A high-level Sinn Fein official named Denis Donaldson
has admitted that he was a spy for British intelligence, thus confirming complaints
made by Northern Irish republicans for years that politics in Northern Ireland
was completely manipulated by London (in particular in the operation known as
which involved Donaldson and which simultaneously achieved a number of British
goals, including embarrassing the IRA, sowing dissension in republican politics,
and bringing political power over Northern Ireland back to London). Sinn Fein
has been noticeably quiet about the matter, perhaps reflecting embarrassment
about being so infiltrated, or perhaps reflecting internal finger-pointing at
who was responsible for allowing this to happen. Jonathan Freedland suggests
there could be a number of possibilities:
1. the British security establishment does infiltrate
and manipulate republican politics; or
2. Donaldson was outed by British intelligence so the
predictable violent retaliation against him would prove how nasty the IRA
is and delay the blessing by decommissioning commissioner General de Chastelain;
3. the IRA really was involved in spying at Stormont,
and British spy Donaldson had to go along with it in order to preserve his
cover (which would explain why Sinn Fein doesn't want to see a big investigation
which would prove it really was spying); or
4. Denis Donaldson was originally a British agent but
was 'turned' back to Sinn Fein, possibly to avoid being killed when he really
was betrayed, and this is a Sinn Fein propaganda operation (but based on
the truth that Donaldson was a British spy).
The last issue raised by Freedland is that Blair and Adams have become all too
comfortable with the status quo, which looks after their own personal interests
while denying self-rule to the people of Northern Ireland.
For another example of the same type of spying, see the saga of Stakeknife.
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