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March 11, 2007

McGuinness' Power-Sharing Challenge For DUP

News about Ireland & the Irish

BN 03/10/07 McGuinness Lays Down Power-Sharing Challenge To DUP
IT 03/10/07 SF Management Of Votes Returns Five Candidates
IT 03/10/07 Selection Error Sees SDLP Run Three, Lose Seat
IT 03/10/07 Paisley Says Nothing That Rules Out SF Powershare
IT 03/10/07 Close Shave For UUP As Party Holds Trimble's Old Seat
GU 03/10/07 MI5 Chief Told Agents: 'Call Me Bob'
SL 03/11/07 McCord Prepares For Hillary Meeting In US
SL 03/11/07 Grave Insult
SL 03/11/07 Double-Agent Linked To UVF Killer's Death
SL 03/11/07 Terror Of Shoukri Witnesses
SL 03/17/07 Travers Murder Weapon Missing
IT 03/10/07 Analysis: Paisley Has Two Choices
IT 03/10/07 Analysis: Paisley Ultimately Wants An Agreement
GU 03/10/07 Opin: Hain - We Will Say 'No Surrender'
IT 03/10/07 Opin: The Mandate From Voters
IT 03/10/07 Opin: Green Surge Could Burst SF Bubble In South
IM 03/11/04 Were Irish Leaders Of 1919-21 War British Agents?


McGuinness Lays Down Power-Sharing Challenge To DUP

10/03/2007 - 17:58:59

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness tonight challenged the Democratic
Unionists to use their stunning electoral triumph to form a new
Northern Ireland power-sharing government in two weeks' time.

With the British government warning all sides in Belfast they
will shut down the Stormont Parliament unless a deal is done by
the March 26 deadline, Mr McGuinness pledged complete republican
co-operation if the DUP goes back into an Executive.

The Sinn Féin chief negotiator claimed it was a time of great
hope and opportunity after the two parties' major gains in
Wednesday's elections to the North's Assembly.

Ian Paisley's DUP emerged as the largest party with 36 seats in
the 108-member authority, followed by Sinn Féin's 28

After a meeting of his party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin to begin
preparations for possible devolution, Mr McGuinness said: "Over
the next fortnight, the DUP have a big decision to make.

"They went into the election saying they are ready for government
and they got a massive endorsement for this position.

"I hope that Ian Paisley will now see the benefits of doing the
right thing.

"If they really want to move ahead they will find Sinn Féin ready
to work with them to deliver in the interests of all the people."

Even though British Prime Minister Tony Blair has stressed that
going beyond March 26 is not an option, the DUP has yet to commit
to the deadline for going back into a power-sharing

The party is demanding further proof of Sinn Féin's support for
policing and the rule of law following republicans' historic
decision in January to back the force in the North.

Should the Executive be reformed in time, the DUP's electoral
strength would give it four seats, Sinn Féin three, two Ulster
Unionists and one nationalist SDLP.

At its head would be Mr Paisley as First Minister and Mr
McGuinness as Deputy First Minister; a fascinating and once
unthinkable combination.

But with serious doubts over the prospects of getting Stormont up
and running in time, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain today
issued a stark warning that the alternative was a halt to MLAs
wages and continued direct rule.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, he said: "Either they do what they
have been elected to do, or I will close the Assembly down, lock
the doors and get on with taking decisions in the best interests
of Northern Ireland.

"And the politicians elected on Wednesday - they'll be out of a
job with their salaries and expenses stopped.

"There will be no more MLAs. That's not a threat, it's a
political reality and the British and Irish Governments will move
forward with Plan B."

He added: "If there is not to be devolution on March 26, then
this generation of MLAs will have wasted a golden opportunity to
take over the reins of power and will have thrown themselves into
the political wilderness."


SF Management Of Votes Returns Five Candidates

Scott Jamison in King's Hall, Belfast
Sat, Mar 10, 2007

West Belfast:Sinn Féin's vote-management strategy paid huge
dividends as it became the first party to have five candidates
elected in the same constituency.

Party president Gerry Adams, also MP for the staunchly
nationalist area, topped the poll at the first count with his
6,029 first preferences, easily exceeding the quota of 4,828.

All other Sinn Féin candidates polled well into the 4,000s, with
the system of vote transfers meaning Sue Ramsey was elected on
the second count.

Paul Maskey, Jennifer McCann and Fra McCann of the party followed
on the sixth count, with Alex Attwood of the SDLP being made to
sweat before joining them.

One Sinn Féin insider told The Irish Timesthat "hundreds" of
nationalist voters in the constituency voted Mr Adams "1" on
their ballot papers, then Mr Attwood "2", before shifting back to
Sinn Féin for their other preferences.

This method ensured that the Sinn Féin gain (it had four MLAs
elected in 2003) was made from Diane Dodds of the DUP, who had
won a shock seat here in the previous election.

This is despite Ms Dodds actually increasing her vote by over
1,000 this time around. It was also the only incumbent DUP loss
of the election.

The strong Sinn Féin result is seen as an answer to critics who
had said the party had lost support from its grassroots in a
constituency that is considered to be a republican heartland.

Although she did not wish to comment, one DUP source told The
Irish Times that Ms Dodds was "devastated, especially considering
the work she had put into the area and her campaign".

It will increase the outcry from the lower Shankill, the only
unionist area in the constituency, where people have complained
about a lack of political representation for many years.

However, Mr Adams was not surprised by the outcome.

"The indications from the doorsteps were good, and that is what
we have seen translated into the results. People have voted
overwhelmingly for the institutions to be put in place, and now
we have the mandate to carry that forward.

"The Sinn Féin vote has once again eaten solidly into the SDLP.
We have also picked up votes from the Shankill, which is very
important. It has been a very good day for West Belfast and Sinn

The SDLP's share of the vote fell almost 7 per cent, with Sinn
Féin increasing its share almost 5 per cent.

Se n Mitchell (19), standing on an anti-water charges ticket for
the People Before Profit Alliance, polled a respectable 774 first
preferences. He said: " What I have shown is that when you are
talking about water charges, poor housing and poverty, there are
no lines on the map that cannot be crossed. There are no 'no-go'
areas for these issues."

c 2007 The Irish Times


Selection Error Sees SDLP Run Three, Lose Seat

Ronan McGreevy
Sat, Mar 10, 2007

West Tyrone:The SDLP has been left without a seat in the West
Tyrone constituency following a selection blunder which saw the
party field three candidates.

Their candidate in Omagh Dr Josephine Deehan was beaten for the
penultimate seat by the independent hospital's candidate Dr
Kieran Deeny. Her defeat dashed the SDLP's hopes of getting a
second seat on the executive.

The SDLP campaign had been marred by a selection row which saw
outgoing MLA Eugene McMenamin, who has served the constituency
since 1998, deselected locally and then added to the ticket by
party headquarters.

Before the election, Mr McMenamin described the party's strategy
as "foolhardy", given the SDLP could only expect to gain one
seat. Dr Deehan's fate was sealed when she failed to get
sufficient transfers from her two running mates.

Dr Deeny caused the upset of the 2003 Assembly elections by
topping the poll on the single issue of the retention of acute
services at Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh. Although he was
unsuccessful - the service is due to be transferred to a new
hospital in Enniskillen - he managed to attract sufficient
transfers to be re-elected.

"Dr Deehan is a good friend of mine, I'm sorry it had to come to
this," Dr Deeny said. "The people have spoken here. To get in
ahead of two parties who are gone now, the SDLP and the UUP, as a
true cross-community Independent, is wonderful. The battle for
proper health services in Tyrone goes on."

The performance of the SDLP was in marked contrast to that of
Sinn Féin which won three seats. An effective election strategy
which saw local MP Pat Doherty and councillor Barry McElduff
elected on the first count with councillor Claire McGill
following on from transfers, boosted the party's vote by 6 per
cent, its best result of the 18 constituencies.

Mr McElduff said Sinn Féin's success was down to good vote-
management with the party's projected vote only 11 votes behind
its actual first preference share.

It was also a good election for the DUP whose two candidates
Thomas Buchanan and Allan Bresland were elected at the expense of
the UUP's Derek Hussey.

Ten years ago SF and the SDLP were at parity in the constituency,
now Sinn Féin is outpolling the SDLP by three to one.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Loquacious Paisley Says Nothing That Rules Out SF Powershare

Deagl n De Br‚ad£n in Ballymena
Sat, Mar 10, 2007

North Antrim and Mid-Ulster:DUP leader Ian Paisley topped the
poll in North Antrim, getting elected on the first count with
Sinn Féin's sole candidate, Daith¡ McKay. Paisley's son, Ian jnr,
followed on the second count.

A lengthy hiatus ensued until Rev Robert Coulter of the UUP got
in on the seventh count, followed by the DUP's Mervyn Storey on
the eighth and the SDLP's Declan O'Loan, husband of Northern
Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, on the 10th count.

The DUP had hoped to take a fourth seat by clever vote-
management, but their fourth candidate, Deirdre Nelson, failed to
secure sufficient first-preference votes to have a chance of
catching O'Loan. Whereas the UK Unionist Party candidate, Lyle
Cubitt, running on a platform of outright opposition to power-
sharing with Sinn Féin, secured a relatively modest 1,848 first
preferences, this took from the DUP's total and was probably
decisive in preventing Paisley's party from bringing in a fourth

Young Sinn Féin candidate Daith¡ McKay scored a significant
victory by coming in on the first count and well ahead of Paul
McGlinchey, brother of the late Dominic McGlinchey, who was
opposed to his former party's policing policy and received only
383 first preferences. The SDLP's Orla Black contributed
significantly to O'Loan's success with transfers from her initial
2,129 votes.

As always on these occasions, Dr Paisley was in ebullient form,
using media interviews after his election to excoriate his
opponents and the British government and insisting that he and
his supporters would be treated with the respect due to them.
However, when all was said and done, the DUP leader had said
nothing that finally and definitively ruled out a powersharing
arrangement with Sinn Féin, provided the circumstances were to
his liking.

Paisley's putative number two as deputy first minister, Sinn
Féin's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, was also in
attendance at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena, where
the counts for North Antrim and McGuinness's constituency of Mid-
Ulster were both conducted.

At one point, Paisley told reporters that he would not enter
government with Sinn Féin until they had declared for "pure
democracy". Within minutes, McGuinness told reporters that he was
"absolutely" committed to the concept. There was no direct
contact between the two men, but the exchanges conducted via the
media were not notably hostile on Paisley's part and friendly and
diplomatic on the part of McGuinness.

Meticulous vote-management was evident in Sinn Féin's performance
in Mid-Ulster, where the party's three candidates were all
elected on the first count. As well as McGuinness and sitting MLA
Francie Molloy, the party's deputy mayor of Dungannon, Michelle
O'Neill, was also elected. Epitomising the new-look Sinn Féin,
she took over the seat formerly held by Geraldine Dougan, who
resigned from the party on the policing issue.

Republican Sinn Féin candidate Brendan McLaughlin received a
modest 437 first-preference votes.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Close Shave For UUP As Party Holds Trimble's Old Seat

Carissa Casey in Banbridge
Sat, Mar 10, 2007

Upper Bann:It would have been the final ignominy for the Ulster
Unionists in what was already a humiliating election - a Sinn
Féin upstart snatching their former leader's old seat in the
unionist heartland constituency of Upper Bann.

When the count was adjourned on Thursday night, there was every
possibility that Sinn Féin's Dessie Ward, buoyed by his poll-
topping party colleague John O'Dowd, would, by yesterday, become
the new David Trimble.

In the end, the UUP's George Savage scraped through on the 12th

Sitting MP and DUP stalwart David Simpson was scathing about his
unionist rival's performance. In his final speech, Simpson spoke
of his horror at seeing the UUP "grasping for a seat from Sinn

Graciousness was in short supply at the Upper Bann count. The
prospect of three nationalist seats in a six-seat constituency in
which nearly 55 per cent declare themselves to be from the
Protestant community was difficult for some to countenance.

Sinn Féin's O'Dowd had already trumped all the unionist
candidates, getting elected on the first count along with

On Thursday night, Simpson was clearly livid with the UUP. "They
made a complete sham of the whole election. I hope they're proud
of the fact that they might assist Sinn Féin/IRA in taking a
unionist seat. I hope they can live with themselves," he said.

The SDLP's Dolores Kelly held her seat but said she was concerned
about voter apathy and Sinn Féin's encroachment into traditional
SDLP territory.

Kelly took 950 transfers from John O'Dowd. "The question for me
is whether those were SDLP voters who bought into voting for Sinn
Féin," she said.

c 2007 The Irish Times


MI5 Chief Told Agents: 'Call Me Bob'

Former British agent set to expose new intelligence boss's role
in infiltration of IRA

Jamie Doward, home affairs editor
Sunday March 11, 2007
The Observer

In the back streets of Belfast, Jonathan Evans, the new director-
general of MI5, was known as 'Bob' to the agents who fed him
crucial information that helped lead to the downfall of the IRA.

He cut his teeth in the murky world of bombings, kneecappings and
disinformation, where a bad decision could cost the life of an
agent or allow a terrorist bomb to reach its target.

Evans had been an MI5 agent for 11 years when he was sent into
Northern Ireland with a mandate to help the shadowy Force
Research Unit (FRU), the army's undercover force responsible for
infiltrating Irish terrorist groups. Last night former agents
stripped away some of the secrecy that inevitably goes with being
head of the security service and gave an insight into the mind of
the man they knew.

Evans made sure he was popular with the men he sent into the
republican heartland to discover the secrets of the IRA. One
intelligence source said that, prior to Evans's arrival in
Northern Ireland, agents had been treated poorly. 'Before he
arrived, some of those undercover may as well have been living in
a mud hut in Biafra. But Evans changed all that. He looked after
them. It was like they had been moved to Number 10. We were flown
all around Europe, to posh hotels. We had debriefings in France
and Scotland.'

One of Evans's major triumphs came after MI5 was tipped off that
the IRA was developing a new, lethal form of technology. The
device consisted of explosives packed in a metal cone, known as a
'doodlebug', which were detonated by a photographic flash gun,
triggered when someone walked by. The same sort of technology,
albeit wired to infra-red 'trip' devices, is now being used to
deadly effect by al-Qaeda in the streets of Iraq.

Since there was no way of stopping the IRA getting its hands on
the equipment, MI5 came up with a radical solution: it would give
the terrorists the technology itself.

'They knew that the IRA was going to develop the technology
anyway,' said 'Martin Ingram', a former FRU member, now turned
author, who writes under a pseudonym.

'So it was decided it was much better to know what the enemy was
going to do, so they could counter it.'

A decision was taken to use a key IRA infiltrator, Kevin Fulton,
to procure the equipment in America. Fulton was an undercover
British soldier who had spent years getting close to the IRA high
command. In return for such a dangerous operation, Fulton was
promised that he would be looked after when he 'came out'. 'You
could argue that MI5 helped the IRA enhance its technology,'
Ingram said. 'But from an intelligence point of view, it allowed
Kevin to infiltrate the IRA and gain knowledge about how it was
going to deploy the technology.'

The problem was how to help Fulton obtain the bomb parts, which
the IRA had located in America. Any attempt to acquire sensitive
technology would alert the US authorities. Evans was dispatched
to New York to liaise with the FBI and ensure Fulton's mission
went unimpeded.

But the strategy was controversial. In March 1992, a bomb
exploded near Newry, killing an RUC constable, Colleen McMurray,
and seriously injuring her colleague, Paul Slaine. The explosion
was triggered by a flash gun. 'Yes, the IRA went on to use the
technology successfully, but in the end the strategy saved a lot
of lives, because the security services were able to track it,'
said one former intelligence source.

Now the story of how Evans helped Fulton to infiltrate the IRA
looks set to come back to haunt the new head of MI5. Angry with
the way that he has been treated since his cover was blown in
1994, Fulton is taking his former employer to court in a civil

Fulton's lawyers claim the security service promised him a
pension and a new identity. He already has a number of FRU
members who have pledged to give evidence corroborating his
claims. Last December, the judge hearing the case in the High
Court in Belfast ruled that Fulton could call any witness who can
provide evidence as to his value as an undercover agent. The
Observer understands Fulton's solicitors will subpoena Evans
after their client identified him in the newspapers last week,
following the spy chief's promotion.

The mere possibility of Evans appearing in court threatens
severely to embarrass MI5, which has been trying to stonewall the
case for three years. Sources close to the intelligence service
admit Evans was in Northern Ireland, but deny he was one of
Fulton's handlers. Those watching the case, however, believe
Evans will now be called to testify. 'It's a cast-iron
guarantee,' Ingram said. Perhaps if Evans enters the court he
will trade glances with Fulton and recall the dangers they
shared. He may even recognise the gold tie pin Fulton has pledged
to wear in court. A small token of thanks from the man he knew
only as 'Bob'.


McCord Prepares For Hillary Meeting In US

[Published: Sunday 11, March 2007 - 08:53]
By Stephen Breen

The campaigning father of a loyalist murder victim was last night
preparing for his first meeting with US Presidential candidate
Hillary Clinton.

Raymond McCord snr will travel to Washington tomorrow(correct)
for a series of special meetings during his week-long visit.

The Newtownabbey man, who will be joined by other victims of
security force collusion, will meet Mrs Clinton (left) and other
senior US politicians.

Mr McCord, who gained 1,320 first preference votes in last
Wednesday's election, will use the visit to highlight collusion
between RUC officers and loyalist serial-killers.

Said Mr McCord: "I am not going to America to talk about my own

"I am going to the US to fight for all victims of collusion.

"I am looking forward to my meetings with the US politicians and
I am pleased they have given ordinary people like me the chance
to highlight our experiences of collusion."

c Belfast Telegraph


Grave Insult

[Published: Sunday 11, March 2007 - 09:13]
By Stephen Breen

The grieving mum of an RUC man murdered by the INLA was last
night at the centre of a row over her son's grave.

