Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,


Her Majesty’s Hatchetman: the murder of Pat Finucane



By Joseph de Burca

On 12 February, 1989, the UDA assassinated Patrick Finucane, a highly regarded Belfast solicitor, at his North Belfast home. Finucane, who was 38-years-old, was shot 14 times by two masked UDA gunmen who sledgehammered their way into his house. His wife Geraldine was also injured during the attack which took place while the couple was enjoying a meal with their young family.

Now, thirty years later, the Supreme Court in London has ruled that the British Government failed to investigate the murder properly. The only tenable reason for this is because the murder was organised by MI5, the intelligence service attached to the Home Office.

Theresa May was Home Secretary between 2010 and 2016 after which she became PM. If she does not order a proper inquiry chaired by someone of integrity: a figure of the calibre of Lord Saville who led the successful Bloody Sunday Inquiry, she will become little more than the political equivalent of an accessory after the fact to state-sponsored murder.

Finucane, a skilful lawyer, was targeted by the Home Office and MI5 because he had mastered the intricacies of the Diplock Court system in NI and was representing his clients to the best of his very considerable abilities. He represented both Republicans and Loyalists, and was married to a Protestant. He was perfectly innocent of any involvement with the IRA although he was vilified as a member after his death.

Insofar as the UDA was concerned, the kill-order was issued by Tommy ‘Tucker’ Lyttle, the UDA’s ‘brigadier’ or commander in West Belfast. Ian Hurst, who served with the Force Reconnaissance Unit (FRU) of the British Army, has stated “with cast iron certainty” that Lyttle was a British agent who was “handled” by the RUC’s Special Branch (RUCSB) using the codename “Rodney Stewart”.

Lyttle himself confirmed to an internal UDA inquiry that he had been a British agent, arguing that he had exploited the relationship to help the UDA.

Lyttle also told author Greg Harkin that his RUCSB ‘handler’ had asked him: “Why don’t you whack Finucane?”.

Then as now the RUC Special Branch (RUCSB) served as MI5’s foot soldiers.

Logically, all of this places the kill-order at the feet of MI5, nonetheless, the impetus for the assassination probably emanated in Whitehall or indeed in Downing Street.

Tommy Lyttle and Douglas Hogg

The ‘whack Finucane’ discussion with Lyttle’s RUCSB handler took place in the wake of inflammatory remarks made by Douglas Hogg, then a Tory Home Office minister, in the House of Commons. Hogg stated that “some solicitors were unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”. A rather obvious point presumably never occurred to Hogg: without lawyers who are prepared to appear for defendants, it would be impossible to hold trials and all sorts of criminals would walk free. Did Hogg think that any lawyer who took on the defence of an individual should do anything less than his or her level best? Did he think the lawyers who acted for the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four in the 1970s  – when everyone thought they were guilty – were also “unduly sympathetic”?

Village has uncovered fresh information that not only confirms Lyttle’s role as a British agent but places him at the heart of the MI5 and MI6 paedophile ‘honeytrap’ operation which swirled around Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast in the 1970s. Lyttle was working for MI5 from the mid, if not early, 1970s. This is what Theresa May and her more reprehensible Home Office and Cabinet Office advisers want to remain hidden.



Tommy Lyttle was born in 1939. His son John, who became a journalist, has written that, “At first my father had no abiding interest in politics – it wasn’t a job requirement for machinists at Mackie’s foundry in the late Sixties – but his family was something he was fiercely protective of. The one he came from: three sisters, one brother, his adored mother and father, and the one he created and was dead centre of, as only an Irish patriarch can be: three sons, two daughters. My father and mother entered wedlock young – he was 18, Elizabeth Baird was 19 – customary at our end of the social scale. My siblings and I arrived more or less every two years – also customary”.

Partners in crime: MI5, the RUC and the UDA

John Lyttle has also explained that his father was seen by his family as “smart, very smart” – he did well at school and could have gone to grammar school on a scholarship but for a shortage of  funds.

Lyttle became involved with the UDA after a bomb atrocity in Belfast on 11 December, 1971. John Lyttle has quoted his sister Linda, about how their father became involved:  ‘’There was an IRA bomb on the Shankill and my Ma and Elaine nearly got blown up. That started me Da off’. She hesitates, then says something that makes perfect sense. ‘Two kids were killed. The first time kids were killed. Me Da took it… personally. Don’t you remember?'”. But, John Little goes on, “I don’t remember. I have forgotten, or buried, much, a mountain of clippings, snapshots and unforgiven images: the gunman with the high-velocity rifle who aimed for someone else and nearly got my Da, the kidnapping that landed him on the front page of the Belfast Telegraph, a pistol to his head, midnight raids by police, various peaks and troughs as palace revolutions repetitively rocked the Ulster Defence Association. Old guard vs young turks, hardliners vs soft centres – they fall out, kill, regroup, splinter, my father somehow surviving each coup. But I instinctively know that what Linda says is true”.

