Britain’s intelligence services have always acted in the shadows, unscrupulously. Turning people tout, or planting their own in target groups, have been the lighter side of their activities. Running public-facing organisations to coach the media and massage a narrative on whoever is the popular target of the regime on a given day, is rather innocuous compared to the underhanded, and downright abhorrent practices they otherwise engage in.
In “Intelligence, Statecraft and International Power,” Alastair MacDonald argues that Britain’s intelligence apparatus throughout the Middle Ages is what gave them an edge over both Scotland and Ireland, and in outmaneuvering their continental peers. “The English State, though, had an altogether more sophisticated and extensive intelligence network at its disposal. It is unsurprising that we have much more evidence of English intelligence successes than Scottish ones and that the quality of English intelligence seems on the whole to have been much better. Intelligence, then, would seem to have been a force tending more towards the destruction of the independent Scottish State than its survival.” Though the passage refers to England in the 14th century, one could just as easily apply it to the modern day, as English intelligence services penetrate the world around, rivalled only by the Americans and perhaps the Russians and Chinese.
Included in the piece are examples of England’s efficacy in finding foreign agents (or at least people they were willing to execute and portray as foreign agents), and in recruiting their own to spy abroad. “The English Crown also seems to have had advanced and successful mechanisms for gathering information on a continental scale. Intelligence coups from European sources frequently yielded valuable material relating to the Scottish theatre of war […] The quality of intelligence suggests an informant in French government circles.”
Britain, it seems, pioneered many of the regular tactics employed by governmental agencies today – attaching intelligence operatives to diplomatic corps, bribery and intimidation, and low-level harassment to make uncomfortable the lives of those that they consider targets.
It is with that legacy of Britain’s security apparatus in mind, that we come to consider the continued two-facedness of Britain’s Deep State.
A barrister for dissident Republican Paddy McDaid, who was arrested as part of an MI5-led investigation into the New IRA, sought disclosure on any statements by Denis McFadden, the well-known tout who rose to a prominent position within the republican group, and whether or not he was a State agent. “It seems a gentleman called Dennis McFadden is the very enthusiastic promoter and organiser of the meetings, arranging locations and apparently having them recorded. We asked for his statements and if this was a honeytrap. Is he a state agent and was he infiltrating these people? The answer is, ‘we neither confirm nor deny.’” The Court ultimately refused to grant the order.
McFadden, for those unfamiliar, is alleged to have become Master-at-Arms for the New IRA owing to his ability to access cars and provide a (bugged) pub for meetings and tickets to Celtic FC matches.
In any other jurisdiction, the planting of a Government agent who then took active part in cajoling others to attend events and discussions, would be considered entrapment. Not so for Britain it seems.
Nor does Britain’s tendrils stop there – a few days ago, videos and pictures were posted online by a young woman in Lurgan whose partner is serving time in Maghaberry prison. The woman claims that she was continually harassed, with unexplained payments deposited in her bank accounts, Amazon gift cards from people she believes to be members of the intelligence services shoved through her letterbox.
It came to a head when she was visiting her grandfather in a nursing home where she was approached and an attempt to initiate contact was made. In the video seen by this author, Ms Duffy records the encounter of an adult female with blond hair and an adult male with a shaved head walking off and pulling up their hoods to cover their faces before a car pulls up for them to get in and take off in. Ms Duffy took down the registration number of the car, and some checks by individuals on social media revealed that the car reg came back with a “does not exist” result.
This low-level harassment would put anyone on edge, but it should be considered in the fullness of the people that Ms Duffy would be familiar with – everyone knows what happens to informants caught by republicans, and by making unsolicited deposits into her account, approaching her in public, and attempting to bribe Ms Duffy with Amazon vouchers, one could very easily see a ploy in which the State agencies have sought to paint Ms Duffy as a tout in the first instance, to force her to become an informant with a threat to leak the information to other republicans that Ms Duffy took payments from the intelligence agencies which she would be unable to explain.
If that was the plan, it is not only immoral, but evil to put at risk the life of this young woman.
Lest we delude ourselves into believing that this is confined to the North, we have seen the heavy handedness and the willingness to turn a blind eye of An Garda Síochána ourselves – such as the proposed extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuania for the same alleged crimes that saw his own brother’s conviction overturned. Michael Campbells’ defence at the time had argued it had been a case of entrapment by Mi5 agents.
At the time of writing, Commissioner Drew Harris (formerly of the RUC/PSNI) is under pressure due to the callous cancelling of domestic abuse calls by members of the force under his watch, and its blatant covering up for a period of six months. Gardaí, it seems, are more concerned with ensuring the gay flag can be flown in Waterford Garda Station, than in aiding victims of domestic abuse. GSOC revealed data that 3000 complaints were made against Gardaí, a force of only 14,000 officers, implying that one-in-five Gardaí had complaints lodged against them, and of those nearly 600 resulted in the opening of a criminal investigation by GSOC.
Sinn Féin, the historic political-wing of the Provisional Movement, the other day dropped their concerns with the Special Criminal Court and left the chamber, having already long turned their backs on Republican prisoners.
We may disagree with some republicans on social and cultural issues, but we are a mere stones’ throw away from the organs of the State bearing down on us for “wrong-think” with just as much acrimony and venom. We must strive to oppose the irreverence with which the State’s intelligence services treat our fellow Irishmen.
My enemy’s enemy is my friend, or something to that effect.
