Belfast Telegraph

Republican informer fears he'll be target of dissident 'young bloods'

Wille Carlin in Derry on what he claims was a visit in recent weeks
Wille Carlin in Derry on what he claims was a visit in recent weeks
Ivan Little

By Ivan Little

A republican informer known as "Margaret Thatcher's spy" still fears being assassinated three decades after he was flown out of Londonderry on the Prime Minister's private jet once his cover was blown.

Former British soldier Willie Carlin, who resides at a top secret address in Britain, has been looking over his shoulder ever since he infiltrated Sinn Fein to get close to Martin McGuinness.

"I think an attack is more likely to come from the 'young bloods' who are knocking around today," he said.

"If the IRA wanted to shoot me, they would have done it a long time ago. I believe a lot of those guys have moved on."

The man formerly known as Agent 3007 insists that he helped persuade Sinn Fein to pursue politics, along with McGuinness and Mitchel McLaughlin, whom he refers to as the "Ant and Dec" of the republican movement.

"The IRA know I didn't get anyone shot, I didn't go to court as a supergrass and I didn't damage Sinn Fein in any way.

"Indeed, I spoke at the Ard Fheis in 1984 about raising funds."

However, Carlin fears he could still be targeted by dissidents.

"You can never relax," he said.

Despite the daily paranoia, Carlin has no regrets about sharing Sinn Fein's strategies with MI5 and Mrs Thatcher.

"Maybe I have rose-tinted glasses on, but I do believe I did good in the community," he insisted.

"I also played a part in getting volunteers off the army road and down the democratic road, when they all entered the city council.

"Sometimes people forget that Martin McGuinness, who is sometimes branded a traitor, gave up on a lot of his dreams to enter Stormont.

"We used to talk about blowing the place up - all Ian Paisley had to give up was his pride."

In a new book Carlin claims that the former Deputy First Minister gave IRA members permission to set up top INLA man Patrick Shotter for arrest after the Droppin' Well bomb.

The December 1982 blast killed 11 soldiers and six civilians.

"McGuinness badly wanted to get rid of the INLA from Derry, because he hated them," Carlin claimed.

The former Sinn Fein spy claims he owes his life to IRA double agent Stakeknife, believed to be west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci, who in 1985 tipped off his handlers that Carlin's cover had been blown.

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