What secret MI5 building?

Update For those who have no time for red herrings, please ignore this thread. I read the story too quickly, as Mark rapidly points out. “The north” was the north of England! It’s always a bad mistake to rush to comment without getting the facts right, as all Sluggerites know.

“Planning files at the local council, which The Sunday Times has agreed not to name for security reasons, show that more than 60 local people raised objections. A council official said information about the project was “classified” and it had no record of the plans. In fact, they were withdrawn from the council last year after MI5 discovered they had been publicly available for several months.”

This Sunday Times story is the silliest I’ve seen in a long time. It reads like a piece of journalist training that’s gone wrong. ( a) It undermines itself in succeeding pars and (b) the whole world knows it’s a grey block called Loughside inside the precincts of Holywood Palace Barracks, North Down, and clearly visible from the road. MI5 never made any attempt to hide it, just as everyone knows London HQ is at Thames House Millbank which is shares with the Northern Ireland Office. In March MI5 announced setting aside £37.5 million and increasing its 200 staff based at Loughside to tackle the upsurge of the Real and Continuity IRA

  • Mark McGregor


    Whoops. Read again. In this piece ‘northern’ means north of England and is not about the Holywood site.

    Red face?

  • Brian Walker

    Thanks Mark. The Oops! is on me. Apologies to friendly readers and the Sunday Times. Having made the mistake, I may not be the best person to add the point – why bother with secrecy over the building, when other buildings are known and the details were already revealed? Are supposed al Qaida cells in the north of England deemed to be more dangerous than the Real and Continuity IRA?

  • donegal holiday home

    Aw, I’m disappointed this isn’t going to turn into another thread where SF supporters explain how the MI5 super-fortress in North Down is evidence the Brits are imminently leaving.
    ‘To oversee withdrawal’ was the best piece of doublethink I heard the last time, lol
    They might even believe it themselves by now. The ones not drawing a wage from the same building.

  • They do have a few job vacancies on their website for Greater Manchester … in the same way they have some for Greater Belfast!

  • Mark McGregor


    I’m sure cryptome will have the location up shortly. As Brian points out, seems a little stupid trying to hide it now.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Though it was oddly written in Brian’s defence, as I had the initial same reaction earlier today.

    In my case though, my great-uncle and cousin BillyBob Jnr was yammering on about UFO’s..government conspiracies and the like.

  • Me too. I had it on the Newshound, where it didn’t belong.

    Uggh. Give me a few minutes/hours/days to come up with a “really good” excuse.