“the year this matter is finally resolved for these families”

The BBC NI News website has a short report summarising the Spotlight investigation into the murder of Captain Robert Nairac – the location of his remains is currently one of those subject to an investigation by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains. The programme ended with a somewhat tenuous analogy between the ‘disappearance’ of Robert Nairac and one of those who went on-the-run in the aftermath, Terry McCormick, now living in the US. What the summary report doesn’t say is that another of those on-the-run in connection to the murder, and filmed, has been living here for the last 3 years.Neither does it report the attempt to ask one of the then-leaders of the Provisional IRA in the area what he knew – he suggested asking “Adams or McGuinness”.

Nor does it mention the subsequent attempts to ask the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, questions about whether he knew of the whereabouts of Nairac’s remains – the first, door-stepping him in Stormont brought a suggestion that they request an interview.. which when requested in writing was refused, with a “no personal knowledge” statement.

The Spotlight programme should, eventually, be available here over the next few days[week?].

And after all, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams has claimed he wants “to make 2007 the year this matter is finally resolved for these families.”

We may hear more as the announcement about that, potentially, half-truth process nears.

Update Here

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  • Frank Sinistra

    You managed to get all that from programme?

    I got an over hyped reheating of old news that only gave one insight, a self confessed party to events feels guilty about things but not guilty enough to risk the new life he has built.

    A series of doorsteppings billed as something new, tabloid TV hoping for a big break delivering less than the books but unwilling to admit it.

    Hardly a Cook report.

    How much did that crap cost?

  • Jamie Gargoyle

    Haven’t seen the programme yet – did it deal with the oft-quoted gruesome rumour (e.g. in Eamon Collins’ “Killing Rage”) that Cpt Nairac was put through a mincer in a meat factory in Co Louth?

  • sdfsd

    Did it mention Nairac murdering and photographing the body of John Green across the border?

  • This is just a good example of how the search for victims’ remains can easily be converted into a hunt for their alleged murderers – what I complained about on a earlier thread which has apparently been taken down without any explanation.

    Terry McCormick came forward about Nairac’s murder in the interest of making it easier for his survivors, knowing that the wild SAS killer himself had, indeed, been killed – what McCormick obviously said in order to take off the pressure for his extradition, though he certainly could not have played the role reported, and he never had the foggiest idea where Nairac’s remains were or are.

    And similar, convoluted stories can be and have been drummed up about what happened to most of the remaining ‘disappeared’ in one way or another, like Charles Armstrong, Gerald Evans, Sean Murphy, Seamus Rubby, Gareth O’Connor, etc.

    In sum, the official function of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains is increasingly being bent into a murder hunt, particularly at the expense of the Provisionals.

    Some way to make peace!

  • Gerry Kelly

    If the Provisionals are war criminals, they should be extradited to the Hague and stand trial. The civilised world condemns Provosism. If ex Argentinian and Chilean death squad leaders feel the heat, why not Irish ones as well? And why not send the Colombia Three and Catriona Ruane back to face justice? The Square in Crossmaglen should be renamed Nairac Square and Crossmaglen Rangers should similarly rebrand themselves in atonement. THese should be done as first steps i nthe healing process.
    If O’Caolian croaks it, the Provos shouls not ocntest the sseat which they would probably lose anyway.

  • Yokel


    For a start, Nairac wasnt in the SAS. The SAS dont have their people going around doing solo missions. This bloke has a legendary status way beyond his reality and its tiresome.

    Secondly, if Provos get hounded over this, hard shit. All they have to do is release what happened through whatever sources and, if there is a body left say where it is as memory best attains.

    Then its all done and dusted. Easy.

  • Gréagóir O’ Fráinclín

    ”Haven’t seen the programme yet – did it deal with the oft-quoted gruesome rumour (e.g. in Eamon Collins’ “Killing Rage”) that Cpt Nairac was put through a mincer in a meat factory in Co Louth?”

    Yep, it mentioned it.

    ”Did it mention Nairac murdering and photographing the body of John Green across the border?”

    Not really, But kinda painted a picture that he was a nice middle class Catholic chap.

