DPP orders two separate investigations into Scappaticci allegations…

Interesting announcement from Barra McGrory, the director of Public Prosecution who has asked the PSNI to launch two separate investigations into the alleged British spy, Freddie Scappaticci:

“The first will seek to examine the full range of offences alleged to have been committed by this individual and will also include an investigation into any criminal activity that may have been carried out by security service personnel.”

“I have been made aware of the scope and range of possible offences that may have been carried out by this individual and also members of Intelligence Agencies.

“This information has been provided to me by the office of the Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, which is now concluding a painstaking review of all available material.

“The Ombudsman has carried out a comprehensive analysis of material emanating from the three investigations carried out by Lord Stevens into allegations of collusion. A common link across a significant number of potential crimes, including murder, was the alleged involvement of an agent of military intelligence codenamed ‘Stakeknife’.”

“In addition, the Attorney General of Northern Ireland John Larkin QC, has recently contacted me about a murder case to enquire about any action the Public Prosecution Service may be considering. This is a case in which the same agent is potentially implicated.

“In the light of all of this information, I concluded that I must exercise my power to request that the Chief Constable investigates matters which may involve offences committed against the law of Northern Ireland and did so on August 11, 2015.”

The problem facing the PSNI is likely to be twofold. One, where matters of national security are concerned, they will sooner or later have to turn it over to the newly formed and newly approved NCA.

They in turn will likely run into another problem which is the pragmatic situation through which MI5 will judge can safely be released.

Given the ongoing presence of the IRA and the Army Council, and what the latest report implies about the continuing presence of Covert Human Intelligence Sources inside that organisation, this hare could be running into a few brick walls along the way…



  • No way ‘stakeknife’ would have survived without other senior IRA informers. The big question is how far will this go in opening that bag of worms….

  • Gopher

    Question? If Stakeknife murdered people, who signed off on these murders and why is this not part of the investigation. Is there a conflict of interest here?

  • or walked away from the IRA. Doesn’t Scappaticci deny being stakeknife?

  • John

    Attention and pressure on Sinn Fein….cue the usual deflection from republicans.

  • mac tire

    Irrespective of whether there is pressure on SF or not on this – there will be, perhaps, even more pressure on Britain.

    I’ve ordered more than enough popcorn to go around, if you are interested.

  • Robin Keogh

    Du u ever sometimes feel like you are looking into an engine trying to figure out amongst the wires, cogs, nuts and bolts why the car just will not work? Thats what this looks like to me tbh.

  • eireanne

    he does indeed Dissenter. he denies it strongly

  • Dan

    The director concluded: “Before making this announcement, I have had a number of meetings with the Chief Constable, the Police Ombudsman and the Attorney General and we are agreed in our commitment to ensure that the public should be able to have full confidence in the criminal justice system. We will each play our role independently, openly and with integrity.”


  • chrisjones2

    Good heavens. The Brits had agents inside PIRA and SF …how shocking

  • chrisjones2

    Why don’t you just ask the Army Council …it seems that they control your party so I am sure they can advise you!!!


  • Brian O’Neill

    You mean have 😉

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Three questions –

    1. How much will this cost?
    2. What will it achieve?
    3. Will anyone involved see the inside of a cell?

    Another deflection away from welfare, education, economy, environment.

    Step forward the usual gurners with more excuses why they shouldn’t be working with themmuns.

    A pox upon them all – politicians, government legal lackies, the police, ad nausea.

  • Janos Bingham

    Ouch! 😉

    I welcome the investigations. Let’s hope they follow the evidence. I also hope that the PSNI is really interested in an effective investigation and therefore feels obliged to hand the job over to an outside police force that is not party to the cosy relationship that has seemingly developed between PSNI HQ and Stormont.

  • Robin Keogh

    I’ll get onto it so….

  • Barneyt

    …it won’t grow any legs this one….not in the national interest is the most likely conclusion. It will be put to bed. Its perhaps, as some suggest, a distraction.

    It does make you wonder what game is being played at the minute. The PSNI state that on some capacity the IRA exist, even its their members are going freelance.

    It goes on to state that the command structures did not sanction recent murders, but the PSNI did enough to cause a stir and mobilise the DUP and others into a frenzy and the hokey kokey.

    The NI SOS announced an investigation. It didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know as such, as the IRA did not disband and there was a general anti-vacuum consensus.

    The findings do little harm and if anything else state that there is a command structure that is committed to peace, even if it is considered to be the overarching power than controls both SF and the ground troops. Only issue, if it is to be believed, is that there are external powers that may shape the path our deputy FM follows. However, he is not the leader of SF and will have to answer to a higher authority with respect to the SF all-Ireland goals and strategy anyhow, if leadership means anything in SF. So, Gerry is external to NI matters in many respects but he has active participation. No great shakes if you ask me. The existence of an army council and the control they are supposed to have over SF, may have greater impact in the ROI however.

    It seems to me that this stakeknife episode has re-emerged to dilute any possible continued unionist protest and to debase their abstention. It feels its been brought forward to point out that the IRA and British authorities have had some level of cooperation and may still do…and that there is a shared responsibility for the troubles across the board….so the unionists will have to also now point the figure at their master so to speak, if their protest is to continue.

    Games are being played here….but for what purpose. It is all part of the same crazy strategy or is one move in response to another. I am not sure who has the most mud on their face here…PSNI or DUP. Mud doesn’t stick to Teflon as we know.

  • Gopher

    I would like to know who authorised stakeknife to murder, was it individuals, the collective decision of the “Army council”, whether he did it off his own bat and whether anyone involved are elected representatives, SPADS or party members on the public payroll. i would like an outside DPP involved as there seems a reasonable case for conflicted interest.

