The more we think we know..

What Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and many others, previously didn’t know apparently became slightly less unknown today, as Sinn F�in’s former Head of Administration in the Assembly admitted to RT�’s Charlie Bird that he was recruited as an agent for the British government[RealPlayer] in the 1980s – interestingly the camera focuses on marks on the back of Denis Donaldson’s hand at one point. Charlie Bird explains the circumstances of the prepared statement, but little else, here[RealPlayer]. The BBC have the transcript of that statement, and Newsnight led with a report in tonight’s programme[I’ll update when available] and asked both SF and the NIO for someone to interview.. neither had anyone available for comment.

  • Dualta

    I wrote a few days ago that this whole affair tells us that the northern state is fundamentally undemocratic and unjust and should be abandoned by all reasonable people on these islands. My position was dismissed as silly.

    Donaldson’s admission tells us that the democratically elected government of Northern Ireland was brought down by nefarious actors who did not like the way the people had chosen to be governed.

    We now need to know just who these people are and what will be their fate. My guess is that the British government were fully in the know and the PSNI and Special Branch, including Hugh Orde were merely carrying out the orders of government superiors, both elected and unelected.

    It’s time for the British government and their subversive agents to leave us in peace to govern ourselves with dignity and respect.

  • heck

    it’s time for the SDLP to withdraw from the policing boards.

  • Brian

    Any Irish person who collaborates with SS/RUC/psno after this revelation must be an ‘Uncle Tom’. It is absolutely essential for the sdlp to withdraw from ‘policing’ boards. In fact it’s time for the disbandment of SS/RUC/psno as they are in essence a Unionist Terrorist gang who masquarade as police in the occupied zone. As for Donaldson? Time to get out of Dodge, buddy.

  • Crataegus

    I wouldn’t even start to try to apportion guilt on this one, or suggest actions for the SDLP or anyone else. We are all being made to look like jack asses and trusting someone is not a sin but abusing trust is.

    What we know for sure is the actions of the PSNI brought down the government here and that a British agent was involved. Other claims of spy rings may or may not have substance and who knows what framework the PSNI was working under or what intelligence it thought it had real or fabricated? Or even are there other agents involved? Everyone is smeared by innuendo as there is no truth simply supposition.

    This incident could not be more serious. It brought down the elected government here. It undermines the PSNI or brings into question their voracity.

    Rather than scoring minor points off each other we should all concentrate our fire on the British Government. We need the truth for only then can we address any changes that need to be made.

    To Hain and Blair I would say, the actions of the agents of your government brought down a democratically elected government we demand to know why. As you have both acted in a manner that seeks to mislead we must assume that this is not merely the actions of agents but government policy. Either through ineptitude or policy your government has deliberately thwarted the democratic wishes of the people; you cannot be trusted and should take the responsibility and resign.


    Also we need to progress towards a re-established devolved administration.

  • abucs

    i think Trimble once said that the whole incident could be bigger than Nixon’s Watergate.

    His comments seem to be ringing truer each day.

  • Donaldson’s statement isn’t exactly comprehensive… is he saving it for An Phoblacht?

    If it’s true that elements of the state – with or without Blair’s knowledge – subverted devolved power, this could cause Blair more trouble than Iraq.

    It also begs the question of what else Donaldson did for the securocrats during the past 20 years?

  • (Irish) Republicans, dontcha just love ’em? Funnier than ‘The Onion’ by far.

    Just while I draw breath and stop laughing for a second at the bould boys of Erin, Dualta old son, I was impressed by your intolerance of ‘nefarious actors’, as set out above. Leaving to one side your wonderfully hammy Victorian turn of phrase, can we tease out who and what you consider to be ‘nefarious’? Are gangsters, murderers etc nefarious? I’d love to know.

  • Nic

    Never forgetting that you can’t believe anyone about anything NornIron, it’s interesting that this “spy” by his own admission had exactly 2 meetings with Special Branch. One to warn him he would be arrested and one years later to warn him that his cover was blown and his life was in danger. When Blair was outed as a conservative in Labour he had no such problems, for example. Now, if my cover was blown, and there was no legitimate police to protect me (the shinner vigilantes are about as political as it gets), I’d be signing whatever confession they laid before me. Plus, his original statement did not mention that there was no spying, that seems to have been inserted later.
    So…. “bizarre” just about covers it, I’d say.

  • missfitz

    You need to go back and read the transcript.Donaldson clearly stated he received money for spying over the past 20 years, and referred to his “last two contacts”.

    I am amazed at how people are trying to dismiss this issue, or take a “slap it up to them” attitude.

    Surely the issue is bigger than our petty concerns: a democratically elected govenment was brought down by elements within that state’s police force.