Outraged Pauline Bradshaw - whose son Darren was shot dead in
1997 - has threatened to sue Antrim Borough Council after it
ordered families at Belmont Cemetery to remove artefacts from
their loved ones' graves.

Mrs Bradshaw, whose other son Simon is interred in the same
grave, claims the council has told families they will be charged
if they do not comply with their order. She's branded the
decision a "disgrace".

She said: "I cared for my sons in life but the council is trying
to stop me caring for them in death. There is no way I am going
to visit a grave with just my sons names on it. It is very
important to have personal items on graves.

"The only things I put on the graves were Orange lilies on the
Twelfth and daffodils. I'll go to court if I have to. I intend to
fight this all the way."

Evelyn Givens, whose 11-year-old daughter Denise is buried in the
cemetery, has also threatened to take legal action.

"I would like to know what person has taken this decision. I'm
disgusted. The items on the graves are not permanent and the only
thing I have on it are flowers and ornaments. This is a very
emotional issue and the council should take our views into

Local PUP representative Ken Wilkinson said: "This is an issue
which is not going to go away. The council is no better than
grave robbers if they do this."

A council spokesman said: "We recognise that this is a very
sensitive issue and do not wish to cause undue distress. Those
purchasing plots are made aware that Belmont is a lawn cemetery
and there are also signs in place as a reminder.

"At present more than 1,233 owners of the graves are maintaining
the cemetery as a lawn cemetery because this is what they have
bought and that is how the majority wish it to be maintained. The
council has been considering this matter for some time and has
also consulted the local clergy about how to address the issue of
the 128 grave owners who are currently not complying with the
maintenance of a lawn cemetery.

"The council will be writing, in the first instance, asking for
compliance with the maintenance of a lawn cemetery by removal of
all the additional adornments on the graves."

c Belfast Telegraph


Double-Agent Linked To UVF Killer's Death

[Published: Sunday 11, March 2007 - 09:10]
By Alan Murray

One of the republicans at the centre of the Police Ombudaman's
probe into murders committed by RUC double-agents is believed to
have killed notorious loyalist Lenny Murphy.

The crazed UVF killer (pictured) was gunned down in Belfast's
Glencairn Estate in November 1982.

The leader of the hated 'Shankill Butchers' gang was shot 22
times outside his girlfriend's home by an IRA unit concealed in a
parked van.

Republican sources told Sunday Life that Murphy's killer later
threatened to kill Gerry Adams before joining the breakaway Irish
People's Liberation Organisation where he continued to operate as
a Special Branch agent.

It's believed the Springfield Road man was handled by the retired
Special Branch officer who was arrested at his North Down home
last week in connection with an inquiry into the murder of Mary
Travers in April 1984.

Sources say Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan is probing whether the retired
officer learned any details about the planning of the killing of
the resident magistrate's daughter or the destruction of evidence
after the murder from his informant.

Murphy's killer isn't believed to have been a gunman in the
Travers murder, but Ms Travers' killer is now suspected by
republicans in Belfast to have been an RUC agent considered much
more vital to protect.

Mrs O'Loan is investigating the roles of two police agents in the
Travers murder and whether RUC officers had any prior knowledge
of the attack.

Ms Travers received fatal gunshot wounds when her father, Tom,
was attacked after the family left Mass at St Brigid's Church in
south Belfast.

It's understood Mr Travers has been given the name of the IRA man
who murdered his daughter and wounded him.

c Belfast Telegraph


Terror Of Shoukri Witnesses

[Published: Sunday 11, March 2007 - 09:00]
By Ciaran McGuigan

The chief witnesses in a blackmail case against ousted UDA boss
Andre Shoukri had to be moved after details of their secret
bolthole were leaked.

The couple, who will give evidence against Shoukri and his former
second-in-command John 'Bonzer' Boreland, were in a safe house
under the police's Witness Protection Programme.

But they had to be moved for the SECOND time late last year amid
fears that loyalist thugs would be able to track the couple down,
it has emerged.

The 35-year-old woman, known only as 'Witness A', has accused
Shoukri, Boreland, and two other defendants of blackmailing her
and her 44-year-old partner - 'Witness B' - and making serious
threats against them.

In one incident it's alleged that a gun was held to the man's
head while money, cheque books and the keys to a bar were

The couple were taken onto the Witness Protection Programme when
the UDA gang was arrested in November 2005.

Details of leaks about their whereabouts emerged as prosecutors
applied to Belfast Crown Court for the right for the witnesses to
be allowed to give evidence in private.

Mr Justice Hart ruled that the couple, plus a third witness -
known as 'Witness C' - will be able to give evidence via a 'live
link' to spare them having to face Shoukri and Boreland in the

He said: "Whilst I appreciate each of them is an adult,
nevertheless the nature of the allegations and the extent and
nature of their fears are such that I accept significant
additional stress will be imposed upon each of them were they
required to face the defendants."

Mr Justice Hart also ruled that while each of three unnamed
witnesses are giving evidence the public will be banned from the
court, to prevent their identities being widely known.

It was also ruled that the judge who presides over the Diplock
trial will be able to consider the previous criminal records of
Boreland and Shoukri.

Both men were jailed in 2000 when they were convicted of the
blackmail of a restaurant owner in similar circumstances.

Shoukri also served a two-year sentence for possession of a gun,
and served a sentence for assault in connection with the death of
promising young tennis player Gareth Parker in 1996.

c Belfast Telegraph


Travers Murder Weapon Missing

[Published: Sunday 11, March 2007 - 09:17]
By Ciaran McGuigan

A gun used in the savage murder of a magistrate's daughter has
gone MISSING - just as detectives hoped for a breakthrough in the
23-year-old case.

Catholic schoolteacher Mary Travers (22) was gunned down by the
IRA in 1984 as she left Mass with her father, Tom.

But just as Police Ombudsman's investigators felt they were
closing in on the Provo hit-squad, the PSNI admitted the murder
weapon had been LOST.

Said a source close to Nuala O'Loan's inquiry: "When we went to
look for the gun, it simply wasn't there.

"At the minute, it's unclear whether that is because of an
administrative blunder - or if it was part of any conspiracy of

Sunday Life's bombshell revelation comes just days after Mrs
O'Loan's team arrested a former Special Branch detective who had
previously assisted her with the murder-probe.

Cops 'lose' Travers murder gun

The murder weapon, which could hold vital forensic clues to the
identity of gunmen who killed Mary Travers and wounded her father
Tom, could not be traced when Police Ombudsman investigators
wanted to examine it, it's understood.

Nuala O'Loan's office is investigating allegations of a cover-up
in the police probe into the horrific attack on the Travers
family as they left a church in the Malone Road area of Belfast.

Two IRA gunmen ambushed the family as they left Mass at St
Brigid's church on Derryvolgie Avenue, killing 22-year-old
teacher Mary and leaving her father fighting for his life.

One woman was later jailed for life after being caught smuggling
the two murder weapons from the scene, but the gunmen were never
brought to justice.

A leading Belfast republican, Joseph Patrick Haughey, then 33,
was charged in connection with the attack, but acquitted after
doubt was cast over Mr Travers' identification of the gunman.

It has since been claimed that one of the IRA killers - believed
to have been a leading north Belfast republican - was a Special
Branch mole.

Sunday Life understands that when Ombudsman investigators probing
that claim requested the murder weapons from the police, they
were told one could not be located due to an "administration

It's believed that the gun may have been "mislaid" more than 20
YEARS after the killing - and crucially AFTER the launch of Nuala
O'Loan's inquiry into the murder probe.

Said one source close to the investigation: "When we went to look
for the gun it simply wasn't there.

"At the minute it's unclear whether that is because of an
administrative blunder or if it was part of any conspiracy of

"Of course, the two could be one and the same thing."

A police spokesman was yesterday unable to comment on the claims.

The bombshell revelation comes just days after a whistle-blowing
ex-cop was arrested by Nuala O'Loan's officers and quizzed about
alleged misconduct in office.

The former Special Branch officer had previously co-operated with
O'Loan's office and its investigation into claims of a cover-up,
but withdrew that co-operation a number of years ago.

His arrest last week provoked a furious response from Mr Travers,
who described it as a "disgrace".

The murder of Mary Travers is one of six incidents in which the
Police Ombudsman is investigating alleged collusion between the
security forces and the IRA.

c Belfast Telegraph


Analysis: Paisley Has Two Choices

Sat, Mar 10, 2007

Analysis Paisley has his mandate but the governments say he must
use it or lose it, writes Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Assembly Election Count 2007 was a dramatic event but now that
all the ballot boxes are stored away those huge question marks
remain hovering over this project.

What will happen on Monday March 26th? Was this an election to a
new government or an election to the usual deadlock? The answer
is simple: we don't know. It's a game of call my bluff between
Ian Paisley on one side, and Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair on the

Great election for Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley, although after
such a thunderous mandate the DUP would have expected slightly
more bang for their ballot, more power for their polling. Still,
36 seats now from 30 seats four years ago, and four of the 10
executive departments in their grasp - should Dr Paisley make
that leap of faith with Martin McGuinness - who's complaining.

Sinn Féin, up four seats to 28, is now the unchallenged main
nationalist party, 12 seats ahead of the SDLP, compared to 2003
when it was only six seats in front. As well as Mr McGuinness,
potentially, as deputy first minister, it will also have three

I met a friend on Wednesday morning who was a little distressed.
She had voted 1,2,3,4,5, stop, for Sinn Féin in West Belfast but
worried that she had misunderstood her Sinn Féin instructions by
giving her number two vote to the specified number three
candidate and vice versa.

It was then it dawned on me that Mr Adams and his party machine
in the constituency would achieve what appeared almost an
impossible task of taking five seats - at the expense of Diane
Dodds of the DUP. Strange though that Shankill unionists, and
there were enough of them, weren't sufficiently politicised to
cause Mr Adams just a little frustration.

Ulster Unionism crashed but with 18 seats, down six from 2003, it
at least managed to remain ahead of the SDLP, which means that
should Stormont be reinstated it will have two ministries. That
edge over the SDLP also means unionists will have the majority of
seats in the executive, six to four.

The SDLP was bitterly disappointed now that it is relegated to 16
seats from 18 and only one ministry, especially after it entered
the contest with what seemed realistic hopes of making gains.

Alliance with seven seats, one up on 2003, and its vote up more
than 10,000 votes from four years ago, justifiably was cock-a-
hoop, especially considering some predictions, including here,
that it could be down to as low as three seats.

Dawn Purvis of the Progressive Unionist Party fought a storming
campaign to take a seat, while Brian Wilson achieved another
little piece of history by winning a first seat for the Greens.
Now we've two all-Ireland parties.

But on the bigger picture we're still asking will there be a deal
by March 26th? Dr Paisley has his mandate, and he has two
choices, use it or lose it, according to the British and Irish
governments, who continue to insist that if the deadline is
missed then this third Assembly sinks like the Titanic.

Accepting at face value the words of some DUP politicians,
including Dr Paisley, over the days of the count, you would be
minded to say a deal can't happen by the St Andrews deadline. But
the question you must also ask, is this genuine DUP intransigence
or brinkmanship? Questions, questions.

Certainly there were no generous words of hope from the unionist
victors in this election. DUP MEP Jim Allister refused to talk
directly to Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Br£n in the BBC studio. Dr
Paisley wanted Sinn Féin to repent. Any DUP politician who got
within range of a microphone mentioned Sinn Féin MP Michelle
Gildernew and her gaffe about not notifying the PSNI if she
spotted armed dissident republicans parading through Fermanagh.

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson and Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd were at
it as well on Stephen Nolan's programme on BBC Radio Ulster
yesterday. What about loyalist and Orange Order insurrectionists
going on the rampage in west Belfast two years ago, was Mr
O'Dowd's retort. And how the DUP pulled out of the local district
policing partnerships in protest at the handling of the riot by
the PSNI - which had been fired upon by loyalists.

We were back in the land of Whataboutery, a familiar but negative
and poisonous place.

Friends, who had been watching the TV election coverage, told of
how they switched off when the bickering and nastiness started,
just as they switched off during the election campaign,
comfortable in their conviction that the DUP and Sinn Féin would
never get it together.

In the past year or so Peter Robinson spoke of how he could
envision a Northern Ireland where "Planter and Gael" worked
together in harmony. But in this campaign he has parroted one of
Gerry Adams's catchphrases. If government ever happens it will be
a "battle a day", the DUP deputy leader is certain.

"I don't think there is anything wrong with having a battle a
day. Ask Michael McDowell," said Gerry Adams in west Belfast
yesterday, Zen-like in his calm response. He's a very ambitious
man who never rests. The North won, he broke for the Border to
hold a Sinn Féin Southern election rally in Dublin last night. At
the same press conference Bairbre de Br£n said that people were
constantly asking her how could Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
work together in the office of first and deputy first minister?
"But ask S‚amus Mallon and David Trimble. That was a battle a
day, if there ever was a battle a day," said Ms de Br£n, which
was a good answer.

But to get into government Sinn Féin must deliver more, the DUP
insisted, particularly in relation to policing after Ms
Gildernew's campaign comments.

Sinn Féin had delivered, insisted Mr Adams in return. All this
hardballing just points to deadlock, but is it real or posturing?
We'll know in a couple of weeks is the short answer. Yet it
should also be noted that Mr Adams attempted to address the DUP
concerns. He found all the DUP complaints about Ms Gildernew
merely an excuse not to engage. But if Dr Paisley had genuine
concerns Sinn Féin would attempt to deal with them.

Furthermore, he added, Sinn Féin ministers would sign and honour
their pledge of office, which incorporates a commitment to
support the police and the courts.

Whatever about the DUP, like Oliver Twist, looking for more, the
governments are adamant that March 26th is non-negotiable. They
and Mr Adams and other parties argue that when people voted for
the DUP and Sinn Féin they were voting for powersharing, and that
seems reasonable. Constitutional issues were not mentioned on the
doorsteps, bread and butter issues were, and DUP politicians
concede that.

Privately, senior DUP people accept that powersharing must
happen, although that won't stop them trying to push back the
March 26th deadline. Between now and that deadline the DUP, as
well as the other parties, will attempt to wrest a multi-billion
pound package from British chancellor Gordon Brown. Mr Blair is
likely to be prevailed upon to exert some muscle on his potential
successor. But if there is no commitment on powersharing, Mr
Brown won't divvy up.

Therefore it is mainly down to Dr Paisley. There might be some
wriggle room around March 26th but if the DUP isn't up for it on
or very close to that date then the governments would look very
weak if they didn't dissolve. That would mean any return to
devolution would require another election. That can't work. So,
who's bluffing - Paisley, or Ahern and Blair? We'll get there

c 2007 The Irish Times


Analysis: Paisley May Play For Time But He Ultimately Wants An

Sat, Mar 10, 2007

Analysis:Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern called it correctly
yesterday. The people of Northern Ireland have spoken, and the
political path ahead is clear, writes Frank Millar, London Editor

There are real grounds for thinking that the Rev Ian Paisley
might actually agree to form a new powersharing executive with
Sinn Féin by the stipulated March 26th deadline. For those who
like to hedge, however, key DUP strategists suggest the safer bet
is that "the Big Man" will certainly be installed as first
minister by the end of May.

The Irish and British governments, like Sinn Féin, will protest
that March 26th is non-negotiable - that the DUP either commits
to powersharing by that date or Plan B, and joint British-Irish
"stewardship" of Northern Ireland, comes into effect. Moreover,
British prime minister Tony Blair can also argue that Dr Paisley
has less cause now to delay.

The DUP leader's internal critics failed to openly challenge him
during the election, while the anti-agreement campaign threatened
on the party's right imploded. There are no "unpledged" DUP
Assembly members waiting to take their seats at Stormont. And
while some of them privately whispered their doubts about the
direction in which Dr Paisley was taking the party - or, at
least, about the speed with which he was approaching his intended
destination - Dr Paisley prevailed, carried on, and has now won a
famous victory. Are the doubters really going to rain on his
parade? Against that, the DUP manifesto stipulated the removal of
"terrorist structures" in addition to weapons decommissioning,
and that republican "delivery" of support for the police and law
and order (still conditional) be "tested and proved over a
credible period".

And MPs Nigel Dodds, Gregory Campbell, William McCrea and David
Simpson have made no secret of their view that the period
available between the election and March 26th is unlikely to

Dr Paisley and deputy leader Peter Robinson (who has been long-
term the organisational force behind this now formidable
election-winning machine) know that no amount of testing will
ever satisfy some in their ranks. There will come a point of
decision when they have to disappoint, and probably lose, some of
their hardliners.

Before reaching that point, however, they will want to divide and
reduce those currently coalescing around the strictest
interpretation of party policy.

Here the dispositions of Mr Dodds and Mr Campbell, in particular,
will be crucial. Dr Paisley and Mr Robinson have no intention of
losing either talent, indeed are more likely to think to see both
shine again in ministerial office.

If timing is key to keeping such people aboard, then the DUP
leader will want some further delay. And despite Northern
Secretary Peter Hain's protestations to the contrary, Mr Blair
would surely want to oblige - perhaps with a "shadow" executive
settling in over a six- or eight-week period before Stormont
finally goes live.

We need expect no hint of it ahead of the coming fortnight of
long days and late nights at Stormont and inside Number 10, where
Sinn Féin like the DUP will seek to wring further advantage
before finally committing.

And, as observed at the outset, it might not prove necessary. The
dynamics within unionism are further changed by the election

The Ulster Unionist Party strikes many as just about finished.

Its further collapse under Reg Empey will likely reinforce the
drive for further realignment and one unionist party - a
development which might not even have to await the post-Paisley-
era, given his own occupation now of the centre ground.

In their desperation (though it would seem with little prospect),
once-loyal Trimbleites are suggesting that Mr Empey should go, so
enabling a policy switch that would see the UUP decline its
ministerial office and go "into opposition".

