“I didn`t actually see the programme..”

The Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, has commented on last night’s BBC Spotlight investigation into the murder of Capt Robert Nairac, which he declined to be interviewed for – the programme can now be viewed at the BBC site

The Sinn Fein MP told the Assembly`s Committee of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister: “In relation to last night`s Spotlight programme, I didn`t actually see the programme but I am told – and I do not know if this is accurate or not – two people on the programme who indicated they had some involvement in the killing of Captain Nairac. I don`t know who these people are. I do not know if they are bona fide people who were actually there. I do not know if they were Walter Mittys. I do not know whether or not there is any validity to the case that was actually made by them on the programme.”

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  • Irish Republian in America

    I didn’t see the program, but have read a news article describing it. From what I’ve read, there was nothing that wasn’t in the book “Bandit Country”, aside from the fact that Mr. McCormick confirms his role and how it happened is the way described in the book.

    My heart goes out to Nairac’s family.

  • Whatever Next

    Some people think they’ve gotten away with their crimes, even, indeed, been rewarded for (supposedly stopping doing) them. But they haven’t. Justice draws closer, even for those who don’t watch tv.

  • Hence the problem with having a political system that gives out premier executive offices to those who had previously championed and instigated tactics of terror moves over that of democratic measures and redress.

    Such new law abiding democrats prefer to bluster over the past with a defence statement of ‘no evidence then no concerns’.

    The GFA was a political agreement involving tweaks to the constitution but crimes are crimes as per municipal and international law, be they conducted by paramilitaries or former members of the state police system, and all should be looked into in order to put victims’ families concerns at rest by getting justice for them, however late in the day.

  • GavBelfast

    Don’t they look a picture, just now on the telly, with their baby-love-in aides beside them.

    All-together now: aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

  • Cruimh

    The mills of God.

  • ingram

    Hi,

    Lets see if C2 turn up at the front door of those who admitted involvement in this murder on national TV, like they did at other high profile individuals who may or may not have wrote a book.

    Ding Ding

    Marty

  • CTN

    Does anyone find them less convincing than the Walter Mitty’s that said SF would win 15 seats in the Dail elections?

  • Vladimirs’ gang at Lubyanka

    As I said in the other thread McGuinness’ shifty stance didn’t do him any good. How can these be walter mittys if they are on the run from justice because they are wanted in relation to the crime. This has been all over radio ulster all day, they even tried to contact the office of the DFM this morning, but no joy.
    Why would the claimed commander of the IRA in the area at the time say on tv in relation to this murder ask Mr Adams and McGuinness unless they knew something. This answer is even worse than he gave on the programme.
    The IRA should give up the remains to his family. This man did not get his just deserts, the troubles were not worth one drop of blood Irish or English – they achieved nothing. I prefered what we had in stormont in 1969 to what we have now, a bunch of static oligarchs who have made their money on the backs of the dead.

  • heck

    where are the establishment figures who want to leave the past in the past.

    Sorry that only applys to actions by the state!!!

    MickHall is right we need a truth commission to look at ALL killings–including state ones.

  • Token Dissent

    heck, as you may have noticed there have been major enquiries into state crimes – does the word Saville ring a bell?

    I totally agree that a truth commission would be the best solution, but the vested interests of the political establishment (Brit and Irish governments, DUP/Sinn Fein) will probably put the brakes on that one.

  • Sean Breague

    I don’t believe the story put across last night by the BBC. I think the programme was an attempt by the BBC to undermine the heroic bravery and discipline of the IRA’s South Armagh Brigade. Any fool would know that the chain of events put forward last night is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ stuff.

  • GavBelfast

    “I didn`t actually see the programme..”

    Really, would Sky+ be that difficult for him to afford on the average industrial wage?

  • Turgon

    Surely even by the IRAs warped logic disposing of Nairac’s body is morally wrong. IF the IRA claim to be an “army “fighting” “a war”, surely in war one allows the other side to bury their own dead. Once they had murdered Captain Nairac they could at least have allowed the army or RoI officials to find the body and give Captain Nairac’s family the opportunity to have a decent burial. What actually happened is of course entirly typical behaviour by the IRA and akin to Pinochet’s death squads.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Personally, I’m more interested in Nairac’s life than his death. What was his role? Who did he report to? What was his relationship with the UVF? Why did he think he was untouchable in the republican heartland?

    An enigmatic character.

  • Nationalist

    Turgon, you obviously missed the many Nationalist funerals that were batton charged by the paramilitary RUC during the troubles. The actions of the state in not allowing the IRA to bury their dead in a dignified way may have something to do with them not returning Nairac.

    I believe it was always said that he was fed to the pigs and that that information was passed to the SAS and if it is true they will have some job getting him back!

  • Billy

    Belfast Gonzo

    “What was his relationship with the UVF?”

