I would be grateful to hear from any reader who can show me any evidence that the late Captain Robert Nairac GC had Irish ancestry. (He was murdered by the IRA in 1977).
We are repeatedly told, and that includes an article on this website, that Robert Nairac was, in addition to being a Catholic, also of Irish descent. I cannot find any evidence for this. I suspect that it is a rumour started by Nairac himself; that some biographers who heard it from him repeated it, and that it is always now referred to, as a "given". I think that Nairac would very much have liked to have Irish ancestry, given his fixation with that country. However his father was Mauritian, of French descent, and Catholic. His mother was English and Protestant. Neither seems to have had any connection with Ireland. The Nairac name is still found in France and the Chateau Nairac vineyard once belonged to that family.
We are also often told that the Nairacs were old Catholic gentry, long established in Gloucestershire. This is not true, which is what makes me suspicious about other, often repeated, 'givens' about Nairac. His father, a distinguished eye surgeon, was a white immigrant from Mauritius, then a British colony. He initially worked in Sunderland and only later bought a manor house "Master's Keep" in Gloucestershire; after he had transferred to Gloucester Hospital. While distinguished and arguably, as the possessors of a manor house, gentry, the Nairacs were not (not) long- established in Gloucestershire, nor were they an "old Catholic", i.e. recusant, family in the sense that (say) the Crouchbacks in Evelyn Waugh's trilogy "The Sword of Honour" were. For the record, they did not possess a coat of arms either, which old gentry tend to do.