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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

De Silva - Ian Hurst's credibility demolished - How did we end up all staring at a parrot instead of investigating British Intelligence’s dirty war?

With the De Silva report, Ian Hurst reaches the end of the credibility road – what about his media backers?


Tucked away in chapter 21 of the De Silva report into the murder of Pat Finucane is this devastating statement regarding Ian Hurst’s testimony:

"I do not attach any weight to his allegations with respect to the FRU and the murder of Mr Finucane."

Chapter 21 as a whole, which deals with FRU agent and loyalist killer Brian Nelson’s role in the murder of Pat Finucane, can be read here:

Anyone who reads this chapter will see that Ian Hurst’s credibility as a reliable witness and commentator on the Troubles is demolished once and for all.

This comes on top of the Saville Inquiry (Bloody Sunday report) and its total dismissal of Hurst’s evidence (also referred to by De Silva in this chapter). Here again is how Saville politely described Hurst as a dissembler:

147.270 - We are of the view that Martin Ingram to a substantial degree exaggerated the importance of his role at HQNI and his level of knowledge and access to intelligence.

("Martin Ingram" was the name the Sunday Times gave to Ian Hurst)

Now how is it that none of the above has been reported in any newspaper or media outlet?

Those same media sources (the Sunday Times and the Guardian in particular), which have reported Ian Hurst’s spurious claims from 1999 onwards suddenly fall silent when presented with this devastating demolition of their FRU spook of choice. Moreover, the latter part of what is allegedly the definitive book on the IRA written by Ed Moloney also uses Hurst as a key source.

There are also huge questions now for the current Smithwick Tribunal, because much of the reason for its existence stems from Ian Hurst’s claims that there were British spies everywhere who were controlling all aspects of the guerilla war in Ireland.

So perhaps now we can start asking the question about Ian Hurst that no journalist, astonishingly, has ever asked - what exactly did Ian Hurst do as a FRU agent in the only period when he was actually an agent handler?

I can answer at least part of that question.

Ian Hurst was never in the FRU in Belfast, but he did serve in Fermanagh from the end of 1987 to the early 1990s and was part of the FRU team that sought to "facilitate" dissident republicans in their attempts to source weaponry via the likes of veteran republican Joe O’Neill in Bundoran. It should be stressed that Joe O''Neill has stated that he was unaware that he was being used as a "proxy" in this way and that he had no intention of importing arms from places like America or Canada.

How do I know about illegal FRU activities in Fermanagh, Sligo and South Donegal? Because I made a film for BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme about that very issue, though we were unaware that it was the FRU we were dealing with at the time. We also know that the FRU/Joint Services Group of British Military Intelligence attempted exactly the same psyops scam (and targeting exactly the same dissident groups), with MI5 agent David Rupert in the run up to the horrendous Omagh bomb in 1998.

FRU spook Ian Hurst in Fermanagh - his activities here should be our real focus

I don’t blame Ian Hurst for all of the above. He was a spook parrot in a cage who found, to his obvious delight, that if he just kept screeching Scappaticci! Scappaticci! Scappaticci! the whole world stopped and listened to him instead of looking at what the FRU actually did in Ireland.

How did we end up all staring at a parrot instead of investigating British Intelligence’s dirty war in Ireland?

Guím bliain úr faoi shéan is faoi mhaise ar léitheoirí Cic Saor uilig.
May I wish all Cic Saor readers a happy and successful new year.

@Paul Larkin
Carrick, Gaoth Dobhair
Mí Eanáir 2013


Hurst was only a Lance Jack in Int so not high up enough to access real military secrets. Subsequently he reinvented himself as an "expert" on the Daniel Morgan murder cover up. As you say Hurst is discreditted. "Walter Mitty" springs to mind
by: shanghai7 (contact) - 09 Jan '13 - 13:30
@shanghai7 - Thanks for your comment. To be absolutely accurate, Hurst finished his career as a sergeant, but for most of it he was a corporal or below. It should be noted that Hurst continually gives incorrect details about his career. Hurst has stated that he was in the FRU for seven years when in fact it was three. In his statement to the Smithwick Tribunal, he states that he was promoted to sergeant in 1984 - his employer the MOD begs to differ and says it was late 1986, about a year before he went to Fermanagh.
In other words, Hurst was never the "Intelligence Officer" he describes himself as (and echoed to death by certain newspapers), and he was never a grizzled FRU veteran.
Thus, given his track record, it will be interesting to see how Hurst fits in with regard to the Daniel Morgan jigsaw scenario - without suggesting for a moment that he bears any guilt in Daniel Morgan's murder. I have no idea who was responsible for that. Though the finger has been pointed at certain corrupt police officers in the Metropolitan Police (London) in terms of a subsequent cover up.

by: Pol (contact) - 09 Jan '13 - 15:16


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Title: De Silva - Ian Hurst's credibility demolished - How did we end up all staring at a parrot instead of investigating British Intelligence’s dirty war?
Date posted: 01 Jan '13 - 13:03
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