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.

When The Fox Becomes The Chicken Farmer

I can’t say I knew David Gordon at all well, in fact I think I met him only once. But I greatly admired his book on ‘The Fall of the House of Paisley’ chronicling the political demise respectively of Ian Paisley Senior and Junior in 2008, and said as much at a book launch in Belfast.

What cheered me about him was that while most reporters in post-GFA Belfast spent their days terrified of being accused of being ‘unhelpful’ to the peace process in any one of the dozen ways it was deemed possible to be, his book just went for the story of how greed of one sort or another had done for the Paisley duo.

It was an example of honest, straight, brave journalism at a time when there wasn’t much of that about.

That was in the days when no-one in the media had batted an eyelid, or if they did, had batted them very discretely, when it emerged that one prominent reporter had hosted secret peace process meetings between Sinn Fein and the DUP at his home but failed to include any of this in the reports he filed for his employer.

David Gordon disappeared into the bowels of the BBC after his book and I thought that perhaps he had wised up and left the country. But to my disappointment he popped up today on Facebook with an announcent that he had been appointed press officer to the NI Executive and had been given the job by the OFMDFM (that’s the DUP’s Arlene Foster and SF’s Martin McGuinness to you and me).

That means he will be recycling bullshit most of the tine and I suspect there will be lots of it. I never really knew La Foster but the DUP generally regarded journalists as an unnecessary evil and I would be surprised if she is any different, while my experience of the Shinners is that David will likely be handling not just bullshit but lying bullshit from them.

Very sad to see this happen.

There is only one set of circumstances which could lead me to both forgive and understand him. And that’s to write the tell-all book of all tell-all books at the end.

What Are Hillary Clinton’s Chances Of Dying Of Pneumonia?

According to one reading of a 1993 study published by British medical journal, The Lancet, Hillary Clinton has a 42 per cent chance of dying within two years of contracting the pneumonia which today saw her stumble and lose her balance in New York.

Another study, based on a much larger sample suggests that her chances of dying after a year at between 34.6% and 50.9%; the study reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2003 was based on an examination of the fate of nearly 159,000 pneumonia patients while the Lancet study was based on just 141 patients.

If Clinton wins the US presidential election there is therefore between a one in three and one in two chance she could die in office, if these studies are to be believed. The Democratic candidate for the White House is 68 years old. Pneumonia is sometimes dubbed ‘The Old Man’s Friend’ because it speeds terminally ill and elderly patients to a quick and relatively peaceful and painless end.

The studies examined the medical histories of pneumonia patients who were hospitalised; Hillary Clinton has not yet been sent to hospital although plans for her to travel to California this week have been shelved because of her condition.

Late today, after a ‘medical episode’ at the 911 remembrance ceremony at the site of the twin towers downed by Al Qaeda controlled jets, it was disclosed by her physician that the Democratic candidate had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. This followed weeks of speculation about her health, mostly from the Trump camp, caused by her periodic coughing fits:


SummaryIs pneumonia “the old man’s friend”—a terminal event for patients who will otherwise die soon of underlying chronic disease? If so, chronological age might influence treatment policy. We investigated the predictors of 2-year mortality after patients’ admission to hospital for community-acquired pneumonia, and focused on the predictive value of age. In a prospective cohort study 141 consecutive patients were admitted to hospital with community-acquired pneumonia. Clinical, laboratory, and sociodemographic data were collected on admission. Comorbidity was categorised as mild, moderate, or severe by a physician based on the patient’s medical history. Survival was assessed at 24 months after discharge.

22 (16%) patients died in hospital. Of the remaining 119, 38 (32%) died over the next 24 months. In a Cox model, 2-year mortality was independently related to severe comorbidity (relative risk [RR]=9·4) or moderate comorbidity (RR=3·1), and to haematocrit less than 35% (RR=2·9) (all p≤0·005). However, compared with patients aged 18-44 years, patients aged 45-64 (RR=0·84), 65-74 (RR=1·28), and 75-92 (RR=1·99) were not significantly more likely to die during the 24 months after discharge (all p≥0·2).

