Irish Times article re Enniskillen

Irish Times article

 

 

I set out below an article written by Ed Moloney, who needs no introduction to scholars of the history of the Troubles.

 

Whether or not the letter is genuine, it raises, again, the question of the participation of State forces in the activities of PIRA.

 

Supporters of the Republican cause, including many lawyers, describe this as “collusion”.

 

It has been noticeable, in the articles written for the Newsletter , that not one participant has touched on this issue.

 

Instead it rolled out the usual State actors , like Collins and Matchett.

 

Equally, I am not aware of any “victims’” organisation exploring this issue at all.

 

The explanation, partly, may be the placing of ex State actors within these organisations. Take SEFF, it employs Peter Murtagh, ex State Spook. I’ve listened to SEFF’s pitch for victims and nowhere in it does it even acknowledge the possibility that State actors were involved with PIRA. The focus is mainly on PIRA killings of the security forces.

 

As always, Dear Reader, I urge you to judge for yourself.

 

Did MI5 Or The IRA Kill The Enniskillen Dead? The Evidence May Be In A Letter We Cannot See

by The Broken Elbow

Sometimes, I just despair of The Irish Times. 

There are times when it is not just essential to publish all the evidence behind a story but actually obligatory. And not to do so is a journalistic sin beyond comprehension.

In to-day’s edition of the Times, there appears a story which qualifies sans pareil for the above injunction.

The story deals with a letter purportedly written in mid-November 1987 by an MI5 officer working in Northern Ireland and addressed to Brian Lenihan, the then Foreign Affairs minister in Dublin, which claims that British intelligence knew in advance about the IRA’s plan to bomb the Enniskillen cenotaph in November 1987 but did nothing to stop it because it would create ‘a massive backlash’ against the IRA.

Civilians flee the scene of the Enniskillen cenotaph bombing

In fact a careful reading of the story about the letter suggests that not only did MI5 do nothing to stop the bombing but, according to the letter’s anonymous author, the spy agency actually manipulated the bomb’s timing mechanism so that it would cause the maximum damage to the IRA, i.e. kill the most civilians.

In other words, MI5 may have actually murdered the twelve civilians, not the IRA – although the IRA made it all possible.

The Times quotes the alleged agent as writing:

“Our section decided to change the timing device and let the explosion take place so that the IRA would score an own goal and create a massive backlash against itself,” he wrote.

“Our section also calculated that in the climate of a backlash against the IRA all kinds of security measures could be implemented including extradition.”

“If I had more courage I would come out openly and prove with more what I am now saying,” he wrote.

The Enniskillen bomb killed twelve people and dozens more were injured, some horribly, when they were engulfed in rubble. The backlash against the IRA was indeed considerable and arguably intensified a debate about strategy between the military and political wings of the Provos which ultimately took shape in the first IRA ceasefire of the peace process six years later.

The author of the letter describes him or herself as someone who had been working for  MI5 in the North for eighteen months or so in a section of the intelligence agency which specialised in infiltrating paramilitary groups.

He was so scared, he wrote, that he crossed the Border to post the letter, which has now been released as part the 1988 tranche of government papers eligible for publication.

There is no way of knowing whether this story is true or someone’s sick fantasy, or if the author of the letter was a real MI5 agent or the product of someone’s overactive imagination.

But it is surely not without significance that the Department of Foreign Affairs considered the letter important enough to preserve in the files and now to make public in the annual festival of governmental openness.

The Irish Times‘ readership, especially those who follow the newspaper on the internet, might be helped in their efforts to discern the truth, if they could actually see and read the letter, as The Irish Times‘ journalist who wrote the story evidently did.

In this day and age of iPhone and iPads capable of taking photos anywhere, and the ease with which the products can then be displayed on the internet, surely the paper’s readers should have been allowed that basic right?

Here is the Times‘ story in full:

The Broken Elbow | December 30, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p1iwpM-3hw

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Ice cream, Gillen and the state

Many of you , Dear Readers, who have read about the book; “They killed the Ice Cream Man” will not be surprised by the allegations made by the Larmours.

Since I started my research in earnest two years ago, veteran observers had no difficulty in telling me about these practices. It was well known that senior members of PIRA were state agents and permitted to continue directing terrorism. They would have been little use to the spooks otherwise. On occasions they were permitted to commit murder, either directly or as someone who was involved in planning or directing. Look at the activities of  Loyalist Mark Haddock for a mirror image of the practice.

One name that came up frequently was Brian Gillen. My informants were in no doubt that he had been turned by the state and that he continued to operate in the role of Belfast Brigade commander. I named him as a participant in my blog ” The murderers of my parents”.

