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As said in list of contents: “8) Document of three pages entitled ‘Smithwick Tribunal Witness – Martin Ingram/Ian Hurst.’ This item was distributed to media and others attending the Smithwick Tribunal at outset of public hearings.”


Emphasis, where used, is mine.



Note: In more recent time an Operation Kenova addendum has been instated.






Twitter: @seankellyis






Operation Kenova and Smithwick Tribunal Witness – Martin Ingram/Ian Hurst



Stakeknife – Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland (2004): By Martin Ingram and Greg Harkin. [Quote from pages 222-223] – “Ingram saw the files on the [Francisco] Notorantonio killing when working for FRU. They were in the Stakeknife files. Ingram says: ‘I read the files which showed the loyalists were targeting Stakeknife and I discussed it with Stakeknife’s handler. He confirmed loyalists had picked Scappaticci, among others. I also discussed it with Nelson’s handler, who said basically that it had been taken care of. [Nelson’s handler] told me: ‘A substitute has been put in place. It caused an almighty flap, but everything is back on track.’ This conversation was before the Notorantonio murder, and I had no idea how things were put ‘back on track’. I learned after the killing that Notorantonio had been the substitute. My superiors and the handlers involved knew I was appalled by what had happened, a pensioner had been killed. I was told to ‘shut up’ and things got heated. I remember one of my senior officers said something like, ‘Didn’t Gerry Adams carry the coffin? It couldn’t have gone better for us.’ Another said, ‘We want to take the war to the enemy. The end justifies the means.’ I thought it was wrong then and I still believe it is wrong. It was State-sponsored murder and the family of Mr. Notorantonio deserves to know the truth.


“Senior officers would routinely write end-of-year reports for each FRU handler. At the end of 1990, Ingram’s superior wrote in his confidential report: ‘XXXXXX [Martin Ingram] must temper his comments when briefing senior Army officers.’ The report was a recommendation for promotion, but the comment was clearly a reference to Ingram’s numerous conversations with senior officers when he had questioned the FRU’s role in a number of incidents. Ingram later recounted these heated exchanges to a senior investigating officer with the Stevens Inquiry, recalling in particular the murder of Notorantonio. That conversation was taped.”




A) A letter to the Saville Inquiry, dated 8 May 2003, from W. G. Byatt, Head of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry Unit, Ministry of Defence (Page K12.43), says this: “From 1984 until 1987 Mr. Ingram was employed in Great Britain; this tour included a six month deployment abroad. Mr. Ingram was promoted to Sergeant in 1986. Late in the following year he was posted once again to FRU in Northern Ireland.”


B) Ingram’s statement to the Saville Inquiry, Page 12.6: “I stayed in Derry until late 1984 when I was given a compassionate posting due to the ill health of my father. I did Security Section administrative duties relating to counter terrorism in [England from 1984] until mid 1987 when I was posted to Belize. On my return I requested to attend a FRU course at Repton Manor, Ashford, Kent. I was posted to St Angelo (near Enniskillen) a couple of weeks after the memorial bombing; this posting was to augment the small detachment in response to the bombing.”




A and B inclusions above give cause not only to question the veracity of the Stakeknife book but the whole Stakeknife industry. When Francisco Notorantonio was murdered on Friday 9 October 1987, Martin Ingram was either in Belize (for “six months” from “mid 1987”) or England for a short time on a FRU course.


He was posted to FRU West in Northern Irelanda couple of weeks after the memorial bombingto augment the small detachment in response to the bombing.”


The Remembrance Day bombing was on Sunday 08.11.87 – a full month after the slaying of Francisco Notorantonio.


For the quoted Stakeknife book representation by Martin Ingram to have taken place, he would have needed months of sustained bi-location from wherever to Northern Ireland in the second half of 1987, prior to his return there.


Simply put, it is a physical and intellectual impossibility for a belief in “agent Stakeknife” to be sustained without a corresponding belief in bi-location.


If MI5/MoD deem it within their remit to indulge in acts of public deception, miracles are not their forte.