Old age should not be a sole criterion for withholding aggressive treatment of community-acquired pneumonia.


Pneumonia – Still the Old Man’s Friend?

Vladimir Kaplan, MD; Gilles Clermont, MD, CM, MSc; Martin F. Griffin, MS; Jan Kasal, MD; R. Scott Watson, MD, MPH; Walter T. Linde-Zwirble; Derek C. Angus, MD, MPH
Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(3):317-323.


Background  Hospital mortality of patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been well described. However, the long-term survival of those discharged alive is less clear. We sought to determine long-term survival of patients hospitalized with CAP and compare the outcome with controls hospitalized for reasons other than CAP.

Methods  We performed a matched case-control analysis using the Medicare hospital discharge database from the first quarter of 1997. We compared all Medicare recipients 65 years or older hospitalized with CAP and controls matched for age, sex, and race hospitalized for reasons other than CAP. We measured 1-year mortality determined from the Medicare Beneficiary Entitlement file and the Social Security Administration.

Results  We identified 158 960 CAP patients and 794 333 hospitalized controls. Hospital mortality rates for the CAP cohort and hospitalized controls were 11.0% and 5.5%, respectively (P<.001). One-year mortality rates for the CAP cohort and hospitalized controls were 40.9% and 29.1%, respectively (P<.001). One-year mortality rates in hospital survivors of the CAP and control cohorts were 33.6% and 24.9%, respectively (P<.001). The difference in mortality between the CAP and control cohorts was not explained by underlying disease. Standardized against the general population, the risk of death for both cohorts decreased monthly but was still elevated 1 year after hospital discharge. The standardized mortality ratio was 2.69 (95% confidence interval, 2.47-2.93) for CAP patients and 1.93 (95% confidence interval, 1.79-2.08) for hospital controls.

Conclusions  Almost half of all elderly patients admitted for CAP die in the subsequent year, with most deaths occurring after hospital discharge. The mortality is considerably higher than that of either the general population or a control population hospitalized for reasons other than CAP.

The North Korean Nuclear Bomb And The Scourge Of The Neocons

For reasons that are entirely understandable the news that North Korea had recently exploded a more powerful and effective nuclear weapon is deeply scary. In the hands of a regime that is characterised by brutality towards its own people and which is headed by a psychopath who has allegedly tortured his rivals to death, a working nuclear arsenal, however small or limited in range, provides real and grave cause for concern.

But in all the media coverage of the enhanced threat posed by North Korea I have not yet seen any reference to the fact that a decade or so ago, the US government, then headed by George ‘Dubya’ Bush spurned a real chance to entirely remove nuclear weapons from the hands of North Korea’s leadership.

It could have done so at a cheap price. All the US had to do was to remove North Korea from a list of nations alleged to be sponsoring terrorism and to resume oil deliveries to the isolated and impoverished regime. In return North Korea would freeze its nuclear programme, which by that stage was in it early stages.

Now freezing a nuclear programme is not the same as scrapping it but it is a definite step in that direction. It could have been built on.

So how did the Bush White House respond? The offer from Pyongyang was rejected out of hand with Bush saying that the goal of US policy was not to ‘freeze’ North Korea’s nuclear programme but to irreversibly dismantle it.

At the time of the North Korean offer, late 2003, US foreign policy was firmly in the hands of neoconservatives – and it looked as if the neocons had got it right. Iraq had fallen easily and quickly, the Saddam regime had been routed, Libya’s Col Gaddafi was about to decommission his chemical weapons for fear that he too might be removed from power and here was North Korea looking for a way to fend off US hostility.

Little wonder then that Bush played tough.

Except he got it badly wrong. Within a year Iraq was in meltdown and well on the way to producing its Sunni-Shiite civil war, the growth of ISIS, the Syrian war, the Libyan disaster, the refugee crisis in Europe and, arguably, Brexit and Donald Trump.

The full consequences of America’s dalliance with neoconservatism, which continues to this day, has yet to be calculated but that it has been a disaster is beyond doubt.