By 1972 Lyttle had become a lieutenant colonel in the UDA’s ‘C’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Shankill Road. In 1973 he ran unsuccessfully for election to the NI Assembly. In November 1974 he visited Colonel Ghaddafi in Libya. In 1975 he rose to become the Brigadier of West Belfast Brigade, the UDA’s spokesman and a member of the Inner Council. He had a virtual free hand in running UDA operations in his domain and enjoyed a very high profile.


The Inner Council had come into existence after a meeting on 15 May, 1971, in the dining hall of North Howard Street school  which was attended by approximately 300 representatives from the various Loyalist vigilante groups sprinkled around NI.

MI5’s London HQ

The UDA was divided into seven brigade areas: North Belfast, East Belfast, South Belfast and West Belfast, South-East Antrim, Londonderry and the Border Counties. The brigades consisted of battalions, companies, platoons and sections. The structure was ruled over by the Inner Council which was made up of the seven brigadiers and their various ‘staffs’. At one stage it consisted of over 50 people but was later streamlined.


The delegates at North Howard Street included UVF and Tara members. William McGrath, the Leader of Tara, was deeply involved. He produced a document which has been called the birth certificate of the UDA.

McGrath was close to two senior UDA leaders, Davey Payne and John McMichael.

McGrath became Housefather at Kincora Boys’ Home a few weeks after the North Howard Street meeting. It is highly likely that he had become a British agent prior to the North Howard Street convention.


Tommy Lyttle was also a ruthless and violent man. Space does not permit a description of the appalling violence meted out by the UDA to random Catholic victims in the 1970s. Davey Payne established a string of human abattoirs known as ‘romper rooms’ where random Catholics abducted from the streets were tortured and murdered, often for the amusement of drunken UDA men and their girlfriends.

As a senior UDA leader, Lyttle was one of the men who was fully aware of these atrocious murders.

It is inconceivable that MI5 did not know who was running them, but they didn’t intervene. From MI5’s perverse perspective, they undermined support for the IRA and kept Catholics off the streets at night.

Lyttle’s son knew just how violent his father could be. He has written how when he was a boy, he once searched “through the pockets of my father’s overcoat for loose change. We kids are not supposed to, but we do. I plunge my hand in and feel this wet, wringing wet. I drag it out. It’s a handkerchief. With an embroidered ‘T’. The linen is as red as the red hand of Ulster, soaked with blood, saturated with blood, dripping with blood. I squeeze, though I shouldn’t. The red trickles through my fingers. I watch, repelled and exhilarated. My father is in the front room. I hear football match results. He isn’t injured, hasn’t said anything about a nosebleed, a fall. He hasn’t mentioned a friend’s accident. I return the handkerchief, go to the bathroom, wash my hands”.

John Lyttle has also written about an incident when he was “nine or ten”: ‘The wee small hours of the morning. I come downstairs. I want a drink of water. In the front room a man is tied to a chair. He’s battered and bruised. My father is there with how many others? Three? Four? I stare until I’m noticed. What do you want?’, my father asks. ‘A drink of water’. ‘Get him a drink of water’. I continue to stare until my water is brought. I drink it on the spot. ‘Not so fast’, my father cautions. I hand the glass back and tread quietly back upstairs and climb into bed beside my brother Bill. By daylight, I’m certain it’s a dream. It must be: I’ve dreamt of it ever since”. Even if it was a dream, it was exactly what Lyttle got up to in real life.


Richard Kerr was a resident at Kincora Boys’ Home between 1975 and 1977. In September 1976 or thereabouts, Kerr was picked up at Kincora by two men who were driving a Volkswagen vehicle. Since the men used the front compartment boot for storage, they were undoubtedly driving a VW Beetle. Kerr was put in the front passenger seat. He was only 15-years-old yet had been a victim of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring (A-IVR) – of which Kincora was a part – since he was eight.

The two men drove to a hotel on the Antrim coastline which overlooked the sea. Kerr recalls that it was like a “big old house” with stone statutes of ‘lions or other animals at the front of it with a country road leading up to it’. His driver was called Eddie and the trip seemed to him to have taken a few hours. After the group reached the hotel, Kerr was left waiting in the lobby area while the men went looking for another man. After about 20 minutes they returned with Lyttle and the group set out in the Volkswagen again for another destination. The men addressed Lyttle as “Tommy” openly in front of Kerr. Indeed, it would have been pointless to try to disguise Lyttle’s identity due to his high profile.

Kerr was supplied with a number of glass bottles containing Coca Cola which had been spiked. The effect of the liquid – whatever it contained – was to render him drowsy. He soon “felt out of it but not fully out of it” and began to drift “out of reality like being hypnotised”.

Richard Kerr, Tommy Lyttle and Joe Mains

When they reached their destination – a hotel in the “middle of nowhere” – it was still daytime. There was a field to the rear of it. He recalls seeing “cows and sheep” around it. He believes it may have been near Newtownabbey. Kerr was ushered to a small room where he was handed over to an abuser, a man in his 30s with a NI accident who used Northern slang words. Despite his drowsiness, Kerr knew full well what was going to happen to him next. The man asked him to take off his clothes and “things like that”. The rape ordeal that ensued lasted between three and five hours with breaks in between during which Kerr was provided with a sandwich and taken out of the room. Sometimes his abusers gave him gifts to assuage their guilt or in a sick attempt to ingratiate themselves with him. This man gave him nothing.

