Following the report by the former UN war crimes investigator, Sir Desmond da Silva, into the 1989 assassination of the Irish human rights lawyer Pat Finucane by British terrorists under the control of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the former British paramilitary police force in the North of Ireland, a greater focus in now on those behind Britain’s “Dirty War” in Ireland.
The veteran Irish journalist Ed Moloney, with his colleague Bob Mitchell, has presented over on his blog, The Broken Elbow, a fascinating analysis of Britain’s intelligence struggle in Ireland by placing it in the historical context of the 1919-1923 Irish War of Independence and the 1966-2007 Northern War. In the lengthy article the two writers tie together all the known information about Britain’s secret armies in Ireland, notably the notorious Force Research Unit (or FRU), and names and shames several leading members. He also highlights some startling links between the FRU and a previous generation of British spies and assassins in Ireland, the so-called “Cairo Gang” who operated in 1920s’ Dublin during the height of the Irish Revolution.
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