Martin Ingram, Force Research Unit, May 2006
The accusation that an individual is an Informer is a serious one, and it goes without saying that the majority of accusations, over the last two years are sometimes way of the mark. Many of these allegations are made with an agenda in mind .The allegations do have the affect of destabilising the movement and can be very damaging to the Integrity of the individual.
The affects upon the individual and his family, can and almost certainly will, be massive. Whether they be innocent or not. The stigma associated with informing can last many generations in a Republican community. It is different to almost every other community that I know off. A recent case comes clearly to mind, that of Jim Lynagh. Jim Lynagh was accused in the Sunday World Newspaper of being an informer. He is accused of leaking the information required to mount the aggressive operation against a well-known and formidable PIRA grouping.
The accusation went as far as to suggest that Jim Lynagh was wearing a throat Mike to provide those tasked to prosecute this operation with a running commentary upon the pre-attack activities and to give a real time insight into the actual attack.
I am an experienced agent Handler and I can tell you that who ever fed that story to the press was taking the mickey out of that reporter. The practice of using a throat mike or indeed any other electronic device on the individual was never employed for very obvious and frankly sensible reasons.
At this point let me be very clear. I do not know for sure that an agent was involved in this operation and it is possible the story is correct. But what I do know is that I wrote about aspects of this operation a number of years ago in the Sunday Times and that information placed in the public domain was used against me in court by the state. That information was in relation to the use of an electronic device built into the fabric of an IRA volunteers home who was scheduled to be on the Loughall Operation – although he subsequently did not participate in the actual attack. The planning of Loughall was discussed in this Volunteers home. The IRA volunteer was subsequently killed whilst attacking another Security force target some time later.
I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest Jim Lynagh was an agent. Indeed from a personal understanding and opinion I would put the chances of Jim Lynagh being a tout on a par with Bobby Sands or Francie Hughes or his old friend Seamus McElwain being one also. That said I may be wrong but I very much doubt it.
Since the exposure of Freddie Scappaticci there has been a steady stream of names – both Republican and Loyalist leaked to the public by one form or another, which has by design or accident created an environment, which makes the public suspicious of any further exposures. I say this, because this practice of using a shot gun approach to the serious subject of informers / state collusion is wrong and is not in the publics or the victim’s interest.
I suspect and have done so for some time that this tactic is designed and directed by those who have an interest in frustrating the exposure of murderers and criminals. In the coming months the authorities know that a very high profile individual who is both a murderer and an Agent of the State is going to be exposed along with documentation which will reflect badly upon the state. It is possible that this individual will ride the storm because of the paranoia created; do not be fooled by this tactic. The truth should win out.