recent allegations, counter allegations and denials
emanating from the British state, the Dublin government
and Sinn Fein is stomach churning to say the least.
Throughout the past 30 years the British Security
Services (MI5) and British Military Intelligence have
been involved in industrial/political espionage, bombings,
and murder in different parts of this country. All
of these activities were carried out at the behest
of the British Government. Therefore British dirty
tricks in Ireland should be of no surprise to anyone
one of the most disturbing issues about the whole
"Stakeknife" affair is how Irish politicians
in particular have tried to fudge the whole episode.
During a recent debate on the "Stakeknife"
affair in Leinster house on 14th May 2003, Bertie
Ahern made the following disturbing quote. In relation
to British-Irish intergovernmental conferences, Mr.
Ahern stated "when I raise intelligence matters
with the British I am usually less wise afterwards
than before". At last an Irish Taoiseach has
finally admitted how the British Government just disregards
Irish politicians when they raise difficult questions
concerning the behaviour of the British state in this
this is a good indication of how successful Mr Justice
Barron will be as he persists with his demands that
the British state disclose all evidence into the Dublin/Monaghan
bombings. If Mr Ahern's little slip of the tongue
is a barometer to go by then Mr Justice Barron would
be better off staying home and not continuing to waste
his own time or participate in misleading the families
of the victims of the Dublin Monaghan bombings. During
the Barron inquiry it has also been very noticeable
that there has been no input from Mr Liam Cosgrove
Government, Fine Gael leader at the time, or his former
Justice Minister, Mr Cooney. Surely these former politicians
must have some helpful information in relation to
the initial investigation which took place after the
year is the 29th anniversary of the Dublin/Monaghan
bombings and at a commemoration held in Dublin on
17th May 2003 the victims' relatives claimed that
the British Government had broken its promise to co-operate
fully with the Barron inquiry. Justice Barron is due
to publish his report into the bombings in September
2003. The content of the report will be controversial
- if it is published - because it will contain nothing
new which can bring closure on the worst single atrocity
of the troubles. We must not forget that Bertie Ahern
gave a public commitment that all details would be
made available to the Barron inquiry. He also stated
that he had received a personal guarantee from Tony
Blair that any relevant evidence that the British
state has in its possession would be fully disclosed
to the inquiry.
Ahern should openly inform the Irish people if this
is the same attitude Irish politicians have received
when they requested information into all the other
atrocities committed by MI5 agents against Irish citizens
over the past 30 years. If full co-operation is not
given to Justice Barron by September 2003 then the
families of the victims are entitled to an explanation.
Mr Ahern should also be called upon to make a public
statement and explain to the Irish people why the
British Government is withholding full disclosure
from the Barron inquiry.
Mr Ahern's little outburst on 14th May went almost
unnoticed, it is an indictment on the leader of any
Government to make light of such serious matters.
Wouldn't it be nice if we had a Government that was
genuinely outraged that a paid agent of British intelligence
murdered a citizen of this State and one that had
the moral integrity to call the British government
to account on the issue? If the British Government
is not responsible for these activities then they
should come clean and say so. Where would you find
a Government who would tolerate a murderous campaign
being waged against its citizens in their own country
by foreign agents? Most Governments would do whatever
was necessary to protect the rights and lives of their
Politicians should cast their subservient attitudes
to one side. They should demand an end to all illegal
British interference in this country forthwith; they
should also demand that those responsible for these
murders and other atrocities in Ireland be held accountable.
Over the past three decades we have had many Irish
citizens murdered and maimed including the members
of the Miami showband. We have had the Gibraltar killings,
the murder of Seamus Ludlow, Tom Oliver, John Green,
and many others, along with the bombings carried out
by murder gangs operating on behalf of the British
Security Services, MI5, FRU or whatever other convenient
name they choose to hide behind.
The latest revelations that the British spy (Stakeknife)
was someway involved in the killing of a Co Louth
farmer raises further questions for the authorities
in the 26 counties. These allegations concerning the
murder of Tom Oliver should be investigated along
with the murder of Seamus Ludlow. One disturbing fact
which took place after each of these two Co Louth
killings, and which was overlooked or deliberately
ignored, was the sinister activities of some members
of the Gardai who directed a campaign against local
republicans and their families in the North Louth
Ludlow family has confirmed on many occasions that
they were informed by members of the Gardai from the
North Louth area that local IRA activists were responsible
for the murder of Seamus. The family discovered some
years later that this Garda information was misleading
and incorrect. In fact they discovered that it was
a loyalist murder gang, directed by British intelligence,
that was responsible for the killing of Seamus Ludlow.
An inquiry should establish why the family of Seamus
Ludlow were misinformed and misdirected by members
of the Gardai immediately after the killing, when
this was the most important time to gather vital evidence
on the killing. Meanwhile the Ludlow family continues
with their dignified campaign in pursuit of justice
and closure into the killing of Seamus Ludlow.
media reports emanating from British Military Intelligence
suggesting that it was "Stakeknife" who
killed Tom Oliver is a very strange but interesting
revelation. At the time of the Oliver killing there
was a campaign of hysteria whipped up against local
republicans in the area and again it involved certain
members of the Gardai who provided misleading information
to the media and also to Mr Oliver's family, accusing
local republicans of involvement in the killing. It
was well known in the North Louth area at the time
that MI5 was running at least 2 agents inside the
Gardai whose identities were and are still well known
although they have since left the force or retired.
one observes the similar pattern, which took place
after each of these killings, it is obvious that there
was a deliberate strategy by sinister forces to turn
the local community in on itself, and to isolated
local republicans and their families in the North
Louth area. This theory may seem outlandish to some
individuals, but if this is so then why have these
families been deliberately misled and misinformed
for all these years and why has there been no inquiry
into these killings. If someone took the time to ask
the Ludlow family their opinion as to whether they
feel that this analysis is correct, the family would
without doubt agree that they have been badly misled
and misinformed over many years.
