More on the McGuinness theory…

According to P O’Neill (the blogger, not the IRA) the accusation that Martin McGuinness was a spy first emerged officially through Commons previlege. It has of course been a topic of conversation here on Slugger since ‘Martin Ingram‘ floated it about the time of the outing of Donaldson as a British spy before Christmas. It’s clear he is still out to ‘get’ McGuinness. However, investigative journo Michael Smith has an interesting line on Ingram’s theory:He goes back to Ted Heath:

It was Heath who sent the experienced MI6 officer Frank Steele into Northern Ireland in early 1971 to “talk to the street communities” – a euphemism for contacting the terrorists and finding a way out of the deteriorating situation.

Why an MI6 officer? Well during the retreat from empire, MI6 became expert at “parallel diplomacy”, setting up secret backchannels to the terrorists/liberation movements who were attempting to secure independence from Britain.

Then he quotes a senior MI6 officer from his own book, The Spying Game on the subject of back channels:

“Firstly, if you have an undeclared back-channel, which carries with it the kind of trust which a front channel of politicians meeting openly in order to move one step forward in negotiations can’t possibly carry – because each knows the other has his own agenda – it is easy to develop that to the point where you can have some basis for trusting what the other person’s telling you. Because they’re not completely committed to it. If they say, ‘Look, this is the way it’s going to be as far as our party’s concerned. I’m telling you this off the record. There is no comeback on me if it doesn’t turn out as well,’ then it’s much easier to develop a concept of both sides going a little further than it is possible to go in an open negotiation. Secondly, you can verify what is being said because you have got the intelligence. So when you are in quasi-negotiation with the other side in fact you are also running intelligence sources into them and penetrating them, and when they say, ‘This is the situation,’ you also have some means of judging whether or not they’re telling you something that isn’t a lie. It makes it a little more solid foundation to help to resolve conflicts.”

He goes on to argue that McGuinness remained in contact with MI6 from the failed the Cheyne Walk talks right up to the early nineties, despite the scepticism of other branches of the Intelligence world. It is this closeness, he argues, that has nurtured rumours throughout the years of McGuinness working for the British.

However, Gail Walker in the Belfast Telegraph goes further in reading around the known (and unknown) facts:

…all the arguments SF have mustered over the years to protect McGuinness from the accusation that he was a member of the IRA only appear to fuel the suspicion now that he was a double agent. The security forces never had evidence that he was even a member of the IRA. He never did time for membership in Northern Ireland. Was never formally connected with any murder, bombing, kidnap, robbery, or anything more serious than scowling. Clean as a whistle, in fact.

How could that be? Especially when everyone knew exactly how lofty his position was within the paramilitary group. Republicans have made much of alleged collusion between the security forces and loyalist murderers. But they have been less sprightly when it comes to exposing collusion between the security forces and their very own republican murderers.

  • Busty Brenda

    ”The truth is that republicans have been very happy for a long time. That the troubles are over and the resulting politics government employment investment tradition and police is (or will be)based on equality.”

    abcus, since you are spokesperson for republicans, tell us was there nothing in there that mentioned a United Ireland? Or as a republican spokes person, did you forget about that????

    ”I think people used to bashing republicans as evil incarnate are struggling a little to understand that community seeing peace as the successful desire of their tradition.”

    AGAIN I put it to you that the successful desire of republican tradition is more than peace and investment, it is a United Ireland, and if one of the key players is proven to be a british agent, then that person has thwarted the desire not only of the movement he said he spent his life working for but also of the community who wanted a UI as the successful desire of their tradition.

    No republican worth their salt could claim, that peace and investment and administering BRITISH rule is the successful desire of the true tradition of republicanism.

  • ingram


    If you read the foreword to KF book I make the point that he should be treated no different than Freddy scap. That said one should not be living the life of a play boy and the other in poverty.

    I am going to give you a little insight into tomorrows papers. They are reporting correctly that he will be arrested within 2 weeks. He has got his bags packed and tooth brush ready.

    I have a piece in the world which deals with Loyalists killers tomorrow.

    All criminals deserve to be done , not just Republicans.


  • elfinto

    Absolutely Brenda, and no Irish republican worth their salt would take at face value the ramblings of a British spook.

  • Busty Brenda


    I have already said on this thread HARD evidence is needed.

