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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Spies and Lies in 2005



Eamon Sweeney • 24 December 2005

What is so truly astonishing about an organisation like Sinn Fein having a British spy of 20 years standing within their ranks?

In truth, there is nothing astonishing about it at all. It doesn't particularly matter that Denis Donaldson was a high-ranking member of Sinn Fein for some decades. It does not really matter that he had been an IRA man who had served a considerable period in jail for his trouble.

It does not really matter that he had been turned into a traitor, allegedly to save a family member from a lengthy jail sentence. Neither does it matter that the hiatus and crocodile tears about those comrades he may have sacrificed through informing have filled our newspapers for days. Neither does it matter about the ridicule and scorn that his family name will forever have heaped upon it by Republicans.

However, I don't think that 'Donaldson' will become an entry into the Republican lexicon the same way the surname of Raymond Gilmour did in Derry 20 odd years ago; that is, a derogatory substitute for the word tout.

It doesn't matter. Life goes on. Nobody should truly give a flying fuck. Shocking on Day 1 perhaps, boring as hell this Christmas Eve as I write this from my work computer half way through a shift as productive as a two-week holiday should be. Times are different. Too much water and blood under too many bridges to go back. Too many bodies in unmarked graves to matter anymore.

In different circumstances, a mere five years ago, the deliberate unmasking of a British spy in the ranks of the IRA, would have resulted in a quick 'debriefing' in a barn in South Armagh, a summary execution, body dumped and maybe booby trapped by the side of the road: Headlines for An Phoblacht already written before the shot was fired and all back to buzzing Belfast to celebrate the undefeated army, in military or intelligence matters. Is it the case that while IRA volunteers fought the battles that British intelligence was winning the war?

Spin the dog, wag the tail, or is it the other way around, I keep forgetting. Does it really matter about reports that Donaldson we are told is still co-operating with Sinn Fein over his deeds in the last two decades. I don't think so.

That this was a deliberate and timed outing of Donaldson is not in dispute. Things are too quiet politically, too stagnant to let it go any further. Something needed shifted. Unionism has taken too many blows of late, time to kick the Fenians in the balls for a while. Admittedly it was quite a way to do it. Payback for the Northern Bank job perhaps? Don't rub your master's hand in the dog shit of the media circus, the hand may slap your jaw hard without having been washed.

It was a nice test for the IRA statement of unilateral decommissioning at least. Did somebody rush to shoot him despite general orders only too find that the cupboard really was actually bare?

Surely a honourable mention in the next ceasefire monitoring report is called for. Article 1: Sub-section 4: All paramilitary groups must resist the temptation to plug touts no matter how much they have fucked you off!

The one irony is that a British spy, spied inside a British Parliament on a nationalist party willing to administer British rule in Ireland. For all the good the damn place did us, the irony yields to comedy.

It begs the question why the British found it necessary to keep Donaldson employed at all past 1998? They were aware that his usefulness as a direct route into the upper echelons of either Sinn Fein or the IRA had long gone, or perhaps never existed. The upper ranks of both organisations had long since ceded to a minority but extremely powerful and cohesive dictatorship. It was not as if they did not know the mindset of these men, their long-term goals and philosophy. For God's sake they had signed a piece of paper in April 1998 outlining it as clear as crystal.

The answer is simple. It was a media trick, a dirty trick, call it what you will. Touts should never deserve any succour. Invariably they never receive it either especially from those they are passing information too. It is the nature of the beast. Sinn Fein needed to be brought down a peg or two. The 'OTR' legislation was getting too contentious and unpalatable. Have we an ace up our sleeve? I do believe we have old chap. Time to play him, I think old boy!

The nonsense really began when Francie Brolly and Seamus Mullan were nicked for the Claudy bombing. The proverbial dogs in the street laughed loudly at that one.

Next week the vinegar stains will fade the glasses from Donaldson's face in the Daily Ireland and The Irish News. The next bout of recrimination and feigned victimisation will undoubtedly follow swiftly afterwards. The roles reversed again as the Unionists get another slap in the chops.

