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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

Pat Finucane – The British should declare that it was war - a very dirty war

The big group picture in this article shows the main contingent of what was the British Army’s Force Research Unit. In the middle you can see the commander of the FRU - Gordon Kerr.

Close up of FRU commander Gordon Kerr

At the time this unit targeted Pat Finucane, Kerr held the rank of colonel. Standing right above him in the group picture below is almost certainly Margaret Walshaw who held the rank of sergeant when she worked with Brian Nelson to effect the murder of Pat Finucane. There can be no doubt that the British authorities were pleased with the FRU’s performance because Colonel Kerr, after spending some time in Iraq, was promoted to Brigadier and given a prestige posting to Beijing. Margaret Walshaw, meanwhile was promoted to Captain just at the moment when members of the Pro British death squads she had been “assisting" so assiduously were being thrown into the slammer because of the Stevens Inquiry – will loyalist killers ever learn? Moreover both Walshaw and Kerr were given major awards by the Queen of England - MBE and and OBE respectively.

It is true that Captain Walshaw had to change her identity, and that’s partly my fault, because I revealed her organic military link to top loyalist Brian Nelson in my book “A Very British Jihad”, but given the terror she visited upon others, this seems a small price to pay, and in any case, no “special forces” operative can be entirely open about their careers when they retire.

The FRU in regimental dress before dinner

To be fair to both Brigadier Kerr and Captain Walshaw, they were only doing what the so called “Green Slime” intelligence section of the British Army/Secret Service has been doing with admittedly (from their perspective) good results for many many centuries. There could be no Shakespeare, John Webster or Christopher Marlowe without this culture of highly courteous but utterly lethal level of intrigue. The problem for the FRU and the British military generally was that those damn Irish kept outfoxing them – in terms of continued bomb “spectaculars” and bloody headline grabbing assassinations, and also in terms of political manoeuvrings and legal footwork. Pat Finucane was not in the IRA. He was just a brilliant Irish lawyer who understood that by simply asking for fairness and basic rights, the sectarian status-quo in “Northern Ireland” could be held up to the world as the rotten entity it was. He believed in the power of the law.

So it goes without saying that Kerr and Walshaw were simply following orders from the Joint Intelligence Staff in Whitehall and Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, which had clearly issued an edict that a way had to be found to wipe out the leadership of Sinn Féin and its intellectual support base. Ignore all that you might hear from disingenuous quarters of the media, and from the realms of spookdom, that the plan on this or that occasion was to save Gerry Adams, or that Martin McGuinness was not a target (because he was secretly working for the British nudge nudge).

Michael Stone's MI5 sponsored attack on SF leadership in 1988
Where did SF "protection" myth come from?

The plan was to cut the head off the Sinn Féin hydra (and also that of the IRSP/INLA it must be said). Top FRU agent, and utterly committed loyalist killer Brian Nelson, made a list of all the Sinn Féin people he was targeting (or had been ordered to target) at the back of his diary and helpfully provided the first names of his British Army FRU handlers (he was never given their surnames). Wherever the FRU handler is named as “Mags” on this list, this refers to Captain Margaret Walshaw; “Dave is almost certainly FRU veteran David Moyles (who told the Smithwick Tribunal he had never heard of any agent called “Stakeknife”). “Ronnie”, meanwhile, almost certainly refers to FRU officer Ronnie Anderson

Loyalist killer and British agent Brian Nelson’s targets in Sinn Féin and the FRU handlers who were overseeing the operations:

Gerry Adams - Ronnie/Martin*
Danny Morrison - Ben/Cath
Martin McGuinness - Mags/Dave
Sinn Féin office Sevastopol Street- Mags/Dave
Pat Finucane - Mags/Dave/Ben
Alex Maskey - Mags/Dave/Ben
Siobhan Ó Hanlon - Ben/Paul
Pat Rice - Mags/Dave/Paul

Bear in mind that “Martin” does not refer to “Martin Ingram” whose agent handling role was minimal and mostly in Fermanagh.

So when the Finucane family meet with David Cameron tomorrow to discover the findings of the De Silva report into Pat Finucane’s murder, they should really be asking the UK’s prime minister why FRU officers “Mags/Dave/Ben”, listed by Brian Nelson above as overseeing the murder of this human rights lawyer, have not been arrested and questioned about Nelson’s very detailed claims.

Or should they?

My answer to that question is no. In my view (and I understand that the Finucane family will strongly disagree with this), what should happen instead is that the British should finally admit that they were fighting a war in Ireland and that they made a huge mistake in placing armaments and logistical support into the hands of the most sectarian element of loyalist society in the North of Ireland.

I believe further that all inquiries into political killings in Ireland on all sides should be stripped of their criminal status and be transformed into a truth seeking commission, where all combatants can provide evidence to a neutral truth commission, not for the purpose of prosecutions but so that mechanisms can be put in place so as to prevent the arming of pseudo and proxy gangs in the future. The only people who might fear such an inquiry are the grey men in suits who gave the nod for the execution of Pat Finucane and who are now busy setting up similar proxy wars elsewhere in the world,

Paul Larkin
Carraic, Gaoth Dobhair
Mí na Nollag 2012


Good post, a col cathair. What are the realistic chances of Cameron admitting anything, and just palming off the Finucanes instead? I notice none of the news broadcasters have had one mention of the FRU, despite their specific link to this, and the role they played in extending the war in the north.
by: Níall Ó Lorcáin (contact) - 12 Dec '12 - 19:52
Tá an ceart agat Niall mo chol - (sorry I caught this late) the FRU has very much been pushed into the background. But I think the De Silva report has pushed the levels of acceptance about the fact of collusion over a tipping point from which the naysayers can never recover. Thus the Finucanes have proved structural and systematic collusion and thereby done us all a great service. You have to admire their persistence.

tabhair aire a chara and give my love to all our Galway cousins

by: Pol (contact) - 12 Dec '12 - 22:00


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Title: Pat Finucane – The British should declare that it was war - a very dirty war
Date posted: 11 Dec '12 - 16:59
Filed under: General
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