  • Busty Brenda

    elfinto please check page 3 my post of today at 10.o6 am,

    ‘what is needed is for the accusor/s to put anything more they have on the table. Hard evidence is needed. Otherwise it is all talk.”

  • elfinto


    They are reporting correctly that he will be arrested within 2 weeks.

    We’ll see about that.

    I take it that he is angling for some kind of deal to prevent him from telling all that he knows in a widely publicised trial. If the guy had any conscience he would do that anyway, safe in the knowledge that he has a get out of jail free card. But of course, he is in it for the money.

  • ingram

    Night, Night.

    Off to Yankee land.


  • Turbo Paul

    Even if the allegations against MmG are true where does that leave us with regards the November 06
    deadline and how best can a deal be reached that see’s power devolved to the democratically elected officials in the Northern part of Ireland???

    As with all wars, the biggest and first casualty is the Truth.

    Does anyone think, as I do, the current leadership of Sinn Fein, DUP, Bertie Ahearn, Tony Blair, Bush, Chirac and co look stale, tired, worn out, yesterday’s men, or as Robin Day put it: “Here today, gone tommorrow politicians”???????

    Brits Biggest Blunder!!!

    The biggest mis-calculation by the Brits was back in 1998 when “Curly bonce” Johnathon Powell advised Tony Blair that it:

    “Would be better if confronted by an IRA soldier, a carton of smuggled cigs was pulled out of his bag rather than an AK47”

    The Brits thought allowing Republicans, and to a much lesser extent, Loyalists, to smuggle was “Small beer” and worth turning a blind eye to.

    However, the Republicans were so successful that today they have a global asset portfolio worth nearly $1 billion, thats right $1 billion.

    This is the real reason why there is a concerted effort to di-credit Sinn Fein from all sides.

    To counter this Sinn Fein will, I hope, have their own version of “The Night of the Long Knives” and emerge with a new leadership.

    The issue of who did what, and to who is valid, but perhaps we should be talking of how to reach a deal by November, or not, if no-deal is the aspiration.

    Once all the boxes have been ticked by Republicans, the DUP will be left refusing to share power because “Gerry Adams has not brushed his hair” The Unionist argument becomes more untenable as the lack of devolved power lingers on.

    Public opinion will then turn against the DUP, leaving them on the station platform.

    The U.S. Britain, and Irish governments will force closer links between the Republic and Britain, therby devolving more and more power to the South.

    The Dup will be responsible for allowing a long game united Ireland by proxy.

    The DUP will end up like the Palestinians, who:
    “Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”

  • abucs

    Busty, a united ireland is not the bee-all and end-all.

    i put it to you that categoring republicans in this way is to look at the world in one dimension. It is easy to argue with your enemy if you also get to define who they are.

    The world is more complex. For example, Irish people making decisions about NI on an equal basis with British people is NOT British rule.

    There may be a piece of paper somewhere that says a certain geographic area belongs to the UK (for now) but the reality on the ground, if NI is to survive now, will be about parity of esteem. It will be about a mixed police force, a mixed judiciary, it will be about co-operation and partnership with the south as it is with Britain, it will be about funding local communities on the basis of need, not loyalty to the crown.

    Peace is possible because for a long time now Republicanism has been in a dialogue with the rulers of Britain and both are in agreement about the future direction of NI.

    This agreement between Republicans and the Britsh, in my opinion, makes talks of agents from whichever side irrelevant.

    If you limit yourself to what the piece of paper says, it’s not living in the real world, and that world has just passed you by.

  • elfinto

    Brenda, if they have any hard evidence they will produce it in time. Unless that happens the the best thing to do with these allegations is to ignore them. Speculation only benefits a Brit / unionist agenda. Marty and his mates are running a pretty effective psychological operation.

    The RM erred seriously in not making a definitive response to the Scap affair. An appalling vista maybe, but one that needed (and still needs) to be addressed. The smoking gun is there for all to listen to. Again, full credit to Marty for his work there. That episode gave him the credibility necessary to peddle his misinformation to a susceptible audience. Beware!

  • Henry94


    There is a clear and rational political plan for Irish unity at the heart of everything Sinn Fein are doing. I have yet to hear anyone come up with a better plan. In fact it soon emerges in conversation with dissidents that the real principle for them is armed struggle not Irish unity.

