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The Anglo-Irish Vice Ring Chapters 8 – 10



John Dunlop McKeague was a sadistic child rapist. The highly regarded journalist and author Martin Dillon once described him as someone who was “lean, sleazy and snake-like, his eyes slightly sunken. When he spoke, the menace was wrapped in slyness but there was no missing his capacity for sadism”.

McKeague was born in Bushmills, County Antrim in 1930. He had strong Loyalist roots. His father and grandfather were members of the original Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and fought with the 36th Ulster Division during WW1. He joined the Unionist party, the Orange Order and the Blackmen as a young man but did not stick with them. “The Orange Order’s like a chocolate egg, it’s hollow in the middle”, he told the Sunday World in 1980. “Certainly, it’s been a dead organisation for years and for that matter, Martin Smyth, the Grand Master is dead as well. If he hadn’t a dog collar, he would never be where he is. Anyway, I left them in ’67, disappointed just as I was with the Unionists. They had become dead wood drifting. That’s proved by the fact that when the troubles broke out they were found wanting”.


McKeague’s unbalanced nature was demonstrated by his bizarre obsession with the Occult, particularly one of its practitioners, Evan Frederick Moran, the second Viscount Tredegar. Tredegar’s family owned massive mining interests in the UK and he was reputedly the richest man in Britain at the time. He was also reputed to have been an enthusiastic and willing plaything for paedophiles at Buckingham Palace while serving there as a pageboy. He often sailed to Ireland on his magnificent yacht.

Tredegar (left)

Robin Bryans, the Kincora whistleblower who knew McKeague well, described McKeague’s fascination with Tredegar in some of his books. In ‘The Dust Has Never Settled’, Bryans wrote about how:

“John McKeague kept up his interest in the black mass. … [Tredegar] obsessed McKeague who thought himself something of a poet, and therefore eager to learn more about the Playboy Poet, Evan Morgan, the second Viscount Tredegar…Ironically, McKeague’s idol, Evan Tredegar was internationally known for his conversion to Roman Catholicism, and therefore a ‘Taig’ as well as being the high priest of the black mass.” (p. 54)

Bryans also described how:

“Evan Tredegar loved giving presents, whether to his handsome men-servants or members of the Royal family. When he found out that my mother had been born in July, he quickly dispatched her a ruby ring which she wore until she died 40 years later in 1986. This ring hypnotised John McKeague for he knew Evan Tredegar believed rings possessed mystical qualities”. (p. 55)


McKeague was arrested in 1966 for molesting two YMCA boys. Two powerful men, Alfred Arnold and Sir Knox Cunningham MP, QC, helped him slip free from the charges he faced.

Jeff Dudgeon was interviewed by the author and historian Gareth Mulvenna, for the latter’s podcast, Hidden Histories of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Dudgeon had once spoken to a man who had been “intimately involved” with McKeague and knew about the scandal. “He told me the whole saga of McKeague when he lived in Coleraine. I think he came from, or near there…This guy was a teenager, a young teenager whenever he met McKeague and had some sort of affair with him; and the father…the family, found out and McKeague was told “Get packing” and leave the area, if not, certainly leave the boy alone”.

That same year McKeague transferred his allegiance to Ian Paisley. “I went to hear him speak in Ballymoney and he attacked the Church of Ireland which I belonged to. I went back to my minister and he couldn’t give me the answers, so I went over to Paisley”. He told the Sunday World that, “In 1969 I would have licked Paisley’s boots and the very ground he walked on. But I later found out he wasn’t the man I thought he was. I went to Paisley’s church because I thought the truth was being told biblically, but as I soon realised, it was really being twisted to suit the occasion”.

He went to live in Belfast in 1968. By now he was a friend of of William McGrath and Joseph Mains who would be convicted for child abuse at Kincora in December 1981.


In the late 1960s McKeague was a driving force in the campaign to oust Captain Terence O’Neill as prime mininster of Northern Ireland by extremist Loyalists. McKeague despised O’Neill because he wanted to build bridges with the Catholic community in the North and the Irish Government in the South.

As the 1968 Stormont elections drew near, McKeague and his associates plotted to convince the Unionist electorate that the IRA was on a war footing when in reality it was all but extinct. They hoped to portray O’Neill as weak, ineffectual and an appeaser in the face of a faux IRA campaign; and thereby create a springboard to eject him from office.

