MoD apply for improved security at MI5’s NI headquarters

Increased security measures are already in place at potential terrorist targets in Londonderry.  The BBC are now reporting that the Ministry of Defence have applied for planning permission to improve security measures at the entrance to Palace Barracks in Holywood – site of MI5’s Northern Ireland headquarters.

From the BBC report

The application, filed earlier this month, is for a security building, the reconfiguration of site access and road layout and a search bay.

Palace Barracks houses MI5’s Northern Ireland headquarters.

A Real IRA car bomb, placed inside a hijacked taxi, exploded outside the base last year. [added link]

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  • Co. Down Man

    why is there no word on the 12 sdlp members resigning fro the party in the West Tyrone?

  • 241934 john brennan

    “In the Observer( May, 2009) Henry McDonald reports on MI5′s expenditure on national security in Northern Ireland, including operations against republican paramilitary groups, via MI5′s £20million regional headquarters. From the Observer report:

    “MI5 is spending £40m a year in counter-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland. In a bid to stop the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and the Óglaigh na hÉireann faction from destabilising power sharing, MI5 has set aside 15% of its annual £250m budget, the Observer has learned.
    Around 10% of MI5′s 2,200 UK agents are employed in Northern Ireland, security sources said this weekend. As well as involvement in operations against dissident republican terrorists, MI5′s regional HQ in Holywood, Co Down, also eavesdrops on al-Qaida suspects both in Northern Ireland and Britain”

    Isn’t the cost all these publically funded resources and ongoing expenditure is money well spent? Just think of the cost of a destabilised “peace process”, resulting from PSNI Intelligence Branch, The HET, the Police Ombudsman, and the local Justice Minister etc having access to the security file on leading members of the Provisional movement.

    Isn’t our future much safer in the unaccountable hands of, and in the basement security vaults of MI5?

    For this blessing, should we not be grateful to SF and Mother England?

  • joeCanuck

    Sounds like a sensible measure given that the site has been attacked previously.

  • The dissidents will brand this strengthening of Mi5 in Ireland a victory for their campaign. It may make cheap propaganda, but if they would disband Sinn Fein would be able to get Mi5 to close down in Ireland.

  • joeCanuck

    No, Daniel, to paraphrase another gentleman, they’re not going away you know.

  • pippakin

    This was to be expected and is exactly what the dissidents want.

  • joeCanuck


    I doubt that the “dissidents” would welcome any thing that improves the lot of MI5 who have seriously penetrated their ranks, either through informers or by direct penetration.
    What they desperately want is the army back on the streets and country roads.

  • Mark McGregor

    Right so.

    That massive base isn’t really stepping up security? – the fences all round it, patrols, road closures, security zones….no change?

    It’s getting a slightly reconfigured entrance?

    Were they concerned the dissidents were about to drive past the current entrance, up the road and blow up MI5? Give me a break – ‘Daily Mailesque’ scaremongering.

  • pippakin


    I think the dissidents want the British visible any way they can. If they can legitimately say MI5 are increasing their activities in the north that is grist to their mill.

    It is not yet known how deeply the British have infiltrated dissident ranks. I assume they must have got into some, but groups of a four or five are not easily penetrated, nor are small communities as in the more rural areas.

  • oracle

    Hi Daniel Gillen

    When Britain embarked on its 100 year war with Islam they became aware of the potential threat real or imaginary of future dirty bomb attacks on London which would leave the Security services with no operational base for intelligence deciphering, information analysis, interrogation of prisoners, or the training of new operatives.

    The Holywood location was selected as a secondary site for the intelligence services because it was outside a city centre but only 5 minutes drive from the centre of Belfast, a unique attribute which other major populace centres in Britain would find difficult to provide.

    The site is also located 5 minutes from a major airport and 15 minutes from the ferry services, added to the fact that its next to an already established military base built into the side of a hill shielded from view by heavy woods on three sides and an unban clearway dual carriageway to the front, the weight of reasons for selecting Holwood is just too overwhelming to ignore.

    The “Brucie bonus in this is Northern Ireland having the smallest Muslim population in Europe and the lowest Black/Arab ethnic face count in the UK, potential threats to the site and its staff from such radicals are greatly reduced, the monitoring of the site or it hundreds of operatives who will come and go on a daily basis by foreign Muslim radicals is all but eradicated because any such surveillance would be exposed immediately.

    So please don’t delude yourself that MI5/6 would suddenly pack up shop because of a request from Sinn Fein that is taking naivety to the extreme, to post such foolish nonsense is only a public declaration of ignorance. You might as well state your belief in flying pigs, a flat earth and witch-doctoring for treating cancer tumours.

    MI5/6 are here for 50 years or more Daniel so you can also take Sinn Feins United Ireland by 2016 theory/dream/promise/threat/fantasy insert the word of your choice Daniel everyone else has already inserted theirs and consign it to the dustbins of history or file it in the ”Jesus how dumb was I believing that horse-shit folder”

    With the outing of the likes of Dennis Donaldson an extremely senior member within SF by the security services themselves to protect the even more senior Stormont spy. The outing of Scapp by the security services themselves when they actively instructed reporters how to circumnavigate an injunction which protected “stakeknife” just to put pressure on the person who gave him his all powerful all knowing position within the Provisional movement in the first place who at the time was dragging his heels on policing. The deliberate organising of a sham raid on Castlereagh were “super-gaunch” hid in the boot of the car to steal documents that the security services had deliberately left there for them because Larry was working for them all along and they set it all up. The detailed writing of all Sinn Fein policy documents by MI5 officers and the writing of IRA statements declaring the war was over by an MI6 officer stationed in Downing street, there really is only one question you should be asking Daniel and that is Why would MI5/6 ask MI5/6 to leave?

  • oracle

    Bin Laden got whacked in Pakistan today and thus the long term threat of Al Qaeda is vastly diminished….. Do you think MI5 will scrap their base in Holywood now?