The dissident IRA groups, or whatever flavour such scumbag groups are calling themselves, are complete idiots and are very sinister. Their stupidity should be criticised by any peaceful irish nationalists.
Those dissident criminal scumbag groups, brutally attack young irish people in the north from their own communities, with vicious punishment beatings just for being delinquents or for not being submissive to them. Their tactics of intimidation are real gutter trash shit.
Their methods throughout the years has been atrocious, they are criminal trash and are engaged in all sorts of criminality involving drugs and money laundering around the border and in the south.
They are completely different from the group who fought for Irish inependence in the early 20th century.
I happen to support the community policing by active Republican groups. Drug dealers must be punished, hoods terrorising neighbourhoods cannot be countenanced.
To whom are republican communities in the North supposed to turn to maintain law and order? The same RUC which only weeks ago allowed Loyalists gangs to ram a car into a Peace Wall and set it aflame? The only solution is a style of community policing which may seem to southerners as barbaric, but it exists for a reason and it isn’t like punishment beatinga are the first go-to method for conflict resolution.
One can disagree with the broader ideological underpinnings of groups like IRSP or Éirígí for lacking in nationalism, but one shouldn’t adopt the position of being a Castle Catholic (expecting the British State to provide security and justice) in opposition to them.
We must show and explain to these groups why they are wrong, to show them the truly authentic Gaelic way of living – not just becoming the pusillanimous West Brits they accused us of being.
The vigilante activity by such groups is way over the top, the punishments are too despicable. Youngfellas stealing cars and sellings drugs does not deserve getting shot in the legs and put into a wheelchair for life. Some of their victims were only teenagers who had their whole life ahead of them. Broken communities should be helped with financial assistance and opportunities for its inhabitants. Those dissident criminal groups are not judge and jury, despite seeing themselves as such. They are attacking members of their own community and maiming them for petty criminal activity. Half of their communities despise them anyway.
Look at the brutal slaying of Paul Quinn in 2007? They beat the poor boy to death with clubs and bars in a shed, for refusing to be intimidated by them. His family has blamed dissident groups for that tragic murder. They never got justice.
And lot of those dissident groups ARE involved with drugs and heavily organised criminality themselves both north and south anyway, they are no saviours for anyone.
Look at some of their marches in dublin, from such groups a few years back, with their balaclavas and DPM, they are a proper bunch of bellends.
It is a known fact, that they are involved with criminal gangs both north and south. Just look at the gang attack on that hotel a few years ago, where they were armed with rusty AK’s. Oh gosh, where did those Ak’s come from? The dissident groups are criminal trash, heavily involved with drugs.
They should never be allowed to hijack the new form of critical thinking, peaceful irish nationalism that has arisen in recent years.
Eoin: To whom are republican communities in the North supposed to turn to maintain law and order? The only solution is a style of community policing which may seem to southerners as barbaric
Show where exactly has the PSNI in living recent memory crippled irish youngfellas into a wheelchair for life? for engaging in minor criminality in their communities, or murdered some 21 year old Paul Quinn in a shed?
Violence will get nowhere in the north.
In fact, violence only undermines the ability for those communities to come together there. That place has to heal.
For all the fighting in the north, it is important to realise that protestants and catholics there are the exact same ethnic group. From a genetics perspective they are the exact same.
Eoin: One can disagree with the broader ideological underpinnings of groups like IRSP or Éirígí for lacking in nationalism, but one shouldn’t adopt the position of being a Castle Catholic (expecting the British State to provide security and justice) in opposition to them.
What? so dissident criminal groups can engage in organised criminality both north and south, and harm members of their own community in the most brutal way for becoming involved in just some petty crimes? I don’t think so.
Those thugs and their intimidation tactics are a big threat threat to their own communities there and have been for decades.
Eoin: We must show and explain to these groups why they are wrong, to show them the truly authentic Gaelic way of living
Those dissident republican scumbags put gaels in a wheel chair. Those criminal trash groups have also joined up with antifa in the past attacking gaels.
Peaceful irish nationalists would do well to distance themselves from them. No need to get smeared in their shit.
They are a designated terrorist group anyway.
Any percieved ideological opposition to British law enforcement, and any percieved ineffectiveness of the police to prevent crime, is no substitute for due process.
Those dissident criminal gangs (both loyalist and republican) don’t offer protection to their communities. The idea of protecting their own communities is only a pretext, and the real goal for those scumbags is to exert and consolidate control over their community through FEAR! Having them thugs in control would be a really dangerous and horrible place to live.
They are only interested in exerting control, and exploiting people for their own gain, using violence to exert that control, it is all about fear and intimidation.
Also a large proportion of IRA punishment attacks involve over 5 attackers against one victim.
It is pure cowardice. Asking them to turn up for appointments to get punished? fucking scum! they also frequently targeted innocent people too and issued apologies afterwards. Real classy eh?
A proper bunch of dangerous idiots is what they are. Also, around 13% of their victims have historically been minors.
Young irish men have also done suicide after being threatened with punishment attacks for alleged criminal or anti-social behaviour.
There was also a report from the Department of Justice’s 2018 “Ending the Harm” campaign” that shows that only 19% of the people living in those communities would be for vigilante methods.
They also killed an innocent journalist Lyra Mckee. Mckee is a gaelic name. They harm their own.
They are criminal trash and young irish nationalists should not be seeing such groups as cool.
They are nothing like the stoic, valiant men of the early 20th century, who camped out in dark mountains opposing british tyranny.
Brilliant article. Again wouldn’t be reported in the so called “mainstream”