Robert Nairac
Recipient of the George Cross
Robert Nairac
Captain Robert Laurence Nairac GC was a British Army officer who was abducted from a pub in Drumintee, south County Armagh during an undercover operation and killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) on his fourth tour of duty in Northern Ireland as a Military Intelligence Liaison Officer. He was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1979.
Biography
Robert Nairac's personal information overview.
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Sir Cyril, his housekeeper and her 'scandalous' claims - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
In 1999 she claimed to have been a secret lover of Captain Robert Nairac, an Army officer who was murdered by the IRA while working undercover in 1977, and to have given birth to his child. Her story, which she sold to a tabloid newspaper,
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Google News article
Search continues for 'disappeared' IRA victims, including soldier - British Forces News
Google News - over 5 years
Robert Nairac is one of three men whose cases are being highlighted by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR). Captain Nairac was killed by the IRA in 1977, five years after the same group murdered Joe Lynskey
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Fighting talk from Ulster's frontline: THE ULSTER TALES: A TRIBUTE TO THOSE ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
The slightest mistake, a breach of his cover, could doom both men: while PJ was running his ooperation, the IRA's merciless 'Nutter Squad' abducted and killed Captain Robert Nairac, a Grenadier Guardsman working undercover in South Armagh
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WORLD BRIEFING | EUROPE; Northern Ireland: I.R.A. Suspect Charged With Briton's Murder
NYTimes - over 7 years
An Irish Republican Army suspect has been charged with murdering a British Army intelligence agent on the Northern Ireland border 32 years ago, one of the conflict's most mysterious unsolved killings. Northern Ireland's state prosecutors levied the surprise charge on Wednesday at a bail hearing for the suspect, Kevin Crilly, 58. Last year, Mr.
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WORLD BRIEFING | EUROPE; Northern Ireland: Charge In '77 Killing
NYTimes - almost 9 years
An Irish Republican Army veteran was charged in connection with the execution of an undercover British soldier 31 years ago -- one of Northern Ireland's most bitterly debated killings. The veteran, Kevin Crilly, 57, was arrested Tuesday in a predawn raid on his home, where he had been living under an alias. The Northern Ireland police said in a
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Robert Nairac
    TWENTIES
  • 1977
    Age 28
    On the night of 14/15 May 1977 Captain Nairac was abducted from a village in South Armagh by at least seven men.
    More Details Hide Details Despite his fierce resistance he was overpowered and taken across the border into the nearby Republic of Ireland where he was subjected to a succession of exceptionally savage assaults in an attempt to extract information which would have put other lives and future operations at serious risk. These efforts to break Captain Nairac's will failed entirely. Weakened as he was in strength – though not in spirit – by the brutality, he yet made repeated and spirited attempts to escape, but on each occasion was eventually overpowered by the weight of the numbers against him. After several hours in the hands of his captors Captain Nairac was callously murdered by a gunman of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who had been summoned to the scene. His assassin subsequently said 'He never told us anything'. Captain Nairac's exceptional courage and acts of the greatest heroism in circumstances of extreme peril showed devotion to duty and personal courage second to none.
    On the evening of 14 May 1977, Nairac drove alone to The Three Steps pub in Dromintee, South Armagh.
    More Details Hide Details He is said to have told regulars of the pub that he was Danny McErlaine, a motor mechanic and member of the Official IRA from the republican Ardoyne area in North Belfast. The real McErlaine, on the run since 1974, was killed by the Provisional IRA in June 1978 after stealing arms from the organisation. Witnesses say that Nairac got up and sang a republican folk song, The Broad Black Brimmer, with the band who were playing that night. At around 11.45 p.m., he was abducted following a struggle in the pub's car park and taken across the border into the Republic of Ireland to a field in the Ravensdale Woods in County Louth. Following a violent interrogation during which Nairac was allegedly punched, kicked, pistol-whipped and hit with a wooden post, he was shot dead. He did not admit to his true identity. Terry McCormick, one of Nairac's abductors, posed as a priest in order to try to elicit information by way of Nairac's confession. Nairac's last words according to McCormick were: "Bless me Father, for I have sinned".
  • 1975
    Age 26
    He was promoted to captain on 4 September 1975.
    More Details Hide Details Following a rise in violence culminating in the Kingsmill massacre, British Army troop levels were increased and Nairac accepted a post again as a liaison officer back in Northern Ireland. On his fourth tour, Nairac was a liaison officer to the units based at Bessbrook Mill. It was during this time that he was abducted and killed.