As far as North Korea is concerned it resumed its nuclear programme, doubtlessly encouraged by America’s growing difficulties and has now reached a point where it can at least destroy its nearest neighbours.

Meanwhile the two contenders for the US presidency in this November’s election are both warmongers, one who thoughtlessly plunged North Africa into chaos and destruction in the cause of regime change and the other who wonders openly why, if the US has nuclear weapons, it cannot use them.

All this we owe to the neocons.

Bush’s refusal of the North Korean offer was widely reported at the time. Below is Agence France Presse’s report:

Bush Rejects N Korea’s
Nuclear ‘Freeze’ Offer



(AFP) – US President George W. Bush rejected a North Korean offer to freeze its nuclear program, insisting the communist state’s suspected weapons of mass destruction must be dismantled.
Bush’s blunt response added to doubts that more negotiations will be held this year between the North, the United States and four other nations seeking an end to the Korean peninsula’s latest nuclear crisis.
North Korea earlier offered to freeze its nuclear facilities if the United States took it off a US list of nations accused of sponsoring terrorism and resumed suspended US oil deliveries.
Bush gave his answer after talks with China’s Premier Wen Jiabao at the White House.
“We spent a lot of time talking about North Korea here,” Bush said.
“The goal of the United States is not for a freeze of the nuclear program; the goal is to dismantle a nuclear weapons program in a verifiable and irreversible way.”
Bush said “that is a clear message that we are sending to the North Koreans.”
He added that the United States will continue to work with China and other countries “to resolve this issue peacefully.”
A senior Bush aide later said on condition of anonymity that Pyongyang’s offer to “freeze” its nuclear program was not specifically addressed but that both sides hoped six-nation talks could begin again soon.
China hosted the first round of talks in Beijing in August that failed to make significant progress toward ending the crisis.
“We share a mutual goal, and that is for the Korean Peninsula to be nuclear weapons-free,” Bush said. “I thank the premier for China starting the six-party talks, and I will continue those talks. I think they’re very important.”
Wen remained silent about North Korea. But in New York Monday he had said the US and North Korean positions were “getting closer.”
North Korea said it would only return to the to six-nation talks after the United States agreed to its latest demands.
“There is no reason whatsoever for the US not to accept the principle of simultaneous actions if it sincerely wants to co-exist with the DPRK (North Korea) peacefully,” a foreign ministry spokesman said through the official Korean Central News Agency.
“The resumption of the six-way talks in the future entirely depends on whether an agreement will be reached on the DPRK-proposed first-phase step or not.”
The North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said Pyongyang was deeply disappointed by the US attitude after Washington rejected a North Korean proposal last week for simultaneous measures to ease tensions.
Amidst a new diplomatic burst of activity, a US-backed statement that could be adopted at new six-nation talks has also been sent to North Korea for consideration.
Meanwhile, a delegation of diplomats from the European Union left for Pyongyang and was expected to put across the message that Europe also wants a quick resumption of the talks between North Korea, the United States, China, South Korea, Russia and Japan.
But some of the participating countries feel time is running out for talks this year.
South Korea’s top envoy to the negotiations, Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-Hyuck, indicated new talks were unlikely this year.
Lee told a Seoul radio station that South Korea, Japan and the United States had agreed that if talks were to be held by the end of the year, they would have to be convened next week.
He said the three had agreed the week of December 15 would be the only available time this year.
In recent weeks North Korea has been urging the United States to accept the principle of simultaneous action as a framework for resolving the standoff.
It proposes that North Korean promises to renounce nuclear weapons development, to allow inspections, and eventually, to scrap its nuclear facilities. In return, Pyongyang wants a security guarantee from the United States, economic aid and diplomatic relations.
The US-backed counterproposal focuses on “coordinated steps,” according to a senior South Korean official. Washington is maintaining a central demand that North Korea scrap its nuclear programs in a verifiable manner, as other “coordinated” steps, including a written security guarantee, are made.
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Stock Up On Those Zinc Buckets, Folks, The Paisley/McGuinness Movie Is Coming…….