  • Janos Bingham

    Interesting questions. Whereas the contemporary emphasis would appear to focus on the individual’s alleged role and activities as a State agent (a crucial matter) the fact that he was seemingly an IRA member in ‘good standing’ is under reported.

    At least it can be deduced that he was operating in a manner that was acceptable to the IRA as I can find no condemnations from the usual suspects about the murders at the time they became known.

    It goes without saying that any alleged wrongdoing by security services, Army or police personnel must form a major part of the investigatory process. At the same time those within the ‘Republican Movement’ must also be examined.

    I am in full agreement with you. The matter must be taken forward under the direction of both a prosecuting authority and an investigation body from outside NI.

    The supervision, management and working procedures of such an important investigation must not provide any opportunity for a suspicion to form of any involved issues being left less than fully examined.

  • just watching

    The British government

  • just watching

    outside GB and NI

  • Gopher

    My deduction is much the same and with the release of the report on the IRA and its conclusions you think the DPP would at least look at the logistics of the murders which in the case of alledged informers were they were not murdered in situ are patently intensive. I would suggest killing ones own men would require someone on a higher pay grade or a commitee like the Army council to take the decision rather than Stakeknife. I am amazed though far from surprised at the singular thrust of the DPP investigation. Obviously after the the ruling on the Army council being in existence, victims relatives will be interested to know if they can claim damages against SF for the loss of loved ones.

  • aquifer

    In organisations schooled in secrecy the only available evidence may be accomplice evidence. How long could an effective agent stay within PIRA or ISIS without killing someone or sanctioning a killing? In that context could killing someone else, an enlisted paramilitary, be viewed as self-defence? Kill or be killed as an informer?

    The informer did not set up the Irish system of secret separatist gun gangs, so is not as guilty as some others.

  • eireanne

    The Council of Europe wrote:

    “For an investigation into alleged unlawful killing by State agents to be effective, it is notably necessary for the persons responsible for and carrying out the investigations to be independent from those implicated in the incident and for the investigation to be capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible”.https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/time-for-truth/

  • eireanne

    “Where is the line at which – in seeking to save lives – the intelligence services can no longer tacitly collude in the destruction of other lives? How can you successfully run a ‘clean’ informant, if his or her credibility within a terrorist organisation is bolstered only by close participation in dreadful acts? . . . . .”

    “The British government, often for compelling reasons, needed the secrets that precisely such a figure held. Yet what went on between those two positions is, I suspect, going to reveal to us the darkest, saddest places in which realpolitik struck murky, desperate bargains with an increasingly elusive morality” http://blogs.new.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/the-stakeknife-investigation-and-the-dark-reality-of-double-agents/?

  • the rich get richer

    Is it possible that The IRA used someone that they knew to be an informer to do a lot of their murders for them. He wasn’t in much of a position to refuse if he wanted to retain his position…….. He did seem to be available for this dirty work a lot….Will we ever get to know the truth ? ? ?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Too reified, JW, those authorising any such action and those handling him who let it go ahead, “have names and faces”, anything else is simply too general. These things may be done by those active in organisations, but as the Nuremberg Trials have shown us, this in no way diminishes the personal responsibility of choice.

  • Nevin

    “Interesting announcement from Barra McGrory”

    Interesting timing of the announcement considering that he decided to put in a request and ‘did so on August 11, 2015’. Why wait until now?

    “the pragmatic situation”

    aka ‘peace at any price’ and ‘IBP – institutions before people’. Alan McQuillan has also entered the conversation:

    The man who was responsible for going after criminal assets has said that he believes the Labour Government “misled” him and that his job was axed in an attempt to protect the peace process.

    Alan McQuillan, who was head of the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) until it was wound up in 2008, said that he now believes that if groups such as the IRA and the UVF were engaged in crime the attitude was “so what?”.

  • Janos Bingham

    “have names and faces”.

    Indeed they do. Yet we’ve had report after report on ‘collusion’ offering up generalities.

    I can’t believe other than that the police and Army, in common with other government organisations, are in large part bureaucratic systems.

    Why is it apparently the case that PONI investigators, and others, have (so far) been unable to identify individuals? Surely the names of departmental and squad chiefs in position at particular times are retained on file as part of general employment records?

    Yet reports claim collusion in respect of specific incidents. PONI in particular has indicated that he has access to police records. How can he at one and the same time allege collusion without having a suspect to arrest for questioning?

    It is very frustrating.

    Of course in the case of terrorist organisations record keeping would tend to be, at best, poor, or most probably nonexistent. Attaching a name to an incident by combing through files (if they exist and ever became available) would I assume be more of a challenge, although obviously still possible.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Janos, I entirely agree with you about the problem of accessing information which must be really available, or at least discoverable, unless the security services were run like a hippy commune. The tendency to blame collectively and to avoid the core factor of individual responsibility is the one reason nothing ever settles politically. It’s a bit like treating individual acts of, say, burglary, by claiming a whole housing estate is responsible.

  • eireanne

    Have anchored my tin-foil hat firmly on for this reply.

    Barra McGrory put in request for investigations on August 11, 2015′.
    10 days later PSNI confirms IRA involvement in McGuigan murder, precipitating crisis in NI institutions.
    Coincidence, anyone?


  • barnshee

    “Irrespective of whether there is pressure on SF or not on this – there will be, perhaps, even more pressure on Britain.”

    –the “count” is

    60% killings IRA etc
    30% UVF etc
    10% Police army

    The “unsolved” burden is largely paramilitary
    If “stakeknife” and his equivalent on the “other side” surface I expect a deal of stained underwear on view

  • Zeno

    “DPP orders two separate investigations into Scappaticci allegations…”
    For what purpose. If it turned out that he was in charge of the IRA and SF the DUP would still be sharing government with them.