Category Archives: Uncategorized

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’…….

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

@IrishCentral

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.

Real IRA Claim On Donaldson Killing Was Bungled And Three Years Late

The Real IRA’s claim to have killed British spy, Denis Donaldson, was not made until three years after his death at the hands of shotgun-wielding gunmen at his isolated Co Donegal hideout and when it was scheduled for  announcement in April 2009 at a Real IRA Easter commemoration the masked man charged with making the claim public forgot to read it out.

Members of the Real IRA’s political wing, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement had to go to media members present to assure them that the claim contained in a script issued to reporters beforehand was still valid,

Donaldson, an IRA veteran, a prison comrade of Bobby Sands and a senior Sinn Fein apparatchik and confidante of the party leadership, was shot dead in April 2006 at his cottage near Glenties, Co Donegal.

He admitted being an RUC Special Branch agent when his trial on charges of spying on British government offices at Stormont collapsed when the prosecution let it be known that government lawyers would have to reveal his secret role to his co-accused.

This report by The Irish Central’s Paddy Clancy describes the confusion at the Real IRA gathering in 2009. The organisation failed to explain why it had kept silent about its alleged part in Donaldson’s death for three years.

Real IRA claim Donaldson murder
PADDY CLANCY @IrishCentral April 15, 2009 12:51 PM

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.

Is British Intelligence Moving Against Gerry Adams?

I have no idea whether the story below – an Irish Times summary of a BBC Spotlight programme broadcast Tuesday night – is true. But here is what is significant, in my view, about it.

The programme would have been vetted before broadcast by the BBC’s lawyers and it would probably have gone to London for final approval. That was always the way when the bombs and guns were in play and it probably still is the way things are done.

BBC lawyers are, almost by definition, very cautious beings. Put it this way, when Richard O’Rawe went to BBC’s Spotlight back in 2006 with his story about how Gerry Adams had vetoed a deal to end the 1981 hunger strike it was very quickly killed off.

But here you now have the very same programme, headed by the same people, giving the green light to a documentary which, libel-wise, puts O’Rawe’s story in the ha’penny place.

That tells me that the BBC’s lawyers were convinced a) that the supposed British agent known only as ‘Martin’ was the real deal and b) that no-one in the British intelligence establishment moved to kill off the story, which as anyone who has worked in the BBC can attest, they could easily do.

Which suggests that the Spotlight story is seeing the light of day because a) the BBC believes it to be true and b) no-one in the British establishment objected to it being broadcast. Which leads to the conclusion that the higher-up’s in British intelligence not only had no objection to it being broadcast but may even have wished to see it aired.

Which, if true, is bad news for the Sinn Fein leader and his plans to bow out of his party’s leadership by way of a term of office in the Phoenix Park and the respectability such a conclusion to his career would bestow.

Incidentally, for what it is worth, the idea that ‘Slab’ Murphy would insist on Denis Donaldson’s execution as fitting punishment for his treachery is entirely credible. Given that Freddie Scappaticci had been given a bye ball for much worse, a second blind eye turned to blatant, longstanding double-dealing would only intensify grassroots unease.

Anyway here is The Irish Times story. Enjoy:

Gerry Adams rejects claim he ordered Denis Donaldson killing
Sinn Féin leader denies claim he had role in spy’s death made by alleged former British agent.

Amanda Ferguson in Belfast

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has rejected claims by an alleged former British agent that he directly ordered the killing of IRA informer, Denis Donaldson in 2006, on foot of a demand by leading republican Thomas “Slab” Murphy.

Mr Donaldson, a former Sinn Féin group administrator at the Stormont Assembly, was shot dead in Co Donegal in April 2006 after he confessed to being a British agent, which directly led to the collapse of Stormont’s institutions.

His killing, which was claimed three years later by the splinter Real IRA, has still not resulted in prosecutions. His inquest has been repeatedly postponed on foot of applications by An Garda Síochána.

The man, who infiltrated the IRA for over a decade, was interviewed over months by the BBC’s Spotlight programme.

He claims to have worked for the RUC special branch from 1997 – one of up to 1,000 informers of different levels of importance who were allegedly passing on information about the IRA’s activities.

In a series of meetings, the agent, known only as “Martin”, claims Mr Donaldson’s killing was sanctioned by Mr Adams. “I know from my experience in the IRA that murders have to be approved by the leadership,” Martin said. Specifically asked to identify who ordered the killing, he went on: “Gerry Adams, he gives the final say.”

Mr Adams’s solicitor strongly rejected the allegations, saying that his client had no knowledge and no involvement. He categorically denied that he was consulted about it. Mr Adams has repeatedly denied IRA membership.

Mr Donaldson moved to Donegal after he publicly admitted being a spy. The IRA denied involvement when he was shot dead. The Real IRA’s claim of responsibility in 2009 was untrue, the alleged agent claimed, and had been an attempt to bolster its reputation with supporters.

Spotlight said “Slab” Murphy, now serving a sentence for tax evasion in the Republic, had insisted on Mr Donaldson’s killing in order to maintain IRA discipline. Spotlight said it tried to contact Murphy but had received no reply.

Questioned about the extent to which the IRA had been infiltrated, Denis Bradley, who played a leading role during the peace process, said he inspected records held in London six years ago that illustrated its scale.

“At any one time, the security services were running about 800 informers throughout the Troubles.

“Now that’s a lot of people within a small community of people,” he said.

The Medeival Monarchs Of Stormont Castle

Well folks, this is what all the slaughter, suffering and destruction of the last four decades or so was about.

This morning’s News Letter has a great story revealing that the appointment of David Gordon as press officer for the power-sharing Executive (salary a cool Stg 75k p.a.) was contrived behind closed doors, out of sight or scrutiny, employing a legal device so undemocratic, anachronistic and secret that not even Lord Brookeborough in the heyday of one-party Unionist misrule would have dared contemplate its use.

And all so that First Minister Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness could appoint their man, David Gordon, to the job without the post being advertised and filled in the customary, above board fashion.

In so doing the FM and DFM have driven a cart and horse through fair employment legislation – the product of a civil rights struggle which Mr McGuinness’ party purports to support – which was designed specifically to make public appointments fair, above board and free of political bias.

In the case of Ms Foster such behaviour may not be surprising since the DUP was always an opponent of anti-discrimination hiring laws; but in Mr McGuinness’ case his behaviour is nothing less than scandalous, since his party is supposedly in the vanguard of the movement for fairness and equity in Northern Ireland.

Here is how the News Letter’s Sam McBride described the device used by the two leaders to change the law so that they could appoint David Gordon:

The law change was passed under the same principle which allowed medieval kings to issue decrees without consultation, something which the 18th century English jurist Sir William Blackstone defined as “that special pre-eminence which the King hath, over and above all other persons…in right of his regal dignity”.

I can only hope that David Gordon now has the decency to quit the job. Not to do so would bestow legitimacy on a gross act of political trickery. His job is now tainted and he should not take it.