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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

After Panorama - Fred Scappaticci is no 'Jackal' or 'King Rat'

I believe that the BBC Panorama 'Stakeknife' film shows how we've been side-tracked away from prolific loyalist killers acting for the State.


John Ware is a veteran BBC Panorama reporter who has done important work on, amongst other things, the Dark State sponsored murder of solicitor Pat Finucane (my view of it). Recently Ware and the Panorama team broadcast a film on the 'Stakeknife' affair “The Spy in the IRA"

From what I understand, the FRU Spooks, who discovered a license to print money by attaching the word 'Stakeknife' to anything they possibly could, were not happy with Ware's programme. I can well understand their displeasure. For in this programme and associated newspaper comment, John Ware (who has excellent contacts within the UK security forces) says the following:
Fred Scappaticci was stood down from the IRA in January 1990 and had no active role in the IRA after that.
The majority of alleged 'touts' * who passed through Scappaticci's hands were in fact informers and 'Stakeknife' is directly linked to the deaths of 18 of them. (This number is far less than has been trumpeted for years.)

I should state that John Ware almost certainly doesn't agree with my overall analysis of the 'Stakeknife sting' presented here, but there is no doubt that point one above completely destroys much of what has been said about Fred Scappaticci. For we can now be absolutely clear that Fred Scappaticci was not in the IRA from the start of 1990 onward. I have already given evidence of this, but Panorama has put this beyond any doubt for those who chose not to listen to myself or Danny Morrison.

John Ware states that all but one of Stakeknife's victims were shot in the 1980s and, in my view, he poses the hardest question for the State's officers:

"There surely has to have come a point at some stage during that decade when it dawned on Stakeknife's handlers that they were acquiescing in, tolerating, colluding in - call it what you like - his involvement in preparing fellow agents/informers for death as the price of keeping him in place."

See -

Peter Keeley (Kevin Fulton) and Ian Hurst (Martin Ingram) 'Stakeknife' dissemblers

As many Cic Saor readers are aware, my concern is how, much of the media, simply ran highly questionable 'Stakeknife' stories given to them by two FRU Spooks without apparently checking them properly. -
some media outlets even describing them as "whistle-blowers".

Understandably perhaps, John Ware doesn't probe a dishevelled Ian Hurst too deeply about his Stakeknife narrative, but the overall effect of Panorama is to undermine Stakeknife's nemesis.

For the fact is that Fred Scappaticci's removal from the IRA in January 1990, completely cuts the psyops legs from under Hurst and Keeley, or Martin Ingram and Kevin Fulton to give them their News International pseudonyms (strangely then used by the security forces).

Danny Morrison - victim of an intelligence sting that put him in prison

John Ware correctly points out that the IRA became extremely wary of Scappaticci after the Sandy Lynch affair when, in January 1990, Danny Morrison was lured to a house and arrested for conspiracy to murder Lynch. Morrison has since received compensation for his arrest and imprisonment and his conviction has been quashed. Scappaticci was involved in the Lynch plot and was stood down from the IRA during the swift inquiry that followed. In fact, 'Stakenife' himself told us this.


As I have already done elsewhere, John Ware refers to Scappaticci's own words to the Cook Report television team in August 1993, which makes clear he'd not been in the IRA for several years. I've said it. The IRA has said it. John Ware has said it and Fred Scappaticci himself has said it. Look:

I am no longer at the heart of things - Fred Scappaticci. August. 1993.

Fred Scappaticci was secretly recorded by the Cook Report in the car park of the Culloden Hotel, Belfast on the 26th of August 1993. His voice was disguised by an actor in the subsequent broadcast. The original recording was later released and, according to those who knew him, it is clearly Scappaticci. At the very beginning of the recording he says:

"... if we want to be straight here. I was at the heart of things for a long time, right. I am no longer at the heart of things. right, haven't been for two or three years. but I know what I'm talking about ... "

The above recording took place in August 1993 and 'Scap' says he's been out of things for two or three years. What part of this is hard to understand?

'Stakeknife' was stood down from the IRA in January 1990

How is it then that the media has simply swallowed the casual mendacity of Ian Hurst and Peter Keeley who have claimed a string of victims of Stakeknife after January 1990?

The vast majority of Stakeknife's victims were informers

This brings me to point two above, which marks the important fact that 'Stakeknife's' victims (what John Ware calls his 'directly linked' victims) were not only far fewer in number than has always been suggested, nearly all of them were IRA combatants or active supporters of the IRA. (That of course does not ease the pain of the families of each individual regardless of the circumstances.)

The news-reading public has a short memory but the role of journalists is to be a citizen memory bank and I well remember the initial wall of 'Stakeknife' sound and fury generated by Hurst and Keeley and whoever it was within the Dark State who stood behind them. This false furore screamed that Stakeknife's role had been to take out perfectly loyal and effective members of the IRA.

