Prince Charles came face to face with Captain Nairac’s IRA killer during NI visit
Prince Charles came face to face with Captain Robert Nairac’s assassin and never even knew.
n an exclusive photo obtained by the Sunday World, Liam Townson, the only man convicted of the undercover agent’s murder, was pictured taking pictures of the future king of England.
Prince Charles was in Northern Ireland two weeks ago on a state visit and made an impromptu visit to Slieve Gullion Forest Park on May 19.
As he posed for photos he was unaware that he was being filmed and photographed by the murderer of a man who was once part of his regiment, who had been tortured and killed by the IRA.
Asked by the Sunday World, Townson said: “I wasn’t with Prince Charles, I was just at my workplace. What are you going to do with it? Actually, I don’t care.
Townson, who was released in 1990 after serving 12 years, works as a gardener at the Co. Armagh tourist site.
In a hi-vis jacket, Townson is seen a few feet from the future king, taking a photo on his cell phone.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited the beauty site as part of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland last week.
As the Commander-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, Prince Charles will always be a controversial figure in Northern Ireland, but the fact that he came into close contact with the only man convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Captain Nairac will raise eyebrows. .
The murder of Nairac is one of the most notorious of the troubles. Countless myths have arisen around his disappearance in 1977 and he remains one of the “disappeared” whose remains have not been found.
Considered by many to be a cowardly gun, he attempted to infiltrate the IRA until he was scolded.
On the evening of May 14, 1977, Captain Nairac visited The Three Steps pub in Dromintee, southern Armagh. He reportedly told pub regulars that he was Danny McErlaine, a car mechanic and official IRA member from Ardoyne in North Belfast.
According to witnesses, Nairac stood up and sang a Republican folk song The Broad Black Brimmer with the band playing that night.
At around 11:45 p.m. he was kidnapped following a scuffle in the pub parking lot and taken across the border to a field in Ravensdale Woods in County Louth.
Following a violent interrogation in which Nairac was punched, kicked, whipped with a pistol and a wooden pole, he was shot dead.
One of his captors posed as a priest in an attempt to obtain information by confession, but it is understood that his last words were: “Bless me, Father, for I have peach.
His disappearance sparked a full-scale search across the island and after four days the gardaí informed the RUC that they believed he was dead.
He remains one of three people missing, kidnapped and killed by the IRA.
The Sunday World has contacted Buckingham Palace about Prince Charles’ close encounter with an IRA killer.
A spokesperson said: “Liam Townson was not part of the ‘Royal Rota’, the media pack, in operation at Slieve Gullion. As you may know, the park was open to the public on the day of the royal visit.
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