Thomas Niedermayer

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Thomas Niedermayer (1928–1973) was a German industrialist, kidnapped and killed by the Provisional IRA in 1973. He was managing director of the Grundig factory in Belfast and the West German honorary consul for Northern Ireland.[1]

Niedermayer was abducted on 27 December 1973, at around 11 pm by two men who lured him outside his house on the pretext that they had crashed into his car. The incident was witnessed by his 15-year-old daughter Renate, who had answered the door to the kidnappers, and by a neighbour who worked at the Grundig factory. Niedermayer was never seen alive again, and it would be over six years before a breakthrough in the investigation of his disappearance led to the recovery of his body. The investigation revealed that he had been pistol-whipped and then buried face down in a shallow grave under a rubbish dump at Colin Glen.

Eugene McManus, who in 1973 had been Adjutant of the Belfast Brigade of the Provisionals, and 42-year-old John Bradley, an IRA training officer, were charged in connection with the crime. Bradley was originally charged with murder, but at his trial in 1981 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and several ancillary offences. McManus pleaded guilty to withholding information and IRA membership. Lord Justice Jones sentenced them to 20 years and 5 years imprisonment respectively.

Niedermayer’s funeral took place at Dunmurry in March 1980, where he was interred in the churchyard.[2] His wife Ingeborg returned to Ireland ten years after her husband's funeral and booked into a hotel at Bray, County Wicklow. She later went for a walk along an isolated stretch of beach and committed suicide by walking into the sea. Ingeborg and Thomas had two daughters, Gabrielle and Renate, both of whom subsequently committed suicide within 10 years of Ingeborg. Gabrielle died in 1994 and is survived by her two daughters.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tragic fate of the Niedermayers a sign of history's long reach. The Irish Times, 4 February 2013
  2. ^ Niedermayer Funeral (March 1980),, recovered 18 August 2015
  3. ^ Niedermeyer, by James O'Fee,, recovered 18 August 2015

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Duplicity and Deception: Policing the Twilight Zone of the Troubles by Alan Simpson (ISBN 0863224164)