John Francis Green

The former officer, who has not been named by the BBC, was a detective inspector at the time, and interviewed Fred Holroyd over a number of days in County Down in 1983 shortly after he made the allegations about Nairac to the police.

He told the BBC: “During interviews Fred Holroyd produced the photograph he claimed had been taken by Robert Nairac within minutes of the killing.

“I had it examined by forensic scientists in London. The analysis was that, based on separate discolouration rings of blood around the head, and considering the cold January weather, the photograph was more than likely taken 12 to 20 hours after the shooting, and not within minutes.”

The detective said a batch number on the photograph also supported claims by the Garda that one of their officers took it.

“This polaroid batch was traced by us to having been delivered from England to Dublin some time previous to the Garda Síochána for their specific use,” he said.

Robert Nairac talks to children in the Ardoyne area of Belfast in 1977. (PA)

The former detective said the Garda told him they had taken photographs at the scene and had given one to a senior RUC Special Branch officer based at Lurgan police station, where Fred Holroyd was based at the time.

The officer said Special Branch in Lurgan told him the image had been taken from a notice board in the station.

However, Fred Holroyd said he stands by his claim that Nairac and others who were operating in the Republic for the British Army assassinated John Francis Green.

In a statement from his lawyers, published by the BBC, he said: “I am happy to meet the retired RUC officer and for him and I to clarify this. However, I maintain my account.”

The UVF claimed responsibility for the killing of John Francis Green. However, Holroyd insisted that Nairac had confessed to the killing and gave him details of the guns used in the killing.

The family of John Francis Green remain convinced Nairac was involved in the killing.

Nairac's body was never gound. He was one of 16 people abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

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