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Twitter: @seankellyis




Emphasis, where used, is mine.




Collateral Damage




1) Voiceover lends introduction against the background of four young Australians acting out the parts of Stephan and Lyndal Melrose and Nick Spanos and girlfriend Vicki Coss.


The film director starts off by depicting theatre on a tourist barge plying a course on a Dutch canal. A portrayal of good life that would be repeated in other scenes.


Susy Fraser, sister of Stephan, introduces balance and filial love.


Roy Melrose, father of Stephan, is also filmed one to one. A once solid man, articulate, now emotionally vulnerable, made so by unbearable loss.


Coulthart in this and in other clips paints a human scale that is primary and not subordinate to the pursuit of investigative journalism.


2) Background film shows a Donna Maguire actor blazing away with an AK rifle to which she seems to have an unrequited attachment, and two male actors discharging pistols.


A macho prelude to filming the murder of the two men in Roermond square. A display of military competence not likely in IRA reality. That said, almost anybody can image a two-handed pistol firing (in-combat) mode for camera.


Likewise any fool can pull a trigger. Tragically, as history informs, fewer know when not to.


An attempt at a Hollywood style action flick.


3) This section deals with the status of the two shot Australian solicitors, both employed in London, and how the deadly mesh of chance and coincidence combined to place them in Europe and Roermond on that fatal May night.


Their short haircuts and British registered car marked them out as British troops from nearby German bases. They looked the part.


It was enough – a decision to murder was made without further appraisal.


As Roy Melrose hauntingly put it: “[Stephan] seemed to be the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.”


If it were only as simple as that.


4) A chance stop-off at Roermond by the couples for a meal is translated by film sequences. Observing antipodeans acting in locum tenens replicates other historical images in my mind. An evasion from the purported goal of the film – a substitution of style for substance.


Ian Fraser, Stephan Melrose’s brother-in-law, ponders on the IRA. His judgement likewise reflects on the morality of modern warfare. It also misses the point in the search for truth – a wider truth comes not from the IRA but from those who made their actions possible.


The republican movement was extensively infiltrated. Its structures were conducive to penetration and susceptible to a long standing intra-national control by manipulation, hence the elsewhere made claim of a “driving force within and without”.


It is entirely plausible that those structures were formulated and implemented by agents of state acting under direction. The state through its agents too often had an easy hand at knowing things, even if the showing of that hand was not expressly overt.


I’m saying the film’s direction is a misdirection. That misdirection is in its superficial concentration and portrayal of one IRA team in isolation without questioning the bona fides of those within and extending the questioning to linear attachments. A concentration on only one spoke in a buckled wheel.


There was no exposure on the extent of interstate light touch control and influence on the republican movement, done at a remove, done more easily at the macro than micro level, done more easily abroad than at home, done where paper trail ventures exist - like investments and business scams - areas where easily directed at a profit republicans would associate.


Without understanding this, and more, one cannot come close to concluding the reasons for a tolerance of so much of what the IRA did and why.


The modus operandi of intelligence agencies is self appointed. Owing nothing to the sovereignty of the people it is a contradiction of that which it avowedly stands for.


Therein reposes the truth why so many lives were lost. A judgement not confined to the Irish dimension of terrorism but one universally contained within the shadows of the democratic process, and elsewhere.


Search for truth from one and you contest all. Fraternal, cooperative, mutually tolerant, they are on issues of common concern or challenge, almost seamless.


Cruel and without morality. The liberal-left-human rights public face, legal, political and media, or the body of its names, by whom many are blinded and seduced and from whom the search for redress is predicated by virtue of their standing, is not against them, it is part of them. Quietly the hares trot along with the hounds.


A rule of the thumb way to measure the insidious permeation and control of the system by such influences is to use the nine out of ten template, a play on an old piece of rural folklore, see one vermin count ten.


In respect of shadow state the principle translates, uncover one strategically positioned asset-name, count nine out of ten.


One snapshot defines them as lightning rods who as they are at one with the lie, the part above water, are anathema to the truth, that below water.


Alike a magnet for “whistleblower” and whistleblower.


Floaters of the former (ostentatiously). Sinkers of the latter (silently). It is not what you see and know about them but that you do not see or know which tells the story.


A story that has nothing to do with whistleblowing: one that’s designed to deflect and suppress while acting out false representations of democratic freedoms.


If what I say makes you any wiser as to why you don’t know, you will still not know what you don’t know.


That’s because the real function of  the “whistleblower” is unseen in the whistleblowing. I refer to national security secrets the “whistleblower” may not be privy to.


“Whistleblowing” – the greatest intelligence deception unknown. The holy of holies is a lie.


Part of the theatre is for the “whistleblower” to suffer to be attacked but stoically accept the brickbats. The cause they serve, should a need to salve a troubled conscience arise, is to say it’s for the greater good, one to which many have had long and covert attachment.


Besides when the sun sets over the mountain, they will likely be beneficiaries of a largesse beyond the laudatory – money stolen from the taxpayer and beyond.


Only the cognoscenti will know they are cheats; and they being family in the main, will stay silent.


The lie is not so much in what the “whistleblower” is telling but what the telling sets out to achieve: often a determination to do down the search for or the exposure of truth elsewhere.


Ownership of the public audience. Control. Direction. Even at times entailing the sacrificial toppling of an inconvenient authority figure.


Who best to lead the way and take the “whistleblower” by the hand? The big names of course. Who own the big names? None other than those who own the “whistleblower”.


If you say I am speaking tongue-in-cheek, pray tell me why I have spent most part of 40 years on the road without support from any source.


I have however come up against many holocaust deniers. I allude to the mini-holocausts created by agents and agencies of state: an unaccountable fraternity with a codified immunity to preside over us like God.


Deniers found paradoxically even at the highest political level in offices of state charged with enforcing law and order on behalf of the people.


Perversely a primacy that subordinates the welfare of the people to egregious national security practices.


An arrogation of power that sets aside by one part (example, M15/Intelligence and Security) with the derogation by another part (example, Home Office/Department of Justice) the rights, freedoms and sometimes the life of the citizen.


An abdication of duty that goes far beyond British and Irish jurisdictions.


Even more bizarre is the offence of these political lie enforcers acting out a game of non-existence for agencies subordinate to their own office.


Farcical were it not for a copious spilling of blood on the streets, as it was during the Troubles.


Intelligence agencies are staffed by criminals for whom death, maiming and property destruction is tolerated in the judicious management of paramilitary operations.


An end choice that indubitably resulted in countless unnamed victims, fellow nationals included - civilian, police, military, political, but not for themselves or their own blood.


Murder and maiming by vicarious endorsement, by one definition. Extra-judicial killings at a remove, another.


In yet another context – a war crime.


Tyranny by any definition other than when in state employment, it seems. And by a remarkable feat of cleverness, for how else can it be described, understanding that canters fortuitously unseen by our free press and elected representatives.


What do you say of police officers who remained silent knowing their colleagues suffered death and maiming in compromised terrorist operations?


A text book example of the hidden face of democracy in action.




[By the good grace of Twitter I have variously sought the definition of a “war crime” and posed other questions of a germane nature. I cite three tweets.


