Northern Ireland news

Criticism by loyalist victims of RTÉ Robert Nairac broadcast

Captain Robert Nairac was murdered in May 1977. Picture from RTÉ
John Monaghan

RTÉ has faced criticism from victims of loyalist violence over a programme about Captain Robert Nairac.

Prime Time, broadcast on Tuesday, examined the life and death of the undercover British soldier who was abducted from a pub car park in Dromintee, south Armagh in May 1977 and murdered in Ravensdale, Co Louth.

The programme looked at allegations that he was linked to various murders carried out by the notorious Glennane Gang, involving members of the RUC, UDR and UVF.

It reported on a letter it obtained from Captain Nairac's regiment, which stated that he was not in Ireland on the day of the Miami Showband massacre in 1975.

Geoff Knupfer, of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains, also dismissed claims about his involvement in certain killings as "wild allegations".

Stephen Travers, one of the survivors of the Miami Showband attack, said last night he was "very, very disappointed" at the research in the programme.

There was also criticism from Eugene Reavey, whose brothers Brian, Anthony and John Martin died after being shot by the Glennane Gang at their south Armagh home in 1976.

Mr Reavey tweeted: "People of south Armagh are no fools," later adding: "Never watched such one-sided nonsense in my life."

Margaret Urwin of the Justice for the Forgotten Group also said she was not convinced at claims Captain Nairac he was out of the country on the dates of several attacks.

Meanwhile, republicans have been urged to reveal the location of the soldier's remains, after the programme cast doubt on a previously held theory that his body had been put through a meat processor.

Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP's Lagan Valley MP, said: "This case reminds us of how those involved in PIRA terrorism have done little to assist even the recovery of a body, let alone uncover the truth about his abduction, likely torture and eventual murder."

A spokeswoman for RTÉ said it did not wish to comment on the criticism.

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