    Why is Ireland divided/ It is because the British supported the unionist desire to have a state where they ruled supreme. They can no longer rule at all without Sinn Fein. And the equality agenda will take away the political basis for partition.

    Once that happens the economic case for unity will simply take over. A united Ireland is a certainty.

    So let the Ingrams of this world play out their vendettas as if it mattered. If anything it shows how minor their role really was. They just delayed the inevitable day when everyone had to sit down around the table.

    Another 30 years of armed struggle would have brought the same result. Why wait?

  • heck

    “Don’t you think interpetations of the last thirty years are relevant?” I DO-and I want to know what the government was up to. I want to know how high within the government knowledge of these things went, and I want to know, with 99% certainty that those within the PSNI/UVF involved with collusion have be publicly identified and expelled and a system is in place to make sure it can never happen again. Until then the PSNI/UVF will never have my support, no matter whether the shiners take their place on the police boards or not.

    On the question of whether KF was interrogated by scap- I think that just highlights my comments about the immorality of the British government/establishment. KF seems to me to be a naïve Irishman who was persuaded to join the British army and then to undercover and murder people to get in tight with the IRA. When his handlers were done with him they set him up to be murdered by Scap—to tie up loose ends. They were the ones who had him interrogated by Scap. This shows again that they were willing to murder their own employees. Right Marty?

    On the subject of KFs possible arrest. All I can say is this is Ken Barrett all over again. He will be persuaded to plead guilty –serve a few years and disappear. The government/establishment does not want a trial to expose their dirty linen. If Barrett had gone to trial for the murder of Pat Finuciane we might have identified the name of the “peelers who wanted him wacked”, we might have identified his handlers, we might have gotten Gordon Kerr for perjury, we might have identified the army NCO, now captain, who made sure the coast was clear, but instead we got some back room deal.

    During the 70’s and 80’s the authorities use to talk about ODCs , ordinary decent criminals. Maybe we should describe republicans and loyalists as ODTs ordinary decent terrorists and the government/establishment as lying, hypocritical, patronizing, evil terrorists.

  • Busty Brenda

    heck, I agree totally, collusion must be exposed.

    abcus, ‘a UI is not the bee all and end all’…

    It was until it become diluted to an equality agenda.

    henry,’it soon emerges with conversations with dissidents that the real principle for them is armed struggle not irish unity.”

    Not so, I point you to a meeting held last week in Dublin entitled ‘What is the future for republicanism’.. I am told there was no mention of armed struggle as the basis for the development of republicanism. I believe it was a very good meeting, and the hopes are there will be more.

    Henry, I believe Martin McGuinness would seriously take issue with you on this. Perhaps a man is innocent until proven guilty, but MMcG has now been tried by media, and the jury is still out. HE must want to clear his name, SF must want to clear his name. He needs to be vindicated of these allegations, or they will never go away, the whole PRM needs to clear him, otherwise, this will force a reinterpetation of the past 30 odd years, and it will be an interpetation that will do republicanism of any sort no favours.

    These allegations cannot be ignored for that reason. Theres more than MMcG’s reputation at stake here.

    As I said before hard evidence is needed. And the SW is not a paper that holds credibility. MI may ask where DM and GK are, but where are the large papers of credibility in all this. The SW, the paper who told where donaldson was and disclosed his whereabouts is dubious to say the least.

    This document needs to be produced, authenticated, and it needs to be backed by more than the SW.

    If not destroyed, these arguments/allegations will never go away. Thats a better outcome for republicans.

  • Busty Brenda

    sorry should read, the arguments should be destroyed which would be a better argument for republicans

  • carlo


  • elfinto

    So Brenda, how do you go about proving that you’re not a tout then??

  • Busty Brenda

    LOL elfinto,

    I already said you don’t. But if you listened to the radio interview you will have heard MI say that there is a consortium of journalists working on this. If this is true, then lets see what hard evidence there is. He also said dup had documents, when it all comes out, no hard evidence, no case.

    Hard evidence, and lets see if the PIRA are holding an internal investigation,

    As mccann said a mountain of evidence is needed to convince people he is a tout, but there is also the evidence needed to prove he is no tout. The evidence needs to come out, to prove or disprove what has been alleged.

