Irish Republican News · January 23, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Another informer outed

A former Sinn Féin election worker has admitted to being a paid Special Branch informer for 25 years.

In a statement issued through his lawyer, Frank McManus, Sean Lavelle, from Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, said he was recruited as an agent in the early 1980s.

“I was pressurised into this after I was arrested some time in 1980,” said Mr Lavelle.

“I deeply regret my activities and the hurt which they have caused to my family and to my community.”

Mr Lavelle was never a member of Sinn Féin. His association with the party as an election worker ended ten years ago.

Fermanagh Sinn Féin assemblyman Tom O’Reilly said the information he provided his handlers with would have been “extremely limited”.

“The knowledge Sean Lavelle had on republicans in Fermanagh isn’t worth talking about,” said Mr O’Reilly.

“He worked voluntarily for Sinn Féin at election times, that was the extent of his involvement with the party. His work was really quite insignificant.”

Mr O’Reilly said the people who would be hurt most by Mr Lavelle’s admission are his family and friends.

He added: “They are going to feel betrayed. Mr Lavelle has lied to the people he professes to love for the last 25 years.

“It’s clear there’s an element in Special Branch and the PSNI that remains a negative force with this political policing. It’s preventing progress in the peace process.”

Mr O’Reilly said Mr Lavelle was safe and living at home.

“He is still living in Donagh,” he said. “He is safe. There is nothing untoward with the man.”

The naming follows the shock identification last month of Denis Donaldson, a leading member of Sinn Féin, as a British agent. The outing of Mr Lavelle as an agent of 25 years has also caused surprise, but only because the information available to Mr Lavelle would have been considered virtually worthless.

Last week, Mr Adams predicted further revelations on Britain’s covert actions against republicans.

“You are going to get more alleged agents or real agents being trotted out in the time ahead,” he said after a meeting with a bipartisan US Congressional team in Belfast.

“You are going to get more efforts by dissident elements within the British system to stop progress,” he said.

“You are going to get this seized upon by the DUP and others who are afraid of a future based on equality. What we have to be is tenacious, resilient and patient about moving all of this forward,” the Sinn Féin President added.

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© 2006 Irish Republican News