John White a police informer?

Barney Rowan reports that John White, a former confidante of Johnny Adair, was a Special Branch informer.

  • ingrammartin

    A small cog in a dirty wheel, some of the cogs to come will get even Barney excited.

    This is why we do not need a NI offences bill we need a proper TRF not a stitch up and for Gerry to have a dig at John White for being a Drug dealer is well, Black and kettle comes to mind.

    Martin

  • harpo

    ‘John White…was a Special Branch informer.’

    And why not.

  • Dec

    Harpo

    What would you say the point of Special Branch informers is if they appear to be able to maim and murder with impunity (take a bow Mt Vernon UVF)? I mean, who exactly are special Branch protecting?

  • elfinto

    I’ve heard it all now. I’m surprised I’m surprised. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing that the Jackal and King Rat were agents too. Doh!

    How typical of Ingram to try and turn it around onto the republican movement. British rule is rotten to the core. Go on home……

  • elfinto

    Full marks to the Belfast Telegraph for running this story when I suspect that most in the pro-union camp would prefer this type of thing to be quietly swept under the carpet.

    Secondly, did the Jim McDonald who helped announce the loyaist ceasfire back in ’94 ever appear in Coronation Street. We deserve to be told.

  • I’m surprised by this but, like elfinto, I’m surprised that I’m surprised. I remember taking a message for someone from him when I was working in Belfast. I misheard his name and of course at the time had no idea of who he was and, as a result, I referred to him as Sean when I called him back. He was not amused, but everyone in the office was!!

  • ingrammartin

    Elfinto,

    Quote”How typical of Ingram to try and turn it around onto the republican movement. British rule is rotten to the core. Go on home…… “Unquote

    Do not be too touchy mate or are you saying Republicans ie the IRA never imported or dealt in DRUGS? thought not.

    For the record. White is a thug and a criminal just like Gerry.No different to me both Scum and both are what I work towards defeating.

    Marty.

  • JD

    Martin you worked to defeat no one, you sat in a cosy barracks or recruited weakminded and vulnerable young nationalists from the back of van. It was they who then took all the risks and payed with their lives, so that you could contemplate your profits from your memoirs. You are part of the slime that comes with the dirty war, so do us all a favour and crawl back under the rock you came from.

  • Belfastwhite

    Brian Feeney has endorsed Sinn Fein’s position on policing and justice in this morning’s Irish News maybe Mick will publish the article. He actually goes on to say Sinn Fein would be foolish to accept the current PSNI and Policing Board. He rightly points out that PSNI proceeds of crime team only seem to move against loyalists when they are murdered by their own and that the court system still slaps these thugs on the back on the hands while coming down like a pile of bricks on offending republicans. He argues that even though loyalist murderers who were released have been paid amounts up to £50,000.00 very little inroads into loyalist paramilitary activity has been achieved. Now if we are going to have republicans recognising the PSNI and joining the Policing Board then surely this imbalance in tackling loyalist paramilitaries must be addressed first. Let us all see what kind of society we can have and make it easier for grass roots republicans and nationalists to accept the transition when it does happen.

  • This story is more important than viewers are making out – what ‘Martin Ingram’ understandably set going.

    White was an RUC SB informer when he killed Senator Paddy Wilson and Irene Andrews – what gave another Paddy Wilson aka Padraig Wilson, ‘Steak Knife’, and DUKE an alibi for his becoming an informant for the MRF after the Provisional killing of the three Scot Fuseliers on March 11, 1971. Senator Wilson was attributed most falsely by the MRF for outing Seamus Wright and Billy McKee.

    It was this information which was stolen from the Castlereagh office on St. Patrick’s Day 2002.

    In short, the Brits are cleaning up White’s act to prevent any damaging blowback from the inquiries former Canadian judge Peter Cory called for.

  • fair_deal

    From fair_deal to Belfastwhite

    Whoopee for Brian Feeney. I see we have a case of “I have read an article that has reinforced my own prejudices it must appear on slugger” argument. Why don’t you volunteer to blog?

    “He rightly points out that PSNI proceeds of crime team only seem to move against loyalists when they are murdered by their own and that the court system still slaps these thugs on the back on the hands while coming down like a pile of bricks on offending republicans.”