McKeague was ever present when trouble was brewing. On 30 November, 1968, he assembled a convoy of thirty cars and headed for Armagh where a NICRA demonstration was about to take place. The RUC intercepted it confiscating 220 cudgels and a pair of guns among other weapons.

Ian Paisley stood against O’Neill in the Bannside constituency in the 1968 election and polled favourably, an outcome that severely undermining O‘Neill’s standing. Weakened, but back in office, O’Neill forged ahead with his reforms. On 23 April 1969 he persuaded his Government to support adult suffrage in local government elections. This in effect gave the Civil Rights organisation the “one man, one vote” they had been looking for. This led to more dissension: O’Neill’s Minister for Agriculture, Major James Chichester Clark, resigned in April 1969.

McKeague became the first terrorist bomber of the Troubles. Between 30 March and 23 April 1969 he and colleagues in the UVF/UPV orchestrated a series of explosions. On the eve of a crucial Unionist Party meeting to discuss leadership issues, the electricity sub-station at Castlereagh, Belfast, was destroyed by four explosions. On Sunday 20 April, another two explosions detonated at the Silent Valley Reservoir in County Down, wrecking valves and supply pipes which cut off two thirds of the water supply to Belfast. On the same night in Kilmore, Co. Armagh, an electricity pylon was damaged and high-tension wires were cut. Three days later another water-supply pipe in Antrim was destroyed. On the 24th an explosion damaged yet another supply pipe.

O’Neill resigned on 1 May, 1969. “Either we live in peace or we have no life worth living”, he told his party. These were prophetic words.


In August 1969 McKeague led the Shankill Defence Association (SDA) gangs that burned hundreds of Catholics out of their homes in Belfast and sparked the Troubles. Half of the houses on Bombay Street were gutted by arsonists, but not before many of them were looted.

Michael McCann’s book provides more detail about the destruction of Catholic homes by McKeague’s thugs

Paddy Devlin MP described the tactics of McKeague’s thugs: “Loyalists who knew the streets daubed whitewash marks on the doors or windows of Catholic homes. These homes were then emptied of the people and burned. As far as I could tell around 650 Catholic families were burnt out that night. Five people lost their lives in exchanges of sniper fire. Police in uniform, covered in civilian coats, were recognised amongst loyalist attackers in Dover Street and I myself saw police armoured cars in Conway Street, standing by as the mobs broke the windows of hastily abandoned Catholic houses before pouring petrol in to burn them”.

Ian Paisley did not participate in the rioting and maintained a relatively low profile. At one point he surfaced at the Ulster Hall to claim that the fighting was being organised by the Catholic Church. He alleged he had evidence that priests had been handing out guns from a church in the Ardoyne. He also claimed that Catholics on the Falls Road were responsible for setting their own homes ablaze as one house had been stockpiled with petrol bombs and when it had been set on fire, all the buildings next to it had gone up in flames.

McKeague on the other hand was proud of what he had done and boasted that if the men under his control had been given “another 48 hours” they would have burnt Catholics out of the maze of side streets around the Clonard.


On 10 November 1969, McKeague, Samuel Stevenson and others were charged with a bomb attack that had taken place at Dunadry on 24 April 1969. Stevenson confessed and was charged with the unlawful possession of gelignite.

McKeague’s trial took place before a jury in Belfast in February 1970. Stevenson, who had already been sentenced, was called as a Crown witness. He told the court that when he had been in the police station, Paisley had visited him and whispered: “Did you talk?”.

Meanwhile William McGrath had circulated a document about the affair which the trial judge had to instruct the McKeague jury to ignore.

During the trial a bomb exploded outside the courthouse, a clear signal to the jury about how they were to determine the outcome of the prosecution. McKeague and his co-defendants were acquitted.


Despite his interest in the McKeague trial – which involved a lot of self-interest and self-preservation – Paisley had fallen out with McKeague by the end of 1969. Paisley’s biographers, Ed Moloney and Andy Pollock, have pointed out that: “McKeague was discarded [by Paisley] in late 1969 at a time when rumours of his homosexuality had become rife in Loyalist circles – his boyfriend was arrested during the August riots and McKeague became so distraught it attracted comment. All that McKeague would ever say about his break with Paisley was that Paisley had summoned him to say that he had become ‘an embarrassment’ and would have to leave the Free Presbyterian Church”.

