Search Results for: mrf

The MRF File – Part 10: The Louis Hammond Affair

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney The British government has released quite a few files to the Kew archive on the case of Ranger Louis Hammond, the Belfast-born British soldier who defected to the IRA and was then recruited as … Continue reading

The MRF File – Davy Payne, Frank Quigley And The MRF – A Mystery Solved

From James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney Thanks to ‘Iain’ for discovering this and bringing it to our attention: The more attentive readers of our series on the MRF will recall a piece we wrote about the North Belfast UDA leader … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part 9: Why Did The MRF Call Its IRA Double Agents ‘Freds’?

From James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney Well, according to former British Army officer Harry Beaves, writing in his recently published autobiography, ‘Down Among The Weeds‘, which deals mainly with his time in Northern Ireland at the time of Operation Motorman … Continue reading

MRF File – Part Eight: Looking After ‘The Freds’

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney The story of the MRF in these columns has so far concentrated on the violent incidents that the group was involved in – with civilians their major casualties – but that is only part … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part Seven: Kitson Had Armed Guard & Personal Weapon For More Than A Year After Leaving Belfast

By James Kinchin-White & Ed Moloney At the end of April, 1972, Brigadier Frank Kitson, the then head of the British Army’s 39 Brigade in Belfast, and the perceived founder of the Mobile Reaction Force (MRF) – the first undercover … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part Six: Blood On The Streets, The MRF Goes To War

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney On April 30th, 1972, the British Army officer widely credited with creating the Mobile Reaction Force (MRF), Brigadier Frank Kitson left his post as commander of the British Army’s 39th Brigade – centred in … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part Five: Is This Botched MRF Operation Evidence That Downing Street Endorsed Collusion With Loyalists?

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney OFFICIAL PAPERS FROM 1971 SHOW THE HEATH CABINET AGREED A POTENTIAL INTELLIGENCE RELATIONSHIP WITH ‘PROTESTANT VIGILANTES’ – ‘CIVIL DEFENCE’ GROUPS COULD BE ‘TOLERATED’ – DEALINGS WOULD BE ‘UNOFFICIAL & LOCAL’ At 10:30 a.m. on … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part Four: The Thoughts Of Brigadier Frank Kitson

From James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney The following letter, written at the end of December 1971 by Howard Smith, the UK Representative to the NI government in Belfast prior to direct rule – and later the head of MI5 – … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part Three: The Beginnings, The Bomb Squad And The Mysterious Capt Watchus

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney Aside from the widely-held belief that the MRF was the brainchild of Brigadier Frank Kitson – the commander of the British Army in Belfast between September 1970 and April 1972 – and that it … Continue reading

The MRF File – Part Two: More Evidence On MRF’s Name, Some Conflicting

By James Kinchin-White and Ed Moloney There are three references in the following official British Army reports and correspondence to the MRF’s name being the ‘Mobile Reaction Force’, and one which seemingly prefers the title, ‘Military Reaction Force’. A separate … Continue reading