Ludlow and Oliver families along with the families
of all those who have lost relatives as a result of
the machinations of the British state in Ireland will
only get satisfaction when we have an Irish government
who does not feel intimidated by the British and is
prepared to state unequivocally 'your agents have
been involved in the murder of our citizens and we
demand answers'. When one looks at the attitude of
Bertie Ahern and his predecessors, with their mealy
mouth attitude to the British, it is doubtful if answers
will ever be forthcoming. In the meantime Britain
will continue with their covert, dirty war in Ireland
with all that this entails for Irish citizens.
The attitude of Sinn Fein is not much different to
Bertie Ahern's. They have also shown in the past that
they are afraid to rock the boat, although they have
been playing to the media through Gerry (comical)
Kelly with his dismissive spin on the "Steakknife"
issue. Adams and McGuinness have been conspicuous
by their limited public appearances since the "SteakKnife"
"Stakeknife" revelations are without doubt
a major embarrassment to the Provisional movement.
This embarrassment may be intensified in the weeks
and months ahead as difficult questions begin to emerge
from grassroots activists about the roles played by
certain individuals within the organisation, their
activities and how they came to know so much detail
on so many activists in what was supposed to be a
secret organisation. The big question on everyone's
mind is who is "Stakeknife" and how many
other "Stakeknifes" exist within the Provisional
organisation, especially at senior level. But the
most obvious question will be, had another "Stakeknife"
any input into the policymaking, strategy or direction
of the organisation over the past 30 years?
Moloney's The Secret History of the IRA details
how the Eksund, carrying a massive IRA arms shipment
from Libya, was alleged to have been compromised by
someone holding a very senior position within the
organisation. The capture of the ship had a devastating
impact on future IRA strategy and dire consequences
for the direction of the whole organisation. In the
years ahead many more questions will come to the surface
about the Adams/McGuinness stewardship of the organisation.
One thing that must be firmly established is what
were their exact long-term political objectives? Those
within the organisation and the families of the dead
IRA activists are entitled to know whether their objectives
were similar to those of the many genuine young men
and women who gave so much over the past 30 years.
Whether the man accused is "Stakeknife"
or not, these series of leaks have been a masterstroke
by British intelligence. The media leaks have created
a climate of mistrust throughout the ranks of the
Provisionals and they have every Provisional looking
over his/her shoulder. It has certainly created a
state of paranoia amongst not only the activists but
also their support base.
"Stakeknife" is genuinely exposed at this
time, it is highly likely that the Provisional leadership
will do a deal or have already done a deal with him.
This is a very delicate time in the Adams/McGuinness
peace strategy and it would be disastrous for the
Provisionals to contemplate anything other than make
the whole episode disappear from public prominence.
On the other hand the long-term effect of this saga
could spell final demise of the Adams/McGuinness leadership.
are those who will say that the Provisional movement
would never do a deal with such a person, an agent
of British Military Intelligence who was responsible
for so much treachery. Many believe that the Provisional
leadership would not accept or tolerate this. However
it should be pointed out that if the Provisionals
do a deal at this time, they would not be setting
a precedent. This course of action has already happened
in the past and was kept relatively quiet from activists
within the organisation.
the mid 90's a Sinn Fein councillor from Co Offaly
was uncovered and subsequently admitted his role as
an MI5 agent. He was also a senior IRA activist in
the Southern Command at the time. It was discovered
that while working for MI5 he had been briefing his
handlers with details on the Provisionals future strategy
and policy. Senior republicans debriefed the Sinn
Fein councillor and he cooperated fully by giving
full details on payments, holidays and his continental
meetings with his MI5 contacts.
the early 90's there was also the case of a Sinn Fein
councillor from County Armagh who admitted meeting
and supplying information to his MI5 handlers in London
and Paris. He was interviewed by senior Republicans
and cooperated fully by disclosing his involvement
with MI5. He was then ordered to leave the country.
However, he has since returned and is now living in
the Dublin area.
senior republican activist from Belfast, who it was
believed had met with MI5 while on holiday in Barcelona,
was also confronted but denied any wrongdoing and
the matter ended. He is still a key figure and close
to the Provisional leadership. Public exposure of
Sinn Fein activists cooperating with MI5 agents would
have created major problems within the organisation
and for the leadership, not to mention the public
embarrassment to the Sinn Fein party as they negotiated
the Peace Process and embarked upon elections throughout
these double standards had become common knowledge
within the organisation at such a delicate period,
the consequences for the Adams/McGuinness strategy
would have been grave and it is doubtful if some of
their so-called allies within the movement would have
remained so loyal.
Sinn Fein recently complained about being spied upon
from the library on the Falls Rd. But as one Belfast
republican quipped, "there is no need to spy
on Sinn Fein as there is enough spies amongst them".
This is now the perception that is being created and
it will be difficult for the Provisionals to recover
from it. What we are witnessing is the slow demise
of the Provisional movement. The spy stories, allegations
and counter allegations will increase and become more
fascinating with time. Activists, former activists
and imaginary activists will point the accusing finger
for their own reasons. Bar stools in West Belfast
will hear many a tall tale over the coming months.
But for the moment with thanks to Gerry/Martin and
co, it is game set and match to British Intelligence.
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