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

The media must be held to account for its championing of discredited FRU spook Ian Hurst (Martin Ingram)

Ian Hurst on FRU "active service" in County Fermanagh

From 1999 onwards the media, both in the UK and Ireland, have used former low ranking FRU spook Ian Hurst as a kind of British Intelligence Guru, who was not only frequently and extensively quoted on “top secret” British army matters but also as an expert on the IRA. This would be laughable, but for the fact that the consequences have been so serious. Quite apart from the threat to the peace process that resulted from Hurst’s spurious evidence, the lives of leading Sinn Féin members were threatened on the same basis. Take for example Hurst’s allegation that the life of West Belfast pensioner Francisco Notorantonio was sacrificed to save British spy Fred Scappaticci. This story is pure bunkum but led to serious friction within the republican movement, not to speak of the added trauma for the Notorantonio family. (According to the MOD, Hurst was not even in Ireland when Francisco was murdered in October 1987 and the De Silva Report has confirmed that he has never served with the FRU in Belfast.)

No explanation has ever been produced, and no apology offered, as to why or how this bogus Scappaticci story gained such currency.
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