Robert Nairac search only ‘box ticking exercise’: Veterans’ campaigner

Captain Robert Nairac in Belfast before he was abducted by the IRA in south Armagh
Captain Robert Nairac in Belfast before he was abducted by the IRA in south Armagh
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A veterans’ campaigner searching for a soldier abducted and murdered in 1977, has accused the government body responsible for the ‘disappeared’ of carrying out a “box ticking exercise”.

Captain Robert Nairac was working undercover in south Armagh when a number of IRA members kidnapped him from the Three Steps pub in Dromintee.

In recent days former Grenadier Guard Alan Barry revealed that specialist ‘cadaver’ dogs had given positive indications for human remains at a spot in Ravensdale Forest in Co Louth.

This information was passed to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) who then carried out its own examination.

However, the ICLVR subsequently emphatically ruled out the spot in question as a burial site.

“It was never a gravesite,” Geoff Knupfer of the ICLVR said.

”We were looking at quite a defined area at which the cadaver dogs had apparently given strong indications. We carried out a careful and painstaking archaeological examination. If the subsurface had been disturbed by a spade...or implement cutting into it to bury remains we would have seen clear evidence of that. There was none”.

Mr Barry has now accused the ICLVR of carrying out no more than a “box ticking exercise”.

He said: “We need to know more about the extent of the investigative work and in particular how far they investigated into the sub-surface of the soil. I would certainly be asking for sight of the archaeological report.”

When asked to comment on the ‘box ticking’ claim, the commission referred the News Letter back to its original statement.

Anyone with information relating to the whereabouts of the remains of Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh or Robert Nairac can contact CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 and the untraceable anonymous online form is at