After the August 1969 riots, Paisley blocked McKeague’s attempts to reactivate the SDA and a string of interlocking vigilante groups. When McKeague tried to organise one in the Donegall Road area, the local defence committee – controlled by Paisley – issued a statement warning people not to engage with him. The Ulster Unionist Party and the Orange Order joined the chorus of denunciation. As authors Cusack and McDonald noted there was “also an effective whispering campaign about McKeague’s homosexuality. The word was put around the Shankill that he was a ‘fruit’”.

As a result of this, from early 1970 McKeague kept to the east side of Belfast where he set up his own private army, called the Red Hand Commando, which was small but well armed and dangerous.


The precise date upon which the RHC was formed is still a mystery but it was most likely sometime in 1972. It was centred on East Belfast, the Sandy Row area and parts of North Down. McKeague and some of his fellow members of the SDA were at its core. They enjoyed close fraternal links with the UVF.

McKeague would personally engage in a series of gruesome sectarian murders with UVF men. Some of these involved so-called ‘rompering’ during which victims were given slow and horrific deaths in torture chambers called Romper Rooms after a television programme for children. They were usually located inside disused buildings, lock-up garages or rooms above pubs and drinking clubs controlled by the UVF, UDA and RHC. Once inside, a victim would be beaten and tortured relentlessly as a prelude to murder, often for the pleasure of his captors. McKeague was the ring leader in a string of these type of gruesome murders.


Michael Stone was once a member of the RHC. He was introduced to McKeague by Sammy Cinnamound the RHC leader in the Braniel estate: “I met McKeague just once, in the Loyalist club on the Ravenhill Road. Sammy introduced us to McKeague and I spoke for a few minutes. I was initially taken aback by his shock of blond hair but immediately understood why people said he was a member of the Red Handbag Commandos. McKeague was blatantly homosexual. A hard-working loyalist, he even printed his own political papers on his own press and he ran the Woodvale Defence Association like a military operation”.

Martin Dillon

Author Martin Dillon, who was a close observer of these events, has noted that McKeague was “a practised manipulator and the young thugs under his control were sometimes targets of his sexual appetite. However, all of them were directed to commit hideous murders… William McGrath, another pederast, was a British Intelligence agent from the 1950s onwards. Like McKeague, he sought out young men and boys, often using his religious ministry as a cover for his sexual proclivities. His connection to McKeague was through their shared, insatiable paedophile leanings and both knew Sir Knox Cunningham and other leading Unionist homosexuals. Collectively, they were part of what today would be called a paedophile ring”.

Another tactic deployed by the RHC was the random drive-by shooting of perfectly innocent Catholics. Some of these were carried out by his teenager recruits.


McKeague may have purchased a degree of protection from the RUC by becoming an informant for it in 1971. According to authors Cusack and McDonald, he was handed over as an informant to the British Army the following year. Cusack and McDonald spoke to a man who claimed he had been McKeague’s military intelligence handler. If the Army source was telling the truth, it means that while McKeague was acting as a source of information for the British Army, he was participating in a series of sectarian murders perpetrated by the RHC.

McKeague’s motive in becoming an informer was to have his revenge against the UDA over a conflict involving protection rackets and, significantly, because they had killed his mother on May 9 1971 in a botched attempt to kill him.

He told the Sunday World that, “Loyalists killed my mother, it wasn’t the work of the enemy. Mother knew who came in, so she had to perish. Certain people couldn’t do what they wanted. They thought if they had rid of me, that would help. I have all the evidence connected with the crime”. Three Loyalists were arrested at the time and released after twenty-two hours questioning. “I know the names of the people involved. The police are well aware too. Some of them are alive, some aren’t. The ones that aren’t met with justice.”


McKeague’s career is littered with examples of extreme antiCatholic/Nationalist loathing. McKeague published the sectarian Loyalist News, which he filled with anti-Catholic rants and sectarian rhymes and cartoons which presented Catholics as unwashed idiots and drunks, and the women as slatternly.

In 1971 McKeague was prosecuted under religious hatred legislation but acquitted.

In early 1972 McKeague appeared on television shortly after Bloody Sunday which he described as “Good Sunday”.