    Pity how bare facts can get in the way of a rant.
    1. Its the ARA not the PSNI proceeds of crime unit who seizes assets.
    2. Some quick research that brings into question Mr Feeney’s claims
    http://www.assetsrecovery.gov.uk/PressReleases/221205PressRelease.htm
    http://www.assetsrecovery.gov.uk/PressReleases/230305PressRelease.htm
    http://www.assetsrecovery.gov.uk/PressReleases/180305PressRelease.htm
    Also compare and contrast the number of loyalists the ARA has tackled alive or dead with the number of republicans.
    3. Policing and criminal justice are separate systems. The failure of the courts to deal with criminals is not the fault of the police, the reason they are IN court in the first place is because the police have fulfilled their role – caught them and gathered the necessary evidence. Thus possible failures of the courts are not the fault of the police and thus no justification for non-participation.
    4. The Chief Constable has publicly criticised the courts on bail conditions. Maybe his complaints would get further with political backing.
    5. Take a quick visit to the wings in Maghaberry and you will find a significant number of loyalists who have not been let off by either the PSNI or criminal justice system. I have heard it claimed there are now more UDA prisoners in jail now than there were when the early releases began.
    6. How many PIRA members have been brought before the courts for murders, punishment beatings, shootings, intimidation, or organised crime since their first and second ceasefires? Damn few. Compare and contrast with the number of loyalists. Dozens.
    7. It is also the political process itself that lead to a toleration, in some cases promotion, of these organisations in loyalist communites. You can’t advocate a corrupt political process full of moral equivalance in the interests of ‘PEACE’ then complain about its corrupting effects.
    8. The main victims of loyalist paramilitary criminality are their own communities. The main victims of inadequate policing by a refusal to engage and the organised criminality by the various republican groups are their own communities. While they are both issues they are not in any real way linked but a poor attempt by republicans to justify a position on policing being clung to for some hoped for/possible political gain at a later date.
    9. The argument also betrays a sectarian and zero-sum mindset – Unless the PSNI are nastier to them’uns then us’uns aren’t playing ball – Were such attitudes and approaches not one of the republican movement’s original criticisms of policing?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Fair Deal

    The ARA was, according to one reliable source, ready to move against John White some considerable time ago. However, their reticence to move now seems to have been explained. I suppose the big question is what were Special Branch’s intentions with White. Ex-CID detective Johnston Brown has said White told him about Adair’s threat to kill him, but on the other hand he was blamed by loyalists for wrecking the Combined Loyalist Military Command. However, since it was largely superceded by the more supine Loyalist Commission perhaps there was some method in their madness to use such an unstable, cocaine-addicted, psychopathic multiple murderer…

    At least we now know he wasn’t making his money through prison ‘handicrafts’…

    Wonder what Johnny Adair thinks of all this?

    I remember a few years ago the Sunday Times and Sunday Life ran articles about Adair’s intent to run in the Assembly elections. However, the Ulster Democratic Party folded soon after, so if there was a serious attempt by Special Branch or MI5 to push Adair into politics, it failed miserably. Adairs appear to have been responsible for much of the instability within loyalism, often at the forefront of the various internecine feuds in recent years.

    Was this the intent of the security services, or what it aimed to prevent?

    One almost wonders why the security services didn’t allow Adair to be taken out; it never stopped them before. He had considerable freedom to operate before he was finally gotten ‘offside’ by his former UDA colleagues.

    What slightly worries me about all this is that after he was put out of the country, White was working in an organisation in England which assists NI terrorist victims that, frankly, should have steered well clear of him.

  • Belfastwhite

    Whoopee for Brian Feeney. I see we have a case of “I have read an article that has reinforced my own prejudices it must appear on slugger” argument. Why don’t you volunteer to blog?

    It’s not often that an ex SDLP politician like Brian Feeney vindicates Sinn Fein’s position so why not post it here for debate. I could say by your reaction that your own “prejudices” would like to see articles like this confined to the dustbin.

    “He rightly points out that PSNI proceeds of crime team only seem to move against loyalists when they are murdered by their own and that the court system still slaps these thugs on the back on the hands while coming down like a pile of bricks on offending republicans.”

