Burke, David  

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.


In Enemy of the Crown, David Burke uncovers the chilling decade-long campaign orchestrated by Sir Maurice Oldfield, head of British Secret Service MI6, to sabotage the political career of Charles Haughey. Oldfield, driven by his belief that Haughey had ties to the Provisional IRA, engaged in a series of dirty tricks and smear campaigns, both in Ireland and abroad, to prevent Haughey's rise to power. Assisted by unscrupulous agents and conspirators within the Irish state's security apparatus, Oldfield's tactics knew no bounds, from exploiting paedophile rings to circulating lurid stories about Haughey. This gripping exposé sheds light on the untold story of MI6's relentless efforts to destroy one of Ireland's most controversial political figures.