Some interesting detail from the Irish News front-page report in which “one of the leading lights in CRJ”, Jim McCarthy, who was sentenced to five years in 1976 for possession of firearms, “angrily” denies being an informer after he had, reportedly, “been visited at his west Belfast home by police who told him he was to be publicly exposed.” [subs req for now] The report quotes a Sinn Féin spokesman
A Sinn Fein spokesman said: We can confirm Jim McCarthy contacted the party after the PSNI visited him. Sinn Fein was happy to let Jim know that there was no evidence that he was to be outed as an informer. Jim provides a valuable community service in the area and we fully support him in taking the matter future in terms of his complaint to the ombudsman.
And the report also notes that, as was the case with Roy McShane, McCarthy had previously been a driver for the Sinn Féin leadership.
The 51-year-old, who was once a driver for Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, has also been visited at his west Belfast home by police who told him he was to be publicly exposed.
The report doesn’t record when he was a driver nor whether he shared another of McShane’s roles.
In 1989 that internal security unit was stood down over concerns that it had been infiltrated by the British intelligence agencies. In what would prove to be a crucial mistake the IRA moved many of those involved in the nutting squad into protection and driving roles for the Sinn Fein leadership.