As of now, however, it can be said that the unionist political
class is broadly committed to a new powersharing deal. And as
things stand, the internal machinations of the UUP are anyway
unlikely to weigh heavily with Dr Paisley.

Mr Blair will see here compelling reason to get on with it. But
if he has to delay, he would seem to be taking even less of a
risk that at St Andrews last October, when he granted Dr Paisley
his election.

For the strongest assurance emanating from within, and across,
the DUP - as reported in The Irish Times in January - is that Dr
Paisley sees no advantage in "waiting for Gordon" and wants to
conclude the agreement on Mr Blair's watch.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Comment: Hain - This Time, It's We Who Will Say 'No Surrender'

Northern Ireland is on the brink of normality. Its politicians
must not fail the people

Peter Hain
Sunday March 11, 2007
The Observer

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness at the head of government in
Northern Ireland. Just pause to contemplate that, an idea that
once would have been dismissed as completely off the wall. But
that's what the people of Northern Ireland have voted for,
sending out the clearest message to their politicians to get on
with the job of governing.

Over the last year, there have been any number of 'it'll never
happen' moments: the 12 July parades without a soldier on the
streets or Ian Paisley meeting Archbishop Sean Brady the Catholic
Primate of All Ireland.

It all makes for a remarkable story, a story only possible
because of the tenacity of Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern and the
Secretaries of State who have gone before me, in relentlessly
pursuing lasting peace and stability in Northern Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement had set out the path to long-term peace
and political stability back in 1998, but since then, the power-
sharing assembly and executive have functioned only sporadically
and have never been fully effective.

Clearly, the root of the problem lay in the fundamental lack of
trust among the parties: would unionists ever fully commit to
power-sharing and would republicans ever say that the war was
over and give their support to the police? Until there were
answers to those questions, we were just not going to get
'progress' and 'politics' in the same sentence.

The people of Northern Ireland were getting tired of endless
rounds of talks, the political caravan touring stately homes and
castles rehearsing old arguments, restating problems and united
only in blaming the governments for not telling 'the other side'
that it was their fault that progress was so slow. The people
wanted time called on that and so did we.

The fact that 108 assembly members had been drawing salaries and
allowances for a body that had not met since before the 2003
election increased their irritation and my determination that it
could not go on like that. But we needed something to break the
deadlock and force momentum into the process.

It came in July 2005, when the IRA declared that the war was
over. It then decommissioned its war machine and abandoned the
criminal activity to finance it, another event that I was told
'would never happen'.

Last April, the two Prime Ministers kept up that momentum,
telling the parties that there was little more that the
governments could do and that the onus was on them to reach
agreement or face an indefinite period of direct rule with
increased involvement from the Irish government. That led in
October to a final chance to make setpiece talks count. When we
arrived at St Andrews in Scotland, the cynics said that the
weather reflected our chances of success. The rain was horizontal
and the mist off the sea was so thick that the media pack could
not even see the venue. But the mist - and the pessimism -

The St Andrews Agreement has given us for the first time the
practical foundations of a lasting settlement based on the twin
pillars of support for the police and the commitment to power-
sharing. The pillar of support for policing is in place; power-
sharing must go alongside.

The main issue in the election campaign was not sectarian
mistrust, but the introduction of water charges and a
comprehensive reform policy I have introduced: normal politics
edging forward, to follow normalisation of security. That is what
the people have elected their representatives to deal with and
they can do that only in a power-sharing administration.

After generations of mutual fear, the parties stand on the brink
of achieving the lasting and stable political settlement that has
so far eluded Northern Ireland.

We have got to the point for local politicians where process
outside office must end and progress in office must begin. But if
for whatever reason they do not want progress, they will find
that they have run out of process.

No one should be in any doubt that the power-sharing executive
must be formed on 26 March because that is the date set down by
Parliament in the St Andrews Act. It cannot and will not change.
If the executive is not formed on 26 March, the legislation
requires that the newly elected assembly automatically dissolves.

There has been some speculation that the governments, so close to
a deal, would allow for the formation of a shadow assembly to
keep the process on track. There will be no shadow assembly. I
will make a restoration order on 25 March and then it's over to
the parties. Dissolution will follow if devolution fails. There
is no discretion in this.

Anyone trying to push devolution beyond 26 March, or trying to
stop devolution altogether, will find that they will be left
behind, perhaps for years, because who knows when there might be
another opportunity to get the institutions up and running again.

In any event, it will require a fresh election. But if, as I
believe, there is success, then Northern Ireland, for the first
time, can face the future on solid foundations. It's the moment
to decide. The parties have just two weeks to do so.

Peter Hain is Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and for


Opin: The Mandate From Voters

Sat, Mar 10, 2007

The people of Northern Ireland have done their civic duty. They
have mandated the political parties with management
responsibility in proportion to their Assembly seats and they now
expect them to exercise it. The function of the election was to
provide a devolved executive and an Assembly that would deal with
everyday economic and social issues. The parties have less than
three weeks in which to execute that mandate.

The Democratic Unionist Party has emerged as the undeniable
leader of unionism, having stretched the lead it established over
the Ulster Unionist Party in the last Assembly and Westminster
elections. The woes of the UUP are further compounded through a
loss of support to the Alliance Party. There is a similar pattern
within the nationalist community where Sinn Féin confirmed its
domination over the SDLP.

The increased support awarded to the DUP and Sinn Féin was,
however, clearly circumscribed by voters. Both parties had
signalled their willingness to enter government and form an
executive; the DUP by confirming the Rev Ian Paisley was prepared
to become first minister, and Sinn Féin by endorsing the criminal
justice system and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Dissident republican candidates opposed to powersharing, along
with rebellious unionists and the United Kingdom Unionist Party,
were relegated to the political sidelines.

In spite of such a clear public appetite for compromise, there is
talk of delay and procrastination concerning the March 26th
deadline set by legislation for the establishment of an
executive. That may be a tactical move by the DUP, designed to
provide cover for a future political compromise while, at the
same time, exerting pressure on the British government to deliver
the financial resources necessary to cope with issues like water
rates, education and the health services. On the other hand, it
could reflect traditional rigidity. And there is a danger that -
in seeking to extract maximum political advantage from its
election success - the DUP may precipitate dissolution of the
Assembly and the introduction of direct rule through the British
and Irish governments.

Political deadlines have been missed, rather than met, in
Northern Ireland. And, in the past, republicans frequently failed
to step up to the mark. This time, things are different. The IRA
has disarmed and Sinn Féin, in the words of Martin McGuinness,
has declared "wholehearted support for the PSNI". The party
desperately wants to enter government. But the DUP appears
determined to impose a period of political quarantine. Nothing
but ritual and humiliation can be served by such an approach. And
a great deal may be lost.

The electorate does not expect DUP and Sinn Féin politicians to
like one another.There is too much trouble in their history. But,
for once, the voters seem to be ahead of their politicians in
Northern Ireland. They want them to form a government and, in the
real sense of the word, move to "normalise" politics.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Opin: Green Surge Could Burst The SF Bubble As It Turns South

Sat, Mar 10, 2007

Sinn Féin knows the value its Northern Ireland profile adds to
its politics in the Republic. The party is skilfully exploiting
the dividend which flows from the proximity of the elections on
each side of the Border. Once the polling stations closed in the
Assembly elections on Wednesday night, Sinn Féin's focus
immediately switched to the forthcoming general election in the
Republic, writes Noel Whelan.

With no more votes to be got for their candidates North of the
Border, their choice of spokespeople for election count
programmes through Thursday and Friday owed everything to
southern political considerations. Mary Lou McDonald, who is now
fronting their endeavour to win a seat in Dublin Central, was
their representative on RT's election coverage. On UTV their
spokesman was Pearse Doherty, who would have been unrecognisable
to most Northern Ireland viewers but will, because of this
exposure, be better known in Donegal where the channel has a
relatively large viewership.

Sinn Féin have also pulled a clever stroke by organising their
first major post-election rally for Dublin not Belfast.

Since midweek, the lamp-posts of Temple Bar and other parts of
the city centre have been littered with colourful posters,
featuring Gerry Adams, which were publicising a rally last night
in an O'Connell Street hotel. Indeed, both Bairbre de Br£n and
Gerry Adams were quick to plug the Dublin event on their
television outings.

Much of the media pack will follow Sinn Féin's every move over
the next few weeks as the ins and outs of establishing a
powersharing executive in Northern Ireland are played out. No
camera in that pack will be able to turn any direction without
catching a D il election candidate in shot.

Incidentally, I say that the posters are littering Dublin's
street lamps because that is precisely what they are doing.
Parties and candidates are only entitled to erect political
posters once an election is called when the law provides a
specific exemption from the Litter Acts. At other times,
political posters, like any posters, are illegal. It is curious
that Dublin City Council, which was very quick to take down
posters which they viewed as being up too early before the 2004
local and European elections, seems to have made no effort to
remove these Sinn Féin posters, or to fine the party for erecting

Sinn Féin progress in next May's election will depend primarily
on the work done and campaigning yet to be done by their
candidates. However, a lot will also depend on the coverage the
party manages to attract in the media. Much of that coverage will
be generated by events in Northern Ireland. However, there will
also be more scrutiny of its policy proposals for the Republic.
Interestingly, Gerry Adams's ardfheis speech last weekend had a
greater focus on southern political issues than in previous
years, but most of what he had to say about issues like health
and equality was bland and negative.

Indeed, many interviews which Gerry Adams did over the ardfheis
weekend were a tale of two halves. When asked about the Northern
Ireland elections, Adams was fluent, informed, specific and

However, when the interviewers changed tack and asked him about
Sinn Féin's policy position for the general election down South,
Adams was evasive, vague and even incoherent. One exchange
between Adams and Bryan Dobson on RT's Week in Politics was
almost comical.

Dobson had to ask Adams six times whether the party was still
proposing a new income tax rate of 50 per cent and asked him to
whom this tax rate would apply, but he couldn't get a straight
answer. Dobson then asked him five times whether the party was
still committed to increasing corporation tax and again Adams
ducked the question.

Sinn Féin surged in the Republic in 2002 and 2003 and then did
very well in the 2004 local and European elections.

In the early months of 2005 SF's rise slowed and Adams's own
popularity took a hit in the aftermath of the Northern Bank
robbery and the Robert McCartney murder.

In mid-2005 the party got no real additional bounce in the polls
for significant achievements, like IRA decommissioning and
disbandment and the move from criminality. In part, this was
because Sinn Féin was seen in the Republic as having been tardy
in delivering these breakthroughs.

There is no reason to believe that the party will necessarily get
an additional bounce here now for finally signing up to policing
and even for re-establishment of a powersharing executive if that
happens before May. Sinn Féin's strong performance in Wednesday's
Assembly elections and the poor vote for dissident candidates
standing on platforms opposing support for policing will leave
many in the Republic wondering why it took SF so long to cross
the policing Rubicon.

Although SF support has topped out in the polls, it still sits
several percentage points above its vote share in the 2002 D il
election. They should hold all their current seats, although the
intensity of the competition in Kerry North, Dublin South Central
and even Dublin South West means that this is not a foregone

There are also half a dozen constituencies where the party is
well-positioned to challenge for new D il seats - the two Donegal
constituencies, four constituencies in Dublin. The party also has
outside chances in Wexford, Waterford and even in the new Meath
West three-seater.

There is, however, another dynamic developing which could also
operate against a dramatic rise in support for SF and that is the
rise of the Green Party. A surge for the Greens is the one
clearly discernible shift in the electorate during this "phoney
war" stage of election campaign. SF fishes in the same pool for
some of the younger and/or anti-establishment votes and a Green
surge narrows the space for Sinn Féin growth.

c 2007 The Irish Times


Were Most Of The Irish Leaders Of The 1919-21 War Really British
Agents? A Different Perspective...

National History And Heritage Opinion/Analysis
D‚ Domhnaigh M rta 11, 2007 07:57 by Brian

I hope to show that there is another way of looking at the War of
Independence, that if you throw a more skeptical light on the
activities of the leaders like Collins and de Valera you can
explain more adequately some of the facts surrounding that time.
Its really just a bit of theorising about a possible of hidden
history for that period, which mightn't be to everybody's liking
but is this writers best guess for what really happened!

While I know this sounds crazy !:-) this writer is suspicious
enough of British Intelligence to wonder if in fact most of the
leaders of the War of Independence were actually British agents.
Believe it or not I would even include Collins, de Valera,
Mulcahy, Childers, Boylan, O'Higgins, the big heavy hitters in
the IRB: Dermot O'Hegarty, Bulmer Hobson, Dr Patrick McCartan,
Denis McCullough, Sean T O'Kelly, Robert Brennan, Ernest Blythe
even maybe Cathal Brugha, Liam Lynch, Ernie O'Malley; and almost
all of the Treaty delegation: Gavan Duffy, Duggan, Barton and
Chartres. As pointed out, I know this sounds mad! and I
cheerfully admit that I really have precious few explicit sources
to back it up. This is just a theory OK? Its not proven, its just
this writers gut instinct about what was really happening.
Hopefully everybody gains by looking at this history from a
different perspective and some facts might be surprising enough
to those only acquainted with the usual history. And its
important too because if we don't find out the truth here then we
are condemned to repeat it!

I can only really point to one contemporary figure, Sceilg (1),
who seems to suggest that both Collins and Dev were working for
the British, and one historian, Paul Brew (2), who hints that in
his view the British government had so many sources among the
Sinn Fein leaders that they were manoeuvring them around to get
the best deal at the time of the Treaty. Sceilg really does seem
to hint at this state of affairs and he is after all quite an
important figure of the time. His real name was John J. O'Kelly,
from Valentia island in Kerry, and is mainly famous for his
efforts in the Irish language movement, second only to Douglas
Hyde I think in Gaelic League circles. He chaired the First Dail
debates and even some Cabinet meetings in 1920, while also being
successively Minister for the National Language and then Minister
for Education. He was furthermore a serious historian, a prolific
and learned author, and the long time editor of the Catholic
Bulletin which was a highly respected journal of the time.

Apart from his hints there are maybe a few facts about the then
leaders which raise a few eyebrows in retrospect. Erskine
Childers for example is a key figure at that time. He transported
the guns from Germany that landed at Howth in 1913, he was
probably the most important adviser to de Valera and controlled
access to him when he came back from America (3) - obviously de
Valera was President of the Republic at the time - he played some
role in Collins' intelligence apparatus (4), was the secretary to
the Treaty delegation (5), joint author of de Valera's Document
No.2, and at least some of the IRB/Dail money that was
transferred from the US went through his bank accounts in London
(6) etc etc. It comes as a bit of surprise when you read then in
the foreword to the Penguin edition of his book that "in 1916 he
was posted to Intelligence at the Admiralty." Later "he was
appointed by Lloyd George to the secretariat of the Irish
Convention of 1917."(7) This was obviously in the middle of his
time as an Irish Republican but we are assured by one recent
biographer that as a gentleman and all that there is no question
of the Admiralty taking any interest in these activities! This
biographer has nonetheless admitted that Admiralty Intelligence
even sent a telegram to the Irish Volunteers looking for Childers
when WWI broke out!(8) Incidentally the Admiralty don't seem to
have looked upon him as any kind of traitor or anything because
they later named a new Destroyer after him.(9) There are a few
other advisers appointed by de Valera after his return from
America that caused at least one contemporary commentator to
baulk. This was Pat Moylett, a Mayo businessman and longterm
political activist who conducted negotiations on behalf of
Griffith with the British Cabinet in 1920, who described how Dev
had set up a kind of kitchen cabinet including Childers, who was
also a Major in the British army, as Director of Publicity, Major
Robinson, his cousin "just retired from the British army", as
secretary of the White Cross and:

"We had a new star arise over the Republican horizon in the shape
of John Chartres, a man who had been sent to Ireland by Lloyd
George on a secret service mission in reference to munitions. We
also had Mr.Smith-Gordon, an Englishman, who was appointed M.D.
of the National Land Bank, and one or two other visitors of the
same ilk. These were put up as an inner cabinet or advisory board
by Mr. de Valera."(10) It'd make you wonder!

I feel as well that it is important to place these leaders in the
context of the time. I would point to the period 1900-1914 as
possibly the most important era in the shaping of the future Sinn
Fein leadership. During that period Ireland is industrialising
somewhat, and growing a commercially minded middle class, its the
famous time when W.B. Yeats talks about the people being
concerned only with adding the 1/2 pence to the pence. In that
kind of era, unfortunately, frequently the Irish general public
tend to despise those hardy few who would be more concerned with
the welfare of the nation than their personal wealth. You can see
some of that antipathy experienced by the old Fenians for example
who, as pointed out by Sean Moylan T.D., were despised because
"they were all poor men.....It is a difficult matter for a rich
man to appreciate the courage and selflessness of a seemingly
ineffectual effort by poor men, and so the Fenians were
misunderstood by the well-intentioned but thoughtless, and
despised in the homes of those whose only standard of success is
material advancement."(11)

This makes life very difficult for those Irish idealists, and
correspondingly very vulnerable to some largesse from the powers
that be, which by restoring their wealth enhances their standing
in the eyes of the people. This is also a time when the police
were hugely popular - not always justifiably so! - and respected,
which again might have smoothed the path to the Castle door for
at least some of these future leaders.(12) Also at that time
there is high morale and ample funding among the various police
and intelligence agencies all across the Empire and in America,
and no doubt they were heavily focused on infiltrating the
nascent Irish nationalist movement, the GAA, Gaelic League, IRB
etc. Of course this changes dramatically later, especially post
1916, but most of the leaders were involved in the earlier
period, and the post 1916 influx of activists tended to look up
to and follow the direction of the earlier pioneers. In short I
would say that the lifestyle of those leaders pre-1914 is
captured in works like Joseph Conrad's 'Secret Agent', leading
lives that were very vulnerable and very infiltrated by the
police and intelligence agencies. So you would expect to find a
lot of agents in this period and the absence to any reference to
them makes this writer suspicious that maybe they rose to such
prominence that they were able to snuff out any awkward questions
about their past. And unfortunately the comparative silence on
this subject makes me suspicious that a lot of the key leaders
were agents, in other words a large group rather than one or two,
because otherwise you would expect those that weren't to have
exposed the others.

