Friday, December 16, 2005

À la recherche du temps perdu

An interesting choice of location for Gerry Adams to be discussing today's stunning revelation of a 20 year long spying operation by a covert British agent within their ranks:

Sinn Féin has revealed that a member of the party in Belfast, Denis Donaldson, was expelled last night after it was uncovered that he had been working as a British agent. Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will hold a press conference today at 4pm (Friday 16th) in the Joyce Room in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street, Dublin.

The Gresham being one scene in one of Michael Collins' most famous intelligence coups against the UK government, the assassinations of the Cairo gang:

Some members had decided that they would be safer residing in hotels. Captain McCormack and Captain Wilde were in the Gresham Hotel. The IRA unit gained access to their rooms by pretending to be British soldiers with important dispatches. When the Captains opened their doors they were shot dead.

Note also that this is not the first time that the existence of a long-standing British spy within Sinn Fein and the IRA has been revealed; consider the case of Freddie Scappaticci from a couple of years ago.

UPDATE: Saturday's Irish Times links the Freddie and Denis cases and suggests a belief that Freddie's supposed codename, Stakeknife, is actually a composite name for a group of agents.

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