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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

The real importance of Smithwick Tribunal is its outing of one News Int's key informants in Ireland

Meet serial spook, phone hacker and smear merchant Peter Keeley (aka Kevin Fulton) –

I have firm evidence that in 1998, Peter Keeley received a payment of £500 GBP in a Belfast hotel from a journalist working for Alex Marunchak. At that time, Marunchak was editor of The News of the World but by the early 2000s Marunchak had been promoted to overall executive for all News International operations in Ireland. Even in today’s money, five hundred pounds sterling is a decent amount but in 1998 it was a hefty fee. Not only that, Keeley was told by Marunchak that he had done good work and there was more to come.

Alex Marunchak - a media "king maker" in Dublin for many years

My point in relating the above is that I am positive that Alex Marunchak had an informational and financial relationship with Peter Keeley in 1998.

Whatever about the strange conclusion to the Smithwick Tribunal (a finding that there was IRA/Garda collusion but no hard evidence), Judge Peter Smithwick has done the Irish people a wonderful service by revealing that Peter Keeley had worked for RUC Special Branch and MI5 between 1992 and 1994 and then worked for RUC CID (ordinary criminal investigations) between 1996 and 2000 but that, in the year 2000, all Keeley’s ties with the RUC were severed for the following reasons:

Keeley was found to have been “manufacturing information, passing the information to the media and tapping phone calls of police officers.”
Pages 128/129 of Smithwick report

Can we be clear about this? The RUC is saying here not only that the man, who was described by almost all media outlets as the top spy who broke the Stakeknife story, was unstable and a phone tapper but also that he "manufactured" information. Judge Smithwick also reveals that MI5 is still looking after Keeley, or Kevin Fulton - the name News International came up with for Keeley.


In 2011, the BBC’s Panorama programme revealed that News International’s top executive in Ireland, Alex Marunchak, used his Dublin office as a hub for the receipt of hacked emails. It is my understanding that News International used fax machines to move the hacked data between London and Dublin because they were well aware of the dangers of using email systems. Panorama also alleged that Marunchak paid an agent for the obtaining of secret stories from police sources. Panorama's allegations were seen to be justified when in October 2012 Alex Marunchak was arrested, by the Metropolitan Police, along with the head of a private detective agency on suspicion of computer hacking and related offences.

Furthermore, the Leveson Inquiry into the hacking scandals had already revealed that in 2006, the phones and PCs belonging to former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain, Northern Ireland police chief Hugh Orde and human rights lawyer Jane Winter were hacked and/or intercepted by News International hackers. Leveson also received information that Irish police officers were bribed by News International.

An Garda Síochána - will now be obliged to investigate News Int. in Ireland

In an important development to this story, which in my view has effectively been censored by the Irish media, a group of TDs now intend to lodge a formal complaint with An Garda Síochána relating to Alex Marunchak's activities in Ireland. This is a welcome step upwards, because now that Peter Keeley has been outed at the Smithwick Tribunal as a phone tapper and serial purveyor of disinformation, the relationship between Marunchak and Keeley needs to be fully investigated by the Irish authorities.

Did Alex Maruchak commission Peter Keeley, for example, to hack phones and come up with stories the way he has been accused of doing in England? And given the revelations from the News Of The World hacking trial in England at the moment, it is vital that the authorities here carry out a root and branch inspection of News International’s Irish accounts. Peter Keeley was not, by any means, the only spook on News International's books.

Peter Keeley – described as “disingenuous” two weeks ago in a Belfast court

It is a matter of public record that Peter Keeley has been involved in the smearing of Irish Politicians. In 2004 the Sunday Independent published grievously incorrect information based on smear material from Peter Keeley alleging (astoundingly) that two Fine Gael TDs - Jim Higgins and Ivan Yates - had colluded with the IRA:

He (Keeley PL) claimed that both Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins and former Minister for Agriculture Ivan Yates in articles published in the Sunday Independent in October and November 2004 had colluded with the PIRA in a multi euro milk scam. In settling their libel action and apologising in the High Court on 6 November 2008 the Sunday Independent acknowledged that the allegations made by an alleged former British agent Kevin Fulton were without foundation.
(Page 133 of Smithwick report)

Who else in Ireland was smeared, hacked and tapped in this period? We will never get to the truth unless there is a full police inquiry.

The obvious inference to draw from all of the above is that police suspected Keeley of being involved in precisely the kind of actions that have now been revealed as common practice on the part of News International. For reasons I cannot fathom, the Irish media has shown zero interest in what may prove to be the greatest media scandal ever to occur in Ireland.

For this alone, we should be grateful to Judge Peter Smithwick. The spooks in Ireland may well rue the day they ever pushed for this inquiry.

Judge Peter Smithwick -
Delivered a muddled conclusion but his evidence was completely right

@Paul Larkin
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Title: The real importance of Smithwick Tribunal is its outing of one News Int's key informants in Ireland
Date posted: 19 Dec '13 - 12:44
Filed under: General
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