Gripping the IRA :Part II

It is useful to set out the correspondence in extenso.  [Lawyers love Latin, no more so than Lord Carswell,  that Old Instonian, whose surprising expenses claims for attendance at the House of Lords were set out in extenso in the Sunday Times.]

But I digress.

Here is the correspondence.

IMG_3486

fullsizeoutput_266bVersion 2IMG_3485What is surprising about this exchange , coming in late 1988, is the pessimism shown by Peter Bell.

Note his comment “there still remains too much adhoccery in the way Whitehall grips…the kind of problem which IRA terrorism is likely to present us with over the coming months”.

Ivor Roberts has no firm proposals, in reply, except for a jolly good lunch. [Your club or mine?]

The exchange does not sit well with the analysis by those who say that by this point PIRA was heavily infiltrated and was being paralysed.

It does, however , point to the likelihood that each of the agencies, RUC , Box and Army , were very much doing their own thing with informers. That leads on to the question whether or not the RUC, with a duty to preserve life, could ever have known if informers to the Army and Box were participating in murder.

Re the Boyd Group, TOP [I] and the Assessment Staff Machinery, that is all for another day, Dear Reader.

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Danny Morrison

In December 1988, a telex was sent to Our Man in Brussels.

The subject was Danny Morrison. It was a briefing for the Ambassador.

The writer invited the Ambassador to “draw on the following background on Danny”….

It contained the following information.

“Morrison was interned between 27 November 1972 and 21 December 1973,..he was editor of An Phoblacht [Republican News] in the late 1970s [mouthpiece for IRA and Sinn Fein]…currently director of publicity for Sinn Fein-postion held since early 80s…member of Art Comhairle [Sinn Fein National Executive] for several years…in 1981 he made the infamous quote ballot box /armalite unquote speech at the Ard Fheis [Sinn Fein Annual Conference]…in January 1982 was charged with entering the US illegally and deported to Canada….known to be a quote hawk unquote rather than a quote dove unquote….involved in recent talks with SDLP …vigourous in defending ‘armed struggle’ and publicly   dismissing talk of a ceasefire….”

The author went on “You may also say unattributably that we have good reason to believe that Morrison is heavily involved in a central position on the military side of Sinn Fein’s activities”

In January 1990 Morrison was arrested near a house where Sandy Lynch [Special Branch informer] had been interrogated by Sean Maguire [state informer] and Freddie Scappaticci [state informer].

Morrison’s arrest and subsequent wrongful conviction got him off the streets and away from the centre of power. Was that because he was a “hawk”? If so , “cui bono?” The British? The Sinn Fein/PIRA doves? The “Peace Process”?

Answers on a postcard, Dear Reader.

Oh! I almost forgot. The author of the telex?

“Howe”……

 

The play wot I wrote

Here is a teaser from my latest play:

Detective Constable Gault is talking to Flora, the love of his life and describing what life was like in the RUC….

“Do you know that in my time in the force I saw forty dead bodies? Old dears, dead for days and not a fucking relative came near them. Just like a small dead dog in a nightie. One small child, cot death. What do you say to the parents? Some of my mates thought children were the worst deaths. Car crashes, motor bikers. Going to the wife’s door to tell her. Screaming, falling on the floor. Vomit, trying to get her GP. Suicides, mostly pills. Do you know I once found a man who had hanged himself by jumping off a bridge on the way to the shipyard? He was swinging on the end of a rope, his lunch box was still tucked under his arm. Bomb deaths. Some without a mark on them. Others mangled. Others in bits. You had to get big see through plastic bags for the parts. Like going to the wholesale butchers. You’d generally no idea how many bodies you were dealing with. Gunshot deaths. Wee hole on the forehead, big mess at the back. Seeing a dead mate was the worst. Davy, blown apart in the yard at Grosvenor Road. I’d just passed him when the mortar exploded. Could have been me, ten seconds earlier. I was shot up five times. Escaped without a scratch. Took the dead and wounded to the Royal, then back to the station, de-brief then a bottle of whiskey. That was health and safety and care for the employee. No shrinks, no nurses, no counselling, except the Super came and told us we were great. If the worst came to the worst, you got sleeping tablets. Oh and I got a medal from an ACC and the whole force got the George Cross. Never shot and killed anybody. I did try…. Flora laughs quietly at that. WILLIAM GAULT (CONT’D) Worst time was the hunger strikes. We were on duty for twelve hours without rest. Eating and pissing when we got a chance. Keeping the squaddies out of trouble. Meals in a tin. The squaddies loved ours, Her Majesty’s Meals Ready to Eat were shite. I couldn’t eat ours either. I had ten tins of chicken curry in the garage for years. FLORA CAIRNS Why did none of you complain? WILLIAM GAULT About the food? Flora laughs and throws a small cushion at him. FLORA CAIRNS No, you eejit, your stress! WILLIAM GAULT Nobody knew that it was dangerous, at least the rank and file didn’t. You just got pissed after an incident, you were driven home and you came back the next day. Then there were the young cons, who burned the candle at both ends. Fast cars and faster women. Guy with us, came off duty at five, drove his XR3i to Enniskillen to see his girlfriend. Wine , curry and sex. Back in the car at five AM to go on duty at seven. The old hands couldn’t do that so it was the sports club on a Saturday with the missus but the result was the same, blotto. FLORA CAIRNS Hard for any wife to take. WILLIAM GAULT Very. ”

