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Burke, David

David Burke, a practising barrister, writes on many issues for Village Magazine. He is the author of Deception and Lies: The Hidden History of the Arms Crisis 1970.

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An Enemy of the Crown In the early 1970s, Sir Maurice Oldfield of the British Secret Service, MI6, embarked upon a decade-long campaign to derail the political career of Charles Haughey. The English spymaster believed Haughey was a Provisional IRA godfather, and therefore a threat to Britain. Oldfield was assisted by unscrupulous British agents and by a shadowy group of conspirators inside the Irish state’s security apparatus who shared his distrust of Haughey. They have escaped scrutiny for their actions until now. More than a dozen instances of their activities are examined in this book. Dirty tricks were used by these spies as they circulated vicious smears in Ireland, Britain and the US. MI6 and IRD intrigues were devised to impede Haughey's bid to secure a position on Fianna Fáil’s front bench and a return to respectability. There was no let-up in London’s drive against Haughey after Fianna Fáil returned to power in triumph in 1977 with a large majority of seats in the Dáil. When Haughey sought a place at Cabinet, more dirty tricks were deployed to impede him. MI6 played a part in trying to prevent Haughey succeed Jack Lynch as Taoiseach in 1979 by circulating lurid stories about him. While Haughey was suspicious of MI6 interference, he had no inkling of the full extent of London’s clandestine efforts to destroy him. Oldfield was conspiratorial by nature and lacked a moral compass. He was involved in regime change plots and torture in the Middle East, the use of convicted criminals as agent provocateurs in the Republic of Ireland and the exploitation of paedophile rings in Northern Ireland. This book is an attempt to shed light on at least some of the anti-Haughey conspiracies which took place during the period from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. €16.99
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Kitson's Irish War The British government has taken steps to halt the prosecution of soldiers responsible for the deaths of civilians in Northern Ireland, most of whom had no connection to paramilitary activities. These killings were part of a ruthless dirty war that commenced in 1970 when Brigadier Frank Kitson, a counter-insurgency specialist, was sent to Northern Ireland. Kitson had spent decades in Britain’s colonies refining old, and developing new, techniques which he applied in Northern Ireland. He became the architect of a clandestine war, waged against Nationalists while ignoring Loyalist atrocities. Kitson and his colleagues were responsible for: • The establishment of the clandestine Military Reaction Force (MRF) which carried out assassinations on the streets of Belfast of suspected IRA members; • They unleashed the most violent elements of the Parachute Regiment [1 Para] to terrorise Nationalist communities which, they adjudged, were providing support for the Official and Provisional IRA; • Spreading black propaganda designed to undermine Republican but not Loyalist paramilitary groups; • Deployed psychological warfare techniques, involving the torture of internees; • Sent Kitson’s ‘Private Army’ – Support Company of 1 Para - to Derry where they perpetrated the Bloody Sunday massacre. The British Widgery and Saville inquiries did not hold Kitson and his elite troops accountable for Bloody Sunday. Kitson’s Irish War lays bare the evidence they discounted: Kitson’s role in the events leading up to and surrounding that massacre; evidence from a deserter from 1 Para who joined the IRA; a deceitful MI5 agent; a courageous whistle blower whom the British state tried to discredit, and much more, all of which points to a motive for the attack on the Bogside. This book unlocks the some of the key secrets of the Dirty War that the British government is still determined to cover-up. €16.99