It was dark by the time the nightmare ended. Kerr was then driven back to Kincora. No stops were made on the return journey. They got back to Kincora at approximately 9.30 pm. Kerr re-entered the premises through the front door and went into the TV room. A number of boys were present. William McGrath, the ‘housefather’ was on duty. The Warden, Joe Mains, who lived at Kincora, was also present. Neither of them asked him a single question about where he had been.


Kincora was a brutal institution. In addition to being passed around to depraved perverts, Kerr was also bullied – and a lot worse – by some of his fellow residents. Some of the friction arose from the fact he was allowed out between Thursday and  Sunday although this invariably meant he was being subjected to sex attacks. Kerr must have mentioned this during his road trip with Lyttle because the UDA brigadier sent down two of his “goons” to intimidate the boys who were making life a misery for him at Kincora.

Kincora; Roy Garland

Both Mains and McGrath were present when the ‘goons’ bounded in but did nothing to impede them. The intruders set about terrorising Kerr’s tormentors. Witnesses to this event are still alive. After the intrusion of the two ‘goons’, even McGrath became wary of Kerr. This says a lot because McGrath was someone who was prepared to murder. McGrath was close to Davey Payne – the man who had invented the ‘romper room’ system – and once asked him to kill Roy Garland, the former Deputy Leader of Tara. He wanted Garland killed because he had begun to talk about McGrath’s abuse of boys in 1973.


Kerr encountered Tommy Lyttle on one further occasion. Once again he was taken from Kincora to a hotel. This time he was escorted by the two ‘goons’ who had barged into Kincora. Their destination was a bar where they linked up with Lyttle. This time Kerr was destined for a man from the North of England whom he had never met before. He described him as a “nice person”; someone who was “well-dressed’ in a fashionable pair of flared trousers. The flares were made from suede. He remembers this vividly as he got to touch them after the man asked him to remove his trousers as part of the ritual of the abuse of that day.  Afterwards, Lyttle and his ‘goons’ returned him back to Kincora.


Kerr would encounter the UDA ‘goons’ again at the ‘Whip and Saddle’ Bar in the Europa Hotel in Belfast where Mains often brought him to be abused and later secured him a job through his friend Harper Brown, the then manager of the hotel.

The Europa Hotel; Harper Brown and a member of his staff

The man with the flared trousers turned up at the hotel on at least one night.

The Whip and Saddle was well known in journalistic circles as a venue frequented by Unionist politicians with a sexual interest in juvenile males. Some of the journalists – including some from the Republic – made ribald jokes about the venue, especially by reference to its name.

Kerr would also meet the UDA ‘goons’ at a Loyalist drinking den  in Belfast.


Girton Lodge hotel

Lyttle also socialised at the Girton Lodge hotel which was a short walk from Kincora Boys’ Home. Richard Kerr was abused by John McKeague, a notorious Loyalist killer, at the Girton on three or four occasions. Kerr would receive a phone call ordering to go down to it, and would then walk down and arrive in about six minutes. There was a reception area on the ground floor with a small corridor off it which had rooms. The abuse took place in these rooms. There was also a bath at the venue. Kerr was given alcohol prior to the abuse he suffered at it.

McKeague, Lyttle and their associates would gather at the hotel. There was an area where cars could park out of sight from the road. All the abuse took place on the lower level.

There is no suggestion that Lyttle himself was an abuser. Indeed, no one has ever claimed anything remotely of the sort. He presumably mixed with the likes of McKeague for network and intelligence gathering purposes, something that suited both his UDA and MI5 associates.

The Girton Lodge was one of two hotels which were referred to in notes made by Colin Wallace, a PYSOPS officer at British Army HQ NI.  The references were included in his ‘Clockwork Orange’ notes which, inter alia, concerned damaging information about Loyalists. Wallace wrote and submitted this information to his superiors at British Army HQ NI in 1974 seeking clearance for the disclosure of the information to the press. The other hotel was the Park Avenue. One of the reasons General Peter Leng, one of the most senior British Army officers in NI in the 1970s, became worried about the Kincora allegations in 1974 was that he had been told that Kincora inmates were being lured into the UDA’s paramilitary activities. He also was aware that the two hotels where allegedly paedophile activities were taking place were also used as meeting places by the Leadership of East Belfast UDA. He also was aware that the Girton and Park Avenue were used as meeting places by the East Belfast UDA.  Indeed, the UDA had an office approximately three blocks away.

Was Tommy Lyttle one of the sources of information that reached HQ NI about these hotels?