    Nairac finished his tour with 14th Int in mid-1975 and returned to his regiment in London.
    More Details Hide Details
    It was alleged by a former Secret Intelligence Service operative, Captain Fred Holroyd, that Nairac admitted involvement in the assassination of IRA member John Francis Green on 10 January 1975 to him.
    More Details Hide Details Holroyd claimed in a New Statesman article written by Duncan Campbell that Nairac had boasted about Green's death and showed him a colour Polaroid photograph of Green's corpse taken directly after his assassination. These claims were given prominence when, in 1987, Ken Livingstone MP told the House of Commons that Nairac was quite likely to have been the person who organised the killing of three Miami Showband musicians. The Barron Report stated that: Holroyd's evidence was also questioned by Barron in the following terms: Nairac was mentioned in Justice Henry' Barron's inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings when it examined the claims made by the Hidden Hand documentary, Holroyd and Colin Wallace Former RUC Special Patrol Group member John Weir, who was also a UVF member, claimed he had received information from an informant that Nairac was involved in the killing of Green:
  • 1974
    Age 25
    And also that in May 1974, he was meeting with these paramilitaries, supplying them with arms and helping them plan acts of terrorism against republican targets.
    More Details Hide Details In particular, the three prime Dublin suspects, Robert McConnell, Harris Boyle and the man called 'The Jackal' (Robin Jackson, Ulster Volunteer Force UVF member from Lurgan), were run before and after the Dublin bombings by Captain Nairac. According to the documentary, support for this allegation was said to have come from various sources:
    Allegations were made concerning Nairac in a 1993 Yorkshire Television documentary about the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings of 1974 entitled Hidden Hand.
    More Details Hide Details The narrator of Hidden Hand states:
    Rather than returning to his battalion, which was due for rotation to Hong Kong, Nairac volunteered for military intelligence duties in Northern Ireland. Following completion of several training courses, he returned to Northern Ireland in 1974 attached to 4 Field Survey Troop, Royal Engineers, one of the three sub-units of a Special Duties unit known as 14 Intelligence Company (14 Int).
    More Details Hide Details Posted to South County Armagh, 4 Field Survey Troop was given the task of performing surveillance duties. Nairac was the liaison officer among the unit, the local British Army brigade, and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). He also took on duties which were outside his official jurisdiction as a liaison officer – working undercover, for example. He apparently claimed to have visited pubs in Irish republican strongholds, sung Irish rebel songs and acquired the nickname "Danny Boy". He was often driven to pubs by the future Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, who was then an Army officer. Former SAS Warrant Officer Ken Connor, who was involved in the creation of 14 Int, wrote of him in his book, Ghost Force, p. 263: Had he been an SAS member, he would not have been allowed to operate in the way he did. Before his death we had been very concerned at the lack of checks on his activities. No one seemed to know who his boss was, and he appeared to have been allowed to get out of control, deciding himself what tasks he would do.
  • 1971
    Age 22
    He left Oxford in 1971 to enter Royal Military Academy Sandhurst under the sponsorship of the Grenadier Guards and was commissioned with them upon graduation.
    More Details Hide Details After Sandhurst he undertook post-graduate studies at the University of Dublin, before joining his regiment. Nairac has been described by former army colleagues as "a committed Roman Catholic" and as having "a strong Catholic belief". Nairac's first tour of duty in Northern Ireland was with No.1 Company, the Second Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. The Battalion was stationed in Belfast from 5 July 1973 to 31 October 1973. The Grenadiers were given responsibility first for the Protestant Shankill Road area and then the predominantly Catholic Ardoyne area. This was a time of high tension and regular contacts with paramilitaries. Ostensibly, the battalion's two main objectives were to search for weapons and to find paramilitaries. Nairac was frequently involved in such activity on the streets of Belfast. He was also a volunteer in community relations activities in the Ardoyne sports club. The battalion's tour was adjudged a success with 58 weapons, 9,000 rounds of ammunition and 693 lbs of explosive taken and 104 men jailed. The battalion took no casualties and did not shoot anyone. After his tour had ended he stayed on as liaison officer for the replacement battalion, the 1st Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The new battalion suffered a baptism of fire with Nairac narrowly avoiding death on their first patrol when a car bomb exploded on the Crumlin Road.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1948
    Born
    Born on August 31, 1948.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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