(01.10.19) @seankellyis Do governments vicariously attach to war crimes through intelligence agencies allowing compromised terrorist operations to proceed in acceptance of the potential consequences, like murder, maiming and property destruction?


(02.10.19) @seankellyis McDowell, Andrews, Higgins, Robinson, Ardern, Gillard, Swinson, Turnbull, Pelosi, et al, one day you will realise you heard a child cry and walked away. The child has many names. One of them is Nivruti Islania, 6 months at death. Read sections 15 to 17.


(09.10.19) @seankellyis to @Amal-Style1: Is the handle of “human rights” lawyer a sales pitch? Read my recent tweets and then read section 13 and sections 15 to 17 and come back to me with the definition of a “war crime”. My direction is to MI5 and the murder of Heidi Hazell [in a compromised IRA operation].



Did I get a return? Ask another silly question.



I add a slight variation to another tweet put up one year later.


(17.10.20) @seankellyis Sir Keir Starmer KCB, QC, MP, Leader HM Opposition. Further to my letter of Monday 05.10.20 on the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill.


You heard a  child cry, squirmed, and walked away. The child has many names. One of them is Nivruti Islania, six months at death. Like Heidi Hazell and others, murdered by the Security Service. Your decision not to vote against the CHIS Bill was cowardly and shameful. Secret State xxx+ Innocents o.


Please read sections 7, 13 and 15 to 17.



Reel forward to Monday 23 May 2022, when I tried to install a multi-connect tweet on my Twitter account. Let’s see what happened.



(23.05.22) @seankellyis Why was IRA agent Infliction, a mass murderer by vicarious attachment, inordinately privileged and protected by a cohort of intelligence agencies and silent politicians, when an innocent Irish citizen, in another context, was set up to be murdered by the same agencies?


An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, have an insight to what I am saying, including, in respect of the Taoiseach, identification of the face behind the Infliction mask.


Yet, in my experience, both will delegate responsibility for “correction” to the wrongdoers – the accursed manipulators of secret state – when their actions are exposed by somebody with the fortitude to tell the truth.


After forty years at the receiving end of a collective of intelligence agencies, I know they only do ownership. Yes – lock, stock and barrel. They think they are God. and will deny victims the right to independently effect correction.


I ask if the computer savvy among us would read my websites and Following-on, would one kind person consider questioning ministers’ Martin and Coveney on these matters?


By silence and lies politicians and the media hide secret state wrongdoing. When the suborned effect cover-up and partake of generated controversies, it falls to others to make our masters accountable.




[Note: On Monday 23 May 2022, subject to the constraints of tweeting, a near copy of the immediately above template was put on “send” to the global Twitter network. I instructed this on two public use computers in different Dublin locations. Though a “send” instruction was repeated after a typing, each time there was a break-up of the tweet sequence.


In particular, tweet two, the second paragraph, was deleted – dumped – by Twitter. They no doubt acting at the behest of the relevant Irish national intelligence agency. 


Bereft of a core part, the remainder tweet was rendered meaningless. It was deleted.


The collective forces of state imposed censorship on an old man trying to do his duty.


I am not allowed to fight back. The public is not allowed to know. Exposition is thwarted. National state-inter-state wrongdoing prevails.


My Dublin address is within the Twitter account profile @seankellyis I would embrace any assistance by individuals or organisations desirous of overcoming this difficulty.


Advice, spreading the word, whatever, is welcome.


Maybe a reader would inform An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, of this censorship – censorship by Twitter in their name?


Do Messrs Martin and Coveney approve of censorship? If not, ask them to break their silence.


Indeed, given his buy-out intentions, you might inform Elon Musk. Another billion $US off the Twitter price!




The names of some parties sacrificed to the operational mores of security agencies are contained variously within this website.


As a prelude to giving greater detail anon, I mention one name: Nivruti Islania.


Nivruti was shot dead with her father Maheshkumar, a Royal Air Force corporal, in a compromised IRA operation on the continent in autumn 1989. Mrs Islania escaped physical injury.


Nivruti was six months old.


She is part of what I am fighting for.


Please help.]



In the latter months of 2020 I forwarded letters by registered post to fourteen British members of parliament at the House of Commons, London SW1 OAA. Within a narrow variation, the content of one missive replicated the content of others.


An additional letter was dispatched to a “human rights” lawyer.


(A direction that might indicate a sense of humour – this notwithstanding the letter having a serious relevance.)


The dispatches alluded to the same sensitive content. From no recipient was received an acknowledgement or return. It would seem a “gagging” order was imposed on the mail.


Self imposed or by established protocol, I know not.


Readers, you have my permission to ask the parties listed below for a copy of the communication and the reason for their failure to respond. I hope all parliamentarians’ will be forthcoming to any request that might be made.


Consequent of an outside interest there maybe a movement to justice by disclosure.


Please give assistance to the parliamentarians by helping to release them from state imposed constraints.


For forty years justice has been denied to me: I suggest this is because of the application of protective protocols to benefit the involved UK/Ireland intelligence agencies, namely the Security Service/MI5 (London) and Intelligence and Security (Dublin).


(The bombing of the Mt. Gabriel radar domes in south west Ireland in September 1982 has undoubtedly influenced “the application of protective protocols” indicated above.)


In failing to represent my interests in 1983, the UK national parliament likewise failed to represent the interests of British citizens and others maimed and murdered by the actions and inactions of MI5 and its fraternal counterparts.


Parliamentarians recently written to are: James Brokenshire MP [now deceased]; Liz Saville Roberts MP; Diane Abbott MP; Zarah Sultana MP; Rebecca Long-Bailey MP; Sir Keir Harmer MP; Kevin Brennan MP;  Margaret Greenwood MP; John McDonnell MP; Dan Carden MP; Marsha de Cordova MP; Sarah Owens MP; Navendu Mishra MP; Kim Johnson MP.


From all came forth a deadly silence. Silent to the welfare of their own citizens and maybe even a constituent. Yet all are as capable of doing what I am doing but will not do it.


Please ask why.


Perhaps the difference between myself and authority sources is, they observe the notion, the lie, of non-existence of intelligence agencies in our midst. I do not.


The legal profession and our “free press” seem equally circumscribed by the same unseen and unspoken constraints.


The salaries and pensions of parliamentarians are stained red by the blood of people who did exist – those murdered and maimed by the actions and inactions of national security agencies over many years. 


The lost.


If the lie of non-existence were acted out with the salaries and pensions of politicians, you would soon see the protocols of silence biting the dust.


Readers, if you hold strong feelings on the above disclosures, with more unsaid, and have a genuine concern for truth and justice, please get involved.



PS. My non-internet connected computer (Compaq 7500) has long been without its HP 1410 PSC printer, which makes life very difficult. If a HP 1410 or a compatible working model printer can be found, I will happily purchase it.


A letter to HP on the subject went unanswered.




 5) Naming the IRA team most culpable for the Spanos and Melrose deaths elevates and isolates. Even romanticises. The micro concentration avoids the bigger picture of European wide republican operations.


Probably every interconnection between the IRA in Europe and between home command and Europe was compromised.


The implications and consequences of this possibly best explains the extent of the dereliction of duty by national agencies.


