Two men who are the prime suspects in one of the most shocking IRA murders on record are living in America after receiving immunity from ex-UK prime minister Tony Blair.
Terry McCormick and Pat Maguire allegedly tortured and killed British soldier Captain Robert Nairac (pictured) in May 1977 – 40 years ago this week.
Capt Nairac, 28, was working undercover in Northern Ireland at the time of his death. His body has never been found, making him one of a group of 18 people known as The Disappeared who were killed and secretly buried when violence in Ulster was at its height.
Using the alias Danny McAlevey, or Danny McErlaine, Capt Nairac, of the Grenadier Guards, was singing Republican songs in a pub near the Irish border on the night of May 14, 1977 when he was abducted by the IRA and driven over the border to the Republic of Ireland. There, he was interrogated, beaten and shot dead in a field.
It’s been claimed by some that his remains were fed into a meat grinder, though others say he was buried in concrete under a farmyard.
Terry McCormick and Pat Maguire are believed to have played key roles in Capt Nairac’s death but fled to America after being granted immunity by Blair under a controversial scheme known as the “comfort letter” scandal.
These were letters of assurance sent to about 200 IRA suspects in 1998 following the Northern Ireland peace deal confirming they were no longer wanted by police.
They are effectively a get out of jail card. Critics say Blair sanctioned the letters in a secret deal with Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA.
McCormick has previously admitted he took part in the interrogation of Capt Nairac, who was awarded the George Cross in 1978 for refusing to talk during his torture.
Last night, veterans expressed their fury.
Andy McNab, who served in Northern Ireland, told the Sun newspaper in London: “It’s an absolute scandal – it’s the same old story. The ones who perpetrated the crimes get off scot-free and the ones trying to sustain law and order get prosecuted. It makes a mockery of Governments boasting they never give in to terrorism – clearly Tony Blair did.”