Steven, if you read my blog, I’ll sell you the rights on condition that Jamie Doran is not cast.

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.

The Police Ombudsman –progress report II

Back in 2006, when I was an innocent sort of chap, who didn’t think that the state would be complicit in the murders of a retired policeman and his wife , I made a complaint to the Ombudsman about the standard of investigation into their murders.

In 2015, when the scales had fallen from my eyes, I made an entirely different complaint, naming each member of the bomb team and asserting that some, if not all of them were state agents. The Ombudsman, who I shall hereafter call the ‘Big O” has declined to investigate my complaint. The basis for the refusal is that the 2001 regulations “carves out a discretionary exception to these limitations”

I began studying law in 1967 and this phrase is new to me but perhaps I’m just not keeping up.

Nuala O’Loan has said that she came under pressure from the state to  refuse to investigate matters.

Maguire, the present Big O is of course a man who has been a state employee for some time and one wonders about his impartiality. Anyway, I have sought clarification from him.

Who made this decision and what is the precise statutory basis for it?

Students of law and others might be interested in looking at regulation 9 [2] of the 2001 regulations, which “carves out” , if this is the new legal argot, an exception if the new complaint is “not the same or substantially the same as a previous complaint”. My original complaint was that the investigation was inadequate. My new complaint is that the state was complicit. They are different complaints.

Of course, the list of state agents in my letter will have caused panic in the Establishment and has resulted in  a threat from at least one agent.

It’s disappointing that the Big O’s  refusal is so amateurish but that’s what you get in Norn Iron.

So, let’s see what the response is.

Aside from the stupidity of it all, how many people, less advantaged than I am, have been spoofed by the Big O?

Twenty five years ago, a running commentary

So, having been told, in court,  by Alan White, Deputy Director DPP, as it then was, of the bombing, I made my way to the RVH. My Dad was dead and it was a question of finding my Mum and ascertaining her condition. There was confusion as to where she was but I found her eventually. She was under the care of Dr Coppell [a ex BRA boy ] and his excellent team. I was then taken from the RVH to the morgue , under the care of Gerry Sillery an old Forth River class mate and sub divisional commander for B division. I identified my Dad, having been warned not to touch him, for forensic reasons.

I returned to the RVH and to my terminally ill mother.

In the middle of the night I was sitting in a quiet area of the RVH, trying to gather my thoughts. A figure in a track suit approached. It was Denis Maloney, solicitor. He had been trying to find me. That gesture was immensely comforting. He had lost his parents in the British Midland crash the previous year. His parents’ grave is not far from my parents. Today, as usual, I left two red roses on my parents’ grave , then visited the Maloney grave.

So ended 6th June 1990.

I’m not by any means a special case but I hope that by publishing this discourse I will draw attention to the horrors which people suffered in these cases.

It is striking to me how many people came to my aid and probably how few ever thought that the state was complicit.

I have spoken to a number of ex RUC officers over the last year and every one has disappeared. I wonder why?

I notice also that there is a RUC GC service in St Marks in Newtownards tomorrow. I wonder why I don’t get an  invite?

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.