Sunday Life

Ulster spies push MoD to answer quiz

By Alan Murray
23 January 2005

The Ministry of Defence is facing potentially embarrassing questions about undercover military intelligence operations in the Republic.

A group of disgruntled former spies and ex-Army officers - including the double-agent 'Samuel Rosenfeld' - are trying to use the new Freedom of Information Act, to demand answers from the MoD.

They submitted detailed questions, last week, asking about the activities of the Army's Intelligence Corps, in the Republic, over the past 30 years.

One question asks: "Were covert agents, or sources of information working for the Army, involved in acts of terrorism and criminality, in the Republic of Ireland?"

The questions also include references to the collection of firearms "belonging to terrorists" by the Army in the Republic.

Other questions include whether agents were involved in gathering intelligence information, in the Republic, and whether this was permitted under any secret agreement drawn up between London and Dublin.

The questions - 37 in total - also ask whether Irish soldiers received training from the Army during the Troubles.

Another asks if Irish Army officers were ever on an "exchange" with "units of the British Armed Forces - or the Intelligence Corps - or its sub-units in Northern Ireland".

The questions also ask if "covert sources of information" working for the Army were involved in the murder of Irish citizens.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the MoD has 20 working days to prepare replies to the group of ex-spies and former soldiers.

The group is also engaged in legal actions seeking financial compensation for the loss of earnings, because of their "sacrifice" in working for the Army north and south of the border.

Many are seeking compensation of up to £100,000 and a pension for life, because they can no longer live in their home areas, in Northern Ireland, because of the fear of IRA revenge attacks.

slnews@belfast telegraph.co.uk

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