In September 1975, Wallace was disciplined for allegedly passing a restricted document to a journalist. During his disciplinary hearing, he wrote to his former boss at Army HQ NI referring to “attempts made by the Security Service to discredit various Loyalist politicians, including the Rev Ian Paisley, by linking MPs with Loyalist paramilitary figures involved in homosexual prostitution at children’s homes in Belfast”. Wallace gave copies of these documents to the HIA Inquiry in 2016 though it ignored them. Hart reported in 2017. He concluded that the State did not know about the abuse at Kincora.

Joe Mains, the Warden (i.e. boss) of Kincora was involved in paedophile activities at these hotels too. William McGrath lived very close to it.


John Lyttle, who is gay, has written about the moment when his father “sat on my bed, weeping. I had just reiterated the fact of my sexuality, and my reward was deep and sore sobbing”. The revelation would contribute towards a ‘distance’ between father and son.

Tommy Lyttle’s reaction might have been prompted in part by a measure of guilt about the sexual assaults perpetrated by older men on juvenile males, in which he was complicit.



The Inner Council of the UDA knew about the sex attacks on children at Kincora from at least 1972.

Two pictures of Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker; Tommy Herron

Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker was a British soldier who infiltrated the UDA for the British Army’s Military Reaction Force (MRF). The MRF was created by Brigadier Frank Kitson who is still alive. Kitson was obsessive about intelligence gathering. No fact was too small for his attention as a string of books he wrote about intelligence gathering underline. It is inconceivable that he did not know about Kincora through the MRF, Baker and MI5/6.

Chris Moore of BBC NI, author of ‘The Kincora Scandal‘, managed to track William McGrath down to Ballyhalbert, on the Coast of County Down, after his release from prison for the sex attacks he had perpetrated at Kincora. Moore extracted an amazing comment from McGrath who said, “This whole matter does not stop at Lisburn”. (p210) Lisburn, of course was home to a swathe of intelligence organisations including MI5 and MI6. This is consistent with the evidence which points to the fact that Kincora and other parts of the A-IVR were ultimately controlled by officials at the Home Office/MI5; the Foreign Office/MI6 and officials at Downing Street.

Albert Baker is still alive and living in Belfast. He was not interviewed by the Hart Inquiry which concluded in 2017 that the abuse of the boys at Kincora had been restricted to the home itself and that the only perpetrators were members of its staff; moreover, that MI5, MI6 and military intelligence had not known about it.

Various pictures of Brigadier Kitson

According to Baker’s family, his handler was a ‘Capt. Bunty’ whom he met in a Belfast coffee bar. Not only did Baker succeed in joining the UDA, he became a bodyguard to its Inner Council and monitored its leaders including Tommy Herron.

Baker had enlisted in the Royal Irish Rangers in Belfast in March 1970 at the age of nineteen with a character reference from Ian Paisley’s wife Eileen. He was sent for training in Ballymena, where he won prizes as a crack shot. From there he went to Warminister in England where the Regiment’s 2nd Battalion was based. After Warminister Baker received special forces training at Fort Hood, Heuston, and may have become a member of the SAS. He was then sent to the Persian Gulf where the SAS was being deployed. He returned to Belfast in 1972.  At first, he told people he was on leave from the British Army; later that he had deserted from it. He may have been on a mission to join the UDA all along.

Baker became a part of a barbarous torture and murder gang controlled by the Inner Council. He slipped out of Belfast at some stage before May 1973 with a lot of blood on his hands.


On 24 May, 1973, a meeting took place in London. It was attended by Major General Frank King, the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland (GCO NI), and the Vice Chief of the General Staff (VCGS), Sir David Fraser. Fraser was based in London. A declassified record of the meeting reveals that: “We have now got good intelligence on [Tommy] Herron [of the UDA] and the Protestant extremists”. Baker was Herron’s bodyguard, something that is consistent with his being the source of this information.

The document also reveals that Fraser brought GOC King “up to date and discussed the problem of protection of the ‘source’ of their information”.   Baker fits the bill as the ‘source’ perfectly. He certainly would have needed ‘protection’ from his erstwhile UDA colleagues who by then must have suspected he was a spy who had been privy to all of their secrets – including orders to murder – after he had disappeared from Belfast.

General Sir David Fraser; Maj General Robert Ford; UDA marchers

The source was codenamed “Broccoli”. Tom Griffin, a highly astute and intelligent observer of these matters, has observed that since the recipient of the information about “Broccoli” was Major General King – who was still in charge of the British Army in NI – “Broccoli” must have been an agent who had recently served in NI.

‘Broccoli’ cannot have been James Miller, another British soldier who also penetrated the UDA as he was not uncovered as a spy until the following year.

Griffin may also have struck the nail on the head with the observation that Baker’s “name would account for the Broccoli designation in a most apposite way, since he shared a first name and initials with James Bond producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli”.

After leaving NI, Baker suffered some sort of a breakdown. His direct involvement in a string of brutal tortures and murders may have contributed to this. A short while later he went to Warminister County Police Station to confess to murder. From this point on damage limitation became the order of the day: MI5/6, the MRF and the RUC would be protected though a few UDA killers would go on trial – and be acquitted – while Baker was locked away until 1992.

Tommy Herron was murdered by Loyalist opponents as part of an internal UDA feud in September 1973. Ian Paisley led prayers outside his home on the day of his funeral.