Their priority is the control and direction of paramilitary forces, ultimately to “constitutionalise” them, bring them in from the cold, by chipping away at an ever diminishing and recalcitrant rump, by sidelining and neutralising on one hand, and on the other, by the promotion of agents and assets, shaping their popular appeal by media and political direction, inverse funding and broad screen attachment (poets, artistes, writers, academics, celebrities, carpet baggers, others).


Manipulation. Carrot and stick. End game virtual ownership.


In the meantime, along the long and bloody travail it is the unwitting and the innocent who pay the price.


Mr Coulthart concentrates on painting a micro picture of the event. He selectively borrows from record, the already known, and fails to uncover. Background film makes Donna Maguire and Gerard Harte out to be bigger players than they are.


A portrayal of blunderers and worse whose bloody “successes” were realised through aberrant state practices.


Another magic roundabout formula determines that certain promotional labels and nom de guerre’s given to republican’s by security writers over the years had their origin in an MI5 lexicon. Thus at times by making the onside out to be offside a false construction of a formidable adversary is shaped.


By a further design, a name promoted from without and aided by the within, grows to bigger things. That is the theory and at times the practice.


Continuing in this drift, by attaching a bogus image of elusive professionalism to continental bombing teams, fraternal agencies can translate a failure to apprehend to a failure to detect. A confidence trick to cloak a knowing from an easily manipulated public and a credulous republican movement.


A dissembling made possible through the good offices of the mainstream news media, without whose comfort and facilitation intelligence agencies would be rendered speechless.


Susy Fraser, sister of Stephan Melrose, ponders painfully on the cruel execution of her brother and his friend Nick Spanos.


As the modus operandi of MI5 made possible the murder of the two Australian’s, it too made possible the murder of British citizens.


Likewise, their German counterpart, BND, by fraternal cooperation, share in the culpability for these murders and the murder of a German citizen.


In concentrating on the IRA, the film emphasis failed to identify on whose shoulders ultimate responsibility for the murders lay, state servants whose privileged ways detach them from the consequences of their actions or inactions.


Privileges so precious and profane the “sovereign” people are excluded from knowing about them.


6) A contemporary clip of Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein leader, giving a statesmanlike performance in an attempt to mitigate the murder of the Australian men. Gearóid Ó Barrfhóde, Top Turf Gerry, talent spotted from a long way off.


Don’t they pick their political terrorists well?


7) Concentrates on the recovery of the weapons used in the murder of Melrose and Spanos and the soon after arrests of the IRA team. It fails to state that the arms cache had connection to the murder of Heidi Hazell, the German wife of a British army sergeant, on 7 September 1989, the murder of Royal Air Force corporal Mick Islania and his six month old daughter Nivruti on 26 October 1989, and would be later used to kill major Dillon-Lee on 2 June 1990.


These deaths resulted from the actions of the same IRA unit, even if there was a shuffling of the pack in a game played in two halves.


So, who murdered Heidi Hazell? The Security Service did. No, not directly. They pulled the strings, not the trigger, an agent did that.


Another likewise compromised IRA unit was active on the continent up to July 1989, when broken up by arrests.


Dessie Grew, who was said to have been involved in the Islania killings, a consideration also omitted, was shot dead by the SAS near Loughgall on 9 October 1990.


A targeted execution almost certainly undertaken as a protective design on behalf of and with the sanction of MI5: a pre-emptive strike to obviate against difficulties to do with extradition warrants for his arrest and transfer to Germany?




In confining ourselves to the narrow window of the 1980’s, the biggest threat to the British military on the European continent (excluding Gibraltar) came not from the IRA but from MI5. It was they who allowed compromised IRA operations to take place in acceptance of the potential consequences, like death, maiming and property destruction.


A position of management control made possible by the cooperation of fraternal counterparts in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Spain, who would observe a constructive silence consequent of the actions or inactions of MI5.


So too their muckers in the Intelligence and Security branch (aka Crime and Security) in Ireland.


A rapport that reached beyond facilitation and sharing to protective cover-up. I imply a mutual tolerance and inter-dependence. One in which the abiding protocols are more important than lives.


The generalities of this fraternal indivisibility is nigh 100%, as was, I opine, MI5’s knowledge of IRA movements and intentions emanating from Ireland, north and south.


I allude to logistics, quartermastering and financing of the on the ground presence of the continental ASUs, who were in turn additionally compromised by informer participation and association.


Below is a selective snapshot of a larger cohort who paid the ultimate price of this fraternal indivisibility. 


Nivruti Islania (whose father, a Royal Air Force corporal, was also murdered); Heidi Hazell (whose army husband was a SNCO in the REME); RSM Richard Heakin (Royal Regiment of Wales); Cpl. Steve Smith (Royal Tank Regiment); Major Michael Dillon Lee (Royal Artillery); and others also sacrificed to the operational mores of the controlling agency – MI5.


Where would the IRA be without MI5? Read on and learn more about the consequences of this perverse relationship.


[The directly above text was typed at near end March 2019. On Saturday 30 March 2019 a message was conveyed to me that could be construed as an act of intimidation. A suggestion that I play ball – or else?


Is this because I constantly seem, without effort, to be able to circumvent inducements to end the search for truth? A failure not of me but down to an esoteric understanding to which I am a passive if committed adjunct, even if “blind” to in its immediacy.


An understanding that is beyond the ken of national security agencies. As likewise the cruelty in their control is beyond the ken of ordinary folk.]




See below extract from the book, Bandit Country, topped up by minor additions.


Bandit Country – By Toby Harnden (1999), PP 161-162. (2000 p/b. edition, PP 223-224.)


“Another Drumintee man, Paul Hughes, who is closely related to the Surgeon, was arrested in woods on the Dutch-Belgian border in June 1990 and charged with the murder of Nick Spanos and Stephen [sic] Melrose, two Australian tourists mistaken for off-duty British soldiers, in Roermond in Holland the previous month.


He was acquitted and extradited to Germany where he was charged with the murder of Major Dillon-Lee, who had been shot dead a fortnight before Hughes and his alleged comrades Donna Maguire, Gerard Harte and Seán Hick had been arrested. All four were acquitted but judge Wolfgang Steffan said: ‘It is clear they are members of the IRA and [P162] trained as IRA volunteers. It is also clear that they were members of an active service unit.’ On the final day of his trial in Holland, Paul Hughes had told the court that it was inexcusable for a ‘liberation army’ to make mistakes. ‘All death is regrettable but civilian death is even more horrific,’ he said.


The AK 47 rifle used to shoot Dillon-Lee had also fired the bullets which killed Mick Islania, an RAF corporal, and his six-month-old daughter in Wildenrath in Germany [on 26] October 1989.


“One of the key areas within the Surgeon’s domain was ‘bomb alley’ – the three mile stretch between Cloghogue and Killeen which had claimed the lives of 24 people between 1971 and 1992. The victims of IRA operations masterminded by the Surgeon and carried out there included: Constable Doak and her three colleagues killed in the Killeen bomb in May 1985; Lord Justice Sir Maurice Gibson and his wife Cecily, blown up in April 1987; three members of the Hanna family, blown up in July 1988; and Detective Constable Louis Hamilton, abducted and shot in September 1990. As well as his own men from Jonesborough and Drumintee, the Surgeon would often also bring in members of Len ‘Hardbap’ Hardy’s Newry unit for attacks close to the A1. Like Paul Hughes, Hardy had been active during the IRAs continental campaign; after being arrested [on 12 July 1989 as he stepped off the Rosslare ferry from Cherbourg] with Donna Maguire, whom he later married, he was sentenced to five years for possession of explosives.”