Bloody Sunday, 1972

In September 1972, six months after the fall of Stormont, and the introduction of Direct Rule from London, Loyalist News, seethed with resentment against the British Government, and provides a valuable insight into McKeague’s mindset. It opined that for “being British we have had the privilege to lose our democratically elected local government, thus putting us in a state of limbo which Westminster cannot cope with, never mind understand [..] we are enforced to have to sit and watch every Tom, Dick and Harry of English politicians taking notes and talking a lot of rubbish about our troubles … the privilege of being British means having to sit back and watch people whom you know have no love for this country being taken by the hand by blind politicians grasping for an answer to our troubles. The Loyalist people have certainly paid a heavy price for the privilege of being British … our sacrifices in two world wars and our service to Britain count for nothing when the chips are down. We are being used in a dirty political game by those whom we depend on. Yes the privilege of being British falls heavily on Ulstermen’s shoulders and only time will tell how long we can carry the burden”. (Loyalist News 30 September 1972).

He added ominously, “What we need are one, two, three, many more Bloody Sundays”.


Gusty Spence

Gusty Spence of the UVF escaped from imprisonment after he was released to attend the wedding of his daughter. He and McKeague concluded an agreement on 15 July 1972 on behalf of their respective militia. It stipulated that the two bodies would “work hand in hand in a joint effort to aggregate all resources of both groups and devote all their energies to the war against the IRA”. The agreement noted that the larger UVF recognised “the right of Red Hand units to retain their own separate identity, as a regiment with its own pride and particular style of internal organisation”.

The RHC would also allow the UVF to claim some of the killings it perpetrated.


On 12 November 1973, NI Secretary of State William Whitelaw MP proscribed the RHC.

McKeague was not only interned that year but arrested for armed robbery and sentenced to three years in prison. During his imprisonment he maintained his relationship with Gusty Spence; assumed a leadership role among Loyalist prisoners, and went on two short hunger strikes in protest against the Special Powers Act and prison conditions.

He also intervened to assist the leader of the barbaric Shankill Butchers Lenny Murphy when Murphy landed himself in trouble inside the Maze with some of his fellow Loyalist prisoners.


The fact that the RUC were aware of McKeague’s brutal nature is evident from the fact that they suspected his circle was responsible for one of the most horrific child murders in Irish history, that of Brian McDermott.

On 2 September, 1973, Brian McDermott, a ten-year-old boy from East Belfast was kidnapped and murdered. He was last seen at a playground in Ormeau Park. Parts of his mutilated body were found in a sack in the River Lagan nearly a week later.

For a while, one of McKeague’s close friends Alan Campbell was the RUC’s chief suspect. Campbell was ‘The Demon Pastor’ referred to in the books by Cusack and McDonald. They believed he was a British agent. Their analysis makes perfect sense.

McKeague and Campbell had been members of Paisley’s Ulster Constitution Defence Committee. Campbell had escaped conviction for sexually assaulting a boy from the Bawnmore home in 1971 when leading Loyalists gave him a false alibi.

A military intelligence report on TARA touched upon the murder of McDermott. It noted that the “only link that can be identified between the murder and the homosexual community is via John McKeague. McKeague’s own statements (see Flag ‘S’) raise more questions than they answer. Certainly, his boast that he will not be prosecuted because ‘he knows too much about some people’ merits serious investigation…”.

Village has good reason to believe that the boy was murdered by Campbell and others in the McKeague-Campbell-Mains circle who were abusing him. Privately, Mains spoke about the killing indicating that he knew all about it.

Rumours have circulated that the boy was murdered as part of a Satanic ritual. This is not what Mains ever spoke about. It is more likely that the boy was viciously sexually assaulted, died and his body was cut up so that the evidence of the sexual assault could be concealed. The body was then disposed of in parts, one section turning up in the bag in the river.

If Campbell and Mains were involved, MI5 may very well know precisely what happened.

The rumours that he may have died as a result of a fight with his brother are wholly unfounded and a gross defamation of an innocent man.


On 8 November 1974, Colin Wallace produced a memo for his superiors highlighting the abuse at Kincora and at other children’s homes. It also addressed the McDermott atrocity.

Wallace wanted to interest the press in the Kincora scandal “with a view to exposing what has been taking place and thereby stopping further assaults on the youngsters in these hostels”. He felt this could be achieved by making use of “our own background information… As you know I did try to develop press interest in this matter last but without any success”.

Crucially at paragraph 10 (b) he stated that “The Rev PAISLEY is aware of the situation but has failed to take any action because of possible blackmail pressure owing to his connection with MCGRATH, DAVID BROWN and JOHN McKEAGUE”.