Again I know I am only speculating but I think also that you can
see some of the more crafty intelligence agency techniques at
work during those years. One trick that is frequently used by
governments, intelligence agencies, (or even secret societies ?)
that control a country's media is to allow some apparently
negative publicity to shine on a figure that they will use later
as a political leader. As an example of what I mean take a
government that controls the media and is using that control to
kind of brainwash the citizens into thinking that the economic
climate in the country is prosperous and booming. An example of
that could be East Germany whose government frequently hyped its
supposed economic success through a controlled media. But say the
govt. knows perfectly well that this is not true, and knows that
a generation of people are coming forward who are anything but
prosperous. So the trick is that you will give some, apparently
negative, publicity to some champion of the poor and oppressed
knowing that he will become the future leader of that generation.
And of course since the govt. controls the media, it can direct
that publicity on one of their own agents. So anyway one
commentator of the time has noted that de Valera got a lot of
curiously favourable publicity at the time he was avoiding the
death penalty at the end of the Rising in 1916.(13) Also there is
some evidence that the media hyped up Collins' activities during
the War of Independence, in a way that greatly enhanced his
status later. Here is a comment on that by Seamus Robinson TD who
was the O/C of the 2nd Southern Division of the IRA in 1921:

"Towards the end of 1920 and the beginning of 1921 the British
press had been changing its description of Collins from a "thoug"
and "murderer" to "a daredevil"; romanticising him with damnation
that praised him in the sight of the Irish people. He was "seen"
all over the country leading the columns from Dublin to West Cork
where he had been "seen" riding on a white charger like King
William at the Boyne. But it was Tom Barry who rode the horse
because of a strained foot and King William rode a brown horse!
This sort of journalism is not history but it is blatant
propaganda. In the case of Mick Collins it put him on a pedestal
where he did not properly belong. It enhanced his undoubted
influence beyond all bounds. "What's good enough for Mick Collins
is good enough for me." It is clear that the British press had
got its directions and the anti-national press in Ireland simply
quoted the British press without comment.......knowing the
reports were false. They could see the aim behind this personal

Maybe then that 'good enough' phrase could turn out to be the
classic example of media brainwashing of the Irish people!

The other point I would make about intelligence agency tactics is
the way that the Collins-de Valera split dominates the post
Treaty atmosphere to the exclusion of other figures and a more
conciliatory outcome. It would be classic intel practise to
polarise the political situation around two or more political
figures that they control. Once they control those leaders, and
the extremes of the political spectrum, then they just leave it
up to the ordinary people to decide who they want to follow. They
don't care how it ends up, or who wins elections say, so long as
they control the key figures in all shades of opinion. I know
that sounds very speculative and convoluted, its just interesting
how many insiders, like Sceilg and Tom Barry, noted the close
friendship and link between Dev and Collins who then emerge later
as supposedly great enemies dominating their respective

Anyway I don't really think that there is enough uncensored
material out there to figure out what was really going on, so my
aim is just to get this thesis across two huge hurdles. There are
I think two enormous blocks to any such theory that the Irish
Independence leaders were dominated by British intelligence
agents. The first obvious one is that Dublin Castle is well known
to have leaked a lot of information in the 1919-21 period, when
the police were under huge pressure and badly rundown, so how
could they keep these agents secret ? And secondly how could
there have been a successful War of Independence at all if all
these leaders were working for the enemy? I will take these in

1) This first problem is I think quite obvious. The RIC Special
Branch, DMP Political Department, and maybe Army Intelligence
after 1916, were heavily infiltrated by the Irish Volunteer
Intelligence Department, certainly not all of whom were British
agents, and yet somehow we are to believe that Dublin Castle
still housed some super secret all powerful intelligence agency
that ran all these Irish rebel leaders as secret agents unknown
to everybody?

The first thing I would say, in reply to that, is that the
history of the high up duel between the IRA intelligence
department and the Castle remains to be written, because at the
end of the day Irish historians are only working on censored
documents that the Irish and British governments have eventually
released. For me anyway, sources like the DMP/RIC personality
files are clearly not complete in the form they come down to us.
Even some of the Bureau of Military History witness statements
are heavily censored e.g. Austin Stack's memoirs as passed on by
his widow.(16) Also of course it didn't suit anybody to admit
later that he/she was a British agent while the Irish government
for many years was dominated by people like de Valera, who might
have had a vested interest in covering things up, and the UK
government would of course like to continue running these agents
in later Irish politics and so obviously also had no interest in
revealing the real truth. So how do we really know what was
happening ? If for example Eamonn Broy, later head of Irish
intelligence, was actually running Collins as a police agent,
rather than Collins running him, whose interest would it be to
reveal that ?(17) Nobody's, so we can only keep guessing. Its no
good taking the word of observers a little outside the loop here
because how could they really tell? They obviously knew that Broy
met Collins very frequently, to exchange intelligence, but how
would they know which direction the intelligence really flowed?
Certainly it has to be admitted that Collins, and the whole GHQ
staff, seemed to live a charmed life in Dublin those years as
even Tom Barry remarked:

"..they seemed to have no fear of arrest or, if they had, they
did not show it......Their lack of precautions was amazing and
even made one angry.....Mick then became serious and before long
convinced me that their only hope of survival was to act as they
were doing. That he was right is proved by the fact that during
all the Anglo-Irish war not a single senior G.H.Q. officer was
captured, recognised and detained."(18)

For all that I readily concede that there was a huge lower level
IRA intelligence apparatus, involving a large number of people
collecting valuable intelligence on Dublin Castle, who couldn't
all have been under the control of the enemy. RIC codes,
telegraph, mail, and telephone communications were routinely
intercepted, and the country was full of Irish people, from all
walks of life, passing on pieces of intelligence to the local
volunteers. Hence it would be very difficult for the Castle to
run these agents without arousing the suspicion of this large and
alert Volunteer intelligence network. So any attempt to run these
highly placed Sinn Fein leaders must have involved very few
intermediaries, or entities not so well infiltrated. I would
propose three possible modes of running these agents which could
have been feasible in the face of the local dominance of IRA
intelligence circles:

(a) My first guess is the Americans. Obviously the US and UK
Secret Services had cooperated very extensively during the war,
just ended in 1918, and presumably it is reasonable to suppose
that they continued to cooperate closely against the IRA. Don't
forget that a very large percentage of the leaders had been for a
time in the US and their funding as well came almost exclusively
from there. If some of those Irish American leaders, like
MacGarrity, were quietly working with US Intelligence, alongwith
the British Embassy in Washington and US Consul in Dublin, then
you can obviously see how could have run a number of agents using
entities that were not particularly vulnerable to the local IRA
intelligence effort. For example I don't think that the US
consulate in Dublin was infiltrated by them, and yet that office
seemed to work very closely with senior Castle figures. The US
Consul, Mr Dumont, admitted that he was in close touch with the
Castle when talking to Pat Moylett before the Truce in 1921, and
explained that: "I might tell you that I am more than a Consul
here. I am a political agent."(19) This is Sceilg's opinion on
the subject, I suspect referring to money that McGarrity might be
corrupting the Irish leaders with:

"MacGarrity came over on a visit about the time of the Treaty
debates. He turned up after a Party meeting at which I had just
presided: that was the first time I had met him, and we never
became cordial friends - because I would not be exploited. All
the Envoys - MacCartan, Boland, de Valera - were a bit immature
for the responsible roles they had to fill, and very easily
exploited. Of course, it would be an insult to suggest it then;
but they were so, in fact.


Yes it struck me as very singular that de Valera should declare
for the Platt amendment - the Cuban plan: it struck us all as
somewhat inexplicable. How that was put into his ears, I don't
know. Somebody must have got after him. I am afraid it came from
the Cope side - from the British Minister in Washington perhaps.
When the suggestion came to the Dail, there was no disagreement,
but certainly no ardor for it."(20)

(b) My next guess is that the pattern of running these agents
could have been the same as was revealed during the 1798
rebellion. Historians found out later that the most important and
extensive British spy ring in Dublin at that time was run not by
the Police or Army, but by the editor of the Freeman's Journal
who reported back directly to the Castle. In other words you
don't have to look for some trained intelligence figure to run
such a ring, it could be a political figure who reported back
only to high up government circles in Dublin or London. My
favourite candidate for such a person would be Tim Healy who
turns up everywhere at this time. He was in close contact with
important IRB figures since at least 1915, (21) in fact it is
said that he was a member of the IRB (22), he interviewed the
prisoners in Frongoch and was instrumental in getting them
released, a close adviser of Collins during the war - and in
receipt of IRA intelligence despatches (23) - and present at the
Treaty negotiations (24), and simultaneously is best buddies with
the movers and shakers in London like Lord Beaverbrook the
biggest media baron in the UK at the time.(25) Tim Healy is
obviously a barrister that was central to the downfall of
Parnell, a self confessed expert in political splits! He was not
without some disillusioned clients (26), and the Parnellites
openly accused him of accepting money from the Castle to banjax
his client's cases.(27) Sean MacBride later explained in an Irish
Press interview that Healy had been originally blackmailed by the
Castle, and was all along their tool during his long career in
law and politics.(28) This casts a long shadow when you even hear
of him giving money to Michael Collins.(29) Veterans of that time
relate many rumours of Tim Healy's secret influential role in
events, which presumably could only be true if he had some
'influence' on many of the key leaders. For example this is what
Albert E.Wood, one of the leaders of the Irish Bar, said to Sean
Moylan TD who lead one of the Cork flying columns:

"Don't go to see Tim Healy ! You have ideals, for which you
fought, and Healy is involved in the centre of an intrigue which,
if successful, will dash the hopes held by you and your

(c) In any case Ireland is a small country and you don't really
have to look hard to see some close links between the Sinn Fein
leaders and the Castle in those years. James MacMahon for
example, the Irish Undersecretary which makes him no.3 in the
Irish administration at the time, just happened to be a good
friend of de Valera's, from Blackrock days.(31) Dublin is also at
this time quite a small cosy kind of place which you can see if
you stand on Dame St. today and look across at Eamonn Duggan's
old office as IRA Director of Intelligence, no.66, and then look
at the short distance from it to the entrance to the Castle. We
are in fact told from one source that those neighbours Andrew
Cope, the "mainspring of Castle rule" in David Neligan's phrase
(32), and Duggan just happened to be best friends during the War.
As pointed out Duggan was IRA Director of Intelligence in 1919
and at least for a time in 1920.(33) Of course as gentlemen we
are assured that there is no question of them discussing
politics!(34) The same account revealed that Cope's pockets were
constantly full of Secret Service money. In fact Cope personally
met with most of the important Irish leaders before and after the
Truce. He exchanged written and verbal messages with de Valera
(35), and then met him "in town" not long before the Truce,(36)
he is said to have been well in with Boland, and personally met
with those leaders imprisoned in Mountjoy also while the War was

But most interesting of all are the numerous accounts of his
frequently meeting Michael Collins from the summer of 1920 on.
Remember again that Cope is pretty much the British government's
man on the spot at this time, he said himself that "he had
superceded both the Lord Lieutenant and the Chief Secretary" in
these political matters (38) and he also addressed full Cabinet
meetings in London.(39) Hence it is not surprising that this
ongoing Cope-Collins relationship, which was reported to continue
at the height of the war, attracted some suspicion from veterans
like Richard Walsh TD who was on the Volunteer Executive and also
was IRB Centre for Co.Mayo. He is very definite that the two met
about the summer of 1920 in the house of a legal friend of Tim
Healy's in Dublin, "I heard at the time that more than one
meeting was held at this man's house."(40) The house was owned by
the lawyer called Kelly from Tuam and he also heard that Lord
Beaverbrook was one of the prime movers in these machinations.
Lawrence Nugent in his account says that he knew of separate
meetings that Cope and Collins were holding together, this time
in Dundrum in the house of Martin Fitzgerald's.(The owner of the
Independent and Freeman's Journal, he appointed Collins a
Publicity agent for the Freeman's Journal). Again Nugent found
the thing a bit fishy: "It was strange that Mick carried on these
meetings on his own as both Dev and Cathal Brugha were
available."(41) Walsh in his account clearly entertains some
serious suspicions about Collins' role in events during this
whole time, just stopping short of accusing him of being a
British government agent. He knew Collins very well from his
dealings with him in the Volunteers and IRB and he doesn't join
in with the universal praise of his abilities. He says that
Collins was vain and egotistical with "none of the qualities of
statesmanship and foresight." His main skill "was his keenness in
grasping what the key position [in the various nationalist
groups] was and then getting control of it." He also relates a
story that at one of the Volunteer Executive meetings Cathal
Brugha accused Collins of "making contacts with some people
working in Dublin Castle and accused Collins and some others of
acting with those Castle contacts without any authority." Walsh
discussed this with Rory O'Connor later and they figured that
Collins wanted and got the position of Director of Intelligence
of the Volunteers (previously he was Adjutant General) in order
to quell any more of that kind of criticism. Now he had "an
opportunity of establishing any contacts he liked....and could
always use the excuse that he was seeing an individual ....for
the purposes of getting information."(42) So you can appreciate
what his attitude to these Cope-Collins meetings was. This
suspicion was not helped when he accidentally found out, in
August 1920, that Collins was receiving messages, or one anyway,
from a "General Cocker or Cockerbourne" of the "Imperial
Intelligence Service"(43). So the bottom line is that the
important Irish leaders were in close personal communication with
at least one key Castle/ British government figure for a long
period both before and then after the Truce. One historian notes
simply that "Cope....Lloyd George's confidential agent....had
long consorted with leading Republicans at Vaughan's Hotel and
elsewhere."(44) Consequently you don't have to worry about
looking for any other intermediaries or police or intelligence
personnel who could have run these agents. They were themselves
in close contact with Lloyd George's agent most of the time it

Maybe then at some high level in London these various strands
come together, the US - Healy - Cope agents, and only there do
they get to see the whole canvas, which I suspect, unfortunately,
might not be a pretty picture from the Irish point of view!

2) Then you come to the second pretty massive hurdle that blocks
this particular thesis. Clearly if all these leaders were working
for the other side then how did the War of Independence take off
at all? Surely with the amount of documentation that flowed
across Collins' desk for one, is it not the case that the
rebellion couldn't have succeeded for a week if he was a British
agent? Which is as I say a good point and requires a bit of going
into. Again I am really only guessing but I will put forward two
possible explanations, the first looking at it from the point of
view of a British Intelligence apparatus hoping to keep the
Empire together, and the other putting forward a more devious,
underhand agenda. I will divide the first theory into separate
periods as I try and guess the thinking of British Intelligence
during each of these phases in turn:

(a) 1912-1919

OK picture the scene, Ireland c.1912. Ignore for a minute the
later impression that the Irish Parliamentary Party was corrupt
or pusillanimous in the face of the old enemy - and I am
certainly not excusing Woodenbridge. Look at the unity and
serried ranks of Irish Nationalism united for once since the
split had been healed in 1899. The IPP backed up by the
flourishing branches of the United Irish League, and the more
secret AOH circles, was firing on all cylinders in the House of
Commons. For once they had stuck together and genuinely had the
UK Liberal government over a barrel. They had even compelled that
government to abolish centuries of parliamentary practise and
crush the House of Lords veto and so had finally got the Home
Rule Bill passed. And that Bill, backed by the determined
Nationalist mood in Ireland, must have felt threatening to those
in Britain who feared that it meant the end of an Empire. Because
obviously if Ireland could wrangle out of them her independence
then what about India or South Africa etc? And remember this is
an Empire with huge resources of money and experience in dealing
with similar situations. There is also plenty of evidence that
the most devious minds the Empire could put together were on the
case, like the unscrupulous Alfred Milner, that political general
Sir Henry Wilson,(45) and maybe even King George himself.

So how were they going to do it? How do you crush the Irish
Parliamentary Party? Maybe you simply hype up, fund, and arm her
enemies. Unleash the extremes of the political spectrum and crush
the IPP in the middle. Specifically you hype up the whole Ulster-
Unionist-Protestant question, arm them and use them to try and
block Home Rule, and simultaneously you do the same for the
extreme Nationalist enemies of the IPP, arm them and let them
loose in the political sphere to discredit and campaign against
the IPP. The beauty of it is that both wings can feed off one
another. The more forthright, and anti-IPP, Nationalists can get
a great shot in the arm as the public gets alarmed at the
rampant, and government sponsored, activities of the Unionists.
The Unionists in turn will become ever more militant claiming
that every Nationalist is now an unreasonable Sinn Feiner. The
two extremes, by 1913 say, begin to crowd over, dominate the
debate, and ultimately crush the IPP.

In a way all they are trying to do is destroy the unity of the
Irish political leaders. Now instead of a united unstoppable mass
of IPP MP's bringing their great weight to bear on the
government, the seats in Ireland are now contested among the
competing Irish Nationalist groups, and her unity vis a vis the
UK government is lost. So until 1919-20, when the IPP had
obviously been crushed, the British government might have been
happy to back the later Sinn Fein/IRA leaders as a counterweight
to attack the IPP. Then at that point they gradually turn their
sights on Sinn Fein which now became the united force of Irish
Nationalism, starting with the media maybe. Lawrence Nugent, who
was a platform speaker for Plunkett during the Roscommon bye
election, shows in his account how the 'Irish Independent' backed
Sinn Fein after that election until about 1919/20. Then: "'The
Irish Independent' having attained its ambition in smashing the
Irish Parliamentary Party now started to work on the IRA
operation and published a serious attack on Republicans." (46)

1919-early 1920.

