Whitey Bulger: “That’s our shipment. That’s ours!”

There’s been a familiar response from Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris, TD, to the news of the arrest of Irish-American gangland boss, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger.  From the Irish News

“I don’t know Whitey Bulger,” Mr Ferris said.  “I never met him.  I never had anything to do with him, ever.  “I never met him in my life.  You can get the transcripts of the trial and look at them.  There’s nothing about him.”

It was reported that Bulger, an Irish American now aged 81, helped organise the operation but that the IRA later blamed him for scuppering the plan and making off with the cash.

Mr Ferris dismissed this as “media speculation”.  “I know nothing about it, really,” he told the Irish Daily Mail.  “It is history.  We will leave it all to history.  I have no memories and I know nothing about him.”

It might be speculation to say that “the IRA later blamed him for scuppering the plan”, but there are a number of reasonably detailed accounts of the attempted arms smuggling operation, and Bulger’s role in it.  From the Irish Examiner

The Valhalla was carrying $1 million worth of guns and ammunition. It was believed that the money to buy the weapons was collected by Murray and Bulger.

Bulger tipped the FBI off to the Valhalla mission. Providing such information enhanced his standing as an informant.

Seán O’Callaghan, the garda informant within the Provisional IRA, warned the Special Branch that the Marita Ann was going to be used. Hence it was kept under electronic surveillance from the Irish side, while the Valhalla was tracked across the Atlantic by satellite.

The guns were transferred at sea, with virtually the whole Irish navy waiting off the Kerry coast. The Marita Ann was seized making its way back to port. Martin Ferris, now Sinn Féin TD for Kerry North–West Limerick, was among several arrested.

While Bulger was informing for the FBI, other agencies had him under surveillance, and the home of one of his two lovers was bugged. When the news of the seizure of the Marita Ann was broadcast on television, he was recorded as saying: “That’s our stuff.”

After the Valhalla returned to Massachusetts, the crew went into hiding. The 32-year-old McIntyre offered to co-operate with police in a desperate effort to extricate himself. He was clearly “petrified” of his colleagues, said Detective Richard Bergeron, and his information proved vital.

“You don’t know where you’re going to end up or what kind of demise you’re going to come to,” McIntyre said. “I just sometimes feel like I’m trapped in this whirlpool and I can’t get out of it.”

In the early 1980s, he got involved in Murray’s drug-smuggling. He sailed on seven boats that smuggled marijuana into Boston.

“I was the engineer on all those boats,” McIntyre said. Each carried “between two and three thousand bales”. He gave up details of a drug shipment that was due to come in on the freighter, Ramsland. The boat was searched as it entered Boston Harbour on November 16, 1984, and a shipment of 36 tons of marijuana was seized.

DEA investigators were almost euphoric about McIntyre’s co-operation. “This guy had a mountain of information,” Bergeron later explained.

The DEA shared the information with the FBI. Agent Roderick Kennedy of the FBI’s Boston office interviewed McIntyre, and reported that McIntyre talked at length about Joe Murray, as well “Patrick Nee of South Boston, Kevin, and an individual named ‘Whitey’ who operates a liquor store”. This was obviously a reference to Bulger, whose business front was the South Boston Liquor Mart. The Kevin mentioned was apparently Kevin Weeks, who was also known as Bulger’s surrogate son.

Two days later, McIntyre disappeared. His body was not found until January 2000.

While Bulger was clearly tied to the Valhalla gun caper, Nee has said the mobster didn’t like how passionate Nee was in helping the IRA because the risk in trading guns was great while the profit was low.

“Whitey did have something to do with the Valhalla, but he tried to derail it,” Nee told the Boston Globe.

A later Globe article was more specific. It theorized that Bulger had compromised the Valhalla operation, after taking a hefty profit from it, by tipping off the CIA.

However, Bulger clearly felt invested in the Gloucester operation. He first heard of the foiled deal on Boston’s Channel 7 News. “That’s our shipment. That’s ours!,” a Drug Enforcement Agency bug installed in his home recorded him saying.

Investigators say then Boston FBI agent John Connolly Jr. leaked McIntyre’s identity to Bulger. The FBI agent learned it from either Customs agents the fisherman spoke to the day the Valhalla was seized in Boston or from Quincy cops after McIntyre spilled the beans while drunk during an arrest.

Bulger was so angered by the seizure and the betrayal that he ordered Nee to bring the Quincy man to a South Boston house in November 1984.

Nee has admitted bringing McIntyre to the home, saying Bulger, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi and Kevin Weeks were waiting to “just talk” to the fisherman. Nee said he returned to house to find the three burying the body. McIntyre had been tortured, and Weeks and Flemmi would both later say Bulger shot the man in the head.

The Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen was at Bulger’s court appearance.  And the paper also carries this interesting op-ed

Whitey Bulger wanted to be taken as Robin Hood, a defender of the neighborhood under siege. As the old Brahmin enemy faded, a new enemy arrived in the legion of black families who wanted to put their children into Southie’s schools — or bus Southie children out to theirs. “Liberals’’ were their sponsors, along with the courts, the press, and even the broader church. Local Irish xenophobia became general. In concert with his politician brother, William, Whitey Bulger played on all of this, the pair celebrated as maestros of neighborhood values.

Whitey made alliances with the FBI against another outside enemy — the Italian mob. Jumping on the wagon of renewed Troubles in Northern Ireland, he became a self-appointed henchman of the IRA, returning to the well of Britain-hatred to refresh the spirit of grievance. With his brother as winker-in-chief, Whitey’s legend as a benign Irish rogue was established. He became a favorite punch line to jokes told by cops and pols at the Bulger-sponsored St. Patrick’s Day breakfasts. Irishness itself settled on the brothers like fairy dust, and Boston joined Southie in loving them for it. All the while, Whitey Bulger was a one-man plague, infecting his own turf with mayhem, murder, and drugs, poisoning the very streets and projects that honored him as protector. One mythic figure in Irish tradition is the informer who betrays his own people. That, in every way, is Whitey Bulger.

Read the whole thing.

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  • keano10

    And what’s the point…??

  • pippakin

    Martin Ferris didn’t know Bulger, ah well if he said so… Honour among thieves? I think not.

  • Joe Bloggs

    keano10 (profile)
    25 June 2011 at 4:27 pm

    “And what’s the point…??”

    That the PIRA were heavily involved with yet another major, international drug dealer???

  • Nunoftheabove

    “The only one who can do what I do is me. A lot of people had to die for me to be me. You wanna be me? “

  • lamhdearg

    i will have to watch that film.

  • lamhdearg

    sorry i meant to ask, is he as good in it as he is in hoffa.

  • qwerty12345

    Bloody micks, monsters at home, monsters abroad. Its a good job Britain tried to civilise them with her loving boot otherwise they surely would have ruined the world.

    Yawn.

  • Nunoftheabove

    qwerty12345

    Enjoy your clams 😉

  • Rory Carr

    Did you, Pippakin, in your usual ill-thought out, jump-in-with-both-feet contribution at 4:30 pm really intend to imply that Martin Ferris T.D. was a thief ?

    I don’t suppose that you did really, nor that you would care to substantiate such a serious charge, but you might like to pause for a moment’s reflection to consider that nervous, knee-jerk comment that you feel obliged to make, at every waking moment it seems, and weigh its import before clicking the ‘submit’ function.

    It is not obligatory to have an opinion on every single issue, especially those of which you have no knowledge whatsoever. We will not think any the less of you for it. Honest.

  • I saw a documentry about this guy a few months ago. He is one bad honcho. Well done FBI to keep on his case and get him eventually.

  • pippakin

    Rory Carr

    At least I got the name right and no I did not intend to call anyone a thief, just the IRA and of course their operatives.

  • lamhdearg

    Lots of talk about tip offs and f.b.i. agents, and pol and cops at (bad man)sponsored st pats day breakfasts, any talk of colluison or enguiries. oh and pip now dare you draw comparision between a convicted gun running terrorist, and a thief.

  • glenda lough

    ‘Martin Ferris’. Is this the Real Martin Ferris, the Continuity Martin Ferris, or the Provisional Martin Ferris?

  • fordprefect

    Pippa,
    you can’t just make a sweeping statement like that, that all members of the IRA were thieves. The problem I have with SF representatives (whether elected or not) is that any sane person couldn’t believe a word that came out of their mouths. It was just a wee while back that McGuinness said that he had never supported Col. Gaddafi nor his regime, yet I never heard any complaining about him when he gave the IRA tons of weapons.

  • Limerick

    fordprefect,

    Since a substantial amount of PIRA’s finances were acquired via thievery it is hard to see why a person cannot be justified in calling the Provos thieves.

    You make a good point about McGuinness. One which ties in perfectly with the opening post.

  • Mrs jones

    Let’s hope they don’t deport him.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    fair enough, then the British must be the biggest thieving b******* in the world! They didn’t just rob banks etc. they robbed whole countries!

  • Limerick

    fordperfect,

    They did so with the active and enthusiastic support of the Irish.