And all the while we stagnate. The nationalist parties tearing strips out of each other on the way to political nullification and electoral implosion. Sinn Fein trying to retract the OTR legislation because it lets cops and soldiers off the hook. What, prey tell, the fuck did they expect? A monument to the hunger strikers erected in the great hall at Westminster and all the brigands of the RUC and UDR and Parachute Regiment executed underneath it?

The 'real United Ireland party' the SDLP arguing that the OTR legislation was offensive and not inclusive, when the only thing really nipping at their partitionist arses is the fact that they had been left out again when the Brits did another side deal with the Shinners. And all the while we stagnate. The puppet masters sing with glee this Christmas Eve.

Nationalist councillors will not speak to each other in the Derry City Council chamber, while Derry dies through economic strangulation. ILEX, the discredited economic regeneration forum, reconvened for another farcical attempt. The first thing that they did was to appoint a new committee of consultants to appoint another director who will be paid £100,00 to tell us that we need another shopping centre in the area vacated by the British Army. The bright hotels and shopping malls of Derry City crammed with visitors while locals can only afford to work for slave wages inside them or scuttle past them in the littered peripheral streets.

The Electronic HR fiasco that was the Accenture episode. Hundreds of underpaid, unaccountable outsourced civil service jobs promised on a nod and a wink by NIO mandarins to gullible Derry Burghermeisters removed to Belfast at the last minute.

The unbelievable situation that after a concerted campaign to save the rail link between Derry and Belfast, the Northern Ireland Transport Company (NITHC), that oversees the management of transport in the North was reappointed without any North-West representation. Mark Durkan fumed that he would raise questions in the House no less! He withdrew his plans for questions in the Commons when the SDLP discovered that no one from his party or any other had bothered their arses to apply for the NITHC!

Denis Bradley pounded about the head with a baseball bat for keeping an eye on an unaccountable policing. But no one seems to be able to stem the tide of rising crime, thuggery, robbery, drugs, boozing, street violence and general abandonment of decency that pollutes the once clean 'Derry Air'.

So you see, it does not matter about Denis Donaldson, it does not matter at all. The damage to credible nationalist representation had long since been done. Debriefing him over an espionage career of 20 years is as useful to Sinn Fein as a chocolate teapot, unless history is about to suffer another bad bout of minimalist revisionism! Giving it credence only serves the puppet masters well, it recognises their success.

It does not matter if another substantial informer is unmasked. It wouldn't matter if it was Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly, Martin Ferris, Slab Murphy et al: The damage was done 20 years ago in an interrogation centre in Antrim. No one could legislate for that. Stop bitching about it. 2005 is as dead as the people Donaldson may have sentenced to death.

There will be no declaration of Provisional IRA intent for the coming year on the walls of Derry this Christmas or in any other year in the future. Remember, you tell politicians what they should be doing, not the other way around. Get your fingers out of your fat arses and make sure that there is no need for any more Denis Donaldson's or the society that bred him.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
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Index: Current Articles

24 December 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

A Perfect Spy
Tom Luby

Anthony McIntyre

Spies and Lies in 2005
Eamon Sweeney

Defeating the Enemy Within
Mick Hall

SF Tinker, Tailor Their Spy Story
David Adams

Language: The Means of Creating Realities
David Kirk

Mebyon Kernow & Cornish Nationalism
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Timetable for Change
Dr John Coulter

CRJ — New Name for the IRA?
Anthony McIntyre

GEM, A Story of Global Exploitation and Misery
Morten Alme

First International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and POWs
Irish Freedom Committee

Brian Campbell: A Captivating Voice
Anthony McIntyre

25 November 2005

Political Policing
Willie Gallagher

One Sweet Deal for Some, but for The Rest of Us?...
Mick Hall

Who's In Charge Around Here, Anyway?
Eamonn McCann

Playing the Game
Anthony McIntyre

Dr John Coulter

RSF Presidential Address 2005
Ruairi O Bradaigh

To Go On: Irish Travellers meet Academia
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Genius decommissioned while Stupid keeps the guns
Tomas Gorman

Cut Off Aid to Regime in Uganda
David Adams

Sticks and Stones
Anthony McIntyre



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