    By taking our eye off the ball and squabbling, we will lose the import of this. No matter who you are, unionist, nationalist, republican or other, we cannot risk the foundations of democracy by allowing this to happen.

  • Joe

    “Crataegus” I’m sure you mean “inquiry” not “enquiry”.

  • Betty Boo

    The terrible righteous always slapping the virtue of freedom and democracy in your face.
    If you raise you voice against a perceived wrong you are branded of rattling on the pillars of society. Democracy, the holy grail, blinding not enlightening and now it seems, that it fiercest defenders are its worst culprits.
    Here we go again.

  • Dualta

    Karl Rove,
    Don’t mistake me for a Sinn Fein, IRA or even SDLP supporter. I am a republican. I do disprove of monarchy and I also happen to believe that Northern Ireland is not a viable political entity.

    I also believe that it is in the best interests of the people of this country to join with the rest of the people on the island in coming to some arrangement whereby we can govern ourselves in security, prosperity and mutual respect and tolerance.

    I believe that the IRA’s campaign was morally wrong and politically inept. I disagree entirely with the use of ethnic issues to further political objectives, which both the SDLP and Sinn Fein have been guilty of doing.

    So you can rest assured, Karl old son, that I consider many of the the activities of nationalists and republicans over the years to be deeply nefarious and, indeed, crimes against humantity, eg Bloody Friday, Darkley, Enniskillen, Omagh amongst others.

    So please, in future before you rush to engage in personal insult again, take a course in open mindedness, and manners.

  • Crataegus


    Posting before breakfast is never recommended. Apart from that my crasp of English never was sound.

  • Crataegus

    Sorry grasp above

    Looks like posting before lunch is not so good either.

    On a lighter note any of you seen this. Power to the people. Proves the weak can win through.

  • Betty Boo

    It was good nevertheless.
    Wonder what you write with some breakfast in your belly.

  • Yer Woman

    Missfitz wrote:

    “I am amazed at how people are trying to dismiss this issue, or take a “slap it up to them” attitude.

    Surely the issue is bigger than our petty concerns: a democratically elected govenment was brought down by elements within that state’s police force.

    By taking our eye off the ball and squabbling, we will lose the import of this. No matter who you are, unionist, nationalist, republican or other, we cannot risk the foundations of democracy by allowing this to happen.”

    Hear hear Missfitz!

    This is certainly no laughing matter or a reason for petty one-upmanship.

  • Dick Doggins

    The Sdlp have no choice now. They can`t continue to gave any credence to this political police force, when its independence and accountability is in fact a farce.

    They can try and bury their heads, weather the storm but for how long. Until the next crisis and lets be honest this is a crisis for the psni.

    If the Sdlp continue to ignore the feelings of the majority of Nationalists and now voices within their own camp, come the next election, they could just disappear of the political map completely.

  • As an immidiate step the SDLP must resign from the policing Boards and Sinn Fein should disengage from any talk with the Brits.

    An international inquiry, along the lines of the UN run one in Lebanon over the kiling of the former PM is needed.

  • Bemused

    Have to say I would find it pretty bizarre for the SDLP to carry on as if nothing has happened on this one – surely the only way forward is to resign from the DPP’s and refuse to re-engage until there has been either a full public inquiry or a total, objectively supervised cull of Special Branch/C3 etc.. As an SDLP voter and someone who genuinely believed that policing was on the cusp of a transformed future I now wouldn’t touch the fuckers with a forty foot pole (with apologies to John Taylor).

  • Joe- it can be spelt either way.

    I have to laugh at the posts on this thread stating what the SDLP ‘must do’.

    Sorry lads, but no one in the SDLP has been exposed as an agent of the British. Sinn Féin are the ones colluding with the British, so Sinn Féin are the ones who are in the spotlight. No one else. Traitors.

  • Sickened Sdlp supporter

    If the Sdlp continue to support this mickey mouse police force because simply thats what it is, they will lose my support.

    The PSNI cannot be trusted and they are clearly still an anti-Catholic police service

  • Tiny

    This “mickey mouse police force”, surely the Provos were the ‘daddy’ of terrorist organisations and this “mickey mouse police force” had Donaldson inside at the highest level, if anyone’s looking ‘mickey mouse it’s the Shinners!!!!!

  • Bemused

    Looks like I’m the first to say this but – any takers on Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness being unmasked as the main agent being protected by Donaldson’s exposure? Ten days ago I’d have laughed at such a suggestion, but now? Trust me – I’m being serious here – look at the stewardship of the Movement under Adams – it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he is in fact a plant.

  • Dualta

    Sickened SDLP supporter,
    Another SF troll? Please………..