Under the heading ‘Conclusions and Recommendations’ Wallace stated that he found it “very difficult to accept that the RUC consistently failed to take action on such serious allegations unless they had specifically received some form of policy direction. Such direction could only have come from a very high political or police level”.

If, however, the allegations were true, he felt “we should do everything possible to ensure that the situation is not allowed to continue. The youngsters in these hostels almost certainly come from problem families, and it is clear that no one will fight their case unless we do. Those responsible for the murder of Brian McDermott must be brought to trial before another child is killed, and if it can be proved that there is a connection with this homosexual group, then the RUC must be forced to take action irrespective of who is involved”.

The McDermott murder has never been solved.

Alan Campbell enjoyed a career as a pastor and was never charged with McDermott’s murder.

Like McGrath and Paisley, Campbell was a British-Israelite. Another of his beliefs was that black people were inferior to white, no more than ‘beasts of the field’. He described Catholics as worshippers of a “wafer god”. He died in June 2017.

Judge Hart did not ask him to assist his inquiry.


By 1975 McKeague had been released from custody. He nearly met his demise on 6 October 1975 when the IRA attacked his shop. An IRA man threw a bomb into it and killed a Catholic customer, Alice McGuinness. One of McKeague’s sisters was severely injured.


One of those McKeague raped after moving to Belfast was Richard Kerr while the latter was a resident at Kincora. Kerr was supplied to McKeague by his friend Mains. The abuse he had to endure took place on three or four occasions at the Girton Lodge hotel which was a short walk from Kincora. Kerr would receive a phone call ordering him to go down to the hotel which was a six minute walk from the home. 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 had to endure at it.

Kerr has also provided details to Village  about the defilement of boys at a range of hotels in Belfast and Bangor. It is independently confirmed by contemporaneous British Army notes. (These notes are discussed below.)


One of MI5 and MI6’s darkest projects in Northern Ireland was entitled Operation Clockwork Orange. It exploited the paedophile ring of which McKeague was a member. The operation went through a number of phases. It was primarily designed to counter Loyalist anti-State activities. It involved, inter alia, the collection of damaging information about DUP and other Loyalist politicians as well as paramilitaries such as McKeague.

Colin Wallace was asked by MI5 to assist Operation Clockwork Orange. Towards this end, he was provided with information which he recorded in his notebook. Forensic examination has proven that his notes are authentic. In December 1974 Wallace recorded the following:

“Joseph Mains may be extensively involved in a prostitution ring supplying boys to hotels in Belfast and Bangor. The hotels include: Girton Lodge, Park Avenue; Stormont; Europa and the Queen’s Court in Bangor. [John] McKeague is said to use the Royal Avenue Hotel for the same purposes. Bearing in mind that the East Belfast UDA leadership use the Girton Lodge and the Park Avenue for their meetings, it is simply [not] credible that they did not know what is going on there. Note: Mains has a brother in the RUC. He also has a questionable relationship with Belfast Corporation Welfare Chairman (Cardwell) and Legal Adviser (Young)”.

In September 1975 Wallace wrote a letter to his former boss at British Army HQ in Northern Ireland which referred to “homosexual prostitution at a children’s home in Belfast”.  The relevant extract reads as follows: “My concern now is that there may be an attempt by the Ministry [of Defence] to deny any form of official “dirty tricks” organisation existed within the Security Forces. For example, in the Ministry’s summary of my oral representations made [at an employment tribunal] to John Groves and Mr Fairbairn on 10 May reference is made in paragraph 3 to ‘actions’ which I was asked to launch during the [1974 Ulster Workers Council anti-power-sharing] strike. The word ‘actions’ appears to have been used by MOD to conceal the fact that I referred to the attempts made by the Security Service [i.e. MI5] to discredit various Loyalist politicians, including the Rev Ian Paisley [of the DUP], by the use of forged documents and by linking the MPs with loyalist paramilitary figures involved in homosexual prostitution at a children’s home in Belfast”.

Wallace’s Clockwork Orange notes and his September 1975 letter were furnished to the Hart Inquiry which clearly did not appreciate the significance of either. On their own – and at a minimum – they confirm that MI5 knew about the existence of a paedophile network involving Joseph Mains and John McKeague in Belfast and Bangor five years before it was exposed in the Irish Independent, yet did nothing to interfere with it. On the contrary, they continued to exploit it.

