Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Former soldier plans his own search for Nairac

 A former British soldier says he plans to organise his own search for the body of Robert Nairac, the SAS captain who was abducted from the Three Steps pub in Dromintee more than 40 years ago.

Alan Barry says he is unhappy with the lack of progress made by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victim’s Remains (ICLVR) and has pledged to hire his own team of professional archaeologists in a bid to recover the remains of the former Grenadier Guardsman who disappeared in May 1977 and is believed was murdered and secretly buried by the IRA.

Acting on information provided by Barry, the ICLVR carried out a search in Ravensdale Forest in August.  Nothing was found and the organization declared the area “is , and never has been, a grave site”.

Unsatisfied with the findings, Mr Barry has pledged to revisit the site, insisting that human remains are buried there.

Missing: SAS Captain Robert Nairac

He said: “We will hire our own team of (professional) archaeologists to examine the area, and along with other Grenadiers I will be present when any further examinations of the area are undertaken.  It’s now time for us to take control and retrieve either Robert or whoever’s remains lie in that shallow grave.”

The ICLVR – which has so far recovered the remains of 13 of the 16 ‘Disappeared’ – said: “In August the ICLVR carried out a thorough archaeological examination of the precise location in Ravensdale Forest, Co Louth, indicated by Mr Barry and the dog handler. It is not and never has been a grave site. If he wishes to carry out his own search in Ravensdale Forest that is a matter for him and the appropriate Irish authorities.”

Mr Barry said he had taken his concerns about the ICLVR to the Secretary of State Julian Smith, and released a letter from Mr Smith which strongly defended the work of the Commission.