Yet this lie, unambiguous by any evidential critique, remains unchallenged by Jon Boutcher, Chief Constable of Bedfordshire, who is tasked through the Operation Kenova construct with finding the truth on “Stakeknife” – an agent who never existed.


Are the implications of the lie too great to make admission? Let justice be done though the Heavens fall, they say. Bah humbug to all that responds the MI5/MoD alliance.


Will Chief Constable Boutcher rise above the needs of national security interests and let truth prevail? Apart from forfeiting a possible knighthood, in the eyes of the duped masses he’ll be a hero.


The making of a John Stalker mark two? Do I believe that? No.


Jon  Boutcher will more likely succeed where John Stalker didn’t, and get a knighthood. Stalker lost out by being brought down by the malign power of hidden authority, all because he doggedly pursued an inconvenient truth.


A good cop.   




If imputing in the above that the Ministry of Defence was complicit in the lies of Martin Ingram, we must ask why.


As his former employer and keeper of his service records MoD was party to and aware of Ingram’s intended evidence to the Saville Tribunal, much of which was contained in statements to the Tribunal and (that and more) widely broadcast by the media over years.


MoD lending false currency to this dissembling by the imposition of gagging orders. Ipso facto, they were at one with Ingram’s whistleblower portrayal on behalf of national security interests, if acting otherwise.


Returning to the 8 May 2003 letter to the Saville Tribunal by Mr. W. G. Byatt, Head of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry Unit, Ministry of Defence, (Page K12.43): “Against this background I thought that it would be helpful to disclose a little more factual detail about Mr. Ingram’s service in the Army. Obviously I can disclose nothing to the parties that would make it possible to identify Mr. Ingram; neither can I divulge sensitive material which is included in the confidential annex to the Secretary of State for Defence’s PII certificate dated 5 March. However, subject to these limitations I hope the following information is helpful…”


MoD and Martin Ingram were at one in wishing his true identity be protected for safety and security reasons in 2003. However things have changed in recent months. Why is it that the Martin Ingram of March 2003 and the Martin Ingram of March 2011 hold to different priorities?


Was the Public Interest Immunity certificate, a gagging order, served on the Saville Tribunal by the Secretary of State for Defence for the benefit of national security and the protection of Martin Ingram or to preclude the possibility of his covert status being publicly disclosed?


(And all the lies that go with it.)


Has the safety interest now taken on new clothes and subordinated itself to the national interest?






1) “The former soldier [Martin Ingram]…has asked for his identity to be witheld to prevent the IRA from tracking him down and pressuring him to reveal the identity of agents who are still active.” – The Sunday Times, 08.08.99. Page 7.


2) Apart from being out of Northern Ireland for years before and for about six weeks after the death of Francisco Notorantonio, Ingram was never as a qualified FRU handler based at Thiepval barracks, the handling location for Brian Nelson and other Belfast agents.




Operation Kenova


On Wednesday 2 November 2016 I forwarded a five part submission to the Operation Kenova “investigation into the alleged activities of the person known as Stakeknife.”


Note the subtle distinction of not investigating an agent codenamed Stakeknife, who doesn’t exist, but “the person known as Stakeknife” who British intelligence would have us accept through media misinformation is Mr Scappaticci, who does exist, and was once an alleged senior officer in the IRA’s internal security unit.


Is there a protective misdirection, a deception, in the quoted Operation Kenova wording? A false trail it wants to take us along?


The remit is person specific, not agent specific.


Do we have in this a veritable admission that there is no agent Stakeknife? If there was, surely the Operation Kenova remit would have said so in clear language?


Maybe it didn’t, or daren’t, because the story to back it up is an implausible catalogue of lies that would fall flat on its face after a jig-time investigation by a conscientious police team free of corrupt national security influences.


I relate to in-house and off-record manipulations and other activities by an involved party, independently and in fraternal concert, without the cognizance of the investigating detectives.


A parallel process in which an arm of secret state insidiously seeks to bend the rule of law and influence public perception to effect an outcome as accommodating as possible to its ends; doing so through its writer friends in the media and by book publishing.


