Sinn Fein double agent exposed
Sinn Fein double agent exposed


The Dublin government had a top-level informer in Sinn Fein over ten years ago, former Justice Minister Michael McDowell has revealed.

The top-level insider was able to determine what the party would accept in negotiations leading up to the 2006 St Andrews Agreement. He or she allowed the British governments to make significant concessions to Ian Paisley’s DUP at the expense of northern nationalists, fundamentally altering the balance of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The revelation comes in an interview McDowell gave for a new book ‘Power Play’ by Deaglan de Breadun, which documents Sinn Fein’s political rise.

The former minister said the then coalition government of Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats knew Sinn Fein would accept the deal thanks to an informer understood to have been based at the party’s headquarters in Dublin. He added that, as a result, the coalition government knew Sinn Fein would agree to recognise the PSNI.

Mr McDowell, who quit politics in 2007, said: “I knew there was someone there. I just didn’t know who it was or where that person was.

“I got absolutely reliable information and, when the peace process was going towards the St Andrews agreement, Tony Blair and [his Chief of Staff] Jonathan Powell were always asking us to make concessions.

“I was getting a briefing that none of those was necessary, that the decision had been made and just to ignore the Brits. My information turned out to be right.”

Under the St Andrews Agreement, Sinn Fein agreed to support the PSNI and sit on the Policing Board and local policing partnerships. The party has not yet responded to McDowell’s allegations.


Meanwhile, there have been calls for an independent investigation into the dozens of killings carried out by the top-level IRA informer known as ‘Steak-knife’ or ‘Stakeknife’, alleged to be west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci.

The investigation should examine allegations that members of British military intelligence at the highest level controlled the activities of ‘Stakeknife’ while he was head of the IRA’s internal security unit, relatives of the victims have said.

It is believed he worked for years to damage the IRA by killing genuine republicans and innocent civilians while allowing fellow informers to continue their activities.

This week, the PSNI said that they had received a referral from Crown prosecutors to look at the killings, but said “it would be inappropriate to comment further”.

However, there are fears of a new cover-up in the making if the British state is allowed to launch an investigation into its own murderous activities.

Lawyer Kevin Winters sounded “a note of caution” on behalf of clients.

He said any PSNI investigation would lack the resources and the “necessary degree of independence to deliver truth, justice and accountability”.

Frank Mulhern, whose son Joe was killed in 1993, said he had “no confidence in the PSNI investigating any of the cases we’re talking about”. He called for an international police force to get involved.

“They’ve had plenty of time to look at these cases - my son was murdered in 1993 - but what have they done, why are we still sitting here today without answers?

“The state are quick to tell us how many lives agents saved but what they haven’t told us is how many lives those agents have cost.”

Mark Thompson of victims’ group Relatives for Justice, who has been working with some of the families, said Stakeknife was known as the “jewel in the crown” of British intelligence and any investigation into his activities needed to look at the level at which they were sanctioned.

“This goes all the way to Whitehall, this goes straight to Westminster,” he said.

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