Monday, 9 February 2015


Britain's Dirty War in Ireland started in 1970, with the arrival of former Aide-De-Campe to the Queen, Frank Kitson, who formed British death squads, that run amok in all parts of Ireland. That war continues to the present day, with varying degrees of intensity. Kitson wrote the modern day manual for such dirty wars, all over the world, which includes, employing the use of politicians, police, media, courts, prison service and any Government agency, fit for purpose. One of the first facts of life, any child learns in this conflict zone, is that the price of being a 'Tout,'(informer   singular A person whom the government pay to snitch on people) is death. I have explained in previous posts, my own personal experience, with regard of this matter. To look your own Irish people and community in the eye, and betray them to British Occupation forces, is something I personally could not do, and I was prepared to take a bullet, rather than engage in this activity. I call it crossing the rubicon and it is an extremely fine line in reality, which must be explained with absolute clarity, by any Irish Republican, who claims any leadership status. It is not for me to judge Gerry Kelly, one of provisional Sinn Fein's most senior leaders but bearing in mind, its critical role in the history of his party, I do believe he has crossed the rubicon, calling on all Irish people to become informers to British Occupation forces, which certainly includes the PSNI<RUC, despite his qualities of courage. 

Young children in Occupied Ireland, after 45 years of Britain's Dirty War, deserve better leadership than this. The photograph and excellent video above, not for the first time, portray an irresponsible leadership of schizophrenia, as far as I am concerned and does not have credibility, as presented thus far. It is the result of a populist, reformist, party politic, that not alone betrays young teenagers, like the young lad, featured in the article below, but also all of the volunteers, who sacrificed so much, for the Cause of Ireland over the last 45 years and beyond. Irish politicians at the highest levels in all parties, continue to exhibit a considerable lack of compassion and responsibility to both the young and the vulnerable, to a neo-fascist extent, with consistency. Schizo Sinn Fein under the microscope, exhibit all the same, sell out bacteria of Me Fein, that seems to be the consistent factor of bearers of this tag, generation after generation. I would be overjoyed, to be proven wrong, but for people, with a couple of brain cells, who have evolved over 45 years, observing the schizo, neanderthal, butcher of Derry, its a no brainer.

Below is an article from Ciarán MacAirt, that I borrowed from somewhere or other,to explain the Dirty War a little more.

Digging for documents in the Britains' Dirty war National Arin Kew, London, at the start of the year, a “personal and confidential” letter dated 30th December 1971 caught my eye.

It was from Howard Smith, Whitehall’s UK Representative in Northern Ireland, to leading civil servant, Philip Woodfield CBE, head of the Northern Ireland department at the Home Office. It began:

“I think you will you will be interested to see the enclosed copy of a paper written by Frank Kitson”

I was very interested as Brigadier Frank Kitson is a renowned author and counter-insurgency expert who was commander of the British Army in Belfast at that time. The impact of his short tenure here is still debated by historians as I discussed in my book, The McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth.

I argued though that he laid the foundations for the British military strategy in the north of Ireland for years thereafter, especially with regards to armed contact with Britain’s enemy and the management of information. On our streets, this meant he oversaw Britain’s deployment of in-depth interrogation techniques, psychological operations, pseudo-gangs and covert Special Force units who murdered civilians with impunity.

The Military Reaction Force (MRF) (1) was one of Kitson’s creations and he actually records the importance of this covert death squad in the paper which is dated the 4th December 1971, the day of the McGurk’s Bar massacre. The paper is entitled Future Developments in Belfast:

“The main interest of the paper”, Howard Smith writes, “is that it shows how the man on the ground is feeling the lack of policy guidance on matters going wider than the redevelopment of Belfast… You will also see that the first paragraph expresses a cautious view about the prospects of success in dealing with the IRA”.

The main body of the paper draws on Kitson’s experience of counter-insurgency and community relations in the likes of Cyprus. Whilst he warns that his analysis is a “gross over simplification”, he can be insightful – if not at times prescient – as the problems he highlighted continue to blight us today: sectarian housing, segregation, the acceptability of policing and the lack of political direction. Nevertheless, it is this first paragraph of Kitson’s paper that I find most resonant. The very first sentence gives his – and by inference, the British Army’s – mission with regards to Internment:

“Operations in Belfast since 9th August have been carried out on the basis of so weakening the IRA that a future political initiative can be launched under favourable circumstances”

What a mess that turned out to be. Kitson recognised the “clumsiness of the Security Force machine” and that any success it had enjoyed in the months after Internment was “largely because both wings of the IRA were also clumsy, and indeed much too big for the purpose for which they were designed to fulfil”. The counter-insurgency theorist was mindful though that a slicker, leaner IRA would prove problematic for a lumbering British Army but he had prepared to develop just like his enemy:

“It is likely that having fined down the enemy organizations to the extent we have done, future successes will be increasingly hard to achieve from an operational point of view, unless we are able to make our own organization very much more efficient.”

Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military strategist, wrote hundreds of years before the birth of Christ “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy”. Kitson may have had this in mind when he wrote:

“As you know we are taking steps to do this in terms of building up and developing the MRF and we are also steadily improving the capability of Special Branch… by building up Special Branch’s records with Int Corps Sections.”

Armed contact and information gathering are the foundations of Kitson’s low intensity counter-insurgency theory, and this is evident in this very sentence. So too is the importance of the MRF in his future plans. This is the earliest record of the MRF which I have found and here written by Frank Kitson on the day of my grandmother’s murder.