    A pertinent question indeed. I have no time for violence from any quarter. I certainly don’t agree with the murder of Nairac or the fact that his family have been denied the chance to give him a decent burial.

    However, I find the fact that certain people treat him as a hero and/or an innocent victim sickening. He colluded with the UVF/UDR in murdering innocent Catholics i.e the Miami Showband massacre.

    As I said, I completely condemn his murder and I truly hope that his family get the opportunity to bury him properly.

    However, I have more sympathy for the genuine innocent victims in both communities than for someone who lived by the sword and died by the sword.

  • I wonder…

    Billy

    I am unsure that he is regarded by anyone as a hero per se. I think he was a colourful and eccentric character but to claim that he was personally involved in sectarian murder is simply a reflection of the fact that people know his name and not the names of the other tens of thousands of soldiers that were in NI.

  • Billy

    I wonder

    There are many claims that Nairac colluded with the UVF in specific operations that resulted in the murder of innocent Catholics.

    This is not the work of one or two people with a particular agenda. There are “loyalists” (including convicted UVF members who were involved in these assasinations), nationalists and British security sources who independently support these allegations.

    I don’t expect the truth will ever come out about the real extent of British Army/UDR/UVF collusion in South Armagh particularly during the mid 70’s.

    However, in my opinion, the number of detailed allegations against Nairac from opposing sides of the “conflict” is convincing enough.

  • I wonder…

    Billy

    Unsure what loyalists you’re talking about and I am aware of Peter Taylor’s work.

    No better man to name to Nairac as a Loyalist assasssin/agent. He didnt. I doubt that Nairac was the liaison. I think it a pity that David Ervine predeceased certain members of the DUP. Equally, Fr Murray isnt necessarily an authority on such matters. He has an agenda. 🙂

  • DC

    “An enigmatic character”

    As enigmatic as perhaps as Maxwell Knight, who had a love for exotic animals, birds and indeed same sex relationships, a truly puzzling MI5 character; the underworld is not just a place for enigmatic people but also for subtle eccentrics who seem to provide the State with the brains in order to manipulate to out-do the terror boys at their own game.

    When it comes to spooks and subterfuge the papers love to print any stories which seem only too keen to, unusually, mix a lot of fact with fiction, as it is, on occasions, more fascinating than well thought out make-believe red-top nonsense.

  • DC

    “Personally, I’m more interested in Nairac’s life than his death”

    Very subtle deflection, it reminds me of similar retorts from unfavourable nationalists to the murder of Billy Wright, many a joke did the rounds along the line of “there should be an inquiry into his life”.

    Nice try.

  • I wonder…

    I think it a reflection of a life involved with either alcohol, drugs or bravado that he was in that bar that night. Was it something as inane as a bet?

  • I wonder…

    DC
    Have you read “The Billy Boy”? On reading it and it alone, one wonders what all the fuss was about and indeed why Billy was ever imprisoned…

  • Irish Republican in America

    I think the key word to use to describe Nairac is “naive”.

  • DC

    “Naive” – quite possibly. Just think back to the two British soldiers who thought it would be good to get an adrenalin rush by conspicuously visiting the republican funerals of those loved ones killed by Michael Stone.

    Ultimately it ended up in other loved ones burying other loved ones and so on and so forth.

    However, no need for such antics nowadays, as the ‘RA and ‘DA are dishing out the ice, coke and E’s to suppress the need to go that far again for your rush.

  • DC

    “Have you read “The Billy Boy”? On reading it and it alone, one wonders what all the fuss was about and indeed why Billy was ever imprisoned”

    No I think it makes a lot of mention of Billy Wright being involved in/co-ordinating moves to kill innocent Catholic kids and anyone else who was perceived as ‘other’.

    I have had a cursory look over it and there is, I think, mention of some disturbing scenes involving an ice-cream van and catholic kids being murdered and indeed blame laid with him over the murder of a pregnant Catholic teen, who had a Protestant boyfriend.

  • McClafferty

    Nairac’s involvement/collusion with the UVF in specific operations that resulted in the murder of innocent Catholics was brought to light by Captain Fred Holyrod who worked with Nairac in the ‘70’s in the north of Ireland.

    Fred Holyrod was the first to write a book exposing Nairac’s involvement in the murder of innocent Catholics, along with the British government’s bag of “dirty tricks” used to insite war fare between the IRA and loyalist paramilitary groups.

    Holyrod even went as far as to admit that when the IRA would call in a warning with a secret code, when a bomb was going to go off, the warning was ignored and innocent people died in order for the British Disinformation Services to be able to further discredit the IRA and capitalize on the tragedy. He even gave evidence on information he had about the Dublin-Monoghan bombings. His book was banned in England and he was barred from appearing in any media outlets throughout the UK. He was labeled an “MI6 whistle-blower”.