But before they start to really try and crush Sinn Fein I think
they complacently, and deliberately, allowed the rebellion to
start in the 1919-mid 1920 period, confident that they could
crush it in due course. After all from their point of view they
probably thought that they could always pull the rug out from
under the movement later because they controlled the leaders.
Secondly as a serious military threat to their position they
probably felt that the IRA position was hopeless simply because
they didn't have the proper arms and their agents among the
leaders were going to make sure that they never got any.(47) For
arms read rifles specifically, no other armaments really mattered
to the IRA, even in the built up areas of Belfast revolvers,
shotguns and homemade grenades were pretty useless when set
against the all important rifle.(48) And rifles, up to I think
mid 1920, they simply didn't have in any serious quantity. The
Mayo IRA for example only had 2 rifles during much of this period
(49), Cavan only ever had 5.(50) So maybe from the sober
perspective of the professional soldier the IRA just didn't have
a prayer when you consider that there was as much as 30,000
British troops travelling through Co.Mayo alone (51), and big
numbers of British forces in all parts of Ireland. So for the
period 1919 to late 1920 the British government maybe felt that
they could, if they wanted to, tolerate a kind of hopeless
rebellion, which could be crushed later with ease and with it
maybe any hope of Irish independence. But why would they want to?
Why not just destroy the Sinn Fein independence movement straight
away in 1919, now that the IPP is hardly much of a threat? Easily
done seeing as how they control the leaders? I will give two
answers to that.

Firstly I think they were maybe deliberately letting the
rebellion develop in order to militarise the situation, which
then allowed them a free hand to use their military to crush all
hope of Irish Nationalism. What I mean is that their military
couldn't justify using harsh warlike methods until the situation
was seen to have become an out and out military conflict, in
which environment they might have felt that they would always
win.(52) So if they wait and let the war develop then when they
move in and destroy Sinn Fein the aftermath could be like the end
of the 1798 rebellion with Home Rule, Irish Independence, and all
the rest of it crushed once and for all.

The other related point is that I think they hoped that the IRA
campaign would descend into a lawless mob like orgy of violence,
like unfortunately many revolutions, which the army could then
crush and gain many kudos as kind of law abiding white knights
saving the island from some kind of sectarian or class massacre,
again just like 1798. (And maybe not unlike some more recent
British army propaganda!) They might have hoped specifically that
the Sinn Fein courts, which they at first made no attempt to
suppress, would descend into this kind of arbitrary revenge and
sectarian stuff which could then discredit the whole concept of
Irish independence. As part of this they might have planned the
Ulster anti-Catholic pogrom that broke out in Belfast in mid
1920, as an attempt to add fuel to the sectarian flame. Seamus
Dobbyn worked as an Intelligence Officer attached to the Belfast
Brigade of the IRA and he said that that pogrom was planned long
in advance, having "being prepared by the Masonic pro-British
junta." (53) That phrase 'junta' would make you think that
whoever was planning all this was not necessarily the real
government but seemingly some short of powerful and shadowy
Masonic cartel, but anyway his account clearly shows that this
pogrom was no arbitrary act and presumably they must have thought
that the IRA and the whole Catholic community would take this
bait and reply in kind to the Protestant and Unionist

These then are my guesses as to what was going on during 1919 and
early 1920, which if true shows again why the government was not
as antagonistic to the Sinn Fein movement, yet, as some might

Late 1920-1921.

But this just didn't work. What stands out loud and clear from
the available evidence is that the Volunteers were not, unlike in
many revolutions, blood thirsty or undisciplined or prejudiced
against any group in society, only dedicated to seeing Ireland
free. They never took that sectarian bait, they responded by
organising a Belfast boycott and later housed the Catholic
refugees in Masonic buildings in Dublin, well knowing who was
behind the pogrom!(54) The Sinn Fein courts did not develop into
the sordid kangaroo courts of class or religious prejudices that
the British might have assumed would happen. The exact opposite
is true, they were very fair to all parties, classes and faiths,
proved very popular and brought great credit to the Sinn Fein
cause. Sean Moylan highlighted two decisions in the courts in
Cork which illustrate this. One was where the English wife of a
serving British soldier took a case in the Sinn Fein courts
against her local Irish landlord who wanted to evict her in order
to get a higher rent. She won the case after pleading her poverty
trying to raise a family on her husband's wages. The other case
he mentioned was that of two sets of poachers who fished on, I
think, the Blackwater. Of course the fishing rights were held by
the usual Protestant establishment figures and the poachers
seemingly had no hesitation in taking their case in the Sinn Fein
courts, arguing about a net. The court confiscated the net and
fined them for poaching.(55) So as you can see the IRA at the
time, and everybody involved in these courts, were distinguished
in their respect for private property and the lives of those they
might have disagreed with. Bear in mind we are talking about
ordinary everyday Irish people here who were enforcing court
decisions and sitting as judges. Lawyers were initially not
present at all and "no difficulty was created by their

So why anyway were they so respectful of life and property? (I
admit that you could argue that this was not as true post Truce,
where you could talk about the many executions - official and
unofficial - of the Free State army and the large number of
pretty indiscriminate burnings of stately homes by the anti-
Treaty side in the Civil War.) I think that their fondness for
religion, particularly the Catholic religion, was central to
this. This point really comes across from the accounts of the
time where no operation was planned without elaborate
preparations being made to ensure that all the Volunteers had
received confession for example. And I think simply that they
were sincere in trying to follow the dictates of that religion in
respecting life and property etc. This included the lives and
property of Protestants, contrary to what some might say where a
sincere Catholic is assumed to be anti-Protestant. Maybe this is
what the British didn't bank on! The Irish Volunteers were
basically decent people who just wouldn't resort to the sort of
steps common in other revolutions, maybe partly because they took
their religion seriously and also heeded the views of the clergy.
I know some might disagree with me but this is definitely a
feature of the accounts of the time, with some, like Seamus
Robinson's, going into great detail about their theological
views.(57) So therefore, unusually among revolutionaries, they
had if you like an outside standard of morality which was not
dependent just on the orders or mores of the movement and
government that they were following. What I mean is that if you
look at the French or Russian revolutionaries they generally
follow pretty blindly what their philosophy or leaders tell them
to do, like 'death to the aristocrats' or whatever, whereas the
Irish rebels were following a conscience that was maybe rooted in
an older set of standards, and taught to them by people mostly
outside the Revolution. This might have proved very helpful if
those leaders were actually working to some other agenda ! Anyway
I apologise for waffling on about this but I think if you read
the accounts of the time this point will strike you, and is so
different to the experience of other countries.

Effectively then my guess is that the government might have been
complacent until you get to late 1920 say. Then a different
atmosphere develops. The Volunteers proved to be unbelievably
resourceful and courageous in my opinion. They continued in the
same way that they had won the Roscommon bye election, where they
had got around censorship by writing election manifestos in the
snow!(58) Where they couldn't get any arms from their GHQ by hook
or by crook they wrestled them off the RIC and British army. Also
some of the individual Brigades set up their own quiet smuggling
operations in the UK, in the teeth of resistance from IRA GHQ,
and transported them across the country via personal connections
among the very nationalistic and brave railwaymen.(59) The fact
was that the people, now united again after 1919, were
unstoppable, the British had underestimated what they let
themselves in for. Untrained and unpaid blacksmiths and small
farmers proved to be military experts and were giving the British
a torrid time irrespective of the arms and other difficulties.
With great courage, organisation, and locally great leadership,
the Irish were simply winning hands down against the British army
and state in this period. Whatever complacency existed before,
now it must have been obvious that the Irish were going to get
their independence unless the British could swiftly crush the

So now what can the government do? Obviously the trick here is to
somehow use their control of the leaders to destroy the IRA
campaign. I'm sure they teach this in some obscure British
military academy somewhere! How to destroy an army that you are
the general of! It has its risks and the obvious need of a
certain discretion!:-) So say in the intelligence sphere they got
Collins et al to resort to the usual tricks to ensnare those
Volunteers not already working for them. I would guess things

Maybe putting forward new people that they know are government
agents and encouraging those IRA leaders not already working for
the British to get close to them and maybe be betrayed by them.
Betrayed in the sense of being charged later with IRA offences
using those new agents as witnesses, they couldn't use their more
senior figures for this. Dick Walsh for example says that
Quinlisk, the famous agent shot in Cork, was helped a lot by
Collins and that Collins specifically asked him to be friendly
towards him.(60) Liam Tobin was very suspicious of one new agent
called Fergus Molloy who nearly trapped him after Collins
forcefully compelled Tobin to deal with him despite Tobin's
misgivings.(61) Another new agent that emerges at this time was
called Jameson and in reference to this case we are told that:
"One thing is certain: it wasn't Collins who found him out -
Collins had to be convinced to see sense, and didn't until it was
almost too late."(62)

By deliberately encouraging, and compelling, the individual
Brigades to send detailed information, including the names and
address of the Volunteers, back to GHQ and then deliberately
losing those documents to the enemy in repeated raids. Seamus
Robinson noted "GHQ's insatiably maw for written reports" and
complains that 12 houses of Volunteers were burned down after
Ernie O'Malley had sent down these addresses in his reports to
Dublin.(63) In fact some of the more successful units like in
West Cork (64), Longford (65), and indeed Tipperary (that's why
O'Malley was in Tipperary, he was sent down by GHQ with a typist
to report back from there because they were unhappy with the
previous state of reporting in that area) seem to be those that
were reluctant to supply that kind of paper work. Eamonn Duggan
(66), Collins (67), and especially Richard Mulcahy (68),
attracted some contemporary criticism, if not suspicion, for the
way that they didn't destroy and then lost in raids these very
important documents.

Maybe also in some areas they encouraged important IRA people to
take charge of kidnapped enemy personnel, with a view to the
eventual release of those prisoners and the later bringing of
charges against the IRA people who had held them.

Finally as you get into 1921 they might have reverted to more
desperate measures. De Valera, just back from the US, thought it
a great idea that the IRA should gather together in strength and
attack some targets in numbers of 100 or so. These could have
been deliberately designed as death or capture traps for large
numbers of Volunteers. As part of this tactic the Dublin Brigade
organised an attack on the Customs House and a huge number of the
attackers were picked up because "due to an early warning" the
Auxiliaries had advance knowledge of the operation.(69) Around
the same time in Meath Collins decided to send in 100 members of
the Meath and Fingal IRA to attack a troop train crossing the
flat country of North Kildare with 700 British soldiers on board.
When they got there they were surprised by a number of lorry
loads of military and by a spotter plane although they managed to
fight their way out safely.(70) Some bright spark decided to send
the cream of the Belfast Active Service Unit to Cavan, and when
there they were surprised and captured in circumstances that are
thought to point to an informer.(71)

It should be pointed out too that at the same time it was decided
to order Sean MacKeon to Dublin, and on his return the local
police and military were out in force with full descriptions of
MacKeon and his travelling companion, and then famously shot and
captured him. Collins had confiscated his revolvers before he
left, apparently to avoid being discovered with them.(72) Tom
Barry was similarly invited to Dublin and at the end of his
journey home to West Cork he ran into a huge contingent of Essex
military under the direct command of Major Percival. Luckily they
didn't identify him and he got away.(73)

Nonetheless the IRA were still very much in the field and so the
next logical step was to cobble together a sweetheart deal with
those leaders which possibly garnered the British a better Treaty
than their real military situation warranted. Its just my opinion
but I think that the military situation in 1921 was much more
favourable to the IRA than is commonly written, the British were
very much beaten and simply wanted to leave the country in my
view. Sean MacKeon even said that in London in 1923, he assured
the British that if they had any doubts on that score they could
declare war again in the morning and he and the rest of the IRA
would beat them all over again!(74) So in fact the British were
lucky to get away with Partition at that time, and maybe their
skills in intelligence - including control of the Treaty
delegation - had something to do with it!

Hence one way of looking at how it panned out was that the
British were using the Sinn Fein movement to crush the Irish
Parliamentary Party in 1913-1919, then in 1919-20 they were happy
and complacent about the nascent rebellion which they expected to
crush in due course quite easily, then ended up being beaten
despite pulling out all the stops in trying to destroy the IRA
using their control of the leadership in the late 1920-21 period.
This therefore would explain how the rebellion succeeded despite
their control of the leadership, because they only tried to use
them to crush the rebellion in that late phase, and failed to do

(b) That if you like is my theory Mark 1 :-) There is I think
another way of looking at it which is possibly a bit more
mysterious, but logical in a way. You see the problem with the
above is that there is some evidence that people like Cope were
really very active in assisting the Irish independence movement,
at all times, as if they (the group centred on Lloyd George in
London) really did want Irish independence.(75) Why? Well maybe
they are nice guys and are fond of the ideal of Irish freedom,
but frankly I think not! Maybe quite simply they wanted to
install a kind of fake independence in Ireland, by giving her
nominal freedom while secretly controlling her political
establishment. They were granting independence to a clique that
they in turn controlled? And maybe they didn't control the IPP as
much as they later controlled the Sinn Fein leaders and so needed
to swap over the two sets of leaders before conceding Irish

What's interesting in that context too is the role of the secret
societies. In practise Ireland at this time is clearly dominated
by those societies, the Freemasons and Orange Order on the
Protestant side, the Ancient Order of Hibernians backing the IPP
and the moderate wing of Irish nationalism, while the Irish
Republican Brotherhood controlled everything that moved in the
sphere of the more forward Irish nationalism. It is said of the
Freemasons in 1918 that:

"The Exclusion of Catholics is secured through the machinery of
the Masonic Lodges and that machinery is of course dominated by
his Grace the Duke of Abercorn....And yet Ireland has been bled
and starved to the point of death, while the compass and square
dominate the Castle, the Judicial Bench, the Bar, the
Constabulary, the Magistracy..."(76)

To counteract this many Catholics were secretly organised into
AOH branches and they dominated whatever was going for Catholics
in the professions, trades and government appointments in the
period 1900-16 as you can see in this quote from one observer who
knew them well:

"The AOH up to this period [c.1916] and for a number of years
afterwards was the most insidious organisation ever established
in Ireland as those of us who had to work with them and against
them knew only too well. They controlled every form of business
and profession in the country. Various types of business had each
an AOH branch of their own. Contracts were arranged with
institutions for good members.....I was offered one of those
contracts if I would join. The same applied to the professions:
doctors had their own branch and appointments were made
accordingly. The same applied to the law, education, and every
other walk of life in the country....They even tried to get
control of the GAA."(77)

Then throughout this time, in the words of Dorothy Macardle, "the
IRB was establishing everywhere its secret but effective control"
over the emerging organisations like the Gaelic League, Irish
Volunteers, Sinn Fein and the GAA.(78) As you can see some of
these organisations like the GAA, and in 1914 the Irish
Volunteers, were subject to fierce internal wars between the two
secret societies with the IRB usually winning out though post
1916. The IRB were secretly pulling the strings in the background
throughout this time, especially in the case of the Irish
Volunteers as Seamus Robinson relates:

"IRB members were told "We must make sure that no one will be
elected an officer of the Volunteers who is not a member of the
'Organisation.' " - as if that was something new or something
that we would be allowed to forget, and without adverting to the
fact that that sort of thing would undermine the authority and
the efficiency of the whole Volunteer movement. Without waiting
for the meeting to start officially I walked out in disgust
thinking of Tammany Hall. I never again bothered about the
IRB.....After the oath of allegiance to the Dail the IRB became a
sinister cabal."(79)

Of course the vast majority of Irish people at the time had no
idea that their country was sewn up like this by the secret
societies. They even controlled the electoral system by a
clandestine hold on the nomination of candidates by the big
political parties. Kevin O'Shiel tells us that in Tyrone the AOH
undermined Murnaghan as the IPP MP for Tyrone simply because he
was not AOH, his convention "was rigged by the powerful secret
society." O'Shiel is clear that the AOH "was unquestionably
engaged in carrying out a policy of weeding out every non-
Hibernian Member of Parliament in the [Irish Parliamentary]
Party."(80) Meanwhile the IRB controlled the candidates on the
Republican side. Dick Walsh talks a lot in his account about "the
IRB....interference in the selection of candidates" in the
emerging Sinn Fein party. He says that "the IRB did take an
active part in the selection of republican parliamentary
candidates in the General Election of 1918, and the previous by-
elections." In the bye elections "as far as I know all the
candidates were IRB men" except maybe Plunkett and White. Later
in the 1918 election "the IRB members were being put forward as
Sinn Fein candidates."(81) Dorothy Macardle also says that some
of these Sinn Fein TDs complained in retrospect "that no one who
accepted responsibility as an elected representative ought to be
subject to secret control."(82) So as you can see any outside
commentator who ignores the role of the secret societies is going
to badly mistaken if he feels he understands Irish politics at
that time.

In fact the political power in Ireland rests then with these
secret societies, who unknown to the general public really
controlled all that happened on the island. And so the question
of who in turn controlled them might yield some answers in trying
to figure out what was going on in the power play from 1910-24.
Obviously the Freemasons are linked back to the head of their
organisation in London while the IRB were controlled by Clan-na-
Gael in the US. The AOH (Board of Erin) on the otherhand refused
to make a secret deal with Clan-na-Gael in 1909 and so remained
independent.(83) So if I may be permitted to speculate - and I
admit I am doing that a lot !lol - I wonder if perchance it was
the case that Clan-na-Gael was secretly allied to or controlled
by the Lloyd George group in London, and with the Freemasons,
then the whole island would be nicely controlled by this clique
with the sole exception of the AOH. Hence they, and their Irish
Parliamentary Party, just had to be crushed? This might then be
the link between the Lloyd George group in London and the IRB
controlled IRA in Ireland?