  • pippakin

    lamhdearg

    Thanks but I’m used to personal abuse from certain quarters..

    fordprefect

    The IRA have been accused of more than one bank robbery. I do agree with you though I never believe a word a SF rep says, but to be fair I take anything any politician says with a pinch of salt.

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    Past tense, yes. Currently though ?

  • fordprefect

    Nun,
    ahhhh where to start, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq (didn’t work out too well for them in Iraq) and any other country they can get their greedy claws into along with the Yanks! And please don’t lecture me about the money they’ve put into these countries. Imagine lucrative re-building projects given to people in the Brit and US governments and people closely associated with them, just before they go and blow the bojangles out of a country! Unbelieveable, but true!

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    not all the Irish.

  • fordprefect

    Pippa,
    yeah, have to agree with you on that one. 99.99 per cent of all polititians are lying b*******!

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    not all the Irish.”

    Fordperfect,

    And not all the British either, so what exactly was your point?

  • Limerick

    “ahhhh where to start, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq”

    Fordperfect,

    Can I just remind you that the Irish army is currently in Afghanistan, and that Iraq has been turned into a functioning democracy. Whilst I did not agree with Tony Bliar’s adventures into Iraq I do not agree with your contention that the British went in their to rob the place. The current military operations in Libya are in support of people who are trying to overthrow a tyrant. Again their is no ‘robbery’ motive.

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    Much like the well and truly plundered oil-rich states of Kosovo and Bosnia, right ?

    Just confirm this for me fordperfect; Iraq’s oil minister presided over an auction at which development rights for seven major oil fields were awarded in a process of transparent competitive bidding among several international consortiums about 18 months ago. How would you think that British owned companies or or British-identifiied consortiums got on at that auction ?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    you should be a stand up comedian (though not in Iraq!)

  • fordprefect

    Nun,
    do you mean the Brit/US installed puppet oil minister? I think we should be told.

  • Cynic2

    Can we have a public inquiry into this one?

    It would make marvellous airtime for RTE with US syndication rights and a glorious cast of shady characters – and that;s just the politicians

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    you should be a stand up comedian (though not in Iraq!)”

    Fordperfect,

    A sort of ‘moneysupermarket.com’ type of comedian perhaps?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    any kind of comedian you want to be mate! Though, if I were you I wouldn’t expect ticket sales to go through the roof!

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    any kind of comedian you want to be mate! Though, if I were you I wouldn’t expect ticket sales to go through the roof!”

    Fordperfect,

    That sort of destroys whatever point you were trying to make.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    no it doesn’t, it means you have no answer to it.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    no it doesn’t, it means you have no answer to it.”

    Fordperfect,

    You have on the one hand accused me of being a comedian, but then on the other accused me of not being funny. Can you see the contradiction at all?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    yes, you are like Jim Davidson, an unfunny “comedian”!

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    yes, you are like Jim Davidson, an unfunny “comedian”!”

    Fordperfect,

    You mean like a comedian who only appears funny to raging bigots and racists?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    Yeah, just like you! You have a great audience here, you know, like the half-wits and bigots that think the British Army, RUC/PSNI UDR/RIR were all great fellas and girls that wouldn’t harm a fly, never mind a fenian!

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    Yeah, just like you! You have a great audience here, you know, like the half-wits and bigots that think the British Army, RUC/PSNI UDR/RIR were all great fellas and girls that wouldn’t harm a fly, never mind a fenian!”

    Fordperfect,

    But you are the one who found me amusing. So much so that you said I should be a comedian.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    Yeah, have a go at it.

  • Limerick

    Fordperfect,

    I can see that the point is whooshing past you.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    Na mucker, seems like it’s whooshing past you!

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    Na mucker, seems like it’s whooshing past you!”

    Interesting that Irish republicans should adopt British army slang. They also tend to dress up in British style combats.

    Surely something psychological going on there?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    When I was growing up in Belfast, mucker was a term of endearment for our friends. Personally, I don’t care where the term came from.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    When I was growing up in Belfast, mucker was a term of endearment for our friends. Personally, I don’t care where the term came from.”

    Fordperfect,

    It came from the members of your community who helped create and police the British Empire. A ‘mucker’ being someone who mucked in with a fellow member of the army whilst digging trenches etc.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    I already knew that, so what? You, mucker, are just looking for an argument for arguments sake.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    I already knew that, so what? You, mucker, are just looking for an argument for arguments sake.”

