Forensic archaeologist to investigate claims over Nairac body

Claims that the remains of former British Army captain Robert Nairac are buried in a forest near the Irish border will be investigated by a forensic archaeologist.

A preliminary examination will be undertaken by a commission responsible for locating those abducted and killed by the IRA during the Troubles, a spokesman confirmed.

No search is planned at present and technical challenges surround detecting a body from so long ago.

Robert Nairac
Army officer Robert Nairac was abducted by the IRA during an undercover operation in a bar in South Armagh in 1977 (PA)

The Army officer was abducted by the IRA during an undercover operation in a bar in South Armagh in 1977.

On Tuesday, a specialist dog trained to locate human remains identified ground in Ravensdale Forest close to the border, a former British Army soldier who hired the animal said.

Alan Barry has been trying to locate Capt Nairac’s body.

He expressed hope that if the possible lead is successful, Capt Nairac’s remains will finally be at peace.

“They won’t be just dumped in some pit in a forest, the man will get the respect of a funeral, his comrades, my regiment the Grenadier Guards, and his sisters will go to their grave knowing that their brother has finally been located.”

Mr Barry first identified the area using a psychic medium.

He said he had not informed the soldier’s family for fear of raising their hopes unnecessarily.

Capt Nairac was one of 16 so-called Disappeared spirited away and secretly buried by republicans during the conflict.

Most had been wrongly accused of being informers to the state.

Among them were west Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

She was found on a beach in 2003.

The commission has dismissed as a distraction rumours circulated surrounding disposal of junior officer Capt Nairac’s remains.

A statement from the commission confirmed receipt of the information and said it intends to send a forensic archaeologist to the site to conduct a preliminary investigation.

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