  • Jocky

    Trow, so what’s the deal, no more investigations into anything incase some is accused / found guilty of killing someone? So you just recover the bodies and say “thanks guys, clad you cleared that up”? if someone confesses to where a body is the locigal next question is how do you knwo how it got there? or is that provo bashing?

    What is the accepted process? fess up body location, admit guilt / trial, get of scot free if it was pre ’98?

    How about some unnamed ex military types fess up in confidence and then everyone is square? that good enough for you?

    What’s the latested heirachy of victims, murderers, investigations, enquiries. Man, it’s hard to keep track.

  • The Gang from Lubyanka.

    I agree with Pete’s analysis, but it doesn’t rule out the other takes on the programme, I guess people will see and hear what they want to see and hear. For myself the officer which Niraic supposedly modelled himself on requires another look. Tony- the guy who went accross the border and put the gun to the mans head in the isolated cottage and told him ‘I’ll shoot you and your death will be blamed on the UVF in retalliation for the previous murders of the workmen. Here was a clear revelation of state terrorism, and the story was not believed at the time. Yet last night the commanding officer said it had the ring of truth about it. Proof if any were needed of the British military being involved in murder and attempted murder of Irish people. Tony certainly needs further investigation.

    As for the remains, I hope his family get them. No family deserves to have their son/brother dead and missing. McGuinness’ shifty appearance didn’t do him any credit. They ought to have given these remains and all the others up years ago.

    Trow what can I say……?

  • These responses are just good examples of the blogosphere promoting all kinds of disinformation – what I complained about being part of its downside on another thread.

    Nairac was a nasty piece of work, as Father Murray has written about extensively in The SAS in Ireland, p. 110ff., and he was trained by, and with the SAS after it was introduced into South Armagh in 1976. For more on this, see this link.


    And Yokel just illustrates what I complained about above by stating that once the Provisionals provide all the information they have, the problems with the ‘disappeared’ will be over.

  • Vladimirs gang at Lubyanka.

    Trow things have moved on since that book was written. A lot more is known now. It’ not the only book about Niraic, and watch out for the programme and update yourself. It helps when you know what you are talking about.

  • I certainly know a lot about Nairac, VGAL. My information is not simply based upon Murray.

    How about what Paul Routledge wrote about the SAS, Operation Clockwork Orange, and Ken Livingstone’s maiden speech in The Commons in his biography of Airey Neave?

    Or how about what Peter Taylor wrote in The Brits about the SAS Liaison Officer, resulting in a scorecard in the undercover war: Brits 6 – IRA 4 (pp. 218-9)

    And this doesn’t even take into account the operations gone wrong, especially the accidental killing of Seamus Ludlow – what is currently being investigated in the Republic by the only independent inquiry

    And Jocky, I am saying continue the investigations and see where they lead rather than just acting as it is a completely closed book which only needs the PIRA to open.

    For example, Anglo-Irish covert operators might well have murdered Gareth O’Connor because of what he knew, and was saying about a most important operation they had arranged at the border to entrap Provisional dissidents – what they thought was conveniently blamed upon the PIRA until his body was surprisingly found in his car, sunken in a canal along the route to his probation officer in the Republic.

  • Yokel

    So he had training from and worked with the SAS..but wasn’t in the SAS….which you by implication stated that he was.

    But you’ve corrected and thats ok. Youve got your facts right now.

    Secondly my point was not that problem would be over but simply that the Provos wouldnt be given the ride they are getting if they divulge what they know in totality. After that there will be plenty of will to leave it there.

    This is the real world Trowbridge, whilst people have a different opinion than you they’ll state it instead of trying to get it surpressed.

  • I have not corrected anything I said about Captain Robert Nairac, Yokel – he was trained by the SAS, and was serving with it when it did its dirty work, culiminating in the unncessary murders alluded to above. To refresh your memory about what he helped do, read Murray’s accounts of the killings of IRA Captain Peter Cleary and Seamus Ludlow.

    And you are still assuming that the Provisionals have all the answers – what is clearly untrue.

    And I did experience, it seems, my first efforts on this subject being suppressed despite your apparent claim to the contray

  • Yokel

    Supressed my arse, you are still talking aren’t ya? Nice try on the victim status.