    Fordperfect,

    Not at all. I thought that I should helpfully point out the things that we have in common rather than our differences. For instance all this hatred of the British army is a relatively new thing given that your community supplied a huge proportion of its manpower for a couple of centuries. During the empire years of course.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    No probs, but, the BA beat the b******* out of me since I was 14 years of age! Have you got that in common with me? And, no I wasn’t caught rioting or anything.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    No probs, but, the BA beat the b******* out of me since I was 14 years of age! Have you got that in common with me? And, no I wasn’t caught rioting or anything.”

    Fordperfect,

    They just happened upon you and decided to beat you up for absolutely no reason then?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    Ah, yes. Not just me, but thousands of nationalist kids like me. They, I assume, took their frustrations out on the likes of me and others, because they couldn’t catch/shoot IRA people. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone on here that lived through the 70’s. I am now aged 50.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    Ah, yes. Not just me, but thousands of nationalist kids like me. They, I assume, took their frustrations out on the likes of me and others, because they couldn’t catch/shoot IRA people. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone on here that lived through the 70′s. I am now aged 50.”

    Fordperfect,

    It is a testament to your fortitude that you managed to survive your ordeal. Sadly hundreds of young soldiers did not manage to survive patrolling through your peaceable neighbourhoods. Though it must be said they did manage to both catch and shoot a considerable number of terrorists.

  • Nonsense. Mucker originated in Derry. It’s the Engish bastardization of Mo Cara; my friend.

  • fordprefect

    Limerick,
    They also managed to “catch” and “imprison” and kill quite a lot of innocent people while they were at it!

  • fordprefect

    Thank you Joe.

  • Limerick

    “Nonsense. Mucker originated in Derry. It’s the Engish bastardization of Mo Cara; my friend.”

    Joe,

    The Derry wans must have brought it with them to the regiments they joined in the British army then.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick,
    They also managed to “catch” and “imprison” and kill quite a lot of innocent people while they were at it!”

    Fordperfect,

    Not anywhere near as many as the Provos did. You must really hate them. Yeah?

  • fordprefect

    Limerick, who do you mean? the “Provos” as you call them, or the BA?

  • Thinking a bit more about my youth, we called our closest friends by their family name; hey Harron. After that, our closest aquaintances would be called mucker; hey mucker. And further out acquaintances would be called by thier given name; hi joe. Others would just get a nod.

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    If you regard free democratic elections as a crude means of impelemnting puppet appointments go right ahead – laugh at the will of the Iraqi electorate all you want. The gentlemen in question, currently Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, was formerly imprisoned and tortured at Abu Ghraib prison for 11 years at the personal instruction of Saddam Hussein, about whose demise you could at least be honest and say that you regret and/or mourn. During this time Mr al-Shahristani refused to help build a nuclear weapon for the Saddam’s Iraq.

    With regard to the auction referred to, as a matter of fact neither British or American companies came out on top, rather consortiums identified with the not particularly notorious imperialist western of Angola, Malaysia and Russia (among others) did notably well. But hey, why bother even taking that into account or even trying to understand the subject when people can instead choose (ok, in some cases they don’t/can’t exercise a choice) to be so jaw-droppingly stupid as to believe any old untruthful self-loathing rubbish that bullshitters and opportunists not unlike Michael Moore come up with, right ?

  • Cynic2

    God this is like watching a discussion in Robinson’s at about 1am on a Saturday

    Handbags at dawn stuff

  • fordprefect

    Nun,
    You, like a few others on here, resort to the tired old argument that, I disagreed with the invasion of Iraq, so I am a supporter of Saddam Hussein etc. Wise up, you lost the argument!
    Cynic2,
    LOL

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordprefect

    You haven’t even engaged with the argument – not for the first time – let alone made any vague claim to winning it kid. You can’t/won’t respond to a single point with a rational evidence based answer. By definition that makes you not so much a loser of an argument as it does someone not willing or able to even qualify to participate in one. As such, that can only be interpreted as a concession by you. No contest. A walkover.

    Bye bye, chum.

  • fordprefect

    Nun,
    Listen son, I won!

  • Nunoftheabove

    ford

    You didn’t turn up babes. Again. Non-competitor. Loser.

  • fordprefect

    Nun,
    Na na na na na! I won!

  • sliabhluachra

    Prior to his incarceration Mr Ferris was a man of some property, owning fishing boats and running some other businesses. When he was released, he helped himself to a medical card before giving a hero’s welcome to those liars who riddled Jerry McCabe with Provo lead.
    What happened to Ferris’ wealth, his boats and his businesses, that he was reduced to bum a medical card off the Irish tax payer who funded his incarceration? Did he give it to the Garda Benevolent Fund?
    Is he now solvent and living on the average industrial wage?

  • Nunoftheabove

    sliabhluachra

    He’s enjoying his clams 😉