‘Gerry Adams to take legal action over BBC Donaldson claims’ – Irish Times Headline

Opening day of hearing.

Gerry Adams enters the witness box and takes the oath,

Counsel for the BBC: ‘You have been a member and leader of the Provisional IRA most of your adult life, haven’t you Mr Adams?’

Gerry Adams – ‘No!’

Counsel for the BBC – ‘I submit that is a lie Mr Adams. You are lying about the very essence of your life story, aren’t you? I suggest that the jury cannot believe a word you say about your past life, about the IRA or indeed anything you say about Mr Donaldson.’

Gerry Adams – ‘No, I’m not lying, that’s not true’.

Cue sound of Paddy McGrory turning in his grave.

And so on, and so on.

And this is really going to happen?

They could sell tickets for this one……..

A Drone Flight Over Fermanagh


Jonathan Pie On Jeremy Corbyn’s Re-election…..

This one is for DS, who knows who he is:

The Unbelievable Stupidity Of Young Americans……

You couldn’t make this up. These are students at a prestigious college in Texas. Most of them will have a vote for the next President on November 8th.


Mary Lou McDonald And Real ‘Balls Of Smoke’…….


Jennifer O’Leary On The Spies In The IRA

UPDATE – The Irish Times has been on to me to point out that Jennifer’s piece is actually on the webpage. It is in the ‘World News‘ section. Where? The ‘World News’ section, alongside bombs in Aleppo and Hungarian Trumpism! Why not the ‘Irish News’ section, where it should be?

SECOND UPDATE – I just noticed that while Jennifer O’Leary’s article has been consigned to ‘World News‘, it has also been tagged ‘UK‘. You couldn’t make it up. Honestly…..

I noticed this article by the BBC Spotlight reporter Jennifer O’Leary on The Irish Times website yesterday but couldn’t access it because my ‘free articles’ period had expired.

When I went to read it today, it had disappeared from the Times’ site. Now I am not the most talented surfer of websites but when I went to all the usual places on the paper’s internet page, Irish News, Opinion & Analysis sections and so on, places where you might expect it to be, there was no sign of it.

I had to go to the paper’s search facility to eventually dig it out. I’d be most happy to be proved wrong – and I welcome any reader doing just that – but I have a suspicion that someone in the Times may have decided that Ms O’Leary’s thesis, that the birth of the peace process may have been assisted by spies in the IRA’s ranks, was a tad too subversive for its readers and decided to quietly drop it from the webpage. Or maybe I am just too stupid to find it!

So, in the spirit of spreading knowledge (especially to those who cannot afford an Irish Times sub) and defying possible censorship, here is Jennifer O’Leary’s article, the central thrust of which I concur with entirely (in fact I would take it further to its next logical step).

Incidentally, a close reading of the article suggests that her source ‘Martin’ was the origin of the police operation which uncovered the IRA spying ring at Stormont and that careless words by Denis Donaldson in ‘Martin’s’ presence led not only to the ring being blown but also Donaldson’s cover and that ultimately this caused his death.

Jennifer O'Leary of BBC Spotlight

Jennifer O’Leary of BBC Spotlight

Did British spies force the IRA to renounce violence?

‘Spotlight’ journalist Jennifer O’Leary writes about infiltration at the IRA’s highest level

Jennifer O’Leary

I mostly listen to stories for a living. Stories that people are often reluctant to admit they know. They tell them to me in their homes, coffee shops, cars and parks and, more often than not, they are alone.

Several months ago, I was contacted by a man who said he had a story to tell.

His was among the most elusive I’ve come across, because “Martin” told me he was a spy who brought RUC special branch deep within the IRA and Sinn Féin.

Martin was paid to betray other people’s secrets. His very survival was premised on his ability to tell lies.

Over months, I listened to Martin, I never stopped asking him questions and I corroborated as much detail as possible without compromising him.
He cannot be identified because he fears for his safety, but he’s not anonymous to me.

In the course of one of our meetings, Martin opened up about the late Denis Donaldson, whom he had known when Donaldson was Sinn Féin’s head of administration in Stormont. Both men were supposed to be working to a republican agenda.

However, both were agents of the British state. And when Martin betrayed a boast made by Donaldson, it set off a chain of events which ultimately led to the unmasking of Donaldson as an agent of British intelligence.

When Donaldson later gave a press conference and confessed he was an agent within the IRA, the consequences went beyond the personal.

His admission went to the heart of the secret intelligence war between the IRA and the state, because Donaldson was an “agent of influence”.

His key value as an agent was not the secrets he disclosed, but the subtle influence he could bring to bear when key decisions were being taken by those at the top of the republican movement.

Security sources told Spotlight that, by 1994, a majority of the seven-person IRA army council were effectively compromised because of their proximity to high-level agents.

The council’s decisions were, they said, influenced by IRA insiders who were also secret British agents.

Informers and agents not only betrayed the IRA’s secrets, but some, such as Denis Donaldson, were used over decades, to influence its strategy at the highest level.

