Belfast Telegraph

Ex-soldier Alan Barry plans to hire professionals to search for Nairac's body

Missing: Captain Robert Nairac
Missing: Captain Robert Nairac

By Staff Reporter

A former soldier says he plans to organise his own team of professional archaeologists to search for the body of Captain Robert Nairac GC.

The Grenadier Guardsman was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1977. His remains have never been found.

Alan Barry - himself a former Grenadier Guardsman - said he is unhappy with the lack of progress which has been made by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victim's Remains (ICLVR) in recovering Captain Nairac's body.

He claimed that the organisation had not properly investigated a tip-off he had supplied to them suggesting the location of the soldier's body.

"We will hire our own team of (professional) archaeologists to examine the area, and along with other Grenadiers I will be present when any further examinations of the area are undertaken," Mr Barry said.

"It's now time for us to take control and retrieve either Robert or whoever's remains lie in that shallow grave."

The ICLVR - which has so far recovered the remains of 13 of the 16 'Disappeared' - said: "In August the ICLVR carried out a thorough archaeological examination of the precise location in Ravensdale Forest, Co Louth, indicated by Mr Barry and the dog handler. It is not and never has been a grave site. If he wishes to carry out his own search in Ravensdale Forest that is a matter for him and the appropriate Irish authorities."

Mr Barry said he had taken his concerns about the ICLVR to the Secretary of State Julian Smith, and released a letter from Mr Smith which strongly defended the work of the Commission.

The bodies of Captain Nairac, Columba McVeigh and Joe Lynskey - all abducted and murdered by the IRA - have not been recovered.

A search for Mr McVeigh's remains in a Co Monaghan bog was called off earlier this week, while a search for Mr Lynskey's body in Co Meath earlier this year was also unsuccessful.

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