If need arises, up pops a new insight and new names to prop it up. History is never so malleable as when derived from the pen of national security story tellers; and never so safe as when retold by “security correspondents”.


And, too, the great army of the suborned.


An ineluctable consequence to putting a microscope on an MI5 product - the lie of Stakeknife. Now doesn’t the implications of that make for “chilling” reading?


When the on-the-ground police pursuit of evidence concludes and the results are passed to higher authority for deliberation, will the politics of vested interest sit idly by and let the law take its course?


Not on your Nellie Kelly.


Besides, as I said at the outset, in directing to one name the Operation Kenova remit blanks out other names in the IRA’s internal security unit and the line of command to which the internal security unit was subordinate.


Names just as familiar to agencies of state but for operational reasons not publicised by them.


I allude to the names who sat in judgement and passed sentence, those names who handed down sentence, and the names who carried out sentence.


All of whom are as blameworthy for murder as the interrogators and the back-up and head-up names in the internal security unit.


So too state agencies who had a vested interest at all stages of that process as handlers of agents and assets, who are also culpable, and when aware through their investments of an intention to execute, for operational intelligence reasons did nothing to prevent it. In this I think of a dichotomy entailing the possible sacrifice of a minor in protection of a major.


In effect accepting at times a selective culling of their own. Judgement on agencies of state and servants of state should be no less than that which the law would impose on most of the rest of us.


Carrying a government imprimatur is not a gift of exculpation, directly or indirectly. In respect of the latter, I am mindful of an especially egregious brand of wrongdoing that blossoms under the aegis of intelligence agencies and their systems of informer management.


A vicarious freedom to take part in terrorist and criminal operations in acceptance of the potential consequences, like murder, maiming and property destruction.


That, in another context, would rightly be deemed a war crime – why the exemption and protective cover-up for state intelligence agencies?


The overarching agency involved in the Stakeknife lie – MI5 – an inordinately privileged entity (for how else does it get away with murder?) was, I am confident, able to influence the structuring and, at least to some extent, the direction of Operation Kenova in the protection of agents warranting a higher order of care.


Questioning the oblique wording of the Operation Kenova remit above may be worth noting in that regard.


It would be inconceivable for MI5 not to have pursued an at-a-remove intrusion into the setting up of Operation Kenova for their own benefit and that of senior republican sources party to their interest – dead as well as alive.


Uniquely they are able to reconfigure story and evidence and put it into the public arena through sleight of hand in written form or in documentary reconstruction by their friends in the media.


By such power they deceive and exclude.


I believe that general direction was mirrored within one of my submissions to the Operation Kenova investigation. It went:


“I write to you yet again because in recent time in Northern Ireland there is once more an institutional pursuit of a fictional agent named Stakeknife, which, as previously said, is in the protection of and for the benefit of parties historically devoted to the interests of national intelligence agencies.


“It has no connection to the search for truth or justice but is there, at least in part, to preclude that direction.


“The pursuit of ‘Stakeknife’ is dressed up as a serious component into legacy investigations to do with the Troubles in Northern Ireland.


“The persona behind Stakeknife is said to be Freddie Scappaticci, a believed former senior officer in the IRA’s internal security unit.


“It is appropriate that the actions and membership of the internal security unit should form an essential part in a global view of legacy investigations.


“I suggest scrutiny should begin from the inception of the ISU and include the arm chair generals who promoted and created it and who determined its staffing.


“It should embrace those who sanctioned execution following dubious procedural interrogations by the security unit; and include those who passed down their findings, court martial or other; and at the end of the line those who were tasked with the dirty work of carrying them out.


“If hierarchical, this formula creates a level playing field by excluding no player; it reflects a shared culpability. It further avoids entanglement in the spider’s web of the Stakeknife deception.”




My Operation Kenova submission was dispatched by registered post to Jon Boutcher, Chief Constable of Bedfordshire, who heads the investigation.


In initial inquiries as to whom and what address to direct the submission, I was asked by the voice on the dedicated Operation Kenova telephone line if the documents were “sensitive”.


On saying yes I was instructed to send them to Chief Constable Boutcher at his official address, which was given.


This Stakeknife Internet compilation comprised one part of the submission.