In July 1988 Baker told Ken Livingstone who was an MP (and later Mayor of London) what he knew about Kincora. “The whole Inner Council of the UDA knew about it”, he revealed, “but no Inner Council members were involved in it. There were politicians and senior Northern Ireland Office officials involved in it. I know one who’s in the House of Commons. He’s one of your own men [i.e. the British Labour Party].” He also revealed that: “Well, as far as they were concerned it was being organised by British Intelligence and they kept away from that. They knew the intelligence services were running it.”

Ken Livingstone

William McGrath was particularly well known to the Inner Council. He was friendly with UDA men like Davey Payne and John McMichael. Indeed, McGrath had been pivotal in establishing the UDA. He also ran his own paramilitary organisation called Tara and had connections to the UVF. The UVF fell out with McGrath in 1971 because of his boasts about his links to British Intelligence. All of this made it likely – if not imperative – for the UDA to monitor McGrath who had been assigned a job at Kincora in 1971 and was close to other paramilitaries and politicians such as Ian Paisley, James Molyneux and Knox Cunningham. Hence, Baker’s assertion that the Inner Council knew about Kincora is entirely credible.

“I know for an actual fact that a Conservative MP was involved”, Baker further informed Livingstone. “The Inner Council members discussed Kincora and knew who was there because they had them under surveillance. The UDA have photographs of the people going into Kincora, of politicians, Unionist politicians. The Inner Council knew who was operating behind them. They knew they could be arrested, but given what they knew they could never be charged or face imprisonment for any length of time”.

It is interesting to note that Baker made reference to a Tory MP nearly three decades before Liam Clarke published a story in January 2015 in the Belfast Telegraph describing how a pair of whistleblowing RUC officers had revealed their knowledge of visits to Kincora by a Tory MP to him. (See also Village November 2017.)

The Inner Council’s knowledge of Kincora would also explain the precautions Tommy Lyttle took in and about the transport of Richard Kerr to his abusers. Lyttle knew better than to have been spotted anywhere near the shameful premises.


Ted Heath appointed Sir William Radcliffe Von Straubenzee MBE as the Deputy Secretary of State for NI in 1972. Just like Heath, Van Straubenzee was a lifelong bachelor and a paedophile. His role as a child molester emerged in July 2015 when ‘formerly’ missing files about paedophile politicians were ‘discovered’ in London at the Cabinet Office. The files, which included details about Van Straubenzee, were sent to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse in London.

Westminster VIP Paedophiles: Ted Heath; William van Straubenzee

Van Straubenzee is a likely candidate as the Tory MP who visited Kincora and was known to Baker and the UDA. Indeed, Baker’s probable knowledge about Van Straubenzee’s visits and his – Baker’s – work for the MRF offer likely explanations as to why Baker was able to secure a meeting in prison with Van Straubenzee after his conviction. At the time Baker was trying to secure a deal with Van Straubenzee about where he would serve his prison sentence.



Other pieces from the UDA-Kincora jig-saw have fallen into place in recent years. In the late 1980s James Miller, another ex-British soldier, revealed to journalists that he had served as an MI5 agent inside the UDA. In 2017 the Hart Report stated that MI5 had acknowledged that Miller had been an MI5 agent and someone who knew about the sexual proclivities of William McGrath.

Miller had also spied on McGrath for MI5. Unfortunately, Hart made a calamitous error in his reporting of Miller. He reached the conclusion that MI5 had not reported what Miller told them about McGrath to the RUC – as they were obliged to do by law – because they wanted to protect Miller’s cover. This, however, is impossible because Miller fled NI in 1974 when the UDA discovered his role as a spy.


John Dunlop McKeague; RHC Insignia; John Orchin and Andy Tyrie leaving Stormont in February 1975


John McKeague, a long-time associate of William McGrath, was another member of the A-IVR. On 23 May 1975 Andy Tyrie, the Supreme Commander of the UDA – who is still alive –  and another UDA commander, John Orchin, held a meeting with James Allan, a senior MI6 officer posing as a civil servant at the NIO. According to declassified British files, during the discussion there were “some ribald discussions of Mr McKeague’s proclivities. (CJ/43734; Margaret Urwin, A State in Denial page 139.)


Tommy Lyttle told author Greg Harkin that British military intelligence had provided him with assistance in importing arms into NI from South Africa.

There are other indications of the assistance NIO officials afforded to Loyalist gunrunners. In 1977 William McGrath sent a member of Tara called Colin Wyatt to Holland to procure guns for Tara. Wyatt returned home and was debriefed in McGrath’s house by someone McGrath introduced to him as an Under Secretary from the NIO. It was far more likely that the individual was an intelligence officer.


There is yet further evidence of UDA knowledge of Kincora. On 21 February, 1982, at the height of claims that Kincora had been transformed into a child brothel by MI5/6, the UDA told the media that its eight-man Executive Committee was scheduled to meet the following day to decide whether or not to publish documents naming Unionist politicians involved in Kincora in its newspaper. The Belfast Newsletter reported a UDA spokesman who referred to a ‘wave of revulsion throughout Ulster about this case and people want to make sure that it never happens again. … Innocent people could be under a cloud of suspicion and may remain so until the names are released.”

