Belfast Telegraph

Hunger striker's plea over Nairac body praised by MLA

Disappeared: Captain Robert Nairac
Disappeared: Captain Robert Nairac

By Suazanne Breen

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie has praised a former IRA hunger striker for calling for republicans to come forward with information on where Captain Robert Nairac is buried.

Mr Beattie said Leo Green had shown "real compassion" in asking for everything possible to be done to find the murdered soldier's body.

He was speaking as an ex-RUC officer told the BBC there was no evidence that Nairac had murdered Mr Green's brother John Francis who was a senior IRA man. The claim had been made by former Army captain and military intelligence officer Fred Holroyd.

Nairac was abducted from the car park of a south Armagh pub in May 1977. He was taken across the border to a field in Ravensdale, Co Louth, where he was killed. He was later secretly buried.

John Francis Green from Lurgan was shot dead in a farmhouse in Co Monaghan two years earlier. The UVF claimed responsibility. A retired detective who investigated the allegation that Nairac was responsible said it was proven to have been false. Mr Holroyd said he stood by his claim, which the Green family believe is true.

But Leo Green, Sinn Fein's former political director at Stormont, told the BBC he very much empathised with the Nairac family and their search for his body.

"My brother is buried a five minute walk from here," he said. "We have a place where we can go to, where we can lay flowers, we can say a prayer, maybe just reflect. The Nairac family have none of that and we think very much they're entitled to that."

Mr Beattie said he wished to "commend the words of Leo Green".

He also claimed some republicans knew where Nairac was buried and had made a deliberate decision not to pass information onto the commission set up to located the bodies of the Disappeared.

Belfast Telegraph


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