Another part dwelt on an analysis of a transcript of a telephone “interview” by Ian Hurst of an alleged Sir John Wilsey, a former General Officer Commanding Land Forces in Northern Ireland.


(General Wilsey was GOC from 1990-1993.)


In the interview, Ian Hurst (aka Martin Ingram) posed as a Channel 4 journalist named Jeremy Giles.


An analysis of the transcript suggests the responder in the interview was not Sir John Wilsey but an impersonator.


In the contrived exchange the impersonator would say that Freddie Scappaticci was the “golden egg” of British army spies in the IRA.


A transcript of this media friendly claim and its dubious attribution was speedily placed online and given currency by being widely quoted in the press, over the airwaves and elsewhere on the Internet.


A skewing of history to back up the Stakeknife story at a moment of need?


Despite several requests, my Op Kenova submission of 2 November 2016 has not been acknowledged. It is now April 2017.


The covering letter and documents making up the Operation Kenova submission are available for reading by arrangement at my address: Sean Kelly, 474 Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12 Y224, Ireland.


If you have an objective and genuine interest in a search for truth into the Stakeknife story, this invitation is open to you.


After a reading you too might pose the question: could Chief Constable Jon Boutcher possibly believe in bi-location?


The Security Service does. So too many journalists. But then if the former does, so will the latter.


Maybe a million trees were felled to fuel the agent Stakeknife story, now it seems not even Operation Kenova believes it.


But they can’t say so.


Operation Kenova – a construct to arrive at a designed conclusion without letting in too much truth to spoil matters? Along the way a feeding trough for the professionals in the legal and “rights” industries.


Using the nine out of ten template, there to go nowhere on behalf of national security interests – at a price, of course.





Postscript: Since writing the above the Operation Kenova team contacted me, resulting from which, and events thereafter, additional material has been made available to them.


The invitation to read these documents, per above, still stands.



A Saturday 05.01.19 Insert


Over to another, if brief, purview of MI5/MoD-FRU script writing – lies by another name, details of which are more fully developed in my submissions to the Operation Kenova “investigation into the alleged activities of the person known as Stakeknife.”





*) 1033 was the claimed source number of Brian Nelson, a military intelligence agent in the UDA. It wasn’t. Nelson’s agent number is otherwise. With intelligence agencies nothing is sacrosanct: names, code names... If there is a need, history is made up or rewritten.


The basis for the existence of intelligence agencies is the lie – deception. Forgery is an instrument in that deception. Manipulation can include courts of law and the records of government agencies.


The conquest of Mt Everest without oxygen and in swim-wear is more achievable than the pursuit of truth in national security matters. It is so because a system made possible by public subscription corruptly makes it so.



*) The Saturday 14.04.12 claimed telephonic “interview” of Sir John Wilsey, a former General Officer Commanding Land Forces in Northern Ireland (1990-1993), by a supposed Channel 4 journalist named Jeremy Giles.


Jeremy Giles is better known by the pseudonym Martin Ingram. Real name Ian Hurst. The part of Sir John Wilsey was played by an impersonator.


General Wilsey as GOC Land Forces was a Lt General, a three star rank. In the “interview” Jeremy Giles endowed him with “five star” status. The “General” did not demur at this gratuitous promotion.


Further, the “General” seemingly didn’t know the difference between a George Cross and a George Medal, two seriously high awards for bravery, notwithstanding that a soldier in General Wilsey’s own Devon and Dorset regiment was a recipient of the latter.


In the telephonic exchange the “General” would allege that “Fred” Scappaticci (as agent Stakeknife) was the “golden egg” of British army spies in the PIRA.


Given its freedom, this claim shot to the top of the media charts and continues to be quoted by many of the same journalists who believed in FRU’s theory of bi-location.


Mock their lies with evidence and they will, in time, come up with another lie, one that will be transmitted into the public arena by a fresh media source comprised of a slick piece of “investigative” dissimulation. New names and new story lines to get MI5 over the hump they created through the delegation of story telling to incompetents.


The voice of authority says, the herd repeats, that’s how fake news carries.



