Arrest over IRA killing of officer in 1977

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The Independent Online

A 57-year-old man has been arrested in Northern Ireland for questioning over the kidnap and murder of a British army officer Robert Nairac in 1977.

Captain Nairac, an SAS-trained undercover operative, was captured by an IRA gang, interrogated and shot.

Kevin Crilly, who had recently returned from the United States, was arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act when armed police raided a house in Jonesborough, South Armargh, yesterday. Police are discussing with the US authorities the possibility of extraditing two other men they want to question.

Captain Nairac, 29, of the Grenadier Guards, was on his fourth tour of duty in Northern Ireland when an IRA gang snatched him from a pub car park in Dromintee, South Armargh. He had aroused suspicion while working undercover, and was given a brutal beating before he was interrogated. He was shot and his body, which has never been found, was dumped.

Claims later emerged of associations between Captain Nairac and loyalist paramilitaries who were allegedly linked to a number of terrorist atrocities, including the 1974 bombings in Dublin and Monaghan which killed 34 people.