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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 22:01 GMT 23:01 UK
New revelations on Nairac killing
Captain Nairac
Captain Nairac's body was never found
A man wanted in connection with the killing of undercover soldier Robert Nairac 30 years ago has spoken publicly for the first time about what happened the night the officer was murdered.

Captain Nairac, an SAS trained officer, was shot dead in Ravensdale, County Louth, in the early hours of 15 May 1977.

He had earlier been kidnapped outside The Three Steps pub near Jonesborough in south Armagh.

His body has never been recovered. His name only recently appeared on the list of the so-called Disappeared.

In a Spotlight Special, 64-year-old Terry McCormick told how Captain Nairac aroused suspicions in the pub when he asked a local woman how he could cross the border without being spotted by the security forces.

Terry McCormick pictured in 1970
Terry McCormick, pictured in 1970, details events of that night

He followed the soldier out of the pub and challenged him. The Army officer lost his gun in an ensuing struggle, was overpowered and taken to Ravensdale.

McCormick, who has been hiding in America since that night, told Spotlight reporter Darragh MacIntrye that he pretended to be a priest while interrogating Nairac.

He said: "I told Nairac that he had better make a confession, because unless he told the truth he was going to be shot. He proceeded... basically saying 'Bless me Father for I have sinned'."

The officer was shot dead by an IRA gunman minutes later, without ever revealing who he was.

McCormick, who has been hiding in America, said a senior republican told him the body had been buried, but it was later partly disinterred by an animal and was moved again, at the insistence of the landowner.

"He approached a member of the IRA that he knew and told him what he had seen, and requested that if the body had been buried on his land, he wanted it removed," McCormick said.
Spotlight reporter Darragh MacIntyre has investigated the case
Spotlight's Darragh MacIntyre talks to Terry McCormick

"He didn't want anything to do with it, he wanted it off his property. I was told that the body was removed and that he was given a burial."

Commenting on the McCormick interview, Geoff Knupfer, chief investigator for the independent commission set up to recover the bodies of the Disappeared, said: "It would be fair to say that potentially the information provided is very significant indeed."

McCormick expressed regret for what happened in 1977 and added: "If me doing this interview can help in any way recover the body of Captain Nairac, it would make me feel a lot better."

Former SAS deputy commander Colonel Clive Fairweather told Spotlight that Captain Nairac had already been warned that the IRA was targeting him.

He said that the soldier appeared not to take it seriously.

Six men were convicted of involvement in the killing, while three went on the run.




SEE ALSO
New light shed on Nairac mystery
19 Jun 07 |  Northern Ireland



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