    Myself and another person involved in Irish human rights issues were responsible for bringing Holyrod to the United States to tell his story to the American media as well as before influential Congressmen and Senators in Washington D.C. He also appeared on C-Span. However, long before it was popular to “blow the whistle” by the now Johnny come lately’s. No one wanted to believe what Holyrod was telling them. It took over 10 years before more and more “operatives” came out of the wood work to tell the world what was really going on behind the scense in the north AND south of Ireland.

    Nairac was a demented and evil person who used his power as a British officer in HM service to torture and murder innocent Catholics because he could! If he was, in fact, fed to the pigs – so be it!

  • DC

    “Holyrod even went as far as to admit that when the IRA would call in a warning with a secret code, when a bomb was going to go off, the warning was ignored and innocent people died in order for the British Disinformation Services to be able to further discredit the IRA and capitalize on the tragedy.”

    Your argument has a certain fallacy about it, I mean placing your bets in the basket of hope that, a state that has been levelled with a charge of non-compliance to orders by a group which spent its time trying to annihilate it through fatal injurious actions is fanciful.

    It may be true and creditable but phoning the services to say we left a bomb but it’s okay the state will ensure that the bomb doesn’t do much harm is playing into the hands of terror-propagnandist blame games.

  • McClafferty

    I totally agree with that logic. I’m only repeating what Fred Holyrod revealed in his book and in numerous interviews throughout the U.S. The propaganda war was played out on both sides but I can’t help feel that those in a position of power and law enforcement was more to blame for allowing the tragedy to happen if they had it in their power to stop it.

    It’s like a cop who feels he is above the law and does something criminal and expects the turnout to be okay because he was trying to catch a criminal. You knew what you were dealing with when it came to the various paramilitary organizations involved in the “Troubles” and you expected no less, but you expected more from those who were there to protect the innocent i.e., RUC, British Army, British Government!

  • The Dubliner

    “It may be true and creditable but phoning the services to say we left a bomb but it’s okay the state will ensure that the bomb doesn’t do much harm is playing into the hands of terror-propagnandist blame games.”

    It would still be classed as an unlawful killing under UK law, i.e. the killing of another by “act or omission.” You can either kill by acting or by failing to act. While the legal cause of death would be the bomb. Those who had knowledge of the bomb and failed to act on that knowledge (with clear malice of forethought) would be guily by omission.

  • brandx

    Absolute BALDERDASH Mr McGuinness.

    No1 rule in the IRA Green Handbook ‘DENY EVERYTHING’

    A TRUTH RECOVERY PROCESS IS A LONG WAY OF

  • Briso

    Pity you didn’t give the whole quote Pete.
    McGuinness goes on:

    “Obviously the most vexed aspect in all of this in relation to Captain Nairac and other missing people is the need to ensure that the bodies are returned to the families.

    “Whether it is Captain Nairac or anybody else, if people have information, then they should bring that information forward. We would be very vociferous in terms of advocating to people that there is a duty and a responsibility – particularly in the context of the enormous political breakthroughs that there have been during the course of recent times.

    “If there are people out there hurting – and clearly there are families out there hurting as a result of not having bodies returned to them – then all of us in the political process, that means us and everybody else who may not be involved in the political process and may even be detached from it but who have information about these matters, should bring that information forward as a matter of urgency.”

  • I Wonder

    DC
    Your cursory look was too cursory. Billy wasn’t involved in the mobile shop murders (Mark Fulton?) or the murder of the young Catholic girl shot in her bed. The latter heinous act was committed by Trevor McKeown, brother of Clifford.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/2868117.stm

  • Billy

    I wonder

    I haven’t read the book in question and scumbag Wright may not have been directly involved in the incidents DC mentioned.

    Frankly, I’m not sure what point you are making. Are you simply pointing out inaccuracies on DCs post? or are you trying to claim that Wright wasn’t directly involved as a UVF/LVF member in the organised murder of many Catholics?

  • I Wonder

    I’m making the point that BW didnt take part directly in the incidents DC mentions, yeah.

    I also am making the broader point, in relation to Nairac, that I believe that well-known figures were not necessarily involved in any given notorious atrocity that happened during their “active” life. There were many lesser-known people.

  • No matter how many threads Slugger manages to put up and take down about the missing bodies of the Troubles’ victims, defenders of British covert operators and their loyalist cohorts always manage to divert the discussion along lines which they feel more comfortable about – e. g., the Provisionals’ complete responsibility for the remaining mess, especially Martin McGuinness’s, Captain Robert Nairac was a naive fellow who is the scapegoat for all kinds of killings despite what even his colleagues have claimed – like Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright – etc., ad nauseam.