    Pity how bare facts can get in the way of a rant.
    1. Its the ARA not the PSNI proceeds of crime unit who seizes assets.

    I stand corrected whoopee doo it’s still the PSNI whatever the title.

    Also compare and contrast the number of loyalists the ARA has tackled alive or dead with the number of republicans.

    This just proves Feeneys point that the PSNI are paying informers for what? The paramilitary criminal empire of loyalism hasn’t even been dented while the special branch are paying murderers 50k a time for what? Meanwhile Unionist Parties are harping on about IRA criminality maybe it’s about high time they sorted their own house first these are people who sit on the policing board in communities that the PSNI are an acceptable police force not a good endorsement

    3. Policing and criminal justice are separate systems. The failure of the courts to deal with criminals is not the fault of the police, the reason they are IN court in the first place is because the police have fulfilled their role – caught them and gathered the necessary evidence. Thus possible failures of the courts are not the fault of the police and thus no justification for non-participation.
    4. The Chief Constable has publicly criticised the courts on bail conditions. Maybe his complaints would get further with political backing.

    Again Feeney’s article backed Sinn Fein’s position on devolving Policing and Justice. So we both agree the current court system needs to be changed?

    5. Take a quick visit to the wings in Maghaberry and you will find a significant number of loyalists who have not been let off by either the PSNI or criminal justice system. I have heard it claimed there are now more UDA prisoners in jail now than there were when the early releases began.
    6. How many PIRA members have been brought before the courts for murders, punishment beatings, shootings, intimidation, or organised crime since their first and second ceasefires? Damn few. Compare and contrast with the number of loyalists. Dozens.

    Maybe republicans aren’t involved in criminality as much as unionists, the IMC and the PSNI would have us believe.

    7. It is also the political process itself that lead to a toleration, in some cases promotion, of these organisations in loyalist communites. You can’t advocate then complain about its corrupting effects.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong but are you saying that the PSNI are being pussy footed on loyalist criminality because of the peace process? Please expand on what you mean by “a corrupt political process full of moral equivalance”.

    8. The main victims of loyalist paramilitary criminality are their own communities. The main victims of inadequate policing by a refusal to engage and the are their own communities.

    Now you need to explain this one to me. How are republican areas being victimised by “organised criminality by the various republican groups?”.

    While they are both issues they are not in any real way linked but a poor attempt by republicans to justify a position on policing being clung to for some hoped for/possible political gain at a later date.

    9. The argument also betrays a sectarian and zero-sum mindset – Unless the PSNI are nastier to them’uns then us’uns aren’t playing ball – Were such attitudes and approaches not one of the republican movement’s original criticisms of policing?

    Feeney rightly comments that Sinn Fein have made gains at elections on this issue so obviously the electorate have endorsed this position. Take a look at protestant areas where there have been a number of dead bodies found alone over the last few days apparently loyalist paramilitary involvement. What republicans are asking for is equality and accountablity in Policing. Clearly that is not happening with the amount of crime in loyalist areas. Sinn Fein’s approach to the PSNI and Policing Board has been vindicated again only this time by one of their most ardent critics surely that is a blow those who think that current policing arrangements are and should be accepted without a qualm.

  • TAFKABO

    [i]The ARA was, according to one reliable source, ready to move against John White some considerable time ago.[/i]

    Why not name the source and allow the rest of us to judge the reliability?
    Simply saying it doesn’t make it a fact.

    The rest of your post is speculation about speculation.

    As for Feenys article, the one major flaw i his arguent is that the single biggest profiteer from organised crime Northern Ireland is a republican (Slab) who has yet to be tackled by the ARA.

  • TAFKABO

    [i]It’s not often that an ex SDLP politician like Brian Feeney vindicates Sinn Fein’s position [/i]

    Wha ?

    Where have you been for the last five years?

  • fair_deal

    Belfast Gonzo

    All very interesting questions but I am afraid I can offer no answers to the questions you pose. Others hold the real answers.

    I often wondered if John White was the first person to study crimnology so he could become a better criminal?

