Rumours that Captain Robert Nairac was involved in Kingsmill are ‘utter fantasy’

The notion that Captain Robert Nairac infiltrated the IRA and was involved in the Kingsmill massacre is “utter fantasy”, a coroner has said.

Delivering his findings in the long-running legacy inquest into Kingsmill on Friday, coroner Brian Sherrard said he was entirely satisfied that Captain Nairac had “no role whatsoever” in the atrocity.

The British Army officer was abducted by the IRA while on an undercover operation in a pub in south Armagh in 1977, the year after Kingsmill.

He was then taken to Flurry Bridge in County Louth where he was beaten and shot dead.

His remains have never been found.

Mr Sherrard said rumours around Captain Nairac’s involvement in Kingsmill had persisted for many years.

He said: “The rumours are likely to have arisen due to the fact that the terrorist who brought the minibus to a stop had an English accent, Captain Nairac’s reputation as a soldier who adopted unorthodox strategies in combating terrorism in Northern Ireland and his own tragic murder by the IRA.

“In the intervening decades the absence of publicly available and reliable information concerning both the Kingsmill deaths and Captain Nairac’s whereabouts has fuelled rumours.”

“He was based in London on January 5, 1976.

“The evidence before the court is that he was fully engaged in demanding battalion duties at the relevant time.

“He was not in South Armagh on January 5, 1976 or the period beforehand.

“The notion that he would have been able to infiltrate the IRA in that area is the stuff of utter fantasy.

“Captain Robert Nairac was a highly decorated soldier and his memory is ill-served by those who persist in rumour-mongering concerning his involvement in Kingsmill.”

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