Robert Nairac talking to children in the Ardoyne area of Belfast

A man has been arrested for the murder of undercover British army officer Robert Nairac, one of the most infamous killings of the Troubles during the 1970s.

32 years after Nairac went missing, Kevin Crilly, 59, from Jonesborough County Armagh, has been charged with the killing.

Nairac, a Grenadier Guardsman who was 29 when he disappeared in South Armagh in 1977, was one of up to a dozen people secretly kidnapped, killed and buried by the IRA during the Troubles.

Crilly, who appeared in a Northern Ireland court today, is already facing charges of kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Nairac, who was abducted by the IRA’s South Armagh brigade from a pub parking lot in Drumintee, near the border between the North and the Republic.

The British officer was beaten, then taken by car to the Ravensdale forest across the border, tortured for hours and shot dead.

Nairac’s body has never been recovered, though former members of the IRA say that his remains were disposed at a local meat processing plant.

The Catholic military man was later hailed as a hero by his colleagues, and was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the highest civil decoration of Britain, for his resistance to his abductors and bravery under "a succession of exceptionally savage assaults.”

Crilly was informed of his murder charged at Newry magistrates court. He was later granted bail.

A man from Dundalk, County Louth was convicted of murdering Nairac in 1985, and released in 1997. Five men from South Armagh were also charged in connection with the murder. One was acquitted, found guilty of manslaughter and given 10 years, while the two others were convicted and sentenced to life.