It may have been a ghost force for generations but the MRF was evidently the spearhead of Kitson’s campaign to eliminate the IRA. Indeed military reaction and military reconnaissance represented the two masked faces of the MRF – contact and information. We now know from this letter and paper too that the top brass of the British Army and the cream of Britain’s political class in the north of Ireland at the time also knew of its development and importance. Therefore, they cannot shirk the responsibility for the crimes the MRF carried out with impunity and in Britain’s name.

Lawyers representing the families of civilians murdered by the MRF, such as Daniel Rooney and Patrick McVeigh, should demand that the PSNI question 88 year old Brigadier Frank Kitson as the police have done elderly suspects of Loyalist and Republican killings carried out at the same time. Frank Kitson is allegedly as much a director of terrorism as any paramilitary leader as he records here the development of a clandestine unit at the cutting edge of British military plans which killed ordinary civilians.

As one former member of the MRF admitted to journalist John Ware in a recent Panorama programme:

“We were not there to act like an army unit. We were there to act like a terror group.” (2)

If the Police Service of Northern Ireland is truly impartial, Frank Kitson would be arrested and interrogated about these taped allegations. The PSNI may even take this paper as proof that he was instrumental in the initial development and direction of this death squad.

Unfortunately, though, we know that the PSNI does not deal with our past impartially. The police refusal to investigate filmed allegations of MRF criminality proved that.

Then again, none of these old soldiers – Frank Kitson included – have ever needed to go on the run or worry about amnesty, so why should police inaction surprise any of us.

Further Information:

Read the archive Future Developments in Belfast by Commander 39 Airportable Brigade (PDF 3MB)

Read more about the book The McGurk’s Bar Bombing

Download for free: From Belfast to Palestine: Post-War Counterinsurgency… A Very British Family Affair

Footnotes: (1) The MRF is also recorded as Military Reconnaissance Force but both may be correct as reconnaissance and reaction are two sides of the Kitson coin: information and contact; one section for each.

(2) Reported in the online Irish Times, 21 Nov 2013 (subscription link)

Ciarán MacAirt is an Irish writer and author of The McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth.
He also manages Paper Trail, an innovative social enterprise which offers legacy archive research services and helps families unearth the truth hidden in public records.

[Irish Republican News]

Boy agent reveals frame-up plot

A vulnerable teenager in west Belfast was recruited by the PSNI as an informer and then put under pressure to plant explosives and weapons on his neighbours, it has emerged.

The terrified nineteen-year-old Thomas Boyle, who has a history of self-harm, came forward to the media with a shocking account of PSNI abuse and illegality.

He said he was recruited last year after being arrested for shoplifting. He was then forced to plant tracking devices under the cars of prominent ‘dissident’ republicans at the behest of PSNI Special Branch and was even asked to plant a gun in a neighbour’s car and Semtex explosive in another neighbour’s shed.

Boyle confessed to his activities alter becoming afraid that he was “in over his head”.

Security sources are reported to have confirmed that Boyle had been working for the PSNI since last year.

The west Belfast teenager said he was prompted to confess after becoming afraid he was being coerced into carrying out ever more dangerous activities by his police handlers.

“They told me they wanted me to break into a car of a man who lived near me and plant a gun under the driver seat,” he said

“They said smash the side window and make it look like I was trying to steal [the car] and then leave the gun so they would find it when investigating the break-in.

“I met one man a few times at the top of the Whiterock [Road]. He gave me money and mobile phone SIM cards.

“He told me they were going to give me Semtex and wanted me to put it the garden shed of a man.

“If I didn’t they said I was going to be done with making hoax bomb calls and would get seven years [in prison]. They said they could pin other charges on me any time they wanted.

“It just all got too much and I told my ma about what had been happening.”

He was also ordered to try and join the dissident group Oglaigh na hEireann so he could report back on their activities. In return, the PSNI promised him thousands of pounds -- although he was only ever paid fifty pounds.

Oglaigh na hEireann said it had interrogated Boyle and released him over the weekend. PSNI and British army helicopters had been visible over west and north Belfast as they undertook a massive search for their teenage informant.

In a statement the group said the teenager had contacted them willingly.

“He is alive to tell his tale for a number of specific reasons, including the fact that he is quite plainly vulnerable and has fully admitted his covert activities,” it said.

The breakaway IRA group warned other informers to come forward.

“If we discover other agents in the future then the penalty will be death,” its statement read.

Sinn Fein Policing Board member Alex Maskey said that any use of informers against republicans should be ‘open to thorough scrutiny’.

“Using informers would be standard practice for police services the world over,” he said.

“However, we obviously have a polluted history of politicised activity which has often seen the use of agents provocateurs.

“I have no knowledge of this particular case but there has to be proper protocol and any allegations such as this need to be scrutinised,”he said.

Suicide prevention campaigner Phil McTaggart said the use of vulnerable young people as informants by the PSNI was a “disgrace”.

“When you have a young person who is already vulnerable and at a low ebb and put them under this type of enormous pressure then you leave them with very limited options.”

He advised any young person who is in a similar predicament as Boyle to seek help.

Carl Reilly of the Republican Network for Unity warned that people may have been charged by the PSNI on the back of evidence planted by an informer.

“Once again the re-branded RUC has destroyed its carefully contrived facade of normal civil policing by manipulating a young person to become an Informer and spearhead a British dirty tricks campaign in an attempt to whip up anti-republican hysteria in Belfast,” he said.

Throughout the recent conflict, the RUC and MI5 had blackmailed “scores” of agents to undermine working-class communities and the republican struggle, he said,

“This disturbing affair highlights the nefarious tactics used by Crown Forces to set up Irish Republicans for arrest, imprisonment or worse.”

He called for an independent investigation.

“Given the above revelations, the Republican Network for Unity ask nationalists and republicans to re-examine their support for the re-branded RUC, as it is clear they are not capable of the changes many believed were possible.”
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