You might think that I am being overly speculative here talking
about this secret society question and placing it in the centre
of the real political undercurrents of the period, but in my
defence I will point out that many commentators at that time knew
well how important those societies were. One book in particular
was written on this subject in 1922 by a British army captain,
H.B.C. Pollard, serving in the office of the Chief of Police in
Dublin Castle.(84) For him this whole question of the secret
societies, including the clandestine war between the AOH and the
IRB, is the real political story of Ireland from 1910-21, and he
drew on confidential Castle documents to prove his case.(85) He
traces the story of these societies back into the 19th century
outlining the curious links between these societies and important
figures in the UK. For example he draws a connection from the
Irish rebels to the Carbonaries in Italy and then notes that they
were quietly assisted by Lord Palmerston, when British Prime
Minister, because he was also a leading Freemason.(86) So he
links Irish revolutionaries, and international
anarchists/revolutionaries, to the Freemasons which obviously
included a lot of important UK (and US) political and security
figures over the years. He says that the head of the Invincibles,
the famous No.1, was P.J. Tynan and that he was "closely in touch
with government circles in England and a frequent caller at the
Irish Office."(87) He even says that the head of the IRB James
"Stephens had received some œ25,000 from the British government
.... and in later years it was a matter of common knowledge that
Stephens, besides being Head Centre, had also an agreement with
the British government, which threw a peculiar light on his
immunity from arrest and his later escape from prison and
leisurely retreat to France."(88) He draws on works by Barruel,
Robinson, Clifford and the Alta Vendita to explain these links
between the Freemasons and these Irish and other revolutionaries,
and why the Masons favoured revolutions. He even refers to the
controversial Protocols of Zion, but he - and this writer -
ignores, and hopefully disbelieves, any anti-Jewish sentiments in
it, but seems to draw on the curious insight that the writer of
those Protocols appears to possess about the thinking of the
senior ranks of the Masonic Orders.(89) Rather than the Jews he
actually links those groups, that Robinson et al mention, back to
the Jesuits.(90) So effectively I think that Pollard's basic
theory is the same as in those Protocols, that sometimes these
secret revolutionary groups are allied to the Masons and control
countries between them.

Amazingly he even goes further and takes a keen interest in the
rituals that societies like Clan-na-Gael practise. He seems to
say that these groups are really linked to the occult and those,
what might be called, esoteric religions that he is quietly
knowledgeable about.(91) In reference to these occult circles he
claims that "such societies still exist and are by no means
inactive."(92) Incidentally the old name for the IRB is 'The
Phoenix Society' (93), which some say is an important occultic
symbol (94), and the clandestine name for Clan-na-Gael was the
Universal Brotherhood (95), which certainly sounds Masonic.

So there you have another potential explanation for what
transpired in Ireland from 1910-22. The theory is that these
Masonic secret societies were asserting their control over the
country, Masonic leaders in the UK being quietly linked to IRB
figures in Ireland and between them destroying the more
independently Irish, and Catholic, IPP and AOH. Btw I am only
referring here to some of the leadership, I am sure that the vast
majority of groups like the IRB were perfectly decent people not
involved in any such intrigue.

Whatever the truth of what was going on I venture to suggest that
it is a lot more complicated than the history that is normally
taught in Ireland! Nonetheless I agree with Richard Walsh who
concluded that: "It was, as I said, a heroic age, and whatever
mistakes or blunders were made at the end, it is well that we
keep in mind that this generation that lived in Ireland were a
great generation....and can without fear face the verdict of

by Brian Domh M rta 11, 2007 08:04


The WS numbers listed are Witness Statements taken by the Irish
army's Bureau of Military History in the 40s and 50s. There are I
think over 2,000 of them, some as much as 300 or even 800 pages
long representing an enormous fount of new information on the
period. I say new because they were kept secret for about half a
century, only released to historians in the last few years. They
are available in the National Archives in Dublin, whom I'd like
to thank. Btw I should point out that many of these writers
including Richard Walsh and Seamus Robinson - but not Sceilg I
don't think - do include complimentary phrases about people like
Michael Collins, which I have discounted, because I think they
were just been charitable about an old dead comrade.

1. John J. O'Kelly [known as Sceilg] W.S. 384, he was also later
the President of Sinn Fein c1926 after De Valera split off to
form Fianna Fail:

"Long afterwards, I laughed when I found that Harry [Boland],
like Michael Collins, was in close touch with Cope."(p.60)


"While de Valera was in America, he and Collins came to be a good
deal in touch with each other, though de Valera did not seem a
man who would let anybody get very close to him before going out.
For a time, Collins, indeed, seemed almost in charge of the
correspondence, and some of us began to suspect that the Lloyd
George machine was operating here. I am not likely ever to
investigate the thing now.

The line to go on would be to try and trace Cope's first meeting
with Collins, and follow it down. Cope was sent here specially
for that work. It was very freely said - and I believe it to be
true - that Lloyd George was fully aware that de Valera was
returning to Ireland at the Christmas of 1920, and that, of
course, would have been arranged by Cope and Collins. The details
would have been kept probably from Cathal Brugha's
knowledge...[Sceilg liked Brugha, and wrote an Irish biography of
him. He goes on to say that Collins was annoyed at the peace
feelers of Fr. O'Flanagan and the Galway County Council
resolution...] The reason being that it was breaking into his own
negotiations with Lloyd George. You may take it that Collins was
in close negotiations with Lloyd George, through Lloyd George's
agents at that time.

Another thing that occurs to me is that Archbishop Clune did not
come over until the day after Collins accepted the appointment as
Substitute-President. When Griffith was arrested - this was well
before de Valera came back - it devolved on me to preside at a
meetings of the Cabinet until a substitute was appointed.
Griffith sent out a letter from Mountjoy by Noyk, the solicitor,
suggesting Cathal Brugha as his substitute. If Brugha refused,
Stack was to take it on; failing him, Michael Collins was to act.
I was in the chair when the letter was read by Diarmuid
O'Hegarty. Brugha or Stack would not act, but Collins consented;
and Dorothy McArdle has a most misleading account of it. He was
hardly twenty-four hours in harness when the New York Gaelic-
American had a fullpage photograph of Ireland's new fighting
chief. Had I time, I could easily trace all those all those
developments. But then I have no heart for that kind of thing. I
am quite sure you will look upon it as I do. If you investigated
it, and found something unworthy of the period, you would rather
not have found it.

The selection of Archbishop Clune and the sending of him here
looked very fishy to me also. It was not accidental: it was being
hatched for a good while. The mere fact that they would send Dr.
Clune to Mountjoy prison to see Griffith is suspicious. Cope had
been visiting Griffith, and he would, no doubt, exonerate his
employers and the Imperial Government by throwing all the blame
on the Castle, and Griffith would get an opportunity of sending
that information out to Collins, and to others, especially the
gullible. The investigation of all that would be very sickening.
I got plenty of revolting echoes of it even in Mountjoy." (p.63
et seq.)


"I knew all about Mrs Llewelyn Davies from London
friends...Earlier, Mrs Davies lived in Donegal a good deal. We
knew well she was very intimate with many people - among them
Michael Collins. I don't think I ever introduced her name into
anything I wrote. We did not care about her. She was a daughter
of James O'Conner M.P., who was pretty well known to me, and they
lived in Bray. One Sunday, they ate shellfish, and it poisoned
the whole family except this girl, who happened to be away, so
far as I can recollect. She went over to London, and became a
clerk in Lloyd George's office. In time, she went up very much in
his estimation. There was then a man to whom the Wizard felt very
much indebted, Llewelyn Davies, who was a solicitor, and had been
largely instrumental in getting Lloyd George into Parliament. In
gratitude, let us presume, Lloyd George arranged that the Davies
marry Miss O'Connor. Some years after her marriage, she came over
and, with two children I think, lived a good deal in Donegal. Her
husband, who was solicitor to the Post Office, I think, used to
come over to see her in the beginning. In time, she had rooms at
the Gresham. The whole story is something one would rather


"Looking back casually on the whole thing, I feel I would much
rather forget it all. I was much surprised the other day at a
statement by William O'Brien of Galway, who said he thought
Arthur Griffith was one of the greatest men our race produced.
Griffith had some ability, and he had a mighty respect for his
own views; but, in all the time that he was in the Dail and I
presiding, I can't remember one suggestion from him that would be
worth preserving. You know with what reluctance I say that. He
did not distinguish himself in any way whatever, except by his
opposition to the Republic to which he had sworn allegiance. He
would make casual references to Davis and to Irish industry, and
anybody who did not accept his view was dense! He had become a
very terse writer and would have been an excellent journalist, if
he had the broad outlook of Rooney. To meet him at his fireside
as I used to when he returned from South Africa was a pleasure
not easily forgotten, and it is in that role that I prefer to
remember him.

.....[Also says that "I think it was very easy for any man of
substance to get Griffith's ear." Including Martin Fitzgerald the
wine merchant.(ibid p.20) As outstanding intelligent
personalities of the time he mentions particularly Joseph
MacDonagh, the brother of the executed Thomas.] I have no
hesitation in saying that Joe MacDonagh was the man who impressed
me most. Both Collins and Griffith used seem vexed with him or
envious of his facility in discussing a wide range of pretty
vital subjects, but they were not in the same plane as he......

De Valera was not on the same plane as MacDonagh either. He was
recognised as leader, because described as the only surviving
Commandant after the Rising. ....As far as my recollection goes,
de Valera never said anything of real moment. He was always well
received, and would talk a great deal, but I don't know of any
subject relating to any of the departments towards which he
contributed a really helpful suggestion. I say that without
prejudice. He once clashed with Count Plunkett and appeared in a
very sorry light; and he certainly had lost the confidence of the
majority of his Sinn Fein colleagues before the Sinn Fein split
came in 1926."(p.67)


"Diarmuid O'Hegarty was Secretary to the First Meeting of the
Dail, and then Secretary to the Cabinet. I feel that Diarmuid was
one of the mysteries of our political life. I am saying nothing
against his soldiery qualities or anything like that. He was
arrested in 1916 and deported to England. I don't know whether he
was sentenced. When the train got to Chester or some such
station, a porter walking up and down shouted: "'Egarty, 'Egarty!
Anybody by the name of 'Egarty?" Of course he attracted the
attention of everybody. At last, somebody said to Diarmuid: "I
wonder could this be you?". Diarmuid got right back to Dublin on
the plea that T.P. Gill could not get on without him. So we were
told, and we accepted the statement at its face value. There was
a wonderful feeling of trust then. Diarmuid got into touch with
the Prisoner's Dependent's Fund, and moved about in the old
circles. When the amalgamation took place in August, 1916,
O'Hegarty and Belton were put on the composite committee.
O'Hegarty and Collins were very close friends. O'Hegarty and I
were fairly intimate too, because we rehearsed plays together in
the Keating Branch.


[Michael Collins was appointed to a post with the National Aid
Committee] largely through O'Hegarty and Belton. Thus links were
established with all the prisoners coming out of gaol. Diarmuid
had no special qualifications or claims that I could see; yet he
became Secretary to the first meeting of the Dail, then Secretary
to the Cabinet. Later, he abandoned the Republic, and became
Secretary to the Cosgrave Government. In time, he was put into
the Board of Works, and is now in charge of it. But what is he
worth from the point of view of national service and national
character, or national culture or the national language? He is
alert where his own interest in concerned; and I hope he has some
better traits than those I have discerned.

I have already said that I feel Michael Collins was in touch with
Cope from the date of his arrival here, and I am convinced that
de Valera came entirely under Collins' influence in this respect
when he came back from America, if not earlier."(p.70-71)


"She [Dorothy Macardle] wrote that book under de Valera's
direction and tutelage, and, so far as I can recollect it -
except in so far as it embodies official documents acceptable to
de Valera - I do not hesitate to brand it as altogether the most
misleading volume that has been written on the Republic.


I have little doubt that there was great influence brought to
bear on him after he [de Valera] came over [from the US], and
none whatever that he came over on invitation to continue the
negotiations in which Michael Collins had long been engaged.


As regards the military situation at the time, its alleged
weaknesses must have been put forward as a reason for
inaugurating negotiations. Yet I don't doubt that Collins and his
group had a supply of arms within reach."(p.74)


[At the meeting when the delegates first returned from London
Collins said practically nothing:] "It was not the attitude or
statement of a candid man. If you were present or witnessed it,
that is what you would think too."(p.76)

He refers to Moya Davies in response I think to a query from the
Military History Bureau researcher who asked was it she who tried
to entrap Austin Stack. Sceilg says no it was Mrs. Maud Walsh, a
sister of the judge Sir James O'Connor: "a sinister figure. He
wrote a History of Ireland afterwards, which was just terrible."
This spying was on behalf of Cope.

Michael Collins knew Mrs Moya Davies since 1913. Her husband
Crompton "at that time was Lloyd George's solicitor and Solicitor
General at the Post Office."(Meda Ryan "Michael Collins and the
women who spied for Ireland" (Cork, 1996) p.21) When a Sinn Fein
delegation went to see President Wilson in London in January 1919
they stayed with the Davies' in London, apparently because Mrs
Davies was "a close friend of George Gavan Duffy and Michael
Collins."(Robert Barton WS 979 p.12) He also used to stay with
Mrs Davies in Portmarnock in 1920 and 21.(Pat Moylett WS 767
p.147) Of course she is the person who is said to have borne two
children by Michael Collins, and rumour has it that he was afraid
to have his private life exposed by the powers that be, in case
he might go the way of Parnell ! She herself claimed later that
she was a spy and a close adviser to Collins. (Peter Hart "Mick /
The Real Michael Collins"(Oxford, 2005) p.353).

I appreciate that Sceilg is really only talking about a few of
the leaders, and I start speculating about a longer list, but I
just think that it is unlikely that those really in the know
would not have seen what Sceilg seems to have, and their silence
is what I am going by. This includes people like Cathal Brugha
that are very close to the centre of the action, although Sceilg
likes him and defended him from charges that he went unhindered
to his work everyday during the height of the war. He did attend
his business during the troubles, Sceilg concedes, "it is true,
but not regularly while the crisis was on."(JJ O'Kelly WS 384
p.58) But even Sean MacEoin was interviewed by Brugha at his
business premises in Dublin (Sean MacEoin WS 1716 p.159), showing
that he conducted IRA business openly where everybody knew he
worked? It is said btw that Cathal Brugha had important Castle
contacts since at least early 1918, Walsh reckons it might have
been Broy which seems likely because of their shared interest in
athletics.(Richard Walsh TD from Balla Co.Mayo WS 400 p.151)

As I say I am only guessing about these leaders, some facts just
jar with the usual interpretation of events. e.g. Robert Barton,
a Captain in the British army, is reported to have been placed in
charge of prisoners effects in Dublin Castle after the rebellion
in 1916. That could of course be just a cover story for
identifying the prisoners on behalf of British intelligence, who
would certainly have wanted him there to do that at that
time.(Robert Barton 979 p.43)

2. "This, after all, is historically how Britain achieves peace
in Ireland. In 1920-21, the police and army regularly made raids
on leading Sinn Féin figures, only to discover that they were
under the protection of other parts of the British state. Those
arrested were rapidly released even when incriminating material
was found; in one famous case, that of Erskine Childers in 1921,
a senior British official [Cope] carried his bags out of jail"
(Paul Bew Yorkshire Post December 22

Paul Bew's thinking on these lines is also referred to in the
introduction to Peter Hart ed. "British Intelligence in Ireland,
1920-21 / The Final Reports" (Cork, 2002).

3. "I tried to see Mr. de Valera through various channels, but on
each occasion I was sent back to Erskine Childers as I was
informed he was the only man that could make an appointment for
me with Dev."(Patrick Moylett WS 767 p.81)

4. James Maguire of Glenidan Co.Westmeath WS 1439.

5. He "was the brains behind this, as he was behind many of the
Irish documents" prepared by the Irish plenipotentiaries in
London.(Peter Hart "Mick / The Real Michael Collins"(Oxford,
2005) p.298)

6. This is discussed in the coded part of a letter from Michael
Collins and Cathal Brugha to Diarmuid Lynch in America.(Diarmuid
Lynch "The IRB and the 1916 Insurrection"(Cork, 1957) p.224)

7. The Foreword by Geoffrey Household in the Penguin edition of
Erskine Childers "The Riddle of the Sands: a Record of Secret
Service" (London,1978) p.16-17.

8. Leonard Piper "Dangerous Waters" (London, 2003) p.137.

9. Barton admits that they called a "new British Destroyer" after
him.(Robert Barton WS 979 p.28)

10. Patrick Moylett WS 767 p.82. The John Chartres mentioned,
known as "the Mystery man of the Treaty", prepared one of the
documents used by Collins during the negotiations on the subject
of the Commonwealth. It proposed changing the structure of the
latter so that it could embrace maybe all nations, including the
United States, become an alternative to the League of Nations,
leading to a "new world order" in which "war would become
impossible." (Peter Hart "Mick / The Real Michael
Collins"(Oxford, 2005) p.304-5)

11. Sean Moylan WS 838 near the beginning. Lawrence Nugent
describes the difficult economic pressure that was exerted on
these pioneers in the c1914 period.(WS 907 near the beginning.)

12. "When I left my home for the Depot in the Phoenix Park in [to
join the RIC in 1907] I carried with me the regards and good
wishes of all and sundry. It never occurred to anyone that I was
doing anything unpatriotic - not even the old Fenians and Land
Leaguers who still survived, amongst them my father - a veteran
of both organisations."(JJ McConnell WS 509 p.1)

13. Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.48.

14. Seamus Robinson TD, WS p.49. "One member was specially
selected by the Press and the people to put him into a position
which he never held; he was made a romantic figure, a mystical
character such as this person certainly is not; the gentleman I
refer to is Mr. Michael Collins." (From a speech by Cathal Brugha
during the Treaty debates.)

When Martin Fitzgerald bought the Freeman's Journal Piaras
Beaslai became the leader writer for it and at that point "a good
deal of publicity was given to Mick Collins" in the
paper.(Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.180) From the same source we are
told that deliberately to court personal publicity he dressed up
in military uniform for the Sinn Fein ard fheis and "gained some
of the popularity which he was looking for."(ibid p.161)

Seamus Robinson has more things to say about Collins, not all of
it complimentary !:

"The first time I found Mick Collins to be a bit of an artful
dodger, was when he arranged the first, the "phoney" attack on
French." French was actually never expected in Dublin at that
time which was the occasion of a big Volunteer gathering in
Dublin, giving him an opportunity to show off to the gathered

"However, Mick was able to give the impression to the Volunteer
officers, from all over the country that he not only organised
the attacks on spies that had begun in Dublin but that he also
led them, taking part in them!......And that was the nearest I
ever saw Mick Collins to a fight....This dummy attack on French
was followed by several other apparently serious attempts but
they all failed because of inaccurate information."

