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As said in list of contents: “5) A four page document entitled ‘Mr Metcalfe M’Lud - Reference Stakeknife-Scappaticci.’ With accompanying half page photocopy from The Sunday Independent, dated 15.08.04.
A one page web print-out on
“From a reading you will gather that the content of this particular is subject to caveats. I debated if it should be included with other items, deciding it should even if it is an incomplete study. Alone I am unable to test its worth or relevance, if any.”
Mr. Metcalfe, M’lud
(Questioning if a British army provenance is entailed.)
Wednesday 01 September 2004 – When at Herman-White auction rooms in Rathmines, Dublin saw Alan (a friend) among cars parked on unpaved ground within the complex, he talking to another auction regular. I wasn’t going to intrude, but Alan in wordless gesture, beckoned: “Come and listen to this.”
I did. He and his friend were discussing “Mr Metcalfe”, someone known to me as “Yorkshire Lad”. A man I judged to be ex-British army, and hard; someone who could possibly be known under the pseudonym Martin Ingram. Metcalfe is said to have left Ireland owing €1m.
He, his Yorkshire wife and son were based in Loughrea, Co. Galway. It was said he owes money to antique auctioneers around the country, including Northern Ireland. A Bangor, County Down auction house was mentioned.
The man speaking to Alan said he was reckless, and given the prices he was paying, it only needed time before events caught up with him.
The dogs were barking at his door, so he did a runner about five weeks ago. Alan’s friend said the man’s real name was not Metcalfe; he used another name (what name?) when signing cheques to Herman-White.
I asked two questions on him. 1) Was he ex-army? 2) What age was he? Yes to the former. Fifty to the latter.
My Interlocutor said, when at another auction room and in conversation with Metcalfe’s wife, she let it “slip out” that he had been in the army. Did he know which branch of the army? No. She just let that “slip out” and said no more.
A recent edition of The Sunday Independent published a story on him. I told the man it was my belief from sometime back, that Metcalfe was ex-British army and possibly an Intelligence Corps man.
I tried to do a sus on him a long time ago, but he wouldn’t play ball. He turned and walked away. I thought him hard.
I hinted that which is not known about him might be of far greater worth than that which is known – “and I am not thinking of money fiddles”. Hinting on, I asked if his employer was the Ministry of Defence (in Britain).
That was a bit of black humour.
He conned local people where he lived in the west. He obtained two paintings worth €22,000 each, it was said, from a top artist. A valuable table and two chairs from another source, handed over to be sold. Another lot put in for auction by Metcalfe, was reclaimed by the owner the following day. So it went.
In the months prior to the publication of the Stakeknife book, Yorkshire Lad was out of Rathmines auction rooms circulation; at least to my eyes. Was that down to money troubles with the auction houses or writing the aforementioned book?
That is of course if Mr. Ingram and Mr. whoever are the same person and an ex-FRU (Force Research Unit) – a murderous extension of British army intelligence and MI5 in Northern Ireland – spoofer. It would be remarkable were it so.
Thursday 02 September, 2004 – Found The Sunday Independent article mentioned above, dated 15 August 2004. It puts Yorkshire Lad’s age at 61. I consider this closer to his real age than the 50 years given by Alan’s friend. If not 61, say in the late 50’s. Though I say that, the age is not near compatible with that indicated by Ingram in the Stakeknife book. Having joined the army aged 19 years in 1980, he would first enlist in the Parachute Regiment but after ten weeks transferred to an Intelligence Corps training course. His first Intelligence posting was to Northern Ireland in 1981.
Reflecting on some smart tricks Ingram is said to have played while on the army intelligence training course, like breaking into the chief clerk’s desk (P23) and stealing the carbon copy used in the typing of exam questions, thereby improving his performance from relegation prospect on past results to near top of the class on the next. He worked this swiz with a friend named Kev. It was sure cute hoor stuff for a man of 19 or 20.
So was Ingram’s enlistment in the army at a later age than said? Was he ex-police or other security employed before joining up? It wouldn’t have been easy to stroll into the army intelligence corps at such a young age without supporting attributes and having at least a reasonable standard of education. Yet according to him entry was urged and even facilitated from within. If true, was there a reason for it? Say by virtue of him having a previous like employment or by having an ex-army father or other filial connection? Or he being ex-Royal Navy or the Royal Marines?