*) The story which most tickled my fancy is the claim that in 1986 Margaret Thatcher hosted Freddie Scappaticci for a long weekend at Chequers, the country retreat of British prime ministers’.


Elsewhere I asked if Scappaticci had a shave and wore a tie for the occasion.


After their “private fireside chat” do we now ask if Margaret and Freddie went on to view a movie and toast his £75,000 annual tax-free award, courtesy of Mrs Thatcher and the British government?


An account that “was opened by MI5 in a British bank based in Gibraltar.”


For your own delectation, read pages 86-88 of Dead Men Talking (2004) by Nicholas Davies, an award wining “investigative” journalist.


Davies’ pursuit of security disclosure wasn’t confined to the myth of Stakeknife. Thanks to his contacts in the intelligence community he would be the recipient of other “exclusive” mickey takes and misdirection.




Re. the above alleged interview of General Sir John Wilsey by former British intelligence SNCO Ian Hurst, posing as a Channel 4 journalist named Jeremy Giles. Using my Twitter account, @seankellyis, in the summer of 2019, I asked Chief Constable Boutcher the result of an interview of General Wilsey carried out by the Operation Kenova team about two and a half years earlier. Did the alleged exchange between General Wilsey and Ian Hurst/Jeremy Giles really take place? Though the issue was pushed, there was no return.


Who was the supposed General Wilsey in the Saturday 14.04.12 telephone call with Ian Hurst?


Why the reluctance of Operation Kenova to be forthcoming? Why has no journalist pursued the Operation Kenova team for an answer?


On Tuesday 1 October 2019 an episode in the BBC documentary series, Spotlight On The Troubles: A Secret History, was broadcast.


In its reporting of it the following day, The Irish News said: “The IRA sent its most senior British agent to investigate if there was an informer in its organisation after the deadly SAS ambush at Loughgall, according to a BBC documentary. * “Freddie Scappaticci - who has been named as the agent Stakeknife - is alleged to have been tasked with investigating suspected informers who gave information that led to the IRA’s biggest loss of life in a single incident during the Troubles.”


(8 May 1987, eight IRA men and one passing civilian were killed by the SAS at Loughgall.)


While Mr Scappaticci may have carried out an investigation of the Loughgall killings on behalf of the IRA, and whatever his position, or otherwise, with regard to state security agencies, he most certainly was not “[The] most senior British agent [in the IRA].”


[That Scappaticci was picked to be sacrificed by state in the Stakeknife canard, perhaps best indicates he was vulnerable and expendable. The Security Service does not have a history of throwing top agents under a bus. Very bad for business.


To the contrary, they will protect them at great cost and, where required, through disinformation and propaganda via the home media and (through the good offices of fraternal counterparts) overseas.


They who can change black into white, and vice versa.


Whereas the Stakeknife label is fiction, those of Kerbstone and Infliction do have real names to them. I suspect the latter has many more deaths to his credit, if vicariously ascribed, than the whole internal security unit put together from inception to stand down. Yet there is no hidden hand leaking his identity through the “whistleblower” medium, or “investigative” documentaries to unfold on him. No, because state security is the arbiter in these matters. Through this ownership the state can subtly disinform by use of third party disclosure - the sidebar approach, an old trick of the intelligence trade. One analogous to a cut-up Halloween fruit cake with a gold ring in only one slice, or two?]


The Irish News further stated: “In the BBC documentary it is alleged the IRA dispatched an internal security unit to ‘flush out spies’, but the ‘man they sent to find out who betrayed their secrets was also working for their enemy’ with the organisation unaware Scappaticci was a long-running spy for British intelligence. [!]


“Lord Ramsbotham, army brigadier in Belfast 1978 to 1980, told the programme: ‘The famous Stakeknife was handed onto me in 1978 as being an important person.


“He was obviously someone who had access to the higher levels of the IRA.’” That’s all Folks! Out goes General Wilsey of the “golden egg”. In comes Brigadier Ramsbotham of the empty rhetoric.


Proof of life after death?.


As for “The  famous Stakeknife”, that myth only took hold in 1999. And nobody seemed to know how to spell the codename at the time.