    Promoting instability within organisations is an oft-used intelligence tactic. However, once the instability is created the situation becomes much more difficult to influence.

    Loyalist dissidents oft argued that the feuding was to distract the rank and file from the peace process to shift their ire and firepower from republicans to other loyalists so that Unionoist disaffection with the Agreement did not lead to a collapse of the Loyalist ceasefires.

    It is also the twisted reality of intelligence that to get it you have to be nice to some nasty individuals. Also it can be a mistake to believe that if someone provides information to an intelligence organisation that everything they do is at the behest of that organisation.

    “One almost wonders why the security services didn’t allow Adair to be taken out; it never stopped them before”

    Adair did escape multiple attempts on his life by loyalist and republicans so the security forces may have tried that option but with no success?

    It was also White who persuaded Adair to advocate Loyalist decommissioning and encouraged him to make statements to support the peace process. Before coming under his influence Adair was not noted for his political analysis.

    Also the way C Coy was run it was very difficult for an informers info to be used. Participants in attacks were given little or no advance information on attacks also an informer actively involved in a murder effectively can’t be used in a court.

    C Coy was also well known for the threat of sectarian murders as a way to getting police to back off (one of the moral low points of our supposedly sainted peace process).

    Whatever the individuals involved the core problem with it all seems to be Special Branch saw its role as intelligence-gathering and what it was consistently told to do was gather intelligence. Now years later their performance is being assessed on their conviction rate. The goalposts have been moved.

  • TAFKABO

    BTW.

    I’m TAFKABO.

    Not ingrammartin.

  • fair_deal

    Belfastwhite

    “It’s not often that an ex SDLP politician like Brian Feeney vindicates Sinn Fein’s position”

    He’s been doing it every few weeks for years now. Brian Feeney stopped being an ardent critic of Sinn Fein a long-time ago.

    “This just proves Feeneys point that the PSNI are paying informers for what?”

    It does no such thing. The ARA has caught numerous Loyalists thus the information they are receiving must be good so some of the informers are proving their worth. Is seizing over £4.5million of assets not a significant dent? Is dozens of loyalists convicted not inroads into Loyalist crime? A person the media says is on the top tier of the UDA leadership is presently before the courts on extortion charges – is that not potentially making inroads?

    “Meanwhile Unionist Parties are harping on about IRA criminality maybe it’s about high time they sorted their own house first these are people who sit on the policing board in communities that the PSNI are an acceptable police force not a good endorsement”

    1. They are tackling it by supporting the legal forces charged with dealing with it, making them accountable through the structures and publicly criticising them when they feel they need to.
    2. They have also no difficulty in rejecting the various forms of organised crime unequivocally. Nor has their parties depended upon criminal incomes to sustain it.
    3. Please examine what you just said you want Unionist politicians to have direct control over the police and direct them in how to tackle crime. When Unionist politicans last had such power nationalists weren’t exactly overjoyed?

    “Maybe republicans aren’t involved in criminality as much as unionists, the IMC and the PSNI would have us believe.”

    Tackling crime will not succeed on the basis of they are more criminal than we are criminal.

    “are you saying that the PSNI are being pussy footed on loyalist criminality because of the peace process?”

    Not quite, at times the RUC and PSNI have pussyfooted on the activities of all paramilitary groups when they have been told to do so.
    This process has involved turning blind eyes to paramilitary activity in the hopes it would go away in the long run i.e. when punishment shootings and ‘housekeeping’ murders were not considered breaches of the ceasefires. A corrupt approach which once commenced is difficult to stop perpetuating.

    ” How are republican areas being victimised by “organised criminality by the various republican groups?”.

    In the same way Loyalist communities are victimised. Local businesses suffer from robberies and extortion, undercutting or loss of trade by counterfeit goods, drug pushing poisoning people and crucially perpetuating a culture of criminality and lawlessness.

    “Again Feeney’s article backed Sinn Fein’s position on devolving Policing and Justice. So we both agree the current court system needs to be changed? ”

    However boycotting the system of one has no logic if your objections lie with the court system. I don’t know what changes you want to the court system so i do not know whether we agree or not. I agree with the Chief Constable’s criticism’s of courts and bail. I also think courts often fail to deal effectively with quality of life crime.