For republicans, the scale of infiltration within the IRA raises uncomfortable questions.

Was the IRA rendered ineffectual by many of its own members who were also informers and agents of the state?

Did the secret intelligence war force the IRA to renounce violence?

Did spies within its own ranks bring the IRA in from the cold?

Jennifer O’Leary is a reporter for BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme

Real IRA Claim On Donaldson Was Bungled And Three Years Late

The Real IRA claim to have killed British spy Denis Donaldson was not made until three years after the former IRA and Sinn Fein activist was slain by two shotgun-wielding gunmen at his isolated cottage in the Glenties, Co Donegal in April 2006.

The claim was made at a Real IRA Easter commemoration in April 2009 but was badly botched by the masked man who had been given the task of making the claim public. He left out of his oration the sentence which professed Real IRA responsibility for killing Donaldson, who had worked for the RUC Special Branch for some twenty years.

Members of the Real IRA’s political wing, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement had to assure the media present that this was not a deliberate omission or retreat from the text of the speech given to reporters in advance.

No reason was given for the three-year delay in asserting responsibility for Donaldson’s death.

The Short Strand republican had admitted his role as a long-time British spy when his trial on charges of spying on British government offices at Stormont was abandoned when the prosecution made it clear that government lawyers would have to tell his co-accused about his secret role.

A journal Donaldson was writing about his life as a spy escaped the gunmen’s attention and was later retrieved by Garda detectives. An inquest into his death has been postponed an estimated twenty times amid speculation that Irish government reluctance to reveal the journal’s contents are behind the delays.

An Irish Central story (below) from Paddy Clancy details the Real IRA announcement:

Denis Donaldson (wearing cream jacket) with Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and other SInn Fein colleagues at Stormont in happier days

Denis Donaldson (wearing cream jacket) with Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and other SInn Fein colleagues at Stormont in happier days


Real IRA claim Donaldson murder


Irish police say they still have an open mind on which group murdered Republican double agent Denis Donaldson despite an admission this week by the Real IRA that they did it. It’s the first public claim by anybody of responsibility for the killing three years ago in the hills of Donegal.

Donaldson was shot dead in his hideaway cottage home after admitting spying for the British for 20 years.

At an Easter Monday commemoration ceremony in Derry, just across the border from Donegal, the Real IRA also attacked the peace process and delivered a stinging denunciation of Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness for recently describing republican dissidents as “traitors.”

In addition, the dissidents warned civilians who continue to provide services to the police in Northern Ireland that they will be “executed.”

Around 200 people attended the Easter demonstration at the city cemetery in Derry. A color party bearing flags and wearing berets was at the centre of the event. Martin Galvin, a former director of the Irish American group Noraid which helped support the IRA’s campaign during the Troubles, was present.

A masked man appeared from the crowd and read a prepared statement. He said, “Denis Donaldson was a traitor and the leadership of the Provisional movement, under guidance from the British government, made provision for Donaldson to escape Republican justice.”

There was confusion when the reader then omitted the next line from the statement, copies of which were circulated to the media before the gathering.

It was, “It fell to the volunteers of Oglaigh na hEireann (IRA) to carry out the sentence and punishment demanded in our army orders and by the wider republican family.”

Leaders of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, which supports the Real IRA and which organized the commemoration, approached reporters at the ceremony immediately after the statement was read and told them the omission was an error and that the claim the Real IRA killed Donaldson was still valid.

A day beforehand, the Dublin paper the Sunday Tribune carried an interview with a Real IRA Army Council representative who said Donaldson was killed by two people who, armed with a sledgehammer and shotgun, broke down the door of his hideaway cottage in the hills outside Glenties, Co. Donegal, on April 4, 2006.

The representative told the paper that there was a struggle but Donaldson didn’t cry out or plead for mercy and remained silent all the time.

Two months ago an inquest on Donaldson was adjourned for a third time until February 4 next year when Gardai said they were following a new line of inquiry into the murder.

Donaldson, 56, was a senior Sinn Fein figure who headed his party’s support team at Stormont and had been operating as a British spy for 20 years.

The Real IRA representative also told the Tribune that the Real IRA plans to launch attacks in Britain “when it becomes opportune,” although he added that there will not be a return to a sustained campaign of violence. Instead, there will be a “tactical use of armed struggle” against high-profile targets when the opportunity occurs.

The representative added, “Taking military action against Sinn Fein leaders who are British ministers, or who urge Nationalists to inform on us, isn’t high on our agenda at the moment. However, that isn’t to say this position won’t change and, indeed, change quickly under certain circumstances.”

It was the first interview with a Real IRA Army Council representative since it claimed its members carried out the attack on Massereene Army barracks in Antrim last month that claimed the lives of British soldiers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London.

Meanwhile, in Dublin, some 2,000 people gathered outside the GPO to mark the Easter Rising on Sunday, including President Mary McAleese and Taoiseach Brian Cowen.