I have no difficulty in stating that he is the person referred to by the Armours and by by Ed Moloney. I have also made this allegation , some time ago to the Police Ombudsman.

Just as disturbing as these revelations are, what is more disturbing is that the State and its employees and ex employees refuse to admit that these tactics were used. I have had assurances from the PSNI, the Police Ombudsman and the Secretary of State that there was no advance intelligence of the murders of my parents . The same bodies have denied that an informer participated in the planning or execution of the murders.

A glance at my blog will show the one or more State agency is telling lies.

The Director of Public Prosecutions declined to direct the police to investigate Martin McGuinness’ role in the murders of my parents, despite Ed Moloney naming him in his book; “A secret History of the IRA”. He was quick to direct investigations into the Army on similar information. The Attorney General, despite his close interest in major issues such as abortion and gay discrimination, has declined to direct a fresh inquest, which would be required to examine special branch files.

The questions for readers are these. Are all those, like me, who have published names and activities, deluded? Or are we just scraping the surface of the State’s involvement in the dirty war? Is the State terrified of what might become known? Are Adams McGuinness and others equally frightened?

I’m given hope by the Hillsborough families. One day the truth will be known.

Mallie/McGuinness

Dear Reader,

Did you watch this interview on Irish TV?

The lighting was dramatic and the scene was set.

Just Mallie and McGuinness. Mano a Mano.

McGuinness upright at the table, in charge, Mallie, crouching, a supplicant, bowed over, looking for titbits from the Master.

Mallie: tell me about your Roman Catholic upbringing and your pious mother. Tell me about your Roman Catholic name. Dilate for as long as you like on the subject of the wrongs suffered by the Bogside [as if the same was not endured by working class Protestants].

Mallie: did you wield a Thompson sub machine gun on Bloody Sunday?

Marty: waffle , then a denial, even that he might have had one on the Saturday.

Mallie: In for the kill. Isn’t ‘repelling’ a euphemism for ‘killing’?

Mallie: most bold of all…How did you feel when you killed your first policeman or soldier? I expected the trap to be sprung. Mallie would quote chapter and verse. Mallie would refer to the works of Clarke and Johnston and Ed Moloney. Mallie the cross-examiner would slowly turn his witness on the spit of acclaimed journalists, not one of whom Marty had ever sued. Mallie would mention Frank Hegarty and his sorrowing mother…..

Mallie would put it to Marty that he had ordered the murders of my parents….

I was tense. My breath was still….

Cue Marty’s  statesmanlike/hard man stare. Narrowing of eyes, looking into the middle distance. He said that he was not going to cause a sensation, like make an admission. He went off on his friendship with many Prods.

Mallie had one last trick up his sleeve. What about Adams saying he was never in the ‘Ra?

I believe him, said McGuinness.

The jury sat back and reflected on twenty minutes of exquisite lying, none of which was uncovered by the inquisitor.

Mallie is no Frost.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the fence

Humpty Dumpty told Alice that if he ever fell off the wall, the King would send all his horses and all his men to pick him up.

Our own policing Humpty Dumpty can look forward to the Queen sending him a knighthood, providing he stays on the fence.

Last night Sharon O’Neill asked him a very obvious question; “Who is the leader of PIRA?”

His answer was that membership is a criminal offence and he wasn’t going to do or say anything or speculate on anything which could undermine any future court proceedings.

So there you are Dear Reader, the Chief Con is on the case “following the evidence”. Can’t you see him with his magnifying glass and cape , accompanied by Joe 90, examining the footpaths of West Belfast?

Of course he could have arrested a sizeable proportion of PIRA high command the other week when he met them in a hall in West Belfast, a hall being guarded by a PIRA run security company. He shook hands with a man who has murdered many innocent people. The butchers boy from the Bogside.

To imagine for a moment. George causes a file to be sent to Barra-Boy. It contains evidence against senior members of PIRA, it being a proscribed organisation. Barra, because of his past would have to pass it to the team which bought you such block busters as Cahill and McCartney.

This is just a little fantasy for two reasons.

  1. A number of the northern command and the Belfast brigade PIRA are state agents. Therefore George and MI5 know exactly what is going on in PIRA and keep the Secretary of State informed.
  2. I have been asking since 1990 why no senior member of PIRA was questioned about the murders of my parents.

No senior member of PIRA has ever been convicted.

As Northern Ireland descends into chaos and farce with this , Nama, Red Sky and other imbecilic acts, will the unionist parties have the courage to act?

Don’t hold your breath. As they often say in Ahoghill; “Deus ex machina”.

The Humpty Dumpty world of the Chief Constable

“When use a word” , Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone,”it means just what I chose it to mean, neither more nor less”. [Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and through the Looking -Glass]

For a masterly summary of the position, see Ed Moloney in today’s Irish Times.