    “Sinn Fein have made gains at elections on this issue so obviously the electorate have endorsed this position.”

    Whether it is endorsed by the electorate or not a sectarain and zero-sum attitude remains a sectarian and zero-sum attitude.

    “What republicans are asking for is equality and accountablity in Policing.”

    Sinn Fein are entitled to representation on the Policing Boards and partnerships commensurate with their electoral support the same as all other parties, they will have equal treatment and the same opportunity as any other party yo make the police accountable.
    Also whatever they ask for, you advocated a PSNI crackdown on a criminal section of one community as the price of acceptance of policing by another. That has nothing to do with equality or accountability.

  • fgray

    During the late 1990s and early years of this decade the UDA conducted a campaign of ‘low-level’ violence – terryfying for those on the receiveing end of it – against those it perceived as Catholics or nationalists in north Belfast.

    The aim of the violence was to goad the IRA into breaking its ceasfire thus preventing the establishment / hastening the collapse of an Exceutive involving SF in coalition with the Ulster Unionists. An aim which the Special Branch were only to happy to approve!

    Plenty of gathering of intelligence and not many arrests was the hallmark of the RUC SB operations of loyalists. If they ever did catch anyone generous bail conditions, dropped charges or, for the really guilty, lenient prison sentences were the order of the day.

    Someone mentioned that the legal system was independent of the SB. Nominally independent perhaps but equally as corrupt and sectarian.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Johnny Adair, his “advisor” John “Coco” White and his other EX- West Belfast C/Coy. cronies such as Gary “Smickers” Smyth, were more interested post-ceasefire with crime, namely drugs and extortion, rather than the loyalist cause.

    These men ordered the killing of an innocent man, Jonathan Stewart, whose only crime was his family ties to a man with whom these criminals had fallen out with. Jealousy also caused them to direct the killers of loyalist hero and UDA man John Gregg and his friend Rab Carson.

    It would not surprise me in the least if White was a police informant. The man was a ruthless, calculating and untrustworthy character who would be so blinded by greed that he wouldn’t turn down cash incentives, even if it meant betraying his own “comrades”.

    Having said that, after his release from prison White was not a major player in the UFF, with his active service days back in in the 70s, so unless the Branch felt that Adair would confide in him prior to military operations, his usefulness in tipping them off about future C Company military actions would of been limited to say the least…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Why did that last 3:46 post go under ingrammartin6, when it was me, “Concerned Loyalist”, who posted it?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    JD,
    You advised “ingrammartin” to “crawl under the rock you came from”.

    How about trying to put aside your thoughts on the “Crown forces” as you would most likely refer to them, and refer to the subject; John White, and not the security services as a whole, as your post comes across as nothing short of plain b1gotry and narrow-mindedness. And remember Slugger’s fundamental rule- playing the ball and not the man…

    Concerned Loyalist
    (not “ingrammartin 7” or whatever else comes up!)

  • Comrade Stalin

    What is it about the republican lackeys on here that they singularly seem to have failed to grasp basic aspects of how the legal system here actually works ?

    Belfastwhite:

    Brian Feeney has endorsed Sinn Fein’s position on policing and justice in this morning’s Irish News maybe Mick will publish the article.

    Brian Feeney has been endorsing Sinn Fein’s position for a long time, the only exception I can think of is during the Northern Bank robbery when he seemed to suggest that the IRA were to blame. Does anyone know if he is still even an SDLP member ?

    He actually goes on to say Sinn Fein would be foolish to accept the current PSNI and Policing Board.

    The current PSNI and police board would be a lot more effective if they had support from across the board. Ignorance about the role they are supposed to play certainly does not help.

    He rightly points out that PSNI proceeds of crime team

    The PSNI has no “proceeds of crime” team. There is a nationwide Assets Recovery Agency which is a distinct organization which co-operates with, but is not a part of, the PSNI.

    only seem to move against loyalists when they are murdered by their own and that the court system still slaps these thugs on the back on the hands while coming down like a pile of bricks on offending republicans.