    The plain fact is that Nairac was the loosest cannon that the Brits ever directed towards Ireland, resulting in gross violations of Irish sovereignty, bombings, kidnappings, ambushes, exeuctions, the murder of innocents like Seamus Ludlow, etc. – what was so notorious that when he did a free lance operation across the border in 1977, and a group of republican supporters recognized him, they were so enraged that that killed him, and cut up his body into such small pieces that it would never be found, so that they could escape punishment.

    It, like the murder of Robert McCartney, had nothing to do with the IRA leadership – as MM’s statement clearly establishes – but was the result of provocation that its enemies aroused among its supporters.

    In sum, Nairac’s body will never be found, so the Unionists and security force disinformers should just stop talking about it, and move on.

    Anyway, the scumbag was never worth a tear by anyone but his family – like Gerard Steenson’s.

  • I Wonder

    “a group of republican supporters recognized him, they were so enraged that that killed him”

    I’m not clear from the other night’s documentary that they knew who the man was, apart from the believing him to be a soldier or spy.

  • Just more of your characteristic quibbling, I Wonder.

    Most probably, they didn’t know that he was, in fact, Robert Nairac, but they recognized him as one of the groups who had arranged the bombings in Monaghan and Dublin, the kidnapping and execution of IRA Captain Peter Cleary, etc.

    Almost everyone who lived along the Irish border knew what these covert operations had done, and many were of a mind to settle scores with their operators if they ever came across one.

  • DC

    “Your cursory look was too cursory. Billy wasn’t involved in the mobile shop murders (Mark Fulton?) or the murder of the young Catholic girl shot in her bed. The latter heinous act was committed by Trevor McKeown, brother of Clifford”

    The Beeb report states:

    ‘The court heard the killing had been a “birthday present” for the then Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright, who was later murdered by the INLA in the Maze Prison.’

    …At that trial in June 1999, Trevor McKeown was found guilty of possessing the .22 Spanish Star pistol used to murder Ms Martin.

    It was the same gun used to murder Michael McGoldrick.’

    It’s clear that the McKeowns were infatuated with Wright and his LVF blood-letting, so you may have highlighted the monkeys but there was only one organ grinder who since being silenced, coupled with Fulton’s ‘suicide’ has helped to create a quieter and more peaceful setting across Co.Armagh.

  • I Wonder

    DC
    It certainly is quieter and the air purer. 🙂

    Lesser known killings by Wright could include the murder of Mr Boyle (1990) 2 young boys shot in a taxi depot in Armagh (1994) and the 3 men killed near the Hyster factory (1994)

    I’m not sure if there is a definitive list of his victims, but directly and indirectly I think we are talking well into double figures.

    Taken along with the toll exacted by Robin Jackson (also thankfully not longer around), scores of innocent people died because of 2 men.

  • DC

    “It would still be classed as an unlawful killing under UK law, i.e. the killing of another by “act or omission.” You can either kill by acting or by failing to act. While the legal cause of death would be the bomb. Those who had knowledge of the bomb and failed to act on that knowledge (with clear malice of forethought) would be guily by omission.”

    Good point and I agree fully.

    The issue concerns insight to the claims made in McClafferty’s post. How much time, how much notice, enough notice to clear the street or enought to notice not to fatally wound and raise the profile of such groups with a little street-cred and political respect.

    I think it’s a bit rich driving around in a car with plastic explosives, parking it up *walking away* then phoning the services to call in the bastardly state to deal with it.

    If anything it is indicative of flawed philosophy of ethnic nationalism, self centred twisted desires – and that cuts both ways.

  • Ian

    “Lesser known killings by Wright could include…”

    http://republican-news.org/archive/2002/April25/25rose.html

  • Wilde Rover

    A renegade Bond-wannabe British officer shot by a drunk volunteer. The British gave the man honours, the IRA disposed of the body, both to cover up the ineptitude displayed on both sides.

    You know things have settled down when the province once envied (perversely, of course) by journalists for its wealth of “sexy” stories is having to trawl through the history books to make it through the silly season.

  • topdeckomnibus

    DC wrote:

    “An enigmatic character”

    As enigmatic as perhaps as Maxwell Knight, who had a love for exotic animals, birds and indeed same sex relationships, a truly puzzling MI5 character; the underworld is not just a place for enigmatic people but also for subtle eccentrics who seem to provide the State with the brains in order to manipulate to out-do the terror boys at their own game.

    When it comes to spooks and subterfuge the papers love to print any stories which seem only too keen to, unusually, mix a lot of fact with fiction, as it is, on occasions, more fascinating than well thought out make-believe red-top nonsense.

    Posted by DC on Jun 21, 2007 @ 12:23 AM

    The State went to some lengths to keep “M” enigmatic. His widow Suzi was incarcerated in a Sue Ryder Home and denied access to “M”‘s biographer. Denied freedom of movement and freedom of association.

    It is of course pure coincidence that the founders of the Sue Ryder charity were MI6 officers … Airey Neave, Harry Sporborg and Sue Ryder.