[A released Donna Maguire would later return to the continent and again partake in compromised IRA operations, like the 27 May 1990 murders of Stephan Melrose and Nick Spanos.]


Kevin Fulton made no mention of Hardy going to the continent in his 2006 book Unsung Hero. The book, like the celebrated Stakeknife spoof, is bereft of index. Other observations on Unsung Hero: a) (P 71) “Conor was my friend, Niall was my friend. That led to introductions to some of the Provisional IRAs major players in Dundalk. I met Leonard Hardy, or Hardbap as he was known, a Belfast Provo wanted for a whole range of bombing offences. His common-law wife was Donna Maguire, who would later be arrested for terrorist offences on the continent.” Note excision of Hardy’s participation in continental IRA activities and his Rosslare arrest with Maguire.


b) (P 84) “By now Leonard Hardy - Hardbap - had risen to the rank of OC in Newry. He started asking me about my time in Berlin with the British army. Soon he made it clear he was trying to establish the feasibility of launching terrorist attacks in Germany.


“He told me that the IRA had an active service unit there that had launched some successful operations in the eighties.


 “The Belfast hierarchy felt it was time to resume the campaign in mainland Europe. Would I be willing to discuss what I knew, in confidence, with two senior IRA men?”


Fulton would suggest to the men good prospective British army targets in Germany. Weeks later he was given £2,000 to go to Germany and carry out reconnaissance work.


(P 86) “In September 1988, I took the ferry from Rosslare to Le Havre.” Straight off Fulton was under “so obvious, so blatant” surveillance in France. He aborted the mission and returned home, still expressing puzzlement at this ostentatious surveillance.


A game of mime without credits.


Were the French, knowing of Fulton’s coming from the British, and acting at their behest, saying there were enough compromised IRA operatives floating about in Europe at the time, two of whom had just been arrested in Germany, without inviting more.


An at a remove close-down for policy reasons.


Was the Gibraltar IRA inquest of that month a cut off point (but not just that immediate to the inquest)?


c) (P 91) Fulton became “Conor’s bright new trainee in the art of bomb making.”


d) (PP 98-104) Fulton is involved in fertiliser bomb making “towards the end of 1988.”


e) (P 107) Hardbap and the Warrenpoint bomb which killed a young woman shop worker (12.04.89).


So, between April 1989 and his Rosslare arrest on 12.07.89, Hardy travelled to the continent. His absence and location likely known to Fulton and, via him, his handlers, yet there is no mention of this in his overly circumscribed and self serving book.


In truth, the authorities were overloaded with other sources for information on continental IRA activity. Fulton’s silence and the reasons for it is the point.


Note: Fulton’s book smacks of heavy vetting and/or self censoring. Does the unsaid speak volumes?




8) Concentrates on an exercise of pedantic teasing on the guilt but failure to incriminate the IRA team.


Coulthart excludes two things: a) The whole sorry story of the Troubles has countless cases of legal-judicial corruption and manipulation. In the UK, Ireland, Europe, United States and elsewhere if a geographic spill-over resulted. b) This typically down to state agencies protecting its interests or those pursuing its interests by abuse of due process.


“Harte was found guilty of murder but within months he was out of jail. The investigators bungled, they prematurely released photographs identifying the IRA team before eye witnesses were interviewed. So Harte, Maguire, Hick and Hughes all walked free on appeal.”


Did they bungle or was it a deliberate abuse of due process to assist state interests: a protective design on behalf of an agent or agents of state?


A job for the boys in the shadows who fear not the challenge of inquests, courts of law or tribunals.


To them all humanity is a dough ball made to be pushed and poked into a given shape or direction, needing only time and a prudent pulling of strings to conclude efficaciously.


Indeed the ways and powers of shadow state are formulated to outwit courts of law, tribunals, etc. Judges do not see that which is not put in front of them and that which they do not see they blindly disregard. What I am saying is that which you know about something is often worth a lot less than that which you do not know.


And that which you do know is usually given by liars. In intelligence games, bet on it.


Coulthart does not pursue a background search. Accepting the position, he engages one to one with Ian Fraser and then his wife Susy. In pitching at the Fraser’s he omits investigation and the asking of “hard questions” elsewhere. Intended or no - a neat close down.


On the way he avails of the trusting Melrose family. Only the IRA are accountable for their actions - but not agencies of state who at a remove allow the prosecution of IRA actions and are by democratic deficit put beyond scrutiny.


A law for one but not all. Thanks in part for this is down to the curse of a judicial mindset that accommodates a legal process unduly restrictive on one part and protective on the other.




Reference to court proceedings in the Collateral Damage film is limited. To impart a greater but by no means full contextual balance to events inside and outside of the court, I intend to type in four reports from The Irish Times of Wednesday 3 April 1991, at the end of this document.


These relate to the IRA unit involved in the Roermond, Holland and other continental European actions.


An additional newspaper article from the Evening Press of Wednesday 3.July 1991, has now been included. These reports are for, in the main, the benefit of an Australian readership, who will not have the same easy access to historic records as Irish or British citizens.]


9) Mr. Coulthart’s thwarted Hollywood ambitions again take hold in the filming of the Roermond square murders. While no doubt filming was done separate from the presence of the Melrose family, at least I hope so, he then takes the emotionally traumatised family members through the order of events leading to the deaths.


An inclusion some might opine was as unnecessary as it was of questionable taste and judgement.


Whatever, dramatisation again replaces investigation. The film is a costly collation of cinematographic portrayals made out to be documentary exposition. In keeping with these things, it will probably win a media award.


10) “[Voiceover] One explanation for why so many murders may have gone unpunished comes from the shadowy world of espionage.” Coulthart then wheels in Kevin Fulton to explain.


To make known the philosophy of MI5, he employs an agent/asset of MI5. That seems to me to leave one’s obligations to objectivity open to question.


Mr. Coulthart’s contention that MI5 could have prevented the murders is arrived at by a staged exchange between himself and Fulton. What is said is undermined due to the source and a failure to corroborate. Designed questions return desired answers.


Following a question, Fulton says to Coulthart: ”I’m positive [MI5] would have known there was an IRA hit team in Europe.”


Had the claim come from the man on the moon, it would not have been less credible. Yes, MI5 did know of the IRA presence in Europe. So too the involved fraternal counterparts on the continent, but nothing was done and murders were committed.


Murders that could have been prevented.


Fulton is “positive” that MI5 would have known there was an IRA “hit team” in Europe, but doesn’t elaborate. Nor is he asked.


Coulthart: “What sort of a person is Gerard Harte?” Fulton: “No doubt he is well capable of killing.” Let’s do a take on that.


Coulthart: “What sort of a person is Kevin Fulton?” Citizen: “No doubt he is well capable of killing.” Any difference?


