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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

To understand the Omagh bomb – you need to understand the word “Provocateur”

(And Republican “dissidents” need a long hard look at themselves)

In 1993, I made a film for BBC Northern Ireland’s rightly renowned Spotlight series about a FRU spy variously called Thomas Doheny, Samuel Rosenfeld or a range of other names. Thomas Doheny has been laughed at (possibly deliberately) in some quarters but the essence of his literally explosive story has never been disproved . Doheny was and did exactly what it said on his British intelligence tin. Further confirmation of this came from the British army itself – i.e. that the FRU, or what was later known as “JSG” (Joint Intelligence Group) used him as an agent in cross border missions until he was found to be “unsuitable”.

Doheny’s role was to infiltrate Republican Sinn Fein in border areas; encourage them to enter into business arrangements such as the importing of timber frame houses from Canada and to show them that he could move explosives components around like fertilizer without a problem. Anyone who doubts that this is likely need only look at the career of American spy for JSG David Rupert. The FBI sponsored Rupert sent a vast amount of money and bomb materials to specific individuals in an expanded re-run of Doheny’s earlier campaign.

Now one of my questions is how could RSF or the likes of the Real IRA not “twig” that they were being targeted in this way when the BBC made a film about it – a film that got quite a big reaction?

Secondly and even more importantly – why would the FBI, British Intelligence and ( we now know) the southern Irish Garda Special Branch combine to put finances, arms and munitions into the hands of what became the largest dissident group in the years leading up to the Omagh bomb, which killed 29 innocent people and maimed scores more in August 1998. It seems nonsensical doesn't it?

In fact, and republican dissidents will find this unpalatable, this tactic is a classic post colonial tactic of trying to strengthen the hand of a minor element so as to weaken the position of the major beneficiary after a handover of power. For there can be no doubt that the Good Friday Agreement represents the first clear and formal signal of a (very) long term British disengagement from Ireland. The Queen of England’s formal handshake with the IRA’s Chief of Staff Martin McGuinness was another such, and previously almost unthinkable, gesture.

It was made clear to Spotlight in the making of our 1993 film that the intelligence services wanted to undermine the position of Sinn Fein, and possibly the Good Friday Agreement itself, by bolstering their opponents. There was no protest from the British army when Thomas Doheny stated that the FRU/JSG was “dead against” the peace process (which was in its infancy in those years) and that they would do anything to stop it.

We found that to be true and saw the grim outcome of that policy in Omagh that day. A reckless, evil bomb that was nurtured from cradle to grave by MI5 and the FRU of West Det (Enniskillen, Fermanagh).

No inquiry into the Omagh bomb will be worry of its name unless its includes a root and branch investigation of FRU secret ops right across Ulster and into the south. My follow up film for RTÉ in May 1995, which looked into British intelligence involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombs, showed Thomas Doheny receiving logistical support from military staff at the British embassy in Dublin.
Wake up and smell the spook coffee everybody.

@Paul Larkin
Mí Lúnasa 2013
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Title: To understand the Omagh bomb – you need to understand the word “Provocateur”
Date posted: 10 Aug '13 - 11:36
Filed under: General
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