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Patrick Maguire in New Jersey and Captain Robert Nairac who was killed in 1977

Wanted IRA man traced to quiet U.S. home in New Jersey

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Patrick Maguire in New Jersey and Captain Robert Nairac who was killed in 1977

A wanted man in the search for the killers of SAS undercover man Captain Robert Nairac has been traced to a suburban home in New Jersey after a 32-year search.

Patrick Maguire, is alleged to be one of a gang of nine IRA members and sympathisers who kidnapped Nairac, and then tortured and beat him senseless, before coldly shooting in the head.

Others in the murder gang say Maguire played a central part in the bloody fight on May 14, 1977, that ended in Captain Nairac's death. No trace of Nairac's body has ever been found.

Maguire fled to America on a visitor's visa and has since become a U.S. resident.

Even now, the story of what happened to the Oxford educated, SAS-trained Grenadier Guards officer, is still a mystery.

Nairac, 29, who was posthumously awarded the George Cross for his bravery, ventured into the heartland of the Provisional IRA when he posed as a member of the Official IRA at the Three Steps Inn at Drumintee, two miles from the Irish border.

He played his part well, chatting with locals and singing rebel songs but someone knew the truth.

As he walked to his car at closing time a gang of men who had been drinking at the bar, allegedly including Maguire, jumped him.

Nairac was beaten up then driven three miles to Ravensdale forest, across the border in County Louth. He was tortured for several hours as the gang tried to force him to reveal his identity.

When their efforts failed, the group laughed as an IRA gunman shot Nairac in the head.

Maguire, 57, is accused of being one of three men who fled from Northern Ireland in the days after the killing.

Maguire now lives with wife, Mary, 57, and their children, Anne Marie, 26, Christine, 24, Keira, 23 and Patrick junior, 22, in the quiet New Jersey suburb of Dumont.

Speaking to journalists at his home in Dumont, he said he had regrets about the events of that dark night in 1977.

"There's nothing I can say about that night... Of course I have regrets about it... but I'm not going to say any more.

"I'm not going to go back into the past. And if the past catches up with me, then... There's nothing can change things now and I've told you I regret it but that's as far as I can go... There's nothing can change it, it's 30-odd years ago.

"Things have changed in the north now. If they have progress in the north well and good, but they're not going to find the body here."

Maguire - who works as a tiler and building worker in Manhattan - says he would like to return to South Armagh.

"I'd like to go home because I've lost a lot over there too... I've lost two brothers and a sister and a mother and father. There's been many losses over the 30 or so years of looking over my shoulder. Has it been worth it? No, of course it hasn't."

"My lawyers have given me advice and I've got to stick with that. There's nothing I can do.

"I'd like to think they won't charge me but we have to wait and see. The bitterness of the past is not there any more. There aren't the headlines of the past but...

"Could you help me? You could wave a magic wand, maybe that will help me. Whatever it is, it is.

"I have a wife and four kids here now and it would be difficult to go back there now, it would."

I told you there's nothing I can do.

"I don't know anybody, I've been out of there for over 30 years. I don't want to know anyone, that's the past. I haven't talked to people over there in 30 or more years.

"I don't know anyone and I'm not putting anyone in touch with anyone. It's the people that are still there, they're the ones to help. I'll think about it but there's nothing more I can do."
 

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