He then refers to his question during the Dail debates, which he
stands over and adds:" One looks in vain to find either the
question or the answer in the new editions (27/2/'25) of the Dail
debates."(Seamus Robinson TD, from Belfast and Glasgow
originally, then O/C of the Tipperary Brigade during the War and
later (c.Sept 1921) of the 2nd Southern Division WS p.47-50)

This is the question:

"There are many thousand people enthusiastic supporters of the
Treaty simply because Michael Collins is its mother-possibly
Arthur Griffith would be called its father. Now, it is only
natural and right that many people should follow almost blindly a
great and good man. But suppose you know that such a man was not
really such a great man; and that his reputation and great deeds
of daring were in existence only on paper and in the imagination
of people who read stories about him. If Michael Collins is the
great man he is supposed to be, he has a right to influence
people and people ought to be influenced by him. Now Dr. McCartan
said that he could understand many people saying: "What is good
enough for Michael Collins is good enough for me." Arthur
Griffith has called Collins "the man who won the war." The Press
has called him the Commander-in-Chief of the I.R.A. He has been
called "a great exponent of guerilla warfare" and the "elusive
Mike" and we have all read the story of the White Horse. There
are stories going round Dublin of fights he had all over the
city-the Custom House in particular. If Michael Collins was all
that he has been called then I will admire him and respect his
opinions, if my little mind cannot comprehend his present
attitude towards the Republic and this Treaty. Now, from my
knowledge of character and psychology, which I'm conceited enough
to think is not too bad, I'm forced to think that the reported
Michael Collins could not possibly be the same Michael Collins
who was so weak as to compromise the Republic. The weak man who
signed certainly exists and just as certainly therefore, I
believe the reported Michael Collins did not ever exist. If
Michael Collins who signed the Treaty ever did the wonderful
things reported of him then I'm another fool. But before I
finally admit myself a fool I want some authoritative statement.
I want, and I think it all important that the D il, the country,
aye, and the world, got authoritative answers to the following
questions: (a) What positions exactly did Michael Collins hold in
the army? (b) Did he ever take part in any armed conflict in
which he fought by shooting; the number of such battles or
fights; in fact, is there any authoritative record of his having
ever fired a shot for Ireland at an enemy of Ireland?"(Seamus
Robinson TD during the Treaty debates

Robinson had plenty of experience of mythologising because he
feuded with Dan Breen as to the latter's real role during the War
of Independence in Tipperary. He ended up calling it this "The
Great Tipperary hoax."!(Seamus Robinson WS 1721 Appendix IV)
Breen it seems sometimes called himself the O/C of the Tipperary
brigade that actually Robinson was in charge of, and apparently
Mrs Seamus O'Doherty wrote "My Fight for Irish Freedom."(ibid
Appendix II). He tried to write to the newspapers, the Press
group, about this in the 40s and 50s but they never published his

I wonder if the British army's dealings with General Smuts form a
kind of model for what they hoped would happen with Collins.
Could Smuts too have been a kind of double agent? This is from PJ
Little who was for a time the Dail's representative in South

"A word about General Smuts may be important.....Smuts was really
a follower of Cecil Rhodes originally, and, being an ambitious
and clever lawyer, he was very much, at that time, in touch with
the British, but, just before the Boer War, Kruger, who was
President of the Transvaal, made him Attorney General in the
Transvaal...His colleagues told me that he was not a military
genius himself..."(WS 1769 p.80. He also says that the British
had poisoned the food that they gave to people in the
concentration camps in order to kill off more of them.)

When Smuts became Att General he also took over and became the
dynamic head of their Secret Service.
( A few bits
from the wikipedia article on Smuts:

"Through 1896, Smuts' politics were turned on their head. He was
transformed from being Rhodes' most ardent supporter to being the
most fervent opponent of British expansion. ...After the Jameson
Raid, relations between the British and the Afrikaners had
deteriorated steadily. By 1898, war seemed imminent. Orange Free
State President Martinus Steyn called for a peace conference at
Bloemfontein to settle each side's grievances. With an intimate
knowledge of the British, Smuts took control of the Transvaal
delegation. Sir Alfred Milner, head of the British delegation,
took exception to his dominance, and conflict between the two led
to the collapse of the conference, consigning South Africa to
war."Of course it was well known that Milner wanted that war all
along and therefore was looking for those negotiations to
collapse. You can read Smut's role in the negotiations that ended
the ear here:
Its fascinating of you read those chapters how much it is similar
to Ireland in 1921. Then after that of course he once more became
a close ally of the British and fought with them during WWI and

15. "..those two leaders....seemed to be close friends."(Tom
Barry "Guerilla Days in Ireland"(Tralee, post 1955) p.158)

16. Mrs Austin Stack WS 418.

17. Broy in his witness statement includes an account of
Stephens' jail break that he claims he has from old DMP files.
(Eamonn Broy WS 1284 p.12) I notice that that contrasts with
Captain Pollards statement that it was well known that Stephens
was working for the Castle (see below in the main text) so maybe
Broy is covering up the degree of police infiltration of the
Fenians? I wonder then if he was really persona non grata with
his superiors in the DMP as he claimed? He is very well read, an
expert French speaker, as you can read in his statements. He and
Collins used to share a love of Russian nihilists. He also goes
on and on about how the RIC were despised in the country when he
was growing up but this again is clearly exaggerated and, I would
say, blatantly untrue. Even lots of his Sinn Fein Colleagues had
old connections to the RIC: Michael Staines was from an RIC
family, Eamonn Duggan was the son of an RIC constable based in
Longwood Co.Meath, and Michael Collins' family were always very
friendly with the local RIC in Clonakilty.(Peter Folan WS 316)

18. Tom Barry "Guerilla Days in Ireland"(Tralee, post 1955)

19. Pat Moylett WS 767 p.85. Pat Moylett later bumped into the
consul in the toilets of the Gresham talking to General Brind who
a high up Intelligence Officer for the British!

20. JJ O'Kelly W.S.384 p.62. There is quite a bit of evidence of
close and secret US involvement in Ireland at the time:

Richard Walsh thought that the US government had a lot of
leverage at this time too mainly because the UK government was so
heavily indebted to the US after WWI.(Richard Walsh TD from Balla
Co.Mayo WS 400 p.79)

From an article on the 'secret' US role of the time:

"`The United States was both the rose and the thorn of the Irish
problem.' These words -- which adapt one of Hegel's most famous
formulations - flowed from the pen of Carl Ackerman, an American
journalist, in the Atlantic Monthly in the summer of 1922.
Ackerman's three lengthy articles had one theme; he wished to
stress the 'secret' role played by American diplomats,
politicians and journalists in the resolution of the `Anglo-Irish
war' by the `Treaty settlement' of 1921.


The `American education of Michael Collins' consisted of
informing Collins that the decisive American injection of support
for his cause [money and possibly arms]-- which he had been
promised by his comrades in arms Eamon De Valera and Harry Boland
- would never materialise. A key figure here was the Dublin US
Consul, Frederick Dumont, who had been lucky not to lose his life
on Bloody Sunday in November 1920 - he had been playing cards
with some British intelligence officers just before Collins's
death squad struck at them. "(Spectator 31 May 1997
by Paul Bew Professor of Irish Politics at the Queen's
University, Belfast)

This American journalist Carl Ackerman, who interviewed Collins
twice, was also a British spy reporting back to Basil Thomson in
London.(Peter Hart "Mick / The Real Michael Collins"(Oxford,
2005) p.293)

The implication then is that the US government had some influence
over this money arriving from America, that it had strings
attached which the US government could pull.

The Treaty delegation were all collectively treated to dinner in
London by an important US banker during the negotiations.(Robert
Barton WS 979 p.39)

21. "From the first then [c.1915], the "Sinn Feiners", as they
were then called, regarded T[imothy].M.H[ealy] as a man whom they
instinctively turned to in their needs.... "(Mrs T.M. Sullivan,
Timothy Healy's daughter, WS 653 p.1)

22. See footnote 28 below.

23. He also had a secret printing press in his home.(Patrick
Meehan WS 478) I think these despatches might be from T J
McElligot who was in close touch with Collins and leaked some
secret RIC documents (TJ McElligot WS 472). Healy c.Nov 1918 is
reported "receiving Michael Collins and Harry Boland at his
Chapelizod home, Glenaulin, and discussing the wisdom (or
otherwise) of their plan of campaign. He was often visited by
Collins while the latter was 'on the run.' "(Mrs T.M. Sullivan,
Timothy Healy's daughter, WS 653 p.2)

24. "Mr Healy was I understood brought over to London [during the
negotiations] but not as a lawyer. He was asked to do some
political work which was the wrong thing altogether for he had
always been quite candid about his attachment to the
crown."(Austin Stack via his widow WS 418)

25. He used to write to him describing the latest happenings
among the "Shinns".(NLI Ms 23,266 et seq.)

26.Hannah Sheehy Skeffington, the widow of Francis that was
murdered during the 1916 rising, had employed Healy to act for
her during the inquest. Later she had some harsh words to say
about her barrister as Healy himself complained that she had
"published appalling lies about me in the Irish World to the
effect that I had offered her a bribe from Asquith and threatened
to deprive her of her own son if she did not consent."(Frank
Callanan "T.M. Healy" (Cork, 1996) p.732)

Healy acted for PJ Little in defending a libel case against his
New Ireland newspaper: "I had to settle, as my counsel, T M Healy
and A M Sullivan, were against me, as I soon found out." (P J
Little, later a Fianna Fail chief whip, WS 1769 p.19)

27. It was reported in the Freeman that he had "sold his clients
for blood-money to Dublin

28. "MacBride argued that there was considerable alarm at what he
[Collins] might yet do to 'Thorpe', the pseudonym given to the
Castle's longest serving and probably most important informer.
The Burke and Cavendish murders in the Phoenix Park of 1882 which
outraged England and dashed Home Rule from Parnell's grasp were
carried out by a Fenian splinter group, the Invincibles, who were
thought to have been sent to the gallows by an informer called
Carey who was himself subsequently murdered. But then rumours
began to circulate that the real informer was 'Thorpe'.
...MacBride's theory was that Collins had learned that 'Thorpe'
was in fact Tim Healy, a trusted adviser of his, an uncle of
Kevin O'Higgins, and destined after Collins' death to be the
first Governor General of the Irish Free State. If Healy was a
spy he changed Irish history, being the most active of Parnell's
opponents in the disastrous split of 1890......MacBride's theory
however was that Healy, then a member of the IRB, with a Clan na
Gael emissary, returned to the Clan man's hotel unexpectedly one
evening to find the proprietor, Captain Jury, a British agent,
going through the Clan man's luggage. Somehow they managed to
poison Jury. The Clan man got back safely to America but the
Castle made Healy an offer he could not refuse. Either he went to
work for them, or he faced a murder charge. Accordingly to
MacBride, Healy then became an agent and remained one throughout
his long career in law and politics." (Tim Pat Coogan "Michael
Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland"(New York, 2002) p.390 et seq.
quoting Sean MacBride's interview in the Irish Press 16 and 18
October 1982)

29. "We did not know what was going on behind the scenes, nor
indeed did we much care. In the first place, Collins became very
intimate with Tim Healy. Fanny Sullivan told me afterwards that,
one night out at Glenaulin, Tim Healy put œ25 into Mick's pocket
! - to meet the out-of-pocket expenses Mick must incur every day.
And when Mick had left, Tim said: "Sure he is only an overgrown
baby, a big baby." Collins and Tim Healy became intimate, Tim
Healy and Gavan Duffy had family ties, and Mrs Duffy began to
refer, in Rome, to "her cousin Michael Collins." Great times! And
the results became pretty obvious."(JJ O'Kelly WS 384 p.80)

30. Sean Moylan TD WS 505 p.2. Another example is Richard Walsh
who said that Healy was "supposed to play a large part in the
business" of the Cope-Collins links.(Richard Walsh TD from Balla
Co.Mayo WS 400 p.78)

St. John's Ambulance Brigade secretly transported British
officers around Dublin during the 1916 Rising, and also
transported Tim Healy !(Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.38)

31. Michael Hopkinson ed. "The last days of Dublin Castle / The
Diary of Mark Sturgis"(Dublin, 1999) p.157.

32. David Neligan WS 380 p.18.

33. Ormonde de Winter described him a being Director of
Intelligence at least for a time in 1920. (see under Duggan in
Peter Hart ed. "British Intelligence in Ireland, 1920-21 / The
Final Reports" (Cork, 2002))

34. Incidentally Eamonn Duggan never signed the Treaty, his
signature was pasted on from an old card that the delegation had
access to.(Robert Barton WS 979 p.34)

This is from James J O'Connor who was a Solicitor in Dublin and
nephew of Judge James O'Connor a leading, and controversial,
figure in the peace negotiations of the time:

"The British government sent over to Ireland one Alfred Cope as a
special representative of the British Cabinet in Ireland to act
as an Assistant Under-Secretary, the Under-Secretary then being
Mr. James McMahon. While here Mr.Cope became very friendly with
Mr. Eamonn Duggan, a solicitor, who was later one of the
signatories of the Treaty and was a very active man in the
Republican Movement.

Cope, of course, knew this but when he met Duggan in the Dolphin
Hotel or other places socially he never asked him any questions.
One night Mr. Eamonn Duggan arrived home about 12 o'clock and
just as he was going to bed the telephone rang. At the other end
of the telephone at a place about 9 miles outside Dublin was a
man who was high up in the Republican Army, who told Duggan that
he and two others were on a very important mission into Dublin
and that their car had broken down at this place, asking Duggan
if he could do anything to get them into the city which was at
that time surrounded by sentries, curfew being imposed. Duggan
asked him for his telephone number and said he would ring back in
a few minutes. He rang Mr. Cope and said, "My dear Cope, there
are three friends of mine stranded at a village about nine miles
outside Dublin. Their car has broken down. Could you do anything
to get them into the city?" "Where are you"? said Cope. "I am at
home". "I will be with you" said Cope " in about twenty minutes".
Mr.Cope rang up one of the British military barracks, ordered out
a staff car which, of course, in view of his position was always
at his disposal. The staff car driven by a British Staff Officer
arrived at Cope's house, collected him and drove to Mr.Duggan's
house, collected Mr.Duggan and drove out through the sentries to
the village about nine miles outside Dublin. Here they met the
other three men in a licensed premises. They had a drink, as men
do on these occasions, drove back into the city, again passing
the sentries on the outskirts.

When the car got to College Green Duggan said to Cope, "Now my
dear fellow, you have done all I asked you to do, stop the car
here and let these three men out. They can walk the rest of the
way home and you and I will go down to the Dolphin and have a
drink, which they did.

The next day Cope went into his office in Dublin Castle. He went
into James McMahon, the Under-Secretary, who told me the story.
He related to him the events of the night before and said "I am
very worried. I know, as you do, all about Duggan's activities. I
know most of the officers who drive these staff cars but I don't
know the Captain who drove me last night. I don't know the three
men whom he met or who they may be. They may be all right, but
they may be associates of Duggan's and the other men who are in
this movement. If this Captain goes to Macready who is the G.O.C.
of the Forces I may have some difficulty in explaining my

McMahon thought a bit and said, "I will tell you what you will
do. Get out another staff car as quickly as you can. Go up to
French (who was then Lord Lieutenant in the Vice-Regal Lodge),
tell him that you are associating with Duggan for the purposes of
getting information from him." "But, of course, that's not true"
said Cope, "I never ask Duggan any questions". "It doesn't
matter" said McMahon. "Tell French also that you use some of the
Secret Service money which you always carry in your pocket to
give Duggan drink and that you used more of it last night to give
the three men, whom you met out in this village, drink and that
you got some useful information from them."

After some hesitation Cope rang up the military barracks, got out
another staff car, drove up to the Vice-Regal Lodge and asked to
see the Lord Lieutenant, whom he saw. He told him all about the
incidents of the night before and about the information he was
supposed to be getting from Duggan and about the information he
had got the night before. He also told the Lord Lieutenant that
he was sending a report over to the Prime Minister which was so
secret that he could not even show it to His Excellency. He went
away and that forenoon General Sir Neville Macready arrived at
the Vice-Regal Lodge to see the Lord Lieutenant. He told him that
the Captain who had driven Duggan and Cope the night before had
reported to him (Macready) the events of the evening and that he
was going to have Cope arrested as a traitor and that, were it
not for his important position, he would have had him arrested
but did not like to take any steps without the approval of the
Lord Lieutenant.

"You will do no such thing" said French."Mr Cope has already been
here this morning and has made to me a full report about the
incidents of last night and in my opinion he risked his life to
get some important information to His Majesty's Government. I
have just dictated a letter to my Secretary addressed to the
Prime Minister recommending that some suitable honour be
conferred on Mr.Cope by His Majesty the King in the next Honours
List.""(James J O'Connor W.S. 1214 p.5)

35. Through Mrs Nugent in fact. (Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.223)

36. David Neligan "The Spy in the Castle"(Dublin, 1999, 1st pub.
1968) p.147.

37. See footnote 1 above.

38. Pat Moylett WS 767 p.88. Even Austin Stack talks about Cope:

"I mention this incident [where Cope tried to contact him] here
as I believe Mr Cope was England's chief instrument in bringing
about the signing of the "Treaty". I know he frequently met some
of our Ministers and others who subscribed to and supported the
document."(Mrs Austin Stack enclosing her late husband's memoirs.
WS 418)

39. Michael T. Foy "Michael Collins' Intelligence War"
(Gloucestshire, 2006) p.229. Mark Sturgis said that "not only
does he do all the work in the Castle but the plotting laurels
fall to him too."(Michael Hopkinson ed. "The last days of Dublin
Castle / The Diary of Mark Sturgis"(Dublin, 1999) p.158)

40. Richard Walsh WS 400 p.74. At one of these pre Truce Collins-
Cope meetings Collins even gave his correct name and had a drink
with a British officer.(Sir William Darling "So it looks to
me"(London, 1952) p.212)

41. Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.222-223.

