The IRA gang who kidnapped and killed Shergar over 40 years ago this week will never be prosecuted, senior Gardai have admitted.
The file on the case is still sitting in Garda HQ and while officially classified as "open" , the investigation is going nowhere unless new information comes to light.
A senior source said: "For years all we have received is hearsay information, gossip and speculation. But the IRA have kept it tight and no hard evidence or decent leads has ever come to light."
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The Provos have never publicly admitted that they abducted the 10 million Derby winner from Ballymoney Stud, Co Kildare on February, 8, 1983 and then demanded a €2 million ransom that was never paid.
But privately, various republican sources and former IRA members admitted the terror group did it.
Only last year a top Co Louth Republican on his death-bed and who was privy to the whole operation said the horse got injured in his box and had to be put down hours after he was stolen.
In an interview he said the kidnap gang could not handle him and the remains were dumped in a shallow grave outside Ballinamore.
He stated: "The whole kidnap plot was insane from the start. Not one member of the unit involved had a clue how to handle a stallion. The horse went berserk, got injured and they had no choice but to shoot him.
"They only had Shergar for several hours and had to put him down.
"The kidnapping was sanctioned by the IRA Army Council and a handful of people at the top of Sinn Fein at the time were aware of it."
An uncle of current Independent Kildare TD Cathal Berry, ex-Irish army Captain Sean Berry was manager of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association at the time and organised a £100,000 reward for anyone with information about the whereabouts of Shergar.
It was he who rang his neighbour the then-Finance Minister Alan Dukes and asked the Government to help mobilise a nationwide search hours after the abduction. Mr Dukes, in turn, called the then-Minister for Justice Michael Noonan.
This weekend, Deputy Berry said the country shouldn't give up the right to find out exactly what happened to Shergar and to catch all those involved.
The whole riddle has fascinated racing fans right across the globe.
He said: "Obviously anyone who has any knowledge of past crimes committed in this jurisdiction should come forward with the relevant information and give it to the Gardai.
"Restorative justice is rightly a topical issue at the moment . The same importance should be given to historic crimes.
"Whistleblowers with information on the darker chapters of our recent past should be encouraged and protected."
Shergar was initially owned by the late Aga Khan, who then sold 35 shares in the horse for 10 million to a bloodstock breeding syndicate after he retired from racing.
Most of the shareholders didn't get any insurance compensation because there was no remains to prove the horse was dead. Some didn't have cover for theft in their policies.
Between six to nine unidentified men were involved in the kidnapping.
The Garda source added: "They will all take the secret of what really happened to Shergar with them to the grave."
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