    Are you saying that he was a member of the SAS or not? Straight question. Yes or no.

    Secondly, I didnt assume anything, I’m saying they should just clear their end of it by saying what they know and leaving it there.

  • Not suppressed, my arse. I am still posting, though, and this thread still hasn’t been shut down.

    Yes and no. Nairac officially belonged to the 14 Intelligence Company – its most famous operator until Captain Simon Hayward came along – and was also serving as an SAS Liaison Officer (SASLO) when he was killed.

    It’s just amazing how these little irregularities and confusions about the BA come to dominate any real discussion about its activities, especially its over-the-top murders. It the way to cover them up – i. e., we don’t know who did them

  • Yokel

    As I said, Nairac’s status is way beyond his reality. It isn’t me who’s building him up to legendary status is it.

    Secondly right then he isn’t the wild SAS killer because he wasn’t in the SAS. He was 14th Int may have rtaken some training from the SAS but were neither controlled by or responsible for it. Thats liek saying ciops who received SAS trainging and may have liaised with them were suddenly paid up SAS members. If Nairac was so bloody good then he would have been up tostandard and would have been in the SAS but clearly he wasn’t.

    Get the facts right and then I might listen.

    The greatest irony of all is that its the Republican movement who have built Nairac up. He was shabby operator who got himself killed. If his body is buried and the Provos know where it is they should just say so. If his body doesnt exist in a coherent form they should just say so then let everyone else get on with it.

    Its the usual SAS is everywhere story. Anyone would think you were scared of them.

  • Alice

    So guilt has got the better of at least one person in TIRA, (the treasonous IRA). Not much of a revelation eh?

    Why can’t everyone just forget about all the dirty deeds carried out by the Provos in the name of Ireland? I mean, they’ve bullied their way in to government (ie Votail SF or we’ll send the bhoys back in town!) and they’ve even got an ex-Provo reaching out to Unionists. I think we all just need to move on, stop thinking about the past and start looking to the future. Many people who endorse what SF stand for today don’t even care about what the Republican movement did in the name of Ireland anyway!

  • vladimirs’ gang at Lubyanka.

    Trow a lot of that stuff you cite above consists of tid bits of what other people are saying about Niraic or supposedly about Niraic. Yes he was in the Det, trained by the SAS and the det was staffed by SAS in the upper echelons of their organisation. That is not the issue here, the issue is that last night a programme was aired which gave a lot of new information regarding the murder. One of those involved has come forward and told the story now first hand.
    A lot of what was said last night has been said before, but this particular murder has suffered more than most regarding rumours. The meat processing plant is now known to be nothing more than a rumour, the fact that the body was killed in one location and then moved at the request of the land owner, and that animals were clearly seen to have been at the body.
    Perhaps Niraic doesn’t merit a saint hood for what he was involved in, it is said he was involved with the UVF (ie dublin and monaghan etc etc), but all of that doesn’t change the fact that the programme brought out these new revelations and his manner of death was very wrong. Someone pretending to be a priest is grotesque in the extreme and an offence to RC’s in particular.
    The fact that only one of the men involved that night was actually in the IRA the rest were only citizens who held republican beliefs, first hand information of who was involved and what happened at the bar. None of your references quote that, and not even the book about Niraic which notably you do not quote can get to grips with what actually happened.
    You continually jump on people for making statements which have logically been based upon the programme when you yourself are not up to date with it. Get real.

  • This thread is about how to handle the issue of the missing victims – what concerns the deceased Captain Robert Nairac and quite a few others, and what I have repeatedly stated is being taken over by anti-Republicans who just want to paint them further into the corner about their responsibility for them all, and convert what the commission’s responsibility is into just a murder hunt – what you demonstrate in some detail.

    Instead of dealing with finding his remains, you, VGAL, take the questions that Yokel has raised about Nairac’s service, and have gone wild over it.

    It is not relevant to the thread, and I have never particularly cared where he was working as a soldier – in the Grenadier Guards, in the 14 Intelligence Company or in the SAS when he carried out some of the worst uncalled murders during The Troubles.

