IRA gun runner hosted Martin McGuinness in New York home, reveals FBI agent
A former FBI agent who trapped the IRA's top gun runner in America in a sting has revealed that the man he targeted hosted secret visits to New York by Provo leaders including Martin McGuinness.
And Martin Galvin, the head of Noraid who collected money in the States for Republicans in Ireland, has confirmed John Winslow's claims that the late Derryman stayed at the Brooklyn home of George Harrison.
Speaking to BBC NI's Spotlight team, Galvin says he has his own speculation as to why McGuinness was there but refuses to elaborate.
"I'll let you draw your own conclusions," he adds.
Winslow says he was the undercover agent who was purporting to sell weapons to Harrison who'd been born in Mayo and who was "married to the cause of Irish freedom".
Harrison, he says, was looking for weaponry to bring down helicopters in Northern Ireland, and around the time that he and other IRA men including Joe Cahill were arrested a huge stockpile of weapons was found.
However, Harrison and the other IRA men were acquitted after their defence lawyers claimed they were freedom fighters who were "resisting British oppression" and who had got their guns from a CIA agent which meant they were 'working on US government business.'
Such were the pro-republican sentiments at the time in America that an Irish-born court clerk greeted the not guilty verdicts by raising his fists in salute and shouting "IRA all the way" before he was escorted out of the building.