42. Richard Walsh TD WS 400 p.69, 71 and 73.

43. ibid p.74-79. I think this is Brigadier General Sir George
Cockerill, MP for Reigate, close friend of Lloyd George,
'Director of Special Intelligence at the War Office' (Nicholas
Pronay and Keith M. Wilson "The Political Re-Education of Germany
and Her Allies After World War II" (1985) p.54), and author of
"What fools we were"(London, 1944) and "Scribblers and
Statesmen"(Melbourne, 1943). This is from Pat Moylett's account,
it was he that was delivering the message: WS 767 p.51. He had
taken an interest in Irish intelligence for a long time before
this, see for example CO/904 Personality file on Thomas Ashe 2
Dec. 1917. Dermot O'Hegarty was furious when he realised that
Walsh had found out about this message.

44. David Fitzpatrick "Harry Boland's Irish Revolution" (Cork,
2003) p.398 referring to c.September 1921. The truce had only
been signed in mid July.

45. Kevin O'Shiel names Bonar Law, Wilson, and Milner as the big
names trying to stop Home Rule.(WS 1770 p.329)

46. Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.180.

47. Liam Mellows, appointed Director of Purchases for GHQ in Nov
1920, complained to Mary Woods:

"He said he [Collins] was interfering with his job as Director of
Purchases by buying arms across the water and paying more for
them than he was. He was buying them, he said, not to use them
but to prevent him (Liam) from getting them. This shocked me.
.."(Peter Hart "Mick / The Real Michael Collins"(Oxford, 2005)
p.261 quoting Mrs Woods UCD P17a/150.)

In the procuring of arms Richard Walsh TD said that "there seemed
to be nothing being attempted by G.H.Q. agents, and it could not
have been for want of money"(Richard Walsh TD from Balla Co.Mayo
WS 400 p.131.) Walsh was himself in England procuring arms so he
knew the true situation.

The Cavan IRA come just short of accusing Collins of embezzlement
of the funds they sent down to procure arms, so frustrated were
they of their treatment on that score.(Bernard Brady WS 1626 and
Sean Sheridan WS 1613)

The Meath IRA were in fact not permitted to use the rifles
captured at Trim, they were put in a Divisional dump which was
not used until the train ambush at Stackumney late in the
war.(David Hall WS 1539)

Sceilg relates what happened in Kerry: "My wife got a substantial
sum of money from Denis Daly of Caherciveen to get guns, and
Collins or his associates would not give them."(JJ O'Kelly WS 384

In West Cork Tom Barry had no better luck: "Sean McMahon was
Quartermaster General. I had little contact with him except on
two occasions when I had failed to beg, borrow or steal .303 or
.450 ammunition from him.

...To one of the officers from a particularly inefficient unit
who asked for arms, Mick [Collins], with a scowl on his face, his
hands deep in his pockets, his right foot pawing the ground, shot
back, "What the hell does a lot of lousers like you want arms
for? ....Get to hell out of this and do not come back until ye
have done some fighting."(Tom Barry "Guerilla Days in Ireland"
(Tralee, first published 1949) p.150-152). His account seems to
detail almost every rifle they had, I don't believe any came from

Sean Moylan in North Cork didn't get on any better:"My own
experience of GHQ was not a too happy one."(Sean Moylan WS 838
p.101). So much so that when Ernie O'Malley came down and asked
some questions on behalf of GHQ (that seems to be O'Malley's job
most of time, feeding info back to GHQ) the fed up Moylan
"answered all the questions with perfect inaccuracy."!(ibid
p.102). He had tried to purchase arms from GHQ using an
inheritance that he had got but came back feeling ripped off with
little to show for it, a few bits and pieces and only one rifle
and bombs that only exploded by immersion in a turf fire!lol
.(ibid p.95)

Lawrence Nugent's impression, he was an IRA Quarter Master in
Dublin, was that the US Irish leaders did not wish to supply
weapons in any quantity into Ireland before the Truce.(Lawrence
Nugent WS 907 p.27) Then during the truce period he discovered
that a typed agreement existed between Michael Collins and the
British where Collins agreed not to import arms.(Lawrence Nugent
WS 907 p.287)

Notice the curious financial situation here. The IRA received a
lot of money from the Dail, who raised it using a loan, to
purchase arms yet the IRA volunteers had to try and buy arms from
IRA GHQ. Where did the money go is a question asked by many of
these writers like sceilg, Lawrence Nugent and Dick Walsh (e.g.
Dick Walsh WS 400 p.172).

48. From Roger McCorley's Witness Statement.

49. Dick Walsh WS 400.

50. Bernard Brady WS 1626, Sean Sheridan WS 1613 and Peadar
MacMahon WS 1730.

51. Dick Walsh WS 400.

52. Eamonn Broy says that the British military were always
looking for an excuse to take control in Ireland, like in the
aftermath of the 1916 rebellion: "It was felt by the police, and
by a great many others, that the net result of the insurrection
had been to put the British military in complete control, a thing
the military had always desired."(Eamonn Broy WS 1280 p.67)

53. Seamus Dobbyn WS 279 p.15. It was planned a long time in
advance and timed to go off after some IRA operation so that they
could say that it was in response to nationalist provocation.

54. Lawrence Nugent WS 907 towards the end.

55. Sean Moylan WS 838 p.30-31.

56. Sean Moylan WS 838 p.26.

57. Seamus Robinson 1721 near the beginning.

58. Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.72.

59. Dick Walsh WS 400.

60. Ibid.

61. Ibid p.97.

62. Peter Hart "Mick / The Real Michael Collins"(Oxford, 2005)

63. Seamus Robinson WS 1721 p.37.

64. Quoting Tom Barry "No orders or anything else were written at
that time-in our brigade anyway". It is definitely the case that
those written documents were very common elsewhere, Lawrence
Nugent describes these kind of documents which he tripped across
when he was clearing out one of his arms dumps in Dublin. They
were very detailed and specific apparently, naming all the names
of the IRA people without demur.(WS 907 near the end.)

65. Sean MacEoin WS 1716. Collins was fed up with his lack of
reports so he sent down a GHQ man to check things over but he
only lasted a few days.

66. Eamonn Duggan writing to Collins after his offices were
raided explained that the British have seized "a lot of
intelligence stuff, which I had hidden away in clients
bundles."(Peter Hart ed. "British Intelligence in Ireland, 1920-
21 / The Final Reports" (Cork, 2002) p.88)

67. Documents seized on a raid of Collins safe house
unnecessarily yielded the Castle valuable info when they "ought
to have been destroyed long previous."(Eamonn Broy WS 1,280). GHQ
eventually issued a directive asking that at least those
Departments that have been raided should inform the others that
are likely to become known about from the captured documents. De
Winter notes that "Mulcahy the Chief of Staff, and Collins the
Minister for Finance, must have been fully occupied sending out
the necessary communications."(ibid) British Secret Service got
another valuable haul of papers from Collins at the time of the
Customs House fire.(Michael Hopkinson ed. "The last days of
Dublin Castle / The Diary of Mark Sturgis"(Dublin, 1999) p.182)

68. Richard Walsh notes, pointedly, that "on two or three
occasions very important documents in his [Mulcahy's] custody
were captured by the British."(Richard Walsh TD from Balla
Co.Mayo WS 400 p.66)

69. David Neligan "The Spy in the Castle"(Dublin, 1999, 1st pub.
1968) p.147.

70. Matthew Barry WS 932.

71. Seamus McKenna WS 1,016 p.30.

72. Sean MacKeon WS 1,716 before p.186.

73. Tom Barry "Guerrilla Days in Ireland"(Tralee, post 1955)

74. Sean MacKeon WS 1228. Richard said that "A moderate estimate"
of IRA strength in 1921 would be about 50-60,000 troops albeit
partly unarmed.(Richard Walsh TD from Balla Co.Mayo WS 400
p.166), and Sceilg had an even higher figure. This is great
contrast to the figures that Collins is usually quoted as

75. Lord Muskerry stated in the House of Lords in 1924 that Cope:

"attended meetings held by heads of Department to consider the
best means of putting down outrages and restoring law and order,
and then conveyed the information to the leaders of the Sinn Fein
organisation, with the result that the plans came to nought, and
in many cases her Majesty's officers and men lost their lives."
Muskerry went on to say later that:

"Since the debate he had received a number of letters from
officers and ex-officers of the RIC and others, and they all made
damning statements. Some of these letters were signed and bore
the addresses of the writers, but they were marked "private and
confidential" and he could not give up their names."(The Times 20
March 1924 p.8)

The British Secret Service were watching Cope at least from
September 1920,(Michael Hopkinson ed. "The last days of Dublin
Castle / The Diary of Mark Sturgis"(Dublin, 1999) p.46.) and in
turn Cope was going through de Winter's files in the days before
Bloody Sunday.(ibid p.76) Could this be what Muskerry was
referring to?

76. John D. Nugent "The AOH and its critics" (Dublin, 1911) p.22-
23. Curiously 1921 was the best year in the history of Irish
Freemasonry with flourishing membership and branches.(The Times
27 Feb 1922 p.12) A few other references to Masonic influence in
Ireland at the time:

"All officers of the Post Office who held senior positions were
Freemasons - the Secretary, the Controller, the Senior Floor
Superintendent, various Assistant Superintendents and
overseers."(Diarmuid O'Sullivan WS 375 p.6)

Lawrence Nugent, who served on a Dublin jury, explained how, when
it wanted to, Dublin Castle could pack a jury with
Freemasons.(Lawrence Nugent WS 907 p.179)

It is worthy of note I think that at a meeting in the Viceregal
Lodge when it was decided to bring over the Black and Tans "all
the members of the Kildare St Club were invited."(Peter Folan WS
316 p.12)

77. This is by Lawrence Nugent, originally from Roscommon, he
later resided in Dundrum, then he lived in Mount Street and had a
high class drapers shop at 22 Baggot St in Dublin (WS 907 p.7).
The reference to the GAA was an attempt to use the AOH dominated
C.J. Kickam club in Dublin to control the GAA in early 1917 (ibid
p.86). The GAA was otherwise a totally IRB show.

In the account written by Archbishop Walsh's former secretary,
Monsignor Curran, we are told that "their job-hunting was
notorious since the Liberals came to power and was openly and
unashamedly practised by Joe Devlin and the AOH (Board of Erin)
since the Insurance Act of 1911.....the all powerful AOH became a
replica of Tammany Hall as painted by its enemies."(Rev M.Curran
WS 687 p.302)

When the treaty was signed the AOH burst back into life and
recommended acceptance of the Treaty.(Lawrence Nugent WS 907
p.273) A strange echo of the IRB's position! Incidentally the two
Belfast leaders of these organisations, Denis McCullough
President of the Supreme Council of the IRB and Joe Devlin
President of the AOH (Board of Erin), didn't get along as badly
as you might think because at one point McCullough was able to
get some machine guns from Devlin, these had been imported by the
National Volunteers.(Denis McCullough WS 915 p.8)

78. Dorothy Macardle "The Irish Republic" (Dublin, 2005, first
published 1937) p.23.

In Diarmuid Lynch "The IRB and the 1916 Insurrection"(Cork, 1957)
p.34 you can read how the IRB controlled secretly the Oct 1917
Sinn Fein Convention, following the pattern they had used at the
Gaelic League Ard Fheis of 1915. He points out that: "When the
Provisional Committee of the Volunteers was formed in Oct-Nov
1913: The majority of the Committee were members of the IRB, a
fact unknown to the minority (which included the Chairman) - the
IRB being a secret body, the continued existence of which was
unknown to the public."(ibid p.44)

Captain Pollard stated that the IRB controlled so many
organisations that "it was its influence and corruption which
achieved those mysterious appointments to position of persons
singularly devoid of all merit, which were, and are, a marked
feature of Irish life."(Captain H.B.C. Pollard "(Kilkenny, 1998)

A few notes by sceilg on the IRB:

"As to what some of these people say, groups of them had ulterior
motives all the time."(JJ O'Kelly WS 384 p.48)...."Thus, Collins
had a secret organisation within the Army and even within the
Dail."..."His [Collins] position in the IRB gave him and his
followers influence because unknown and unsuspected."..."Without
it [the IRB], I don't think the split would ever have reached the
dimensions to which it grew. To my mind its secret nature was its
most sinister aspect." ...."Still the secret organisation was
operating behind the scenes, and the effects and extent of this
were subsequently seen only too vividly."(ibid p.51)

"I don't like to harp back now, and follow the intrigue that was
carried on by the IRB in the Dail. .....No doubt about it there
was intrigue." Goes on to describe how they maneuvered him out of
his position as Minister for the National Language and instead
"got some unripe fruit at the expense of the Republic." (ibid

79. Seamus Robinson WS 1721 p.18. No doubt the IRB is referred to
in this reference from Sceilg:

"How Mr Collins - up to then practically unknown in Ireland - was
being pushed into prominence by a hidden force, some of us first
detected on the occasion of the Ashe funeral ." (Peter Hart "Mick
/ The Real Michael Collins"(Oxford, 2005) p.152 quoting Sceilg in
the Catholic Bulletin Oct 1922 Vol XII p.629) And a few other
corroborating references:

"I understood at the time that the main function of the IRB was
to control both the leadership and the activities of the
Volunteer movement from within."(Seamus McKenna WS 1,016 p.1 of

"For years past the IRB (a secret organisation) was in existence
and controlled and directed the Irish Volunteers."(Sean Farrelly
WS 1,734 p.8)

80. Kevin O'Shiel W.S.1770 p.139.

81. Richard Walsh TD from Balla Co.Mayo WS 400 p.46-47.

82. Dorothy Macardle op.cit. p.23.

83. Owen McGee "The IRB" (Dublin, 2005) p.322-4. The Clan-na-Gael
emissary was wined and dined by Eoin McNeill oddly enough. Is he
closer to all this intrigue than is usually said?

84. Captain H.B.C. Pollard "The Secret Societies of
Ireland"(Kilkenny, 1998 first published 1922).

85. Diarmuid Lynch says that Pollard has one error in that he
describes a 1914 IRB constitution when it was actually a 1917 one
seized in a government raid.(WS 4 p.10)

86. Pollard op.cit.p.38.

87. Ibid p.62. Sceilg knew Tynan in New York: "Some say he
[Tynan] was not No.1 at all, but I feel convinced he was."(JJ
O'Kelly WS 384 p.85) Actually Pollard says that Tynan was
involved in the Maamtrasna murders.

88. Ibid p.45.

89. To clarify he only refers to the Protocols at one point and
then glosses it with the statement that the Times had discovered
them to be forgeries. But I don't think he would have referred to
them at all if he thought they were just useless forgeries.

90. Ibid p.12. By the way if you wanted to speculate about that
it is interesting that Clan-na-Gael was centred on Notre Dame
University, which is a major Jesuit university in the US (Owen
McGee "The IRB" (Dublin, 2005) p.322-4).

91. The book was reviewed in 'The Occult Review' in December
1922. It is even said that he possessed Jack the Ripper's knives!
(Robin Odell "Ripperology: A Study of the World's First Serial
Killer And a Literary Phenomenon" (Kent State University,

Later Major Hugh B C Pollard he was a firearms expert who
travelled through Mexico c1910, served in WWI, edited the
sporting life before the WWII during which he served in the SOE.
He was at one time MI6 station chief in Madrid. It should be
pointed out that he isn't very sympathetic to Irish nationalism
and is somewhat condescending with regard to Irish claims for
self determination.

92. Pollard op.cit. p.196.

93. The "Phoenix Society....thenceforward...should be known as
the IRB."(Eamonn Broy WS 1284)


95. Pollard op.cit.p.53.

96. Richard Walsh TD from Balla Co.Mayo WS 400 p.181.

Very good article

by umMM Domh M rta 11, 2007 10:52

The above proposals are more than likely very true. It would not
be the first or LAST time British intelligence manipulated Irish
political dissent to suit the purposes of their bosses, the

The proof of this thoery is in the result. We can rarely see
clearly how the manipulators of society are plotting out world
but hindsight is 20-20. What did the revolution achieve? Were
British interests and vampiric methods of control removed? Did
Ireland become free? NO.

The offspring of most of the leaders of 1916 went on to do very
well in Irish life. The carried on where the British government
left off. The British structures that held our country for the
benefit of the international Elite who care not for county or
creed but only manipulation for greed, were held fast with
Conservative Catholic administrators at the helm.

From the beginning British agents were in constant contact with
the puppet government to steer the formation of laws in line with
their bosses policies. Our police and military were trained by
British and American Imperialists, as they are today and
brainwashed into doing the work of the international empire of
the power elite, who control all western societies.

Today the control carried on more blatently than ever. Don't
think it is "mad" to suggest this happened. It would in fact be
mad had it not happened. That such a powerful Nation, allied with
the powerful and victorious USA after WW1 would not have
outwitted, outplanned and outmanoevered a few half hearted
fanatics is what would be mad. With a few exceptions the 1916
leaders and early Free State leaders were narrow minded bigots
with little or no level of self-awareness or principles, other
than to be good catholics and listen to the bishops. Hardly a
threath to an empire.

I hope there is more research done along these lines and that it
continues up to the present day. How the British collapsed the
Stormont Assembly might be a good trace back point.

"He who does not learn from history is condemned to relive it"

Thank you for this piece and I look forward to more from you. It
is a breath of fresh air in a room full of muppetts. You may
already know about the Irish Holocaust lie but here is some
referece material for your next article.

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