BBC SPIN NIARAC TRIAL VERDICT
A South Armagh man charged in connection with the abduction and murder of a British Army undercover soldier over thirty years ago has been cleared of any involvement by a Court in Belfast.
Sixty year old Kevin Crilly had been charged in connection with the disappearance and death of Robert Nairac, a British Army Captain involved in clandestine operations in South Armagh in May 1977.
Crilly has had the trial proceedings hanging over him since he was charged three years ago.
A report on the rejection of the charges against Crilly on BBC News today choose not to dwell on the injustice that Crilly had suffered but swiftly spun into a eulogy for Captain Nairac focusing on his receipt of a posthumous George Cross and also his alleged courage during interrogation by the IRA.
There is no doubt that Nairac may well have been a courageous individual but he was also foolhardy. An Army colleague wrote of him:
“Had he been an SAS member, he would not have been allowed to operate in the way he did. Before his death we had been very concerned at the lack of checks on his activities. No one seemed to know who his boss was, and he appeared to have been allowed to get out of control, deciding himself what tasks he would do.”
It is also clear that the `boys own’ image that has been created for Robert Nairac posthumously may not stand more thorough scrutiny.
The internet source Wikipedia provides a potentially more shadowy attribution to Nairac’s `special duties’ in Ulster with claim and counter claim about his involvement in some of the more infamous examples of collusion (see link);
J B Moffatt (Mr)
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