The UDA never released a single name. Tommy Lyttle, who was still a brigadier of the UDA at this time, knew that an effective inquiry would expose his name once the Kincora boys were interviewed (not as an abuser, rather a trafficker). In reality the statement was a warning shot aimed at MI5 and the NIO to ensure that the matter was covered-up.

Unfortunately, the Hart Inquiry did not secure evidence from the UDA, nor Albert Baker, whose interview with Ken Livingstone had been published in Livingstone’s book, “Livingstone’s Labour” in 1989.


Some Loyalist paramilitaries decided they would assassinate McGrath when he got out of prison. However, John McMichael, the UDA’s South Belfast Brigadier, ensured they didn’t, perhaps in return for McGrath having spilled the beans to him about what had really happened at Kincora. McGrath might have told him about Lyttle’s role in the scandal. McMichael was assassinated aged 39 by a car bomb in 1987.

McMichael and Tommy Tucker

McMichael believed Lyttle was a British agent. He shared his suspicions with his colleague Michael Stone, the Milltown Cemetery bomber. According to Stone: ‘McMichael constantly warned me about Tucker Lyttle and on this particular night he took the time to ram the point home. I distinctly remember him saying, “Tucker is a tout, so never tell him anything, don’t befriend him and keep him away from your UDA business”. He knew Lyttle had Special Branch handlers and was the weakest link in the UDA’s Inner Council. Also, he knew that Lyttle had a better and more intimate working relationship with the Special Branch handlers than his Loyalist brothers. McMichael wasn’t telling me anything I hadn’t discovered for myself. I had first-hand experience of Tucker the Traitor. (98)


After the Milltown Cemetery bombing during which Stone attempted to assassinate Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams while they attended the funerals of IRA members who had been killed in Gibraltar by the SAS, Lyttle visited Stone in prison. Amazingly, Lyttle managed to cancel all other visits to the prison and secured exclusive use of the visiting centre for an exclusive interrogation of Stone. He demanded that Stone tell him the names of those on the Inner Council who had approved the Milltown Cemetery attack. Stone refused and came away more convinced than ever that Lyttle was a British agent. How else could he have managed to gain control of what was taking place inside the prison?



Tommy Lyttle remained in place as a British spy inside the UDA after the killing of John McMichael. He would become central to the 1989 murder of Patrick Finucane, something that was organised in tandem with the RUCSB and MI5. The guiding hand of MI5 is the reason that Theresa May would not allow a sworn judicial inquiry into the Finucane murder when she was Home Secretary and ever since as PM. Her lack of insight and integrity will be clear for all if she persists in this stance after the ruling of the Supreme Court in London on 27 February 2019. Her action is tantamount to being an accessory after the fact, politically at least.

Ian Hurst and two photographs of Gordon Kerr

There is no controversy about the fact that Tommy Lyttle – a British agent – issued the kill order. Indeed, we even know how he felt about it. According to the UDA’s Supreme Commander, Andy Tyrie, Lyttle was fearful that if he gave the order, he would become a target of IRA retaliation. Lyttle’s concerns are consistent with the fact that pressure was being placed on his shoulders by someone in control of him. Who else but MI5 could fill that role?


The intelligence provided for the Finucane assassination was supplied by Brian Nelson, the UDA’s then Chief of Intelligence. Nelson was a sadist who, for example, beat, tortured and electrocuted a man called Jerry Higgins. (Stakeknife 171)

FRU whistle-blower Ian Hurst has revealed that it was Lyttle who ordered Nelson to compile the targeting information on Finucane.

Various books which may be of interest to readers who wish to learn more about the Finucane murder

Nelson was later arrested by a team led by Sir John Stevens, then serving as Deputy Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire. Stevens had been charged with investigating British State collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries. Stevens’ team confiscated Nelson’s files which contained various incriminating documents and photographs based on information supplied to him by the FRU. Nelson was put on trial for his part in the murder of various Republicans in 1992. His links to the FRU were acknowledged during the trial by no less a figure than Brigadier Gordon Kerr, the Head of the FRU.

Nelson pleaded guilty to 20 charges including five of conspiracy to murder in 1992 and was sentenced to 10 years. After his release, he disappeared. He apparently died from a brain haemorrhage aged 55 on 11 April 2011 but we only have MI5’s word for this.

Two pictures of Brian Nelson



The gun which killed Finucane was supplied by Williams Stobie, a UDA quartermaster who was also a British agent, something he admitted to author Greg Harkin who wrote Stakeknife.

In 1992 Stobie’s role as a British agent led to an attempt on his life by his erstwhile colleagues, or at least this was the story the RUCSB put about. Stobie was taken to an alleyway where he was shot five times in the back and legs but somehow managed to escape. His death would have been a godsend for MI5.

