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Fresh appeal for information on 45th anniversary of British army captain's disappearance

Robert Nairac was abducted in south Armagh on 14 May 1977.

Robert Nairac
Robert Nairac
Image: RTÉ

AN ORGANISATION TASKED with locating the bodies of people who went missing during the Troubles has made a fresh appeal for information regarding British army captain Robert Nairac.

Nairac was working undercover for the British Army when he was abducted from the Three Steps bar in Drumintee in south Armagh in 1977.

Geoff Knupfer today renewed appeals for information that will result in locating and recovering the remains of Nairac who was abducted, murdered and secretly buried 45-years ago this weekend. 

Knupfer is the lead investigator of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains ( ICLVR), which was set up as part of the peace process to locate the bodies of 16 people who went missing and were presumed to have been killed during The Troubles.

“On the 14 May 1977, Robert Nairac was taken from the Three Steps Inn in Drumintee, south Armagh. We know he was taken to Flurry Bridge near Ravensdale Forest in County Louth where he was beaten and then shot dead,” Knupfer said.

“What we do not know, 45 years on, is where his remains are buried.

“As I have said before, that while we are looking for the physical remains of Robert Nairac, he is not the focus of our work.

“That is firmly fixed on ending the near half century of suffering of his two sisters Rosemonde and Gabrielle.”

Knupfer, a former Manchester police officer, said the commission is confident that there are people who know where Robert Nairac’s remains are buried.

Nairac’s case is the only one of the original Disappeared ICLVR cases in which the commission has not carried out a physical search because it has never had enough credible information to go on.

It examined a site in Co Louth in 2019, following claims about the area made by a former British army soldier, but an archaeological investigation revealed that the area had never been a gravesite.  

“Our only interest is in finding his remains. Once again I emphasise that any information that comes to the ICLVR is treated in the strictest confidence,” Knupfer added.

brian_lawless Geoff Knupfer has issued a fresh appeal for information. Source: Brian Lawless

“It will not be shared with any arm of the state, UK or Irish. The record of the ICLVR since its inception in 1999 bears this out.

Our ethos is humanitarian, our sole objective is to allow families to bury their loved one just like any other family that has suffered loss.

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The commission is still investigating four outstanding cases: Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh, Robert Nairac and Seamus Maguire.

Knupfer previously rejected claims that Nairac was part of the SAS and was somehow implicated in the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.

He also dismissed rumours that Robert Nairac’s body was disposed of in a meat processing plant.

The ICLVR can be contacted by telephone: 00800-55585500 International: +353 1 602 8655

E-mail information to: Secretary@iclvr.ie

By post to: ICLVR PO Box 10827

CrimeStoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 and the untraceable anonymous online form is at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Céimin Burke

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