My impression of the man is that he was nothing better than intellectually solid, this based on my reading of him. World wise, street wise, not academic. Reflecting on that, one must keep in mind that my appreciation is of the man using the pseudonym Martin Ingram. Yet remarkably the judgement may be as valid for the man using the Brian Metcalfe pseudonym. I make these points to query if they are the same person.
Thinking back on his wife and attempting to estimate her age. You know, late forties might not be a bad bet. And him a few years older? That’s more in line with what the man with Alan said. The more thought I give to it the less I am inclined to be specific.
Metcalfe had a pushy meanness in him.
I remember on one occasion he exited the auction rooms while the bidding in which he was involved was ongoing. When close to the exit door, through which he continued walking, he less than half turned and without looking to the auctioneer, who I believe was David Herman, flung his arm outwards to indicate another bid. It was a hard, unsmiling, indifferent gesture.
The words hard, mean and rough mannered well describe him in my understanding. In saying that - given the people he conned - he obviously had some capacity to charm and was evidently not without a sense of humour
The published account of the man is vague and limited, perhaps only to be expected given the nature of the beast, that one has to be careful in extrapolation.
He was a conman who was practiced in the art of deception. If we are unsure about this being part of his job when in the army, if he was so enjoined, we are more assured it was so inside and outside auction rooms.
So what age do I say Metcalfe was in 2004? In his 50’s, say early 50’s. Martin Ingram, according to the Stakeknife book, would have been 43 in 2004. Still an apparent disparity.
The newspaper report says he
may be from Leeds. If my memory is correct, Martin Ingram (in the Stakeknife
book), after his return to England from N.I. in 1984 for compassionate reasons,
had one known posting and a number of secondments. The York Security Section (P24) was the posting. Seconded twice to Repton Manor (in Templar Barracks, Ashford, Kent) in
connection with agents Willie Carlin and Frank Hegarty; and a six months detachment
to Belize (formerly British Honduras) in Central America. On return to the UK
he undertook a FRU handler’s course before being posted to St Angelo, a FRU
base in Co. Fermanagh in late November 1987. A journalist interviewing a man
claiming to be Ingram said he was a Leeds United supporter. In the Stakeknife
book, Ingram’s wife is said to be from the republic of Ireland. Metcalfe’s wife
is, by accent, clearly from
The Metcalfe’s are believed to have done a runner in early July (2004). He was said to have lived in Ireland for about four years. They are also said to have had a son with them. No age given. (I believe someone said he was 14 years.)
The Sunday Independent, 15.08.04 – (By Jerome Reilly) “Brian Metcalfe, 61, though sometimes known as Brian May and thought to be from Leeds, appeared suddenly in Galway about four years ago opening an auction house in Loughrea…in the last year he moved to Galway city, opening auction rooms at Galway Shopping Centre.
“Dozens of friends, clients and customers, now believe they were conned by Brian Metcalfe, aka Brian May, who went missing along with his partner and son in early July…”
The Sunday Times, 08.02.04 – (Online. By Liam Clarke.) “On February 1, 2000, the draft of a memoir [Ingram] was preparing was stolen from his home in the Irish republic and turned up two weeks later with the MoD [in London] who used it in a court case against him.”
Note: Stakeknife book published in spring 2004. An RTE radio pre-book launch interview of Ingram by Cathal MacCoille took place on Tuesday Morning 17.02.04. Other interviews followed. To my memory the book only appeared on the shelves from April 2004.
September 2007: I have a copy of letter to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry from the Ministry of Defence on Ingram’s service. Forming part of his pre-inquiry statement bundle, it reiterates the Stakeknife book enlistment year of 1980 and termination of service in 1991. No indication of age on enlistment or discharge.
It is clear that Messrs Ingram and Metcalfe are distinct entities; for example, there is an incompatibility of age, and more.
However, there are a number of areas where they enjoy a surprising degree of compatibility, these prompting hitherto unspoken questions, some of which are posed in the paragraph immediately below.
In all CV’s of Martin Ingram, there is the conspicuous absence of what he was doing and where he was based between army discharge in 1991 and the birth of Stakeknife, via the good offices of The Sunday Times, in August 1999. Was he working under cover?
Were Ingram and Metcalfe co-fraternal in Ireland and/or formerly as members of the British army and/or post demob from the British army?
The Sunday Independent, 15 August 2004. Page 6.
Web page. Sorry about premature cut-off at edge.
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