Site to be examined in search for Sunderland officer Captain Robert Nairac after 'psychic' investigator and dogs used in search for soldier killed by IRA

There are fresh hopes that a new search could begin for Capt Robert Nairac – after a potential site for his remains was identified by a ‘psychic’ investigator and specially trained search dogs.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 11:15 am
Updated Friday, 9th August 2019, 1:38 pm
A photo of Captain Robert Nairac taken around 1974-75.

The Army officer, who was raised in Thornhill Gardens, Ashbrooke, was abducted by the IRA during an undercover operation in a pub in Northern Ireland in 1977.

It is believed he was beaten and then shot by the IRA before being buried in an unknown grave.

Geoff Knupfer, lead investigator with the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR), confirmed that an examination of the site in County Louth, in the Republic of Ireland, will be carried out before a decision on a full search will be made.

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He said a female dowser and several ex-soldiers recently went to the Three Steps Pub in Dromintee where Capt Nairac was abducted.

Mr Knupfer added: “From there they went to the location where Robert was reportedly murdered and then she pointed to what she believed was the spot where she believed he is buried.”

Former Grenadier Guard Alan Barry, who is from the same regiment as Nairac, arranged the private search and wanted the commission to do an excavation at that point.

But Mr Knupfer said it “does not respond to clairvoyant or psychic findings – in line with standard UK police policy”.

However, Mr Barry then hired a dog handler who said his dogs had “positive hits at the exact same spot”.

Mr Knupfer said: “Based on the information about the dogs alone, we will carry out an examination of the site in the next few days. We will either find Robert or we will eliminate the site.”

He confirmed excavation work has begun separately on nearby land in recent days “but this is nothing to do with Robert Nairac and is simply work to put in a local boundary”.

Mr Barry told the Echo’s sister paper in Belfast, the News Letter: “The Gardai have been very supportive. They have said they are going to keep a close eye on the area until the excavation can begin.”

Captain Nairac, 28, was reputed to have sung Republican songs in the pro-Catholic Three Step pub, in Dromintee, South Armagh, before he was kidnapped, taken over the nearby border and executed.

Six people were later convicted of their part in his murder although none disclosed what happened to his body.