22 January 2006

McGuinness likely to face grilling in army agent murder case

Sunday Independent

ALAN MURRAY

MARTIN McGuinness is likely to be grilled by detectives from the Historical Enquiries team when it investigates the murder of an army agent 20 years ago. Frank Hegarty from Derry was murdered by the IRA in May 1986 just months after the Garda raided a significant arms dump in Donegal. The seizure was designed to prove to the public that there was better cross border co-operation between the force and the RUC following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Hegarty's army handlers were shocked at the move to raid the dump because they knew that their agent, who had got close to Martin McGuinness, would be immediately suspected. The 45-year-old Catholic from the Shantallow area had been encouraged to get close to McGuinness who was then regarded as the IRA's number one military figure.

The failure of the RUC to interrogate McGuinness about Hegarty's last hours is an uncompleted line of enquiry which the Historical Enquiries Team is likely to follow up. It is also likely to interview Scappaticci, who worked for the army under the codename Stakeknife.

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