20 February 2006

Try separate the wood from the trees: MI5, Sinn Fein/IRA and the intelligence war


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Paul Maguire • Forum Magazine, Feb-Mar 2006

For three decades British intelligence pursued a dual strategy vis-à-vis the provisional movement. This parallel strategy had as its twin objectives a gradual diminution of the IRA's militarily capacity and a concurrent strengthening of the position of those within the provisional leadership who were pioneering a constitutional reformist agenda. Well placed MI5 agents within both the IRA and Sinn Fein were essential for the successful attainment of these twin objectives. The exposure of Denis Donaldson and Freddie Scapaticci as British agents illustrates the extent to which the higher echelons of both the political and military wings of the provisional movement had been infiltrated by MI5. These revelations also undermine - in very stark terms - the veracity of Gerry Adams' repeated assertion that the IRA is an undefeated army.

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