And so to George Hamilton’s finessing of Supt Geddes’ last statement. Goodness know how many lawyer hours went into it. How many drafts the SOS rejected. What Box had to say about it.

George says that PIRA is a paramilitary organisation, devoted to peaceful means, just like the Salvation Army.

Here are my questions for George:

  1. Has this organisation access to arms and explosives?
  2. Has it killed anyone in the last twenty years?
  3. Who shot Martin McGartland?
  4. If PIRA is committed to politics, who are its politicians?

I’ll bet that I won’t get a reply.

Hamilton says that they will go where the evidence leads. It’s a statement like Hercule Poirot saying ” I suspect everyone and I suspect no-one” [you do the Belgian accent].

In the twenty five years since the murder of my parents, the police have declined to follow the evidence, to the Belfast brigade of the IRA and onwards to McGuinness. What hope is there that anything has changed?

So, when George uses a word, it means precisely what his political masters, who appointed him and who control him, want it to mean.

The Good Old days, when Barra was a pup.

Roy Junkin, sometime deputy director of the DPP, used to remind his staff and police the “we are in the ‘E’ business”. E stood for evidence. A case would not be prosecuted unless and until the evidence supported a reasonable prospect of success of conviction. That was the test.

Barra was just a pup then.

Now the PPS , under Barra’s command, are all over the place.

[Although it should be said that he did apply  for another job]

Consider the Ivor Bell case. As I understand it , the case against him is that he has given interviews to the Boston College project and therein he has incriminated himself in the murder of Jean McConville. Thus he has been charged with membership of the IRA and aiding and abetting her murder.

You might think, Dear Reader that before the police arrested him they had some evidence to support the contention that his voice could be heard on a tape.

The law requires that a police officer must ‘reasonably suspect’ that a crime has been committed before he arrests.

So Bell was arrested in March 2014 and he was charged a few days later. Undoubtedly the PPS would have been involved in the decision to charge.

So that’s it. Police have evidence that he spoke words on tape…..

Well, not exactly, because in May 2015 the PPS had not made up their minds and had involved senior counsel. Not so cut and dried?

The PPS prosecutor needed further time. Further time was afforded by the court and eventually the PPS indicated that the case would proceed. So the prosecutorial test had been passed. “A reasonable prospect of success”. Hurrah!

On 30 July the case was listed for a preliminary enquiry on 22 October 2015 over eighteen months after Bell was arrested.

In the meantime a lawyer in the PPS will be putting the papers in order. Statements of evidence, which already support the contention that Bell is guilty as charged. Just a clerical exercise…..

But, just a minute!

The PSNI wrote  to Ed Moloney, in August 2015 asking if he would cooperate as a witness in the case.

I am tempted to ask “What is Barra-Boy up to?”  Then I remember. In the words of Jim Allister, Barra was Sinn Fein’s lawyer of choice before he took the Queen’s shilling. Many of his clients were senior members of the provisional IRA. He has played no part, I think, in the Bell case.

So the team who are bringing you the Ivor Bell prosecution brought you the Mairia Cahill debacle.

My more constant adherents may wonder why, coming from my background, I find the Bell case so worrying. Five points.

  1. If the State can fit up Bell, so stand we all in peril.
  2. The PPS and particularly its Director are not fit for purpose.
  3. The handling of the case, given its fame, is awful. Cart before the horse. What chance does the ordinary citizen have?
  4. It’s another in a long line of flawed prosecutions.
  5. My father, killed at the hands of the Provisional IRA , taught me to respect the rule of law. It is conspicuously absent here.

The murderers of my parents

On this day, twenty five years ago, my Dad drove his car out of the driveway and parked it on the road. He had been retired from the RUC for three years, having been mortared at New Barnsley, where his colleague Dessie Dobbin, was killed. It is likely , given the forensic findings, that he checked underneath it before he moved it from the drive. At about ten o’clock, he and my mother drove off. About four hundred yards down the road a bomb, placed underneath the vehicle exploded. My Dad was dead on arrival at the Mater Hospital. My Mum , having sustained severe head injuries , died the next day.

PIRA claimed responsibility and Adams said it might not have been a good operation. But then , he was never in the IRA.

The cause of Irish unity was not progressed one inch but my daughter never knew her Grandparents.

The persons responsible for these murders were as follows.

First there had to be an active service unit, carrying out these brave acts. There were three operational in the greater Belfast area in 1990.

Bomb Team A, as I shall call it , was comprised, inter alia, of Rosaleen McCorley MLA and James Donnelly. They were arrested in January 1990 in the act of placing a bomb under a policeman’s car.