The NIO certainly also knew about McKeague’s sexual deviancy. Indeed, the security departments of the NIO were staffed by MI5 and MI6 officers masquerading as civil servants along with some from the MoD. 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. As indicated earlier in this article, according to declassified British files, during the discussion there were “some ribald discussions of Mr McKeague’s proclivities”. (CJ/43734; See also Margaret Urwin’s superb book on collusion, A State in Denial at page 139.)

McKeague’s military-intelligence handler gave a series of interviews to Jack Holland and Henry McDonald, the authors of the highly regarded book, “INLA Deadly Divisions”. They described how an “intelligence agent who says he was McKeague’s handler confirmed to the authors the former loyalist leader was supplying information to the British from the early 1970s. This man had been McKeague’s handler up until 1976; after that his contact was less frequent, as the value of McKeague’s information declined, mainly because of the fact that other loyalists intensely distrusted him. Still, his handler would visit him in his shop regularly to pick up whatever McKeague had to offer” (p. 307).


In 2016 and 2017 Judge Anthony Hart reviewed the case of Brian Gemmell, an acknowledged British military intelligence officer, who ran Loyalist agents for MI5 in the mid-1970s. Gemmell had disclosed to the press that he had attended a conference with MI5 officers in a hotel on Buckingham Palace Road, London, at which the MI5 contingent spoke about a compromising film they had shot of McKeague while engaged in homosexual acts, something that was still illegal in NI although not in England. MI5 was considering recruiting McKeague as an ‘agent’.

Brian Gemmell

MI5 could not dismiss Gemmell as a liar or fantasist because of the existence of a paper trail that copperfastened his credibility. Instead, damage limitation became the order of the day.

McKeague and some of his associates had been supplied with boys by Joseph Mains at The Park Avenue Hotel in Belfast. According to Richard Kerr, a Kincora resident 1975-77, McKeague ‘and other men’ used to meet Mains at the hotel.

McKeague’s group used to meet in the bar and later abuse boys upstairs. 

MI5’s ‘compromising film’ of McKeague was part of a scheme to blackmail McKeague into becoming an MI5 agent. The odds are high that it was shot in Northern Ireland probably at the Park Avenue Hotel.

Significantly, MI5 acknowledged to Hart that the London meeting took place and that Gemmell had been at it. They even provided an exact date: 10 May 1976. Another meeting took place on 7 September 1976.

Crucially, MI5 then managed to divert Hart’s attention from Belfast to London. As Hart reported, McKeague had been “the subject of surveillance during a visit to London in June 1976 when he was suspected of being part of a UVF arms procurement operation. Photographs were taken of him in public places which suggested to those conducting a surveillance that McKeague had contact with young men to establish homosexual assignations”.


Although Hart swallowed it whole, MI5’s account of the Gemmell-McKeague affair does not chime with the truth. The purported photographs of McKeague in London conversing with ‘young men’ would have been worthless to MI5 as tools of blackmail. In the first instance, homosexual relations with young men – once they had reached the age of consent – was legal in England in 1976. Moreover, McKeague’s sexuality was common knowledge in NI.

Clearly, MI5’s ‘compromising film’ must have involved something far more squalid than photos taken on the streets of London:  it far more likely involved moving footage of McKeague engaged in the rape of a juvenile or child in NI.

On one level perhaps MI5 deserves credit for having at least conceded that a proposal had been made to blackmail McKeague. ‘Officer 9004’ of MI5 admitted to Hart “that there was a proposal in November 1976 by the MI5 officer with whom Brian Gemmell had lunch in September that ‘serious consideration should be given to using [McKeague’s] homosexual tendencies to recruit him’”.

Readers, however, are invited to make up their own minds about another assertion made by Officer 9004, namely that while the proposal was examined by other MI5 officers, including management, it was not endorsed in the end.

At least one thing has been put beyond debate: it is now an officially acknowledged and recognised fact that MI5 considered the use of sexual blackmail to ensnare McKeague – a known sadistic sectarian serial killer – on the basis of his sexual interest in ‘young men’.


The rest of this article will proceed on the basis that McKeague did in fact become an MI5 agent in 1976. The difference between an informer and an agent in this context is that an informer supplies information and retains a degree of independence whereas an agent generally follows the orders issued to him by his handlers. Some information has come to light about the use to which MI5 put McKeague.