    Disproving this absolutely is in the best interests of republicans, and mcguinness. Will we get that god knows.

    gotta go, hitting the pub.

  • heck

    are they also investigating the british who was on the other end of the phone in this alleged conversation?

    if the conversation is true then he, and his bosses, can be charged with conspiracy to murder.

  • ingram


    Right Marty?

    You are 100 % mate , just like Joe Fenton, Paddy flood and Marty McGARTLAND if he had not performed a Peter Pan routine.


  • ingram

    if the conversation is true then he, and his bosses, can be charged with conspiracy to murder.

    Read tomorrows World were I re print a transcript about that very point , then come back to me.


  • elfinto


    if the conversation is true

    So your RUC mate might have stitched you up with a forgery…

    Read tomorrows World

    You mean the Sunday World, right? No way will I buy that shite. I’ll wait for the article to appear on nuzhound. Are you trying to get a regular column or something? Between books, articles and radio appearances you must be doing quite well out of this business. Enjoy it while it lasts!

    BTW, where do you get the journalistic contacts from. If you wrote an article entitled ‘Brit Spook Exposes Nest of Spies in Irish Journalism’ I might just go out and buy the Sunday World!


  • Dirty tricks and Orange fascists

    As an active Republican ‘dissident’, I am sure that the GFA will fail to resolve the issue of partition. Thus, it is incumbent on us to create an unpenetratable, dedicated and well trained force. This process is currently being pursued and it is envisaged that no more than 200 active Volunteers will be required to pursue a renewed campaign that will knock some sense into the occupying force and address the problems caused by uncivilized Orange/Paisleyite fascists. Having said that, I acknowledge that this thread is about Martin McGuinness, the man who “fired the first shot on Bloody Sunday” (say MI5 et al). Let’s call a spade a spade here. Although Martin’s current approach toward the attainment of justice, peace and reunification is doomed to failure, he is a man of impeccable Republican credentials and will never be targeted by any Republican. Those who say or suggest that Martin is/could be a spy are enemies of Irish republicanism – they range from FRU; SS/RUC; touts like Ingram to quisling media outlets like the sunday world and revisionist journalists like eoghan Harris and Jim Cusack within the Independent Newspaper group. Martin may have hoped fior too much when he tried to negotiate wit Orange filth and Perfidious Albion, but he is not an informer.

  • elfinto

    Thus, it is incumbent on us to create an unpenetratable, dedicated and well trained force.

    FFS, it’s like deja vu over again. Depressing.

    An unpenetrable force of 200 men. Hmmm!?

    Fair play to you though for overcoming profound differences over strategy to defend a fellow republican from British smears. Some who differ from MMcG in outlook are unfortunately not so honest.

  • Roisin

    Curious here. Hearing some people say McGuinness needs to prove this, that and the other. Could that be the point? To force McGuinness to make revelations, maybe in particular around the Hegarty killing, which (from what I’ve read so far) is the reason Ingram is very pissed off with Martin McGuinness. Is Ingram waiting with bated breath for Martin McGuinness or the IRA to say “nah, that’s not why McG had Hegarty killed, this is why ……..” ?? I wouldn’t hold my breath too long if I was him.

    Still, let’s wait and see.

  • Roisin

    “Apart from Creggan the issue of Public interest is avoided like the plague?”

    They took Gerry Adams out of prison in order to fly him to London for talks in the 70s. I don’t recall if they locked him up again after they failed. Do you? A decision not to imprison/assassinate the leader/leadership of the ‘enemy’ is likely one made at a very high political level. Hard to negotiate with the ‘enemy’ if there’s no-one available to negotiate with. And it’s probably easier to have the occasional off/on the record talk/negotiation with the person outside of prison than inside. So, to my mind at least, this “Public Interest” immunity is neither here not there. Of course, I could be a doofus, but still ….