    The Captain got his just desserts, and all his family can reasonably hope for is the return of his remains.

  • “Perhaps Niraic doesn’t merit a saint hood…”

    I stopped taking your posting serious after reading that blurring of the facts – the man was the personification of State Sponsered murder.

  • Proud Irishman

    THF epitomises the arrogance of Provo Republicanism. They really think they ARE Irish Republicanism when in fact they represent only the arse end of it. The arrogance of these treasonous Irish is matched by their hypocrisy, being every bit as brutal as those they critise.

    Terry McCormick tells the “great Provo Irishman” Liam Townsend was drunk when he asked him to do his dirty work for him and that says a lot about that organisation. As far as the chilling stories of “meatgrinders” I concerned, I don’t doubt it. If it wasn’t used to hide his body but why wouldn’t it be considered to hide others.

    This is yet one more sad and sorry story of the treasonous deeds of treasonous Irish men for whom individual life meant nothing then and continues to mean nothing now.

  • vladimirs’ gang at Lubyanka.

    ‘This thread is about the issue of missing victims’

    No it isn’t Trow, it’s about the contents of a programme which was aired last night about the death and disappearance of robert niarac, the issue of the missing victims is a widening of the topic.

    Anon the bit you quoted. You have taken it out of context, its not a blurring of the facts. I have stated clearly what the missing army man was BELIEVED to have ben involved in, there is no actual evidence of his involvement in much of the stuff cited. It matters not, a whole lot of wrongs do not make a right, haven’t we learnt that much? Also as I stated elsewhere the troubles were not worth one drop of Irish or English blood, they achieved nothing.

  • “…I have stated clearly what the missing army man was BELIEVED to have ben involved in…”

    Indeed. Had the British Govt engaged the Barron Enquire as requested then the matter might have been brought to rest. However, there was no, or insufficient, response from HMG and so we are left to speculate as to whether Nairac was involved with…

    The Miami Showband murders

    Handler / agent and arms supplier of Robin Jackson & the Glenane gang (blamed for the Dublin/Monaghan bombs, Donnelly Bar Silverbridge, the killing of Seamus Heaney’s cousin and another man at a fake UDR checkpoint & three Reavey brothers)

    The killing of John Francis Green (and then takes a photo !??!?! FFS )

    …lastly a Recipient of the George’s Cross !??!


    I still think he was the personification of state sponsored terror regardless of your posting that “…a whole lot of wrongs do not make a right, haven’t we learnt that much?” in which I concur but disagree with Nairac’s murderous career being ignored.

    Republicans might remember your quote “Perhaps Niraic doesn’t merit a saint hood…” and your rush to avoid his ‘activities’ and apply it to any criticisms of Provos that might appear on this site.

  • vladimirs gang at lubrankya

    anon have you read my posts regarding state sponsored murder? I am the only one so far to bring attention to ‘Tony’ mentioned in the programme last night as someone whom RN modelled himself upon. Did I not say this was what I picked up on. However, the quote was meant to be tongue in cheek. I also mentioned his career in NI and what he is allegedly involved in.

    In sum your post adds nothing……………..

  • I wonder…

    As Nairac was a colourful, idiosyncratic individual, a bit of a character and POSSIBLY SAS, it seems irresistible to some that they must associate him personally with any and all of the atrocities associated with Loyalists before 1977.

    Did he kill the Reavey brothers? Perhaps he even was a double agent at Kingsmills?

    I’m just awaiting his being blamed for something that happened after May 1977 – but then again, some may attribute that to his survival even unto the present day…

  • The Gang from Lubyanka. “Proof if any were needed of the British military being involved in murder and attempted murder of Irish people. Tony certainly needs further investigation. “

    Isn’t Julian ‘Tony’ Ball dead – car crash in Oman working as a mercenary for the Sultan ? Say it as it is, there’s no need to pussy foot around as he can’t sue the site for libel if he’s dead.

  • vladimirs gang at lubrankya

    anon, the programme already stated he was dead, I’d assumed you had watched the programme…….
    doesn’t mean he doesn’t merit further investigation for his activities in NI does it?