The author of a new book on one of the most harrowing murders of the Troubles has spoken of the futility of political violence at its launch.
In ‘The Killing of Thomas Niedermayer,’ David Blake Knox explores the kidnapping and murder of the German factory manager by the IRA in December 1973.
The book was officially launched at the No Alibis bookstore in Belfast on Wednesday, where the author discussed his work with victims’ campaigner Ann Travers.
The author said: “There was never any justification for the political violence.
“In the case of Thomas Niedermayer, he came from quite a humble background in Bavaria, he was not a wealthy man, and he did not believe he was qualified to have an opinion on the Northern Ireland conflict.”
Mr Knox added: “For a long time the IRA not only denied they were responsible, but fabricated a number of stories suggesting loyalists were responsible – as well as linking Thomas to affairs with the wives of senior unionist politicians.
“All of this added to the pain being felt by the Niedermayer family and went on for seven years before his body was eventually found, buried beneath a rubbish trip not far from their family home on the edge of the Andersonstown estate.”
The profound grief had a lasting and devastating impact on Mr Niedermayer’s wife and two daughters.
In 1990, ten years after her husband’s funeral, widow Ingeborg killed herself in Bray, Co Wicklow.
Both daughters – Renate and Gabrielle – would die by suicide over the course of the following four years.
• The Killing of Thomas Niedermayer is published by New Island Books, priced £13.99