Readers’, to yourself direct the following questions because there is no one else to ask, and no media outlet or other body to go to on behalf of those who cry out for truth and justice, not if matters pertain to alleged issues of “national security”.


Who murdered Heidi Hazell, the German wife of a British army sergeant, shot dead by the IRA near Dortmund, Germany on 7 September 1989?


Who was agent Infliction? (I’m confident he is known to most of the Troubles cognoscenti.)


Who was agent Kerbstone? (I’m confident he is known to most of the Troubles cognoscenti.)


Who allowed the loyalist arms importations?


Who allowed the United States and Libyan IRA arms importations?




The same people who oversaw the shooting dead of three IRA members in Gibraltar on Sunday 6 March 1988.


The same people who value knowing above lives.


The same people who ran agent Infliction.


The same people who ran agent Kerbstone (even if at a remove).


The same people who ran the agent who murdered Heidi Hazell.


The BBC will not investigate and speak out on these egregious wrongdoings, and more. When you know why, you’ll be wiser as to the reality and worth of their so-called investigative journalism.


And, maybe too, the reason why.


Built into some high profile “investigative” disclosure, in particular that subject to pre-release fanfare, is misdirection. Hidden within the teasers and ephemera, one will sometimes find in the sidebar insertions the real purpose of the exercise.


That which is often inverse to presented.


Another “old trick of the intelligence trade”. 





In February 2019 Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, head of Operation Kenova, said he found no evidence to support the theory of bi-location.


I allude to a British army intelligence claim that Francisco Notorantonio was set-up to be murdered in lieu of Mr Scappaticci, alleged agent Stakeknife. An event that was, short of bi-location, a physical impossibility. Belatedly, and reluctantly, Operation Kenova accorded with my findings, if not publicly acknowledging them.


I first brought this lie to official attention about eleven years before the Operation Kenova admission. It formed the basis of one of my submissions to the Operation Kenova investigation and was long banked by them before their February 2019 public announcement.


Supported by incontrovertible research, it was made known to journalists, lawyers, “rights” groups and the media over the intervening eleven or so years, but elicited not one return.


That’s because it sported a national security label in that I was challenging the lies of an intelligence agency. A backstop (whatever that means), it seems, for almost everybody but me.


In secret state matters truth can be anathema - especially when it exposes wrongdoing.


Also, the suppression of truth and the propagation of fake news in pursuance of national security goals is made possible, in particular, through leaks (aka handouts) to the media, and by “whistleblowers” (nine-bob-notes in colloquial usage). How could it be so otherwise?


Stakeknife is just one take on that.


Indeed the magic roundabout was ongoing with feeding the “bi-location” and other agent Stakeknife stories to a duped public and would still be doing so on the bi-location theme had the Kenova investigation not been set up consequent of the many overblown claims it generated.


Operation Kenova could have used my material to debunk the “bi-location” specific at any time over a two year period before they did.


Inviting a question: was my submission given the “deep-six” treatment for national security reasons?


Or was Operation Kenova simply remiss in not making the contents publicly known in the name of a transparency?


Then there is a less generous viewpoint.


It could be the documents were witheld because an airing of them would expose the sham of the Operation Kenova investigation.


A line part in the “national security” argument?


Exposing the spurious origins of the Stakeknife story would fatally flaw the Operation Kenova remit.


Pull out one fundamental in the balanced deck of cards and the rest will come crashing down. They call it the domino effect. Well, so much for theory.


One lie down – more to go!


Language and presentation play an important role in the projection of these things. One side has a powerful performer commanding the public stage and a large backing orchestra in support. Another side – along with a lot else outside the swamp – is unheard and unseen.


A process of accommodation and denial shaped to comfort national security sensitivities. Recognised by  the media, “rights” groups, lawyers and politicians to the detriment of justice and, at times, the public wellbeing.


The selective Operation Kenova gesture to openness in February 2019 was precipitated by an approach from a solicitor representing the interests of the Notorantonio family. I too was moved to action by this initiative.