Bomb Team B had in its ranks  Rosena Brown and Davy Adams [brother of Gerry]. It might have had Martin McGartland also , but he has denied this to me. Brown, Paul McCullough and Stephen Canning were arrested in  1992 in possession of a bomb.

Bomb Team C was comprised of Martin McGartland, Fitzsimmons and McFadden. They carried out a number of operations before McFadden and Fitzsimmons were arrested in North Belfast in December 1990, in possession of two bombs and a gun. Interestingly, McGartland was not at the scene.

Therefore in June 1990 , either bomb team B or C could have carried out the attack.

Councillor Sean Keenan took part in the attack. He was rewarded for his efforts on 7 June when a UDA/UFF team tried to kill him. He had already been shot in the company of Gerry Adams. Keenan’s house was heavily fortified. I wonder why? Did the state pay for it?

The attack was scouted by Sean Maguire , from Ardoyne. He was an “intelligence officer” and a state agent , a tout. He betrayed Larry Marley to the Loyalists, in order to please his British masters. He is now PR adviser to Martin McGuinness and can be spotted, if you are quick enough , in the background,behind Grandpa McGuinness on the Hill. I wonder where Sean banked his money?

The operations officer, responsible for coordinating attacks, was Paddy Fern. The bomb was provided by McCartney, who was Quartermaster.

The police have told me that they know the identities of the bomb makers. Bombs were kept in the “Rock Streets” off the Falls.

Next in the chain of command was Spike Murray.

The OC Belfast was Brian Gillen an agent of the Crown.

The operation had to be approved by Martin McGuinness, head of northern command. Read Ed Moloney’s book about this [p347] and also the allegations made by Scappaticci, in conversations with journalists.

Both the RUC Special Branch [SB] and the Army’s Force Research Unit [FRU] were involved in the recruiting and handling of agents. Some agents were placed in organisations, others were recruited from their ranks.

The purpose of an agent was to report on the activities of the terrorist group so as to enable the state to disrupt its activities and arrest its members.

There were no rules governing the use of these agents in 1990, particularly in relation to the criminal actives in which they might participate. Issues arose as to what would happen if an agent told his handlers that he was about to take part in a crime or if he declared that he had in fact committed an offence.

De Silva documents the attempts made by the RUC and the Army to obtain guidance from the state. He also documents how the state consistently failed to give such guidance and deliberately dragged its heels on the issue.

Without any structure both SB and FRU worked in a vacuum. They had agents placed in the heart of Sinn Fein/IRA, many are still there. Apart from Donaldson and ‘Scap’ obviously. I’m not convinced that Scap is Stake Knife. What about Padraic Wilson, does he fit the profile?

SB and FRU played God. De Silva documents how at one time the Loyalists planned to kill Oliver Kelly, solicitor. This seemed like a good plan until the state placed a higher value on him, because he was a moderating influence on hunger strikers, whereupon FRU told the Loyalists to back off. The same happened to a plan to kill Adams in 1987. Why was Adams so valuable then? Finucane was apparently disposable.

In assessing a planned terrorist attack SB/FRU considered two issues:

1. The value of the target to the state, or not.

2. Any potential danger to their “asset’ the agent.

Consider my list of agents, above. They must have provided SB/FRU with a wealth of information. Not every operation could be stopped because the agent’s colleagues and masters would become suspicious. There are only so many times that extra police can flood an area or an Army checkpoint appears.

So every so often a attack has to get through, even though SB/FRU have been warned. Or perhaps the agent ‘forgot’ to tell his handlers.

So, on the morning of 6th June 1990, nobody came to the rescue of James and Ellen Sefton.

After my Dad had checked his car and left it outside the house, PIRA planted a bomb underneath it. I know this because the ATO opined that the car travelled as far as it did because the timer, set for an hour, had not wound down before  the start of the journey.

Ultimately, the state is responsible for their deaths.

My parents had a right to life and an expectation that the state would protect them. Instead the state protected the agent and the process. Read the documents in de Silva relating to the prosecution of Nelson to get a feel for how far the state would go to protect the process.

Although the RUC and FRU were not assisted by the state in how to run informers,that is no excuse. The RUC was staffed by ordinary men and women from this Province, some of whom would have known my Dad. Shame on them for being part of an organisation which practised this witchcraft.

Perhaps even now, twenty five years on, one of them might have the decency to come clean, before they have a chat with their Maker.

I am , of course, leaving aside the prospect of a Republican having a conscience.

I am not alone in having suffered this injustice. I am not , by a long way, the worst example.

I hope, though, that others, similarly afflicted may be given some encouragement to enquire into their own tragedies.