Questioner and questioned go easy on using tags like MI5 and the Security Service, interchangeable labels for the involved British intelligence agency.


They also blind-eye the implications and participation of other Europe wide national intelligence agencies, without whose cooperation MI5s overarching reach would not have been possible. In this fraternal mix reposes a shared responsibility for the consequences of what was earlier called a “dirty war”.


All wars are dirty. Especially paramilitary wars. Too often because they are driven by forces from within beholden to shadow state interests. The national interest attacks the national interest - or at least that as defined by those who define the national interest. A dichotomy little understood by the majority of the “sovereign” people.


A tug-o-war competition with one coach shouting instructions to both ends of the rope.


The main agencies involved in this bloody “for and against” war with the IRA were the UK, Ireland, US, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain.


(Introduce specific areas of arms smuggling and you add more countries.)


Filming again toils on the human dimension leading to the murders, this done by voiceover and added to by interviews of family members. Questions put to the latter possess no merit in a supposed investigative design. They seem to be there to compensate for a negation of that design.


Unkindly put: padding. I say that with respect for the Melrose family whose pain and frustration I know and understand well.


Their use in on-the-ground filming was to me a further abuse of those punished people. If making for greater appeal to a lay viewing audience, it did not advance the search for truth.


It muddied the failure.


11) “But it is what Fulton can now reveal about this man, Desmond Grew, that is especially interesting. Grew helped plot the IRAs European attacks, including Roermond, and he visited the hit team shortly before the killings. ‘[Fulton]: Grew had been sent out to the continent to them because they were actually doing nothing, they were pissing it up as someone actually, as he’d said, they were able to, thought they were on holidays.


So Grew actually went out, chastised them and put the thing up and running again.’”


No clarification on how Grew “helped plot the IRAs European attacks.” And no mention by Kevin or Ross or in Fulton’s book on Grew’s alleged involvement in the murder of a six month old girl and her RAF corporal father on 26 October 1989.


Enlightenment on this would have been much more “interesting” than that mentioned but was not forthcoming.


It would help put into context the stomach churning intellectual evasion contained in the next paragraph.


Coulthart: “A British agent, you believe, knew that Desmond Grew was going to Europe?” Fulton: “Yes.” Coulthart: “Is that something that you believe British intelligence would admit now?” Fulton: “No, they would never admit it. You see, this is what your viewers, people, would have to understand. This is a covert war. This is ‘Dirty Joe’ actions everywhere.” Coulthart: “But if they knew that there was an IRA hit team in Europe, why didn’t they go and arrest them and stop them?” Fulton: “But see, sometimes to protect an agent, you’ve got to let, you call it a firebreak, you let things happen.” Coulthart: “So the protection of a source was more important than the protection of innocent civilians?” Fulton: “Sometimes.”


Implicitly put, there is neither justice nor remedy in matters evolving from the operational actions of intelligence agencies.


In a harmonious question and answer session, Ross and Kevin make the case for ceasing the pursuit of truth, it is embarrassing, as Kevin knows, and best left untouched.


By corollary such deaths are deemed extra-legal and permissible in the protection of a source. Innocents sacrificed to shield the guilty, be they state agencies or agents of state agencies.


By inversion, an MI5 sanctioned IRA trump card. It is as cold and brutal as that.


[On its own the above revelation is a heinous breach of trust by state for the welfare of its citizens, yet not less than another two perverse implications lurk in the tail of this methodology.


One: A compromised action given its head for operational intelligence reasons is by default a win for the perpetrators and enters the history books as such. It must be so, for correction would affirm a grievous neglect of duty by state interests.


I am confident many major republican “successes” repose in this black hole.


Two: A compromised action given its head for operational intelligence reasons is by default a freedom to escape and fight again on another day.


The October 1984 IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton is one lived out consequence of that protocol.]


Susy Fraser, cornered by the film’s endorsement of this philosophy, asks the question: “Why didn’t [MI5] do something? They are as responsible [as the IRA for murders].” Coulthart, the intelligence cognoscente explains: “Because if the British did have somebody inside the IRA who was telling them about the operation , and they did!”


Susy Fraser: “A conflict of interest, maybe?” More a licence to kill.


One made possible by a corrupt system, a bent due process, a suborned media, a denial of accountability, a failure of representation – in another word, leadership.


Obeisance was not to blood, to truth, to justice. Not to nipping it in the bud so it wouldn’t happen, but to a culture of silence.


Protocols systematically enshrined in the shadows of the democratic process. Obscene truths that need repeating.


For the forsaken no history book unfolds their sacrifice, no roll of honour lists their names. It’s as the state would have it.


Ross Coulthart: “A British agent, you believe, knew that Desmond Grew was going to Europe?” Fulton: “Yes.” Given how deeply the IRA was infiltrated, it is probable that a number of agents knew of this, including some on the ground in Europe.


However, the question is singular. A reference to one person.


Is there a reason for being coy about the identity of this agent? Was the question framed to facilitate evasion by a person cited to me as a “professional witness”, one schooled in deception with an innate disposition for living the lie to himself and others?


Does the answer lie in the fact that FULTON IS THE AGENT?


Should Kevin Fulton again present himself as a witness to an investigative body, here’s a wish list of questions to put to him for helpful elaboration:


1) The 1 September 1989 shooting and serious injury of two King’s Hussars in Munster, Germany.


2) The murder of Heidi Hazell, German wife of a British army sergeant shot near Dortmund, Germany on 7 September 1989.


3) The murder of “Mick” and Nivruti Islania, a Royal Air Force corporal and his six month old daughter, shot at Wildenrath, Germany on 26 October 1989.


Kevin has the answers.


It will come as a surprise to the majority of the sovereign people to learn that it is not only banana republics who allow agencies and agents of state to murder their own citizens with impunity.


Intelligence agencies are above the law: they can at a remove allow for operational intelligence reasons the prosecution of murder by agents of state and indeed non agents of state without being accountable in law.


“National interest” and “state privilege” are terminologies used to preclude disclosure.


Part of the “democratic” system that people unknowingly pay taxes and send off their sons and daughters to die for.


As already said, other national agencies apart from MI5 will have known of the IRAs continental presence. Desmond Grew’s involvement was a convenient journalistic device to introduce a door stepping stunt with Gerry Adams.


Was the script already drawn up and waiting in the wings?


12) “But the blood on Desmond Grew’s hands didn’t stop Gerry Adams from giving the oration at his funeral less than a year  later.” In the context in which Adams operated that is the very reason why he should be there - to promote himself. Grew was murdered by the SAS, and by giving his funeral oration Adams vicariously attached himself to the deeds of the fallen. It was part of his constituency to claim the limelight, occasions sometimes brought on by the blood sacrifice of others.


Another act of symbolism was a rite of passage photoshoot of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness carrying Grew’s coffin.


A synchronised example of the push and pull principle in operation. One put in a hole, others on a pedestal.


Continuing in that vein, you may have picked up that Adams was a photo-creep long before the term selfies was coined: a celluloid counterpart in the game of vicarious attachment.


