Republican party Saoradh has revealed that MI5 texted the partner of a member of the party’s executive to insist they were not trying to recruit him after he was detained at a French airport.
In a statement, the party revealed that Christy O’Kane (pictured, left) was stopped and held by French authorities in an airport during a trip to Paris last week.
The couple were detained by French security services who took away their phones. Mr O’Kane was then led to a backroom within the airport where he was faced by a man and a woman who identified themselves as members of MI5.
Mr O’Kane, a former republican political prisoner, was subjected to a number of veiled threats by the British military agents. He was eventually released after what was described as “a loud verbal altercation”.
After the pair returned home, his partner received a disturbing text message from MI5 in which the author wrote that her husband was being asked to end rioting in Derry ‘to stop the youngsters throwing away their lives’.
The MI5 official added that the agency is “not looking for him to work with us, our message was, ‘don’t get drawn into violence again’. We hope you can influence him more than we might be able to.”
The couple’s detention came after members of Saoradh held a protest at MI5’s headquarters in County Down earlier this month to highlight the presence of British military intelligence in the north of Ireland.
Saoradh spokesman Paddy Gallagher, said that there had been an increase in recruitment activity in which contact is made to family and friends of republican activists.
He said the latest approach was concerning due to the fact that British military intelligence appeared to be operating on French soil.
“They seek only to disrupt life for those who hold a legitimate political outlook,” he said. “This is another attempt to lure those from working class Republican communities into the seedy grip of MI5 control.”