In April 1999 he was arrested by the Stevens’ team and charged with Finucane’s murder. The charge was later changed to aiding and abetting the murder. The trial fell apart after Neil Mulholland, the then NIO press officer, refused to take to the witness stand.

In 2001 Stobie let it be known that he was willing to testify at an enquiry into the Finucane murder and that while he would name his RUCSB “handlers”, he would not name any Loyalists. On 12 December 2001 he was shot dead outside his house.

William Stobie and Ken Barret



The door of the Finucane family home was sledgehammered apart by two masked assassins while a third waited outside in a car. Ken Barret was part of the hit team. One of the gunmen shot Finucane in front of his family, 14 times. Barret later told the BBC’s Panorama programme that RUCSB officers had encouraged him to kill Finucane. The RUCSB is controlled by MI5.

During the turmoil created by the arrests made by the Stevens’ team, Ken Barrett, rose briefly to become acting West Belfast Brigadier but in May 2003 he was arrested for the Finucane killing by Stevens. In September 2004 Barrett pleaded guilty to Finucane’s murder although there is some controversy about the precise role he played in it – driver or gunman. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 22 years. He was released in May 2006 after serving two years and has since disappeared.


By late 1989 or early 1990 the ‘Young Turks’ inside the UDA were withholding information from Lyttle “because he was thought to be not reliable” according to one of then quoted in Peter Taylor’s book Loyalists (p209)

According to Michael Stone: ‘Tucker had a secret. He was a Special Branch informer and had several handlers. He cosied up to his RUC bosses and sold out his Loyalist brothers. To those of us who knew him, he was affectionately known as ‘Tucker the Fucker’. He was despised for bringing the Loyalist cause into disrepute with his covert relationship with the RUC”. (105)

Sir John Stevens and Sir Hugh Orde, the Chief Constable of the PSNI. Here Orde is seen accepting the 3rd Stevens Report from John Stevens

As Stone has written, Lyttle “brought the full force of a major police investigation on the UDA” in 1989 when he “tried to justify the shooting of a Catholic man by passing a security-forces intelligence file to journalists…The outcry led to the establishment of the Stevens Inquiry to investigate collusion between the security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries. A year later [Lyttle] was arrested after his fingerprint was found on one of the restricted files”. (107)

The arrest took place in January 1990. The UDA had been using files containing State information to target IRA members for assassination. Lyttle was charged with receiving and passing unclassified security force intelligence files and intimidating potential witnesses. He was hauled up before Belfast’s Crumlin Road Court. His son John has written about how, ‘Policemen with machine guns haunt the back of the court as the prosecution rehearses the reasons bail should be denied to this “dangerous man”. The inquiry, being conducted by Chief Detective Inspector John Stevens into RUC and loyalist paramilitary collusion in the murder of suspected IRA terrorists, is still proceeding. Mr Lyttle, m’lud, has been accused of receiving and passing on classified security force intelligence files (“Fuckin’ MI5 – they set it up, got cornered and ran,” my father will later laugh), which is a serious charge. Quite as serious, it seems, as Mr Lyttle’s likely attempts to interfere with potential witnesses

Lyttle later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years.

Lyttle did not spill the beans on MI5 in open court. He continued to keep his mouth shut about MI5 and was released in 1994 on remission. Upon his release, he was summoned to appear before the Inner Council and admitted having worked for the RUCSB but excused himself on the basis that his relationship had been to benefit of the UDA, as indeed it had.

Patrick Finucane; Sir John Stevens with a poster asking for information about the murder of Finucane


Lyttle must have become angry at “fucking MI5” because he spoke to Greg Harkin, co-author of the book Stakeknife who went on to report that it ‘was Lyttle who ordered the murder of Mr Finucane’. Harkin adds that Lyttle, ‘was also the source of my story in 1990 exposing Brian Nelson’s existence and his subsequent arrest by the first Stevens Inquiry.’ Harkin also reported that Nelson had been ‘summonsed to Lyttle’s home in Sydney Street West and told to prepare a file on the lawyer’.

“When [Nelson] reported back to his [FRU] handlers’, Harkin has revealed, ‘rather than discourage him from taking on the operation FRU members actively encouraged him to go ahead and gave him every possible assistance. They provided photographs and map details of Mr Finucane’s home off the city’s Antrim Road. But even more alarmingly, two different handlers were involved in THREE separate reconnaissance missions at the Finucane family home’’.

Ian Hurst seen here second from the left with some of his FRU colleagues

Harkin also learnt that an ‘experienced FRU officer accompanied Nelson on two car trips to the street. Another officer, posing alongside Nelson as window cleaners, offered their ‘services’ to Mr Finucane’s neighbour so they could check out the rear of their target’s home. Mr Finucane didn’t stand a chance’.