Truly a mad world where now aspiring Sinn Fein politicos photo-creep on the master-creep, seeking to up their political standing and public appeal by photographic simile with a flesh and blood embodiment of a cut-out image – plastic man himself.


An arm chair general, Adams was in it for the long haul. No Michael Collins he. Militarily, more in the de Valera/Markievicz mould.


His presence at the Stormont event would be known. Duly informed, Coulthart and camera turned up to doorstep.


Even if party to IRA army council policy decisions to give operational directions, Adams would not have been involved with their implementation or in the selection of personnel and the resulting choice of targets.


So the specifics of IRA actions in Europe and elsewhere would have been outside his remit and likely outside his knowledge.


That would include Roermond.


The door-stepping of Adams had more to do with clapperboard gamesmanship than investigative pursuit.


Yes Adams is a liar. All politicians’ have an aversion to truth – he more than most. It is integral to his history and territory.


The bitter realisation by his former comrade, the deceased Brendan Hughes, a real soldier for the cause whether or no you agree with the cause, that his once pal Gerry Adams was less than he thought him to be, if understandable, in no way reflects on events at Roermond on 27 May 1990.


Adams’ film inclusion was chaff.


If in politics there is no such thing as bad publicity, the “interview” did Adams no harm; besides, who votes for him in Australia and who cares in Ireland?


Ed Moloney, an old favourite, will have like profited from the publicity, a nice little earner for his book Voices From The Grave.


Responsibility for the Roermond murders lay squarely with the IRA team on the ground, they chose the target and carried out the executions, and the state agencies who allowed them the unfettered freedom to do so.


In respect of the national security agencies knowing the locations of IRA teams on the continent, their rented properties will have been put under surveillance and almost certainly electronically monitored.


This apart from having informers within.


13) In this section Ross Coulthart further questions Roy Melrose, Stephan’s father, and Ian Fraser, Stephan’s brother in law. I get angry when reading his queries.


They are one dimensional and irrelevant to a search for truth.


Are they “filler” for a rush job film? Was a proper investigative alternative too long a proposition for a pressing schedule? Or off the agenda?


One notes there was no successful door-stepping of Gerard Harte and other male team players, north and south of the border, though their places of residence were surely as well known.


14) Whatever for Gerard Harte and others, Donna Maguire was a soft touch: a captive audience for Coulthart, camera and microphone.


Did her “interview” live up to expectations?


An expensive film. How much did it cost? Who picked up the tab?


Who researched, advised and facilitated on the background personnel involved – professional actors apart – in its making?


One thing I am confident of, it was a wide ranging cooperative effort.


For Stephan’s wife Lyndal, the extended Melrose family, and the unseen Spanos family, I have great sympathy.


Immeasurable is their loss.


Cruelly robbed of that most precious by the IRA and complicit state agencies in unholy alliance, was their abuse added to by the Collateral Damage resurrection and portrayal of Roermond events?


Has Donna Maguire downloaded the YouTube version?








Should you wish to read more investigative material on security matters, these deriving in large part from personal encounters with intelligence agencies, the web addresses below may be of interest.

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Twitter: @seankellyis


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(Articles From The Irish Times, Wednesday 3 April 1991)



The Irish Times, Wednesday 03.04.91 – Seán Flynn, in Roermond. Page 1. “3 acquitted by Dutch may face German charges. THREE Irish people acquitted of the murder of two Australian tourists in Roermond may be extradited to Germany later this year to face murder charges in connection with other IRA attacks. * “A fourth accused person, Gerard Harte (27), of Lurgan, Co Armagh was given an 18-year prison term yesterday for the murder of Stephen Melrose and Nick Spanos in front of their wife and girlfriend, respectively, in Roermond last May. However, lawyers for Harte will shortly appeal against his sentence, and the public prosecutor has indicated he may contest the acquittal of Harte’s co-defendants.


“In delivering one of the most severe sentences in Dutch legal history, Judge Emile Bakermans said that Harte and persons unknown, in a crude attack, shot the two unsuspecting tourists with a Kalashnikov rifle and a revolver from point-blank range. * “After the acquittal, the three other defendants, Mr Seán Hick (30), of Glenageary, Co. Dublin, Mr Paul Hughes (27), of Newry, Co Down, and Ms Donna Maguire (24), also of Newry, were rearrested on foot of German extradition warrants. The Roermond court had already approved their extradition but an appeal is due, probably in June.


“Dutch lawyers for both the state and the defence predicted yesterday that the three would be extradited. Mr Hick and Mr Hughes are wanted in connection with the IRA murder in June 1990 of Major Michael Dillon-Lee in Dortmund, the attempted murder of a policeman after this attack and a Semtex explosive attack on a base at Largerhagen last May.


“Ms Maguire is wanted in Germany in connection with an IRA bomb attack on a British Army base at Hanover in July 1989 in which corporal Stephen Smith was killed. She has also been linked by German police to an IRA attack on another military installation at Osnabruck.


“Yesterday, the court hearing the Roermond case ruled that the murder and conspiracy charges against the three were not ‘legally or convincingly proven’. The public prosecutor, Mr Jo Lauman, has indicated, however, that he may lodge an appeal against the acquittal of the three. The lawyer acting for Harte, the only one of the four not wanted by the German authorities, said she was shocked and surprised by his 18-year sentence. Ms Mary Hegeman said it was clear that the Dutch public opinion wanted someone to be convicted for the murder.


“Mr Wim Van Bennekom, for Mr Hughes, said he was at a loss to explain why the court had accepted evidence of identification against Harte but refused to accept evidence of identification against the others. * “He said that his client, who had described the IRA as a ‘liberation army’ during the proceedings, was ‘lucky to have had an extremely fair court and an extremely fair hearing. But given the nature of the charges, the court had no option but to acquit him,’ he said.


“In delivering their verdict, the three-judge court, sitting without a jury, was severely critical of the prosecution case, which the judges labelled repeatedly as ‘vague and imprecise’. The acquittals represent a severe embarrassment for the Dutch prosecution service, which had prepared a 7,000-page book of evidence in the case.


“Mr Hick, and Mr Hughes and Ms Maguire were all acquitted on charges of murder and/or conspiracy to murder and membership of a criminal organisation, the Provisional IRA. Harte was also acquitted of the membership charge. On that charge the court said that ‘it was not clear what actions the defendants were linked with.’


“In the case of Mr Hick, the judge ruled that the case against him had not been proved satisfactorily. There was insufficient evidence of his involvement in preparations for the murder, let alone the killings themselves, the court said. * “The court also found the case against Mr Hughes to be unsatisfactory. During the trial, evidence had been given of Mr Hughes’s alleged involvement in the theft of a Mazda car used by the Roermond gang. Yesterday, the court ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish who stole the Mazda and why.


“After acquitting Mr Hughes, the judge looked towards him and said: ‘Good luck to you.’ The court also found that the case against Ms Maguire ‘was not sufficiently or convincingly proven’. The prosecution had failed to explain why and where Ms Maguire was allegedly in possession of forged passports.


“The acquittal of the three defendants has already caused something of a furore in the Netherlands. In recent months the Dutch media, which has been able to publish full background information during the actual proceedings, has consistently speculated that the state had failed to prove their case. Yesterday, the prosecutor, Mr Jo Lauman, refused to discuss the verdict as he hurriedly left the court.