It would seem I brought the Notorantonio-Stakeknife falsehood to the solicitor’s attention one month ahead of Chief Constable Boutcher.


While there was a variation in the use of language, or script, in our respective presentations, the point made was the same.


The irrefutable corroboration I provided in this and other regards to the Operation Kenova team awaits recognition.


It is not for vanity I seek credits but as a means to unfold on the world the potential consequences of an unaccountable secret-state.


The reality is, truth in these matters saves lives, lies kill.


MI5 & Co. will begrudge any dilution of their powers and will do all they can to prevent it. Not only are they diminished by the exposure of lies, so too their messengers and agents who are elevated and protected above lives lost.


More water has yet to flow under the bridge before the Stakeknife myth is exposed for what it is.


So far only one prop has buckled. An intended direction to law helped flush out the truth on that, even if only in circumspect admission.


The remaining lies in the “agent Stakeknife” story mark time awaiting pronouncements from Chief Constable Boutcher – but first political events to precipitate the misdirection?


It’s long past bedtime, Jon.




(Note that Operation Kenova is an in-house investigation and not an open inquiry. Have you guessed why? Further be wary of the “window dressing” lodged alongside it; that’s a public relations job to sell on a dead dog at the end of the day, if they can get away with it. If left to an accommodating media, they who write novels on “whistleblowers”, they will.)


The birth of Stakeknife took place in August 1999, with the late Liam Clarke of The Sunday Times and an ex-Force Research Unit “whistleblower” using the pseudonym Martin Ingram combining to act as midwife.


Though in receipt of only a part UK age pension (no benefits from Ireland), I made an offer on Twitter to donate €250 to charity if the editor of The Sunday Times provided proof of the existence of “agent Stakeknife”.


My tweet went up on 17 December 2018.


PS. Scroll down Twitter account @seankellyis for more recent “offers”.


The latest tweet went up on Friday 06 December 2019. I include it here.


“’[Former chief constable Jon Boutcher] is also in charge of Operation Kenova, which is looking into the […] history of the British agent known as Stakeknife.’ – The Irish News, editorial, Monday 02.12.19.


“There is no ‘agent Stakeknife’. It is a canard – fake news!


“I will donate €250 to charity if Jon Boutcher or the editor of The Irish News can prove the existence of ‘agent Stakeknife’. Over to you, gentlemen.


“For more read section 13 and sections 15 to 17. And then the full website, please.”


As to Operation Kenova taking up my wager – no chance. Jon Boutcher wants his knighthood. I want truth. The two are incompatible.


Readers, thank you for having gone thus far on a long journey.




The Irish Times, Thursday 29 October 2020 – [Stephen Herron, Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, said that four people will not face charges] “in connection with an investigation into the agent codenamed Stakeknife…


“One individual, understood to be agent Stakeknife, was considered by the Public Prosecution Service for the offence of perjury.


“This related to making affidavits sworn between 2003 and 2006, and the circumstances in which a decision was subsequently taken not to prosecute, the PPS said…


“Mr Herron [concluded] in all four cases, there was ‘insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction for any offence.’”





The above is a précis of The Irish Times report. Last line, “…there was ‘insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction for any offence.’” In respect of the perjury charge, is this a legal euphemism for saying there is no agent named Stakeknife?


You would be hard pushed to believe that on parsing many press reports over the years.


In those years, when accusations of perjury were originally raised against Mr. Scappaticci for his on oath denial of being the alleged agent Stakeknife, I was bemused enough to ask how anybody could legitimately pursue a legal course of action against what I saw as a non-existent entity – “agent Stakeknife”.


A very experienced Northern Ireland prosecutor had previously examined the claims of perjury and decided against prosecution. That judgement made some official interests unhappy at the time, has now been vindicated by returns from the current Public Prosecution Service head.


Specifics for reaching this conclusion have not been disclosed. It would be interesting to know what they are – especially those left publicly unsaid.


If the conclusion was based on findings that there existed no evidence of an “agent Stakeknife”, Scappaticci’s swearing on oath that he is not the alleged agent, could only be true.


Go back to square one and ask who originated the Stakeknife lie – and why.





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