    The Assets Recovery Agency cannot do anything – legally – where there are no illegal assets to be recovered. I do know, though, that Nigel Dodds said in the House of Commons that he was annoyed that the ARA were coming down on the loyalists and not the republicans. Perhaps you might be able to counter Nigel’s point of view with reference to some facts ?

    He argues that even though loyalist murderers who were released have been paid amounts up to £50,000.00 very little inroads into loyalist paramilitary activity has been achieved.

    Assuming the allegations being made about agents are correct. The sources are the same people who believe the IRA is still armed and committed the Northern Bank robbery.

    Now if we are going to have republicans recognising the PSNI and joining the Policing Board then surely this imbalance in tackling loyalist paramilitaries must be addressed first. Let us all see what kind of society we can have and make it easier for grass roots republicans and nationalists to accept the transition when it does happen.

    Grassroots republicans and nationalists need to be committed to the implementation of the law across the board, including to other republicans and nationalists as well as loyalists and non-aligned criminals – otherwise, what is the point ? As it stands, republicans have given no specific commitments to support any policing dispensation irrespective of the moves made – they have merely promised to talk about it. The republican position on this issue is the same as the DUP’s position on power sharing – intransigent, stuck in the past and ignorant of the facts on the ground.

  • In another attempt to get this thread on track, I recommend viewers read today’s articles in the Belfast Telegraph about John White, though note that there is no explanation why he wanted to kill SDLP Senator Paddy Wilson and Ms. Irene Andrews in such a savage way – what can only be explained by the Brits recruitment of another Paddy Wright aka ‘Steak Knife’ as a tout in the MRF’s Gemini Health Studio massage parlour operation – what Peter Harclerode explains the deceptions of in Secret Soldiers on p. 317.

  • Mike

    Trowbridge –

    “White was an RUC SB informer when he killed Senator Paddy Wilson and Irene Andrews”

    Assuming what you say is true, then the police arrested and had interned one of their informers in the UDA/UFF. And the informer (White) also went along with this.

    Then a few years later, they arrested, charged and presented evidence leading to the conviction and life imprisonmeent of this informer for the Wilson murder.

    Meanwhile White kept schtum and stayed in prison for something like 15 years having been put behind bars by the police force he was being paid by. That’s some committment to his informer role.

    Sorry, it doesn’t add up to me.

  • marty flynn

    could I ask Trowbridge H.Ford what exactly he/she meant when he/she mentioned Padraig Wilson steakknife duke Seamus Wright Billy mc Kee

  • andy

    Martin Ingram
    I didn’t realise there was any evidence linking the ‘ra to drug importation/dealing. I can’t think of any arrests, and some Garda went on record last year and said he didn’t think they were involved.

    Having said that I remember talking to some English “dealer” about ten years ago who said they received a lot of protection money from importers. Although I think he didn’t know of this directly

  • elfinto

    Marty,

    It’s fair to say that Trowbridge has a very vivid imagination. Have a look at his site codshit.com to see what I mean.

  • Marty Flynn, I am referring to the fallout from the Four Square Laundry and the Gemini Health Studio massage parlour operations being compromised after the 3 Highland Fuseliers had been murdered by the Provisionals on March 11, 1971.

    The discovery of the two MRF operations led to the Provisionals suspecting that three volunteers had worked with the Brits, resulting in the ‘court martials’ and executions of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee.

    In order to protect the third Provisional, the MRF got the RUC’s SB to tell John White that the third member involved was Senator Paddy Wilson, and he duly disposed of him, along with the totally uninvolved Ms. Andrews. At the same time, the MRF gave out the story that he had compromised them during one of his periodic visits to the message parlour.

    See Secret Soldiers for more on this.

    By doing so, the MRF and the RUC provided protection of the third volunteer involved in working with the Brits, Padraig Wilson aka DUKE and ‘Steak Knife’. He was the highest paid informer for the Brits for a quarter century thereafter.

    As for Elfinto, if you find my posts on codshit.com totally unbelieveable, why don’t you post replies there rather than continue to screw up this one? What don’t you like about what I am claiming here.

    As for you Harpo, I am afraid to go back a page for fear of losing this, but I shall respond to your message the next time I have to deal with the diversions, deceptions, and disinformation that appears regarding this.