“The judge said he could be satisfied that only the case against Harte had been proven. Harte, with others, had he said, wilfully taken the lives of two tourists ‘after calm deliberation’. Harte, with others, had driven into the town square of Roermond on May 27th, got out of his car with a loaded gun by his side and walked towards Mr Melrose and Mr Spanos. He then, from a short distance, fired shots which killed the two men, the  judge said.


“A date for the extradition hearings for Ms Maguire, Mr Hick and Mr Hughes is expected to be fixed within the next week.






The Irish Times, Wednesday 03.04.91 – From Seán Flynn, in Roermond. Page 2. “IRA strategy outlined in evidence. THE ROERMOND trial provided a unique insight into the workings of the IRA on the continent. During the six weeks of the trial the notion that the IRA operated with a smooth professionalism and in utmost secrecy was undermined.


“Their was little apparent effort to melt into Dutch society. * “Instead, a 19-year-old woman was used to hire a ‘safe house’ in The Hague and she emerged as a key prosecution witness at the trial. Typically, a prominent car hire company was the source of one of their getaway cars.


“Essentially, the prosecution case in the trial was that the four accused, including Gerard Harte, had been ‘recruited’ by the veteran IRA figure, Desmond Grew, to help launch a series of attacks on British army personnel on the continent. Grew was shot dead by the SAS in Northern Ireland in October 1990. According to the prosecutor in Roermond, he still cast a long shadow over the proceedings. ‘It was Grew who organised the IRA unit operating on the continent. Grew was getting older. There had to be fresh blood in order to get blood. Grew was the spider in the web’.


“The two Australians, Mr Stephen [sic] Melrose and Mr Nick Spanos, who were both commercial lawyers based in London, were shot after they were mistaken for British servicemen on May 27th last. They had travelled with their wife and girlfriend respectively for a long weekend. Shortly after 11 pm they left a Chinese restaurant and walked back across the market square at Roermond towards their British registered Citroen car.


“As the others sat inside the car, Mr Melrose took a tripod from the boot and prepared to take photographs of the local town hall. In a statement read to the Roermond trial Ms Vicki Koss [sic] described how she had been sitting arm in arm with her boyfriend, Nick, in the back seat of the Citroen.


“’I heard a series of loud shots and then more muted noises. Nick pulled me down. I looked at him. I could see that a bullet had entered his head and he was bleeding heavily. It was obvious from the wounds that he had been shot at point blank range. When I got out of the car Stephen was lying face downward with the tripod beside him. He had been shot through the side of his head. It seemed that the bullet had gone through his head and out the other side. I started screaming’.


“The brutal murders of the two tourists were not isolated incidents. In the three years before the murder there had been no less than 11 separate incidents in a 25-mile radius around the Dutch border with Belgium and Germany. Local police, who lacked any specialist knowledge of the IRA, had enjoyed scant success in the hunt for the Provisional unit responsible.


“After the Roermond murders the police offered a reward of £35,000 for information leading to the arrest of the killers. By mid-June, some three weeks after the killings, the reward had failed to draw any useful intelligence and there was speculation that the investigation was being scaled down. But on Saturday, June 16th, the police received a phone call from a farmer in Turnhout, Belgium, which would, quite by chance, provide the breakthrough in the investigation.


“On the day, a Belgium farmer and his son heard gunfire on their estate. On investigation, they found Harte, who told them that he had been picknicking. Nearby, they found a Kalashnikov rifle and assorted ammunition in the woods. The farmer went to contact the police and again met Harte, whom he detained until the police arrived. During the follow up search at Turnhout police found 500 grammes of Semtex explosive, a car bomb which was ready for use and assorted bomb-making equipment.


“Subsequent forensic examination of the Turnhout cache indicated that the Kalashnikov rifle and a handgun found at the scene had been used in the Roermond killings and in two other IRA attacks.


“During the Roermond trial the prosecution contended that the construction of the car bomb was similar to that used in two earlier car bomb attacks in Neubergen and Bielefeld in Germany. They also said that cartridges found near Turnhout were from the same batch as cartridges as found at the scene of the murder of Heidi Heysel [sic], the wife of a British army sergeant in September, 1989.


“The prosecution case at Roermond rested heavily on this forensic evidence but the evidence of a 19-year-old Dutch woman, Ms inagrid [sic] Hiejman [sic] was equally crucial. Ms Heijman gave evidence that in October 1989 an IRA member known to her as Martin Conlon told her how the IRA killed an RAF corporal and his infant son [sic] at Wildenrath. According to Ms Heijman, Conlon also attempted to use her to set up murders of British soldiers by luring them from a Roermond pub into a back alley where an IRA team would be waiting.


“In a sworn statement to the court, Ms Heijman described how she had rented a flat in The Hague on behalf of Conlon, which was later used as a ‘safe house’. In April 1990, Conlon introduced Ms Heijman to a man, probably Desmond Grew. Shortly before the Roermond killings she was introduced to Harte at an Amsterdam disco.


“Shortly after the Roermond killings, Ms Heijman received £300 in the post from another source and paid the rent on the flat in The Hague for the last time. * “Police found Harte’s fingerprints in the flat.


“During the trial two witnesses identified Harte as one of the people in a car speeding away from Roermond after the killings.


“Meanwhile, the prosecutor at Roermond denied during the trial that Ms Heijman was given immunity from prosecution. ‘It is still not clear whether a prosecution case can or should be initiated against her,’ he said.”






The Irish Times, Wednesday 03.04.91From Seán Flynn. Page 2. “Suspects tried by non-jury court. THE TRIAL of the four Irish persons accused of the Roermond killings was heard by a panel of three judges sitting without a jury. * “The use of a non-jury court is not confined to terrorist cases in the Netherlands. Less serious offences are disposed of by one judge sitting without a jury.


“In the Netherlands young lawyers can train as judicial officers immediately after graduation. During a six-year training programme they can gain practical experience at the bar, with the public prosecutor’s office or in a court registry. * “The Roermond judges were all in the mid-to-late 40s.


“In the Netherlands a case will already have been pared down to its essentials by the time it reaches court. * “The public prosecutor and the defence lawyers agree on issues of contention; only those witnesses whose statements are disputed are summoned to court.


“The proceedings in the Roermond case were precise and well structured with no time wasted. As a result, the Roermond trial was a relatively low-key affair, lacking the theatre which might surround a similar case in Ireland or Britain. * “The main prosecution witness, Ms Ingrid Hiejman [sic], a 19-year-old student, did not give evidence in court. Instead, the prosecutor simply read passages from her statement to the court.


“The absence of a jury meant that the lawyers for both the prosecution and the defence could be interviewed by the media during the actual trial.


“In the run up to the proceedings Dutch newspapers were allowed to publish full background information and photographs of the accused persons. Some of the witnesses in the case told the court that they recognised the accused from photographs which had appeared in Dutch newspapers.


“The Dutch authorities were clearly anxious to ensure that their law and procedure were fully understood by the 100 or so visiting journalists. English language pamphlets on Dutch legal procedure were given to journalists while simultaneous translation facilities were also provided.