  • friendlyCreggan

    In light of Ingram’s ‘revelations’ this is a very interesting extract from ‘From Guns to Government’ (Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston-2001)

    “Ian Phoenix, the head of the RUC’s surveillance unit who was killed in the Chinook crash, recorded in his diaries that surveillance of McGuinness and other Sinn Féin leaders was officially curtailed on 27 September 1993. Phoenix challenged the decision, considering it to be a result of political pressure. Some have hinted that McGuinness may have been protected by the British state at some level. It seems beyond rational belief, however, that he was an informant or agent. For much of his life, he lived in relative poverty; too many of the IRA operations of which he had knowledge were carried to a successful conclusion, and over too long a period, for McGuinness to have been a security force agent. The republican struggle would not have continued as it did if McGuinness had been seeking consistently to subvert it from within. Much of his apparent luck is explained by what the police officer referred to as ‘his very keen sense of self preservation.’

    Some former IRA men say that McGuinness rarely took the same chances with his life and liberty as others, and held back from the worst of the action. However, there can be little doubt that a prosecution could have been mounted against him if it had been a priority. Sean O’Callaghan and Robert Quigley were just two of the potential witnesses who would have been willing to give evidence against him. Operation Taurus, the RUC’s concerted and major effort to prosecute him in the 1990s was ended in circumstances where charges might have been expected and where senior police officers warned of political sensitivities

    One possible explanation for his apparently charmed existence is that McGuinness was selected at an early stage by the British authorities as someone who could prove useful, and was preserved in a leadership position with future negotiations in mind”

  • Turbo Paul

    I certainly find this extract a more compelling and reasoned argument.

    To follow on, perhaps it has been events and discourse during the last decade or so that give rise to any closeness between McG and the Brits.

  • Prince Eoghan


    What did you make of the link you put up previously. the MI site.

  • friendlyCreggan

    Prince Eoghan
    Which link was that?

  • friendlyCreggan

    If you mean the ‘Martin Ingram’ site- I have only started looking at it properly in the past week.

    What do I make of it? It’s basically an ‘advance copy’ site for Martin Ingram and his ‘revelations’ really isn’t it? Create the ‘build up’ online and then the paper will go for the story.

  • friendlyCreggan

    When I asked why had ALL of the posts been removed from his site (regarding the MMcG story) ‘Ingram’ said:

    “The site comments were taken down because of comments made against a leading Journalist who asked for the comments to be removed. To remove the comments you must drop the whole section. Simple Eh but thanks for asking”

    Can anyone on here confirm if the following is true?

    How do I delete a post?
    To delete a specific post, first go to your blog via the Dashboard, then locate the post you’d like deleted, and click the Delete link all the way to the right

    You will be asked to confirm the deletion. Click on the ‘Delete It’ button. You will then be brought back to your ‘Manage Posts’ view.

    After confirming the deletion of a post a publish action will be triggered, to remove it from your published blog

  • Prince Eoghan

    I got the feeling that it was a kind of front. Plausable bullshit that connected enough of this and that to garner interest, and make you want more.

    It can only be another spook operation!, there is no other angle, is there?

    Does the British establishment care enough about the bigots(DUP), to elaborately plot a mis-information campaign?, I doubt it. Could it be a petulant attack from some laid off former members of the RUC?, many of them would have been privy to intelligence, otherwise how could they tip off their pals in the Unionist death squads.

    Will there be an exposure of said death squads tommorrow as MI has stated?, will this be done to sell us the big lie that he really is just a cuddly Nationalist at heart and wants the best for everyone?

    The common thread here is that there is few answers but many questions. Frankly the game is up!

  • friendlyCreggan

    Who knows what the ‘agenda’ is here? What are MI’s credentials? What is the REAL reason for all of this? The timing is also highly suspect is it not?

    Let’s start from the start (even for my benefit)

    Where is the ‘proof’ that he has been 100% correct in the past with ‘revelations’? (this is a genuine question and challenge)

    By ‘proof’,I don’t mean that if someone keeps saying the same thing over and over again and then it eventually is correct, I mean show me evidence that he knew in advance that ‘revelations’ ended up confirming what he said/ predicted.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Up early because my youngest has pissed the bed. Listening to radio free Eireann link that you gave on the Republican take on this blog.

    Of course, timing is everything. The theory may be far fetched about psych-ops. However contrast the impersonal very well put together, almost committee like statements on this thread, with the pally type statements later on on the Republican take thread.

    Was a different team on station?, or a change of angle?

    Look the quality of his statements, and the enticing way tit-bits are given/promised make me really suspicious.

  • Betty Boo

    Eoghan, he is the british version of a Stasi man. No wonder it makes you suspicious. And he calls himself Martin.