Lyttle died on 18 October 1995, aged only 56 after a massive heart attack while playing pool in Millisle. Michael Stone recalls at the time ‘the young Johnny Adair was in charge of the UDA’s C Company in the Lower Shankill, and his battalion placed [a death notice] as coming from Tucker’s ‘friends in Tennent Street and Ladas Drive’, two well-known Belfast RUC stations’. (109)



In 2011 PM David Cameron’s Director of Security and Intelligence, Ciaran Martin, privately warned Cameron that senior members of Margaret Thatcher’s government may have been aware of what he cautiously described as “a systemic problem with loyalist agents” at the time of Finucane’s assassination and that nothing had been done about it.

The Finucane murder was investigated by the Stevens Inquiry after which a review of the evidence was conducted by Peter Cory, a retired Canadian judge who recommended a full-blown public inquiry. Tony Blair indicated his support for just such an inquiry.

The Finucane family met  Cameron in Downing Street on 11 October 2011. In a moment of rare candour, Cameron disclosed that there were powerful people around him – clearly more powerful than even he was in the realms of the dark world of intelligence – who were preventing a full-scale inquiry.

Retired judge Cory and Desmond de Silva QC

Instead of an inquiry, a review of the Stevens and Cory casefiles was ordered. It was conducted by Sir Desmond de Silva QC. It was released on 12 December 2012 and documented extensive evidence of State collaboration with Loyalist gunmen, including the selection of murder targets, and concluded that “there was a wilful and abject failure by successive governments to provide the clear policy and legal framework necessary for agent-handling operations to take place effectively within the law’. Significantly, however, de Silva concluded that there had not been a high-level conspiracy. The Finucane’s family denounced the Review as a “sham” and a “suppression of the truth”.


Cameron responded by referring to the “shocking levels of collusion” outlined by de Silva. Still, there was not going to be an inquiry.

Theresa May was Home Secretary at this time and undoubtedly knows who inside the Home Office wanted to suppress the inquiry.


In 1989 MI5 was led by Patrick Walker. Before he became top gun, he had served in NI and as Head of MI5’s counter-terrorism unit.

If a full-blow judicial inquiry is established as a result of the Supreme Court decision of February 2019 into the Finucane murder, one of the questions it will have to address is as follows: Is it possible that the RUCSB and the MI5 Station in Belfast arranged the slaying of Finucane behind Walker’s back; moreover, would Walker have done so without permission from Downing Street?

A properly run full inquiry also has the potential to unravel Lyttle’s role in Kincora by simply reviewing his file.

Sir Patrick Walker KCB




There were some officers in the RUC who stood up to the malign influence of MI5 in the cover-up of the Finucane assassination. Foremost was Alan Simpson who led the RUC investigation into the atrocity. Simpson’s team included Trevor McIlwrath and Johnston Brown, two men with a similar mindset as him. In 2015 all three instigated proceedings in the High Court in Belfast against the PSNI, the successor organisation to the RUC. The basis of their claim – which has yet to come to court – is that the RUC obstructed the Finucane investigation to perpetrate a cover-up of a conspiracy to murder him in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Johnston Brown and his book; Trevor McIlwrath and Alan Simpson

Simpson has revealed that within days of the assassination a senior RUC officer warned him not to get “too deeply involved in this one”.

In addition, they were fed misleading information about suspects.  “I do not need Special Branch coming up and organising one (murder) and then standing in a room with me keeping quiet and all the time knowing the true facts and leading me astray.”

Simpson has said that he has been left with a “deep sense of betrayal”.

Johnston Brown has written a book Into the Dark which provides his account of the scandal


The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in London will have an opportunity to shed some light on the role Tommy Lyttle played in the Kincora scandal. It has been assigned the task of probing allegations about the existence of a VIP child abuse vice ring that revolved around Westminster. That ring reached across the Irish Sea. One participant was the Tory MP about whom Albert Baker has spoken – probably Van Straubenzee; another is a wholly separate Tory MP who visited Kincora in the 1970s but had died by the early 1980s according to two RUC whistle-blowers (and therefore cannot be Van Straubenzee who died in 1999); yet another MP was a member of the British Labour Party about whom Baker spoke to Ken Livingstone. The IICSA is perfectly entitled to inquire into their activities. Moreover, since the Hart Inquiry missed all of these – and many other – opportunities to uncover the truth, the Kincora issue must be re-examined.

Albert Baker and the two whistleblowing RUC officers should also be asked to testify.

The three former chairs of the IICSA: Lady Ann Elizabeth Oldfield Butler-Sloss; Dame Catherine Fiona Woolf, and Judge Lowell Goddard; Prof Alexis Jay, the present Chair

The present chair of the IICSA is Prof Alexis Jay.  She is the fourth occupant of that rather precarious piece of furniture. Let us hope that if she discovers the truth about the A-IVR, she will not be swept off her chair. Unfortunately, the omens do not augur well: if David Cameron was not allowed to establish a judicial inquiry into the murder of Finucane, what chance has Professor Jay of exposing the full truth about VIP child abuse since the same dark forces are lurking in the background intent on covering-up the truth.

RTE’s brilliant NI correspondent undoubtedly hit the nail on the head when he told viewers in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that he had no confidence that the British Government would call a sworn judicial inquiry. With Theresa May in Downing Street, precariously as it may be, the cover-up will undoubtedly continue.