Massive blow for Sinn Fein and the Republican Movement
Today's papers carry the story of Martin McGuinness, MI6 spy.
According to a number of papers today, former FRU agent Martin Ingram is claiming that Martin McGuinness is an MI6 spy, and has a transcript of a conversation between agent J118 and his handler (G) to prove it.
It is being claimed more documentation detailing McGuinness' career as a British agent is forthcoming.
Martin Ingram is most known for exposing the agent "Stake Knife", who was revealed to be Freddie Scappaticci, the head of the IRA's so called 'Nutting Squad'.
Sinn Fein denied Scappaticci was an agent for the British.
Other prominent Sinn Fein figures have also been named publicly as informers, including Belfast SF councillors Tom Hartley, a central figure in the 1981 hunger strikes and once part of the 'Adams think tank', and Alex Maskey, Sinn Fein's first Belfast mayor; Belfast man Dickie Glenholmes, who was part of the 1970s 'think tank', Derry SF councillor and former Stormont MLA Mary Nelis, and Andersonstown News Group editor Sean Maguire, who has been appointed head of Sinn Fein's parade committee this year.
Most recently, Denis Donaldson, a long-time IRA and Sinn Fein figure, was exposed as an agent who had been working for the British for two decades. He was later found murdered at a cottage in Donegal.
Apart from Donaldson, Sinn Fein's response has been to deny the accusations and claim that such allegations are the work of 'anti republicans' or 'securocrats' whose aim is to 'destabilise the peace process'.
They have also made sure to keep those who have been accused, such as Hartley and Maguire, in active roles within their structures. Hartley is regularly featured in the Belfast Andersonstown News and Maguire has held onto his position at the North Belfast News and been given this summer's responsibilities for the Ardoyne parades issue.
Martin McGuinness has had a long career in the Republican Movement, rising at one time to the role of Chief of Staff of the IRA, and is currently referred to as Sinn Fein's chief negotiator at Stormont. He has been a British MP since 1997 and a Stormont MLA since 1996. He was a member of the Prior Assembly from 1982-1986. He is known to have been in secret negotiations with the 'Mountain Climber' from the 1980s on.
Now that the Provisional IRA has decommissioned most, if not all, of their weapons, and Sinn Fein is firmly on the constitutional path, with Gerry Adams nominating Ian Paisley for First Minister at Stormont, the British, who have long sought to defeat the IRA, could be considered confident enough to administer a coup de grace such as this to the lifeless body of the PIRA, finishing it off once and for all.
Martin McGuinness will not have an easy time attempting to explain or deny this current allegation, especially if it is true more details are to be made public.
Sinn Fein's previous denials, most especially over the 'Stake Knife' affair, have made his position weaker.
If it is true that Martin McGuinness has been a British agent, the history of the Troubles and the peace process as it is known has been completely upended.
The implications of this relevation are shocking on a number of levels, both for the Republican Movement, who championed McGuinness as a 'hawk' in selling their role in the peace process, and for the British, who would have been manipulating the PIRA to protect their agents, and killing their own soldiers and citizens in the process.