05 February 2006

'Kevin Fulton' accuses MoD of 'double standards'

Sunday Life

05 February 2006

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A former Army spy has accused the Ministry of Defence of "double standards" after the Government refused to award him the Northern Ireland General Service Medal.

Ex-soldier 'Kevin Fulton' (Peter Keeley) spent several years working for the Army's highly-secretive Force Research Unit (FRU) after he left the Royal Irish Rangers in 1981.

During his time with the FRU, Fulton successfully infiltrated IRA units along the border.

His high-grade intelligence saved lives and helped disrupt Provo operations in south Armagh.

But the MoD has effectively refused to recognise his service as a soldier by withholding the GSM.

Fulton told Sunday Life: "Like all RIR soldiers, I was automatically entitled to the GSM once I completed 30 days' service in Northern Ireland.

"But when I applied for my medal, the MoD told me I wasn't entitled to it - in spite of having carried out operational guard and escort duties in Northern Ireland.

"Furthermore, I also recruited other agents for the FRU while I was still a member of the Royal Irish Rangers."

Sunday Life has obtained a copy Fulton's military discharge papers, signed by his commanding officer.

They clearly state he served in Northern Ireland between September 1979 and March 1981.

Added Fulton: "I only want what I am entitled to.

"Two other RIR soldiers on the same recruits' course as me were awarded their GSMs before they finished their basic training.

"The MoD is operating a policy of double standards toward me."

One former Army officer told us: "Working undercover inside the IRA, Fulton's life was on the line 24/7.

"There is no doubt that, had he been an officer, he would have been awarded the Military Cross for his work with the FRU."

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said Fulton should be awarded his GSM if he had served with the Army in Northern Ireland.

He said: "I appreciate that contentious issues surround Kevin Fulton's activities while working as an agent with the Army.

"It is clear that the state is now trying to distance itself from these issues, however they are issues that need to be addressed."

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