    It is the case that the SDLP knows only too well the nature of the PSNI, as I do. It is still a force steeped in the traditions of the RUC.

    No-one thought that it would be transformed overnight with the changing of its name and the establishment of the Policing Boards and the DPPs.

    The SDLP’s position from the start has been that the police force here could only be reformed from within, with maximum Nationalist participation. That is, if it is peopled soley by Unionists, then it will be Unionist.

    The SDLP have been particularly forthright in putting their position forward on this. If, as a supporter, you are unaware of this position, then I am very surprised.

    That is why I think you are a SF troll who would rather petty criminals in Nationalist areas continue to suffer human rights abuses at the hands of unqualified and unaccountable, self-appointed policemen.

  • seannaboy

    Dualta, simple fact of the matter is that the Policing Board is not in charge of policing / the police here. Stretch it just a little bit and it is safe to say that in essence and in fact we are essentially living in a police state.

  • Jocky

    Dualta, heck et al that are calling for SDLP to withdraw from the policing boards, How does that follow? The calls look to me to be nothing more than political opportunism.

    It’s a great ploy, constantly whinge that the PSNI are political, refuse to join in, then (this is the best bit)take no responsibility for solving the problems and wait for someone else to fix it to your satisfaction, it could run for years, all the while policing is hamstrung by a significant section of the community not supporting the police and it not their fault.

    Surely if anything this highlights the need for full nationalist participation in the PSNI, policing boards etc. If it was 50/50 do you think they could still pull this elaborate scam? if that’s what it was. (personally I aint got a clue, Im edging towards incompetence at the moment).

    Also, complaining that the SDLP had the wool pulled over their eyes by this as jusitifcation of being on the policing boards is nonesense, it seems that everyone, not less Sinn Feinn didnt seen this one coming. Furthermore, when your looking at policing I dont see how this, the action of elements in Speical branch, MI6, good only knows who, has any bearing on your run of the mill policing, actions of the policing boards. Should all the hard work been done by the SDLP and the 18% of the force who come from a Catolic background (of March 2005) should just pack it in and go home, follow SF’s lead and throw their toys out and the pram and start blaming the brits?

    If anyone thinks it will be changed overnight it is SF, they hope that Father Christmas will come along and suddenly sack all former RUC officer and replace them with a whole new shinner approved police force. Whereas the SDLP is trying to make it happen.

  • Dualta

    I don’t disagree with you that the Policing Board is not in control of policing here.

    What I am saying to you (and I know you’ll agree with me on this) is that policing remains, more or less, in the control of unionist elements.

    I have merely pointed out that the only way for the police service here to be more representative of the population and to be less of a political tool is for Nationalists to become police officers and in time, movers and shakers within the police service.

    Nationalists in positions of political power and Nationalists in positions of responsibilty within the PSNI. It’s the only way to being about real change in policing. More legislation and revised structures alone will not do it.

  • Dualta

    You shold read my post again. You’ve picked me up wrong. I never called for the SDLP to leave the Policing Board. Quite the contrary in fact.

  • Comrade Stalin


    I have seen a pattern over the past couple of days of several usernames who have never posted before coming onto the blog to say “I’m an SDLP supporter but really we have made a mess with our PSNI policy and should withdraw our support”. I’ve no doubt that this is probably all the work of one or two posters posting under a lot of different names. The moderators of this blog should consider regarding this kind of activity as abuse.

    On the issue itself, we have no evidence other than a statement made by a republican Sinn Fein ex-member that the PSNI organized the raid. This is about as credible as Anthony McIntyre claiming that the bank robbery was organized by the IRA – a claim which, among others, have led to McIntyre being described by SF supporters as pro-unionist. Republicans appear to have no consistent standards about whose testimony they uphold as reliable and whose testimony they regard as tainted. This should not surprise anyone, as all SF are doing is playing a time-honoured game. They are riddled with spies and agents, but are trying to find a way to turn this to their advantage.

    Dualta, simple fact of the matter is that the Policing Board is not in charge of policing / the police here.

    No, the Chief Constable of the PSNI is in charge of policing here. The Police Board is supposed to hold him to account. The Police Ombudsman is supposed to investigate complaints.

    I wish the chuckies would at least get it straight exactly how the police service is supposed to be constituted, before they launch into silly and inaccurate criticisms of how the structures work.

  • seannaboy

    Comrade Stalin, nice bit of sophistry that doesn’t quite work but to engage….. to take on board your point, the police board is not holding to account High Orde, OC of the PSNI nor, to reiterate my point, is the Police Board in charge of policing / the police here. What then is the / any purpose of the Police Board? Exit right Alex Attwood and co.