“After each sitting a legal expert also came into the press room to take questions.”





The Irish Times, Wednesday 03.04.91 Page 2. “Harte had links with IRA leadership. Gerard Majella Harte, jailed yesterday in the Netherlands, has a record of committing IRA offences and was extradited from the Republic to Northern Ireland in 1986. Security Correspondent Jim Cusack reports.


“GERARD Majella Harte, who was jailed for 18 years yesterday for the murder of two Australian tourists in the Dutch city of Roermond last May, first appeared in courts on IRA-related charges in 1979 when at the age of 16, he was accused of petrol-bombing an Orange Hall in Lurgan, Co Armagh, causing more than £75, 000 worth of damage, and of possessing a firearm and petrol bombs. He was remanded in custody at St Patrick’s Training College, but absconded before his trial and went into hiding in the Republic.


“Harte, who comes from Lurgan, was arrested three years later by gardai after an armed robbery in Dundalk and was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for possession of firearms. During his time in Portlaoise Prison Harte was one of the group of IRA prisoners there. * “On his release in 1986 he was served with an extradition warrant relating to charges he had previously faced in Northern Ireland. His extradition was ordered by the District Court and appealed to the Supreme Court. However, Harte again absconded while on bail and remained in hiding until August 1988, when gardai arrested him. By this time the Supreme Court had approved his extradition and he was sent across the Border.


He appeared before Craigavon Court on charges of causing malicious damage, stealing a shotgun and throwing petrol bombs in 1979. He was tried at Belfast Crown Court in December, 1988, and sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment. When time spent in custody on remand was taken into account, Harte was left with only a few months of his sentence to serve. He was released in August 1989 and became involved again in IRA activity.


“It is believed that Harte’s connection with the IRA units operating on the Continent sprang from his close association with Dessie Grew, a leading member of the IRA, who was shot dead in Armagh on October 9th last by the British Army. Grew and another IRA member, Martin McCaughey, were shot dead in a farmyard at night by undercover soldiers believed to have been members of the SAS. Both IRA men were armed with rifles.


“Grew is believed to have been the organising force in the most recent phase of the IRA’s campaign on the Continent which, between 1987 and June 1990, caused the deaths of six British servicemen, four civilians, including the two Australian tourists, a German woman married to a British soldier and the six-month-old daughter of an RAF corporal. More than 50 people were injured in the attacks, some of them seriously.


“Security forces here, in Britain and on the Continent are satisfied that the IRA structures which supported this campaign were destroyed by police action leading to arrests in Germany, the Netherlands and France. Since last June, when Harte was arrested, there have been no further IRA attacks on the Continent.


“However, the IRA has shown that it can suffer losses of members through arrests in Britain and yet continue to regroup and mount attacks, and gardai and other European police forces strongly suspect that the IRA will attempt to restart its campaign on the Continent.






(An Additional Inclusion)



The Evening Press, Wednesday 03.07.91 – “RAF wife attacks freed Roermond defendant. Three of the four await German extradition proceedings. Isobel Conway, Roermond, Holland.


“Gerard Harte today walked free from the same Dutch court that just three months ago sentenced him to 18 years in jail.


“Harte insisted on coming out the front entrance of the court building and he was mobbed by waiting cameramen and reporters. * “It took 20 policemen to protect the slightly-built 27-year-old Lurgan man. As he was jostled along a woman came from the crowd and tried to attack him. Harte was shaking and in tears as policemen pulled him to the safety of an adjoining building.


“The woman identified herself as Mrs Leoni Moreland, the wife of a serviceman who has just left the British air force because of ‘the IRA murder campaign here’.


“Harte was said by his lawyer to be ‘trying to pull himself together’ after his dramatic acquittal this morning. Along with his three co-defendants had protested their innocence throughout the long-running Court saga here.


“The other three, Donna Maguire (24) and Paul Hughes (27) of Newry, [Co. Down] along with Seán Hick (30) of Glenageary, [Co. Dublin] were meanwhile returned to prison to await extradition proceedings to Germany.


“The three judges ruled that the prosecution had insufficiently proven that the defendants were executing the aims of the IRA. They were being charged with being members of a criminal organisation which carried out murders and bombings. The court ruled that this had not been proven and whether they were members of the organisation was not a determining factor.


“Last week Harte was dramatically acquitted in the Dutch Court of Appeal of killing two Australians. Last April he was sentenced to 18 years in jail when found guilty of the IRA double killing of two Australian tourists. The victims were mistaken by two masked IRA gunmen for off-duty British servicemen.


“But today in a further dramatic courtroom episode the three judges who had originally struck out IRA membership charges against the four upheld their earlier ruling.


“Now Hick and Hughes are expected to be quickly handed over to the German authorities. They are wanted there in connection with a bombing at a British Barracks near Hanover in May 1990 and the murder of a British Major Michael Dillon-Lee at his home in Dortmund four days after the Roermond shooting.


“The lawyer for Hughes, Mr Willem Van Bennekom, said he would be handed over before the end of the month when the extradition detention warrants ran out.


“Donna Maguire is indicted over the bombing of a barracks at Osnabruck in June 1989 and the car-bomb killing of a British serviceman in Hanover a few weeks earlier. She appealed the German extradition request and a decision from the Dutch High Court on it is expected shortly.


“During the retrial of the four on IRA membership charges here last week, the Roermond public prosecutor Mr Joe [sic] Lauman called for unconditional five-year sentences. He said it was a shame that the Netherlands did not have anti-terrorism legislation so that ‘realistic punishment for organisations like the IRA could be introduced’. He was stated to be bitterly disappointed over today’s dropping of the charges.


“All four defendants smiled and shook hands with their lawyers as the Court announced their acquittal. Leaving the courtroom Paul Hughes yelled with joy and raised his fists high in the air. A friend of Gerard Harte meanwhile told the Evening Press that he was so sure that he would be acquitted that he renewed his passport earlier in the week. In a phone call to his wife Elizabeth last night he said that he would walk free and that he would come out the front of the building because he had nothing to hide from anyone.


“Mr Van Bennekom said that as far his client Hughes was concerned there was less evidence in Germany concerning his alleged IRA involvement. He said he could not speak for the other people whose extradition is in hand.


“The lawyer said he could understand the feelings of grief and anger on the part the famil[ies] of the IRA victims because their murderers had not been found and convicted. But he warned that the whole concept of justice was a very delicate thing, and they must realise that the frontier between justice and retaliation and the finding of the truth had to be strictly legal.


“Mr Van Bennekom said there was a big difference [in] the concept of justice between Great Britain and Holland.


“Harte’s lawyer Ms Marian Hegeman said he had told her that he got a fair trial in Holland and that he had believed that would not have been the case had he been tried in England. “






Should you wish to read more investigative work on security matters, these derived in large part from personal encounters with intelligence agencies, the two top listed web addresses below may be of interest.


On Saturday 6 August 2016 I found the said web addresses to be unavailable on the Internet when doing a routine check. I will work to have them reinstated next week.


If any of my web addresses are down at a future time and the reader wishes to view them, write to me and a CD will be forwarded.


Please help to have the truth of these events propagated. It is very important for those who have been lied to and denied justice.

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