John Ware has now confirmed my argument that this thesis is rubbish. For a start, Ware brings the number of Stakeknife victims down from 35 (in some wild reports far more) to 18, and says more or less every one of them was an informer. In other words, they were combatants and IRA supporters who for a variety of reasons, including entrapment and personal problems, chose to work for the State. This is that Ware says:
"Not all were registered agents such as Hegarty, but the majority provided information to the security forces."
"During a decade at the centre of the IRA's internal security, Scappaticci has been directly linked to 18 killings."

(It bears noting in passing that confirmation Scappaticci was out of the IRA by 1990 and that his victims were almost all informers destroys the dissident republican theory that 'Stakeknife' was able to change the course of IRA actions and strategy for the benefit of British Intelligence. The peace process didn't get properly going before the 1990s.)

General Sir John Wilsey

Much has been made of General Sir John Wilsey's description of 'Stakeknife' as the British army's "Golden Egg" in a telephone conversation with Ian Hurst, but nobody has mentioned the fact that, in the same conversation, Wilsey had to ask who Scappaticci was, and then said:

01:53 S1: Well, this is all teenager stuff, isn't it? I mean, Fred Scappaticci...

Moreover, in his book 'Ulster Tales', Wilsey says that Scappaticci's pseudonym was "Kerbstone" and indicates in the telephone conversation that Scappaticci became 'Stakeknife' at a much later date:

16:24 S1: Well, you have to remember that the military background was such that we knew we had this source, take note, and it was the golden egg. It was the one thing that was terribly important to the army. So we never ever, ever mention the words "Steak Knife", or whatever he subsequently became. I think it was 2001 or something like that

UVF commander Robin (the Jackal) Jackson makes
Fred Scappaticci seem a halfpenny Stakeknife

With the above evidence, and to put things in their most gruesome context, there are far more lethal Dark State assassins who have carried out hundreds of murders of innocent non-combatants - Robin Jackson and Billy Wright to name the most prominent - yet here we are still talking about 'Stakeknife' since 1999.

In fact we are now in a £55 million plus 'Operation Kenova' inquiry about 'Stakeknife'.

Senior figures from RUC Special Branch now regularly appear on TV to discuss the Troubles and are simply never asked about Robin Jackson (the 'Jackal') or Billy Wright ('King Rat'). Nor are questions raised about the RUC's relationship with the heads of the UDA and the handing over of secret intelligence to them - this includes all the Brigade staff of the UDA/UFF. This is precisely what happened with the murders of James Craig, Terence McDaid and Pat Finucane to name but a few.

The 'Jackal' and 'King Rat' were responsible for the sectarian murders of very many innocent people, including the Dublin and Monaghan and Miami Showband atrocities (Jackson), and the appalling sectarian murders of pensioner Roseanne Mallon and many other Catholics (Wright).

The Stakeknife Sting

I believe that Fred Scappaticci was recycled by a section of British Intelligence to effectively re-place him in the IRA long after his sell-by date and to create a constant barrage of 'Stakeknife' media comment. The effect of this has been to remove all talk of, in my view, far more significant state killers who were in our midst and the RUC Special Branch and MI5 teams that were handling them. This is exactly what has happened.

It doesn't take an Einstein to work out that the very same people in the UK intelligence structure that were running the 'Jackal' and 'King Rat' would be keen for us to obsess endlessly about the Belfast bricklayer Fred Scappaticci.

For Hurst and Keeley it was simply a question of making money - just as their former comrades in the FRU allege. Damaging the republican movement was simply an attractive byproduct for them. Those within the Dark State opposed to the peace process, meanwhile, saw a chance to disrupt progress to an agreed United Ireland, and this plan nearly worked. Even as it is, a lot of damage, confusion, trauma and turmoil was created. Nor was this confusion simply confined to republicans. Other sections of the State and the prosecuting authorities,and also the Irish government were clearly equally thrown by the 'Stakeknife' saga.

It should also be noted that the relatives of informers who may have been victims of Stakeknife were plunged into a new nightmare by Hurst and Keeley's fake stories. A despicable act in my view.

Ian Hurst now works as a UK government approved 'tracer' and debt collector who, amongst other things, sells electoral roll details to third parties. Peter Keeley lives in an MI5 protected flat in London and has been set up with a photography business.

The 'Jackal' and 'King Rat', meanwhile, have been vanished for good.

King Rat - Billy Wright

Just keep screaming 'Stakeknife' everybody ...

Paul Larkin
Gaoth Dobhair
Mí AIbreáin 2017

*NB - Nothing I say in the above article assumes the right of any paramilitary group to murder any alleged informer, but in reporting a Dirty War (fought by all sides), we have no choice but to try and report the dirty facts. However, one expects a different code of behaviour from state officers, whose duty is to protect its citizens compared to that of a ruthless guerrilla army like the IRA.

All victims and their families - be they totally innocent or combatants, paramilitary or UK State - have a right to the truth,but that can only be achieved by a broad based Truth Commission and not by focusing on one aspect of The Troubles to the exclusion of all else.
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Title: After Panorama - Fred Scappaticci is no 'Jackal' or 'King Rat'
Date posted: 24 Apr '17 - 15:52
Filed under: General
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