Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Martin McGuinness 'ordered human bombs'

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness authorised human bomb attacks against the Army in Northern Ireland, the Smithwick Tribunal has heard.

The Dublin tribunal is investigating potential Garda collusion with the IRA in the murders of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan in 1989.

Yesterday, former Army intelligence officer Ian Hurst — also known as ‘Martin Ingram’ — claimed in evidence that the Sinn Fein deputy First Minister had not left the IRA when he said he did, in 1974.

In evidence heard on Tuesday, Mr Hurst suggested Mr McGuinness was involved in the IRA’s sanctioning of an operation to abduct, torture and murder the two senior RUC officers.

In evidence given privately, but read into the record yesterday, Mr Hurst claimed that Mr McGuinness was “responsible for controlling Freddie Scappaticci”, who he claimed was ‘Stakeknife’, a top British agent working inside the IRA’s internal security unit.

He repeated his accusation that Mr McGuinness was still in the IRA and authorised operations long after he said he had left.

He told the tribunal that “human bombs (were) also authorised by Martin McGuinness”.

“McGuinness controlled Northern Command... for the vast majority of the time,” said the former Force Research Unit agent.

“Contrary to what he would have you believe that he left the IRA in the 1970s, that is not true.

“He was a member of the Northern Command of the Provisional IRA council responsible for controlling people like Scappaticci.”

The IRA carried out three proxy or human bomb attacks in 1990.

In one, Londonderry man Patsy Gillespie, a Catholic who worked as a cook in the Army’s Fort George base, was ordered to drive a bomb to a border checkpoint while his family was held hostage.

Gillespie and five soldiers were killed in the explosion, and the IRA tactic caused massive public revulsion.

Mr Hurst also said that the UK intelligence agencies operated in the Irish Republic, receiving information from Garda and Irish army officers, customs officials and even a senator.

Mr Hurst said he recruited a Garda officer in Donegal, who would pass on information in Ballymena in Co Antrim for £50 or £60 payments.

Mr Scappaticci and Mr McGuinness have denied the allegations.

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