As an MI5 agent McKeague helped set up the “Wife Beater”, a leading DUP politician, for MI5. The latter was recorded while having sex with a teenager at the Park Avenue Hotel in Belfast in late 1976 or 1977. The “honey trap” operation took place on the first floor of the hotel. The teenager was told by an Englishman in a nearby room to that occupied by the “Wife Beater” to make sure that the target was to be caught saying something incriminating. The teenager was told where a hidden microphone was placed so he could make sure it picked up their conversation. “I was asked to get [the target] to undress me and get him talking on tape”. See also


An early indication of McKeague’s recruitment as an MI5 agent lies in the fact the RHC came to enjoy high-level protection during the investigation into the murder of Thomas Ludlow. Although Ludlow’s murder had taken place in May 1976 before the likely date of McKeague’s recruitment by MI5 later that year, the investigation continued for years. Crucial evidence was withheld from the gardaí by the RUC which could have solved the crime.

Paul Hosking

Ludlow was murdered by a vicious drunken Red Hand Commando unit murdered in Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland. Ludlow was a likeable man who played Santa for children at Christmas. Politically, he was a Fine Gael supporter. He was abducted while walking home at night at random by the Red Hand Commando gang on 1 May, 1976. Earlier that day three of McKeague’s subordinates along with a fourth man had crossed the Border. The fourth man was a low level member of the UDA called Paul Hosking who was then a 19-year-old factory worker. He had fallen in with the RHC unit during a drinking spree earlier that day. As the session proceeded, the gang asked him to join them on a spying mission across the Border. Hosking had never been in the Republic and agreed to go, hoping to enjoy a pint of Guinness on enemy soil. He was shocked when, in the early hours of the morning, the trip ended in the brutal random slaying of Seamus Ludlow, a much-loved and inoffensive 47-year old forestry worker, in Dundalk.

Seamus Ludlow

The next day one of the unit, Richard Long, spoke to McKeague and told him what had happened including the fact that Hosking had been present. McKeague saw a solution to the problem by forcing Hosking to join the RHC. Later Hosking was told that McKeague knew about his presence on the mission and that he would be killed if he talked about it and that McKeague wanted him to join the RHC. Hosking didn’t want to join and successfully obtained help and protection from the UDA

The RUC Special Branch soon amassed a body of evidence to identify the killers but dark forces on both sides of the border intervened to ensure that the murder was not solved. By the time of this intervention, McKeague had become an MI5 agent.

The Barron Inquiry, set up by the Irish government, into Ludlow’s killing revealed a wealth of material including the perplexing behaviour of British security forces which can only make sense if they were protecting McKeague. Equally perplexing was the response by Larry Wren, the head of the Garda’s overarching intelligence directorate, C3, to exploit the available evidence.

The behaviour of the RUC and C3 only makes sense if McKeague was being protected by MI5 and Wren was extending a helping hand in the cover-up. This was not the first – nor would it be the last – time Wren would act in a manner which was to the benefit of British Intelligence. See also

Wren’s name came back into the public arena in 2019 when his reprehensible treatment of Garda Majella Moynihan was exposed.

See also

See also


McKeague became involved in the Ulster Loyalist Central Co-ordinating Committee (ULCCC), eventually becoming its chairman. It had been set up in 1974 after the success of the Ulster Workers Council strike which had brought down the Stormont Power Sharing administration earlier that year. Its members included the UDA, UVF, Red Hand Commando, Down Orange Welfare, Loyalist Association of Workers, Orange Volunteers and other groups.  

In 1976 McKeague was acting as its spokesman. He also established a sub-committee in an attempt to co-ordinate loyalist paramilitaries under one unified “Ulster army”. Had he succeeded, he would have been able to give MI5 an insight into the inner workings of the UDA, UVF and other terror groupings who would have enlisted. McKeague later became the chair of the ULCCC and presumably would have played a decisive role in a co-ordinated Loyalist paramilitary army. However, the process proved a failure. Rather than coalesce, the UDA and UVF continued to feud.

The precise role MI5 played in all of this remains elusive. All that can be noted for the present is that the man at the centre of these developments was an MI5 agent. Did MI5 and the NIO hope to unite all of the Loyalist terror groups under one banner and control them through McKeague who became chairman of the organisation?

McKeague engaged in another bizarre foray with the aid of the ULCCC in late 1976. Together with a man called John McClure, he reached out to Republicans Joe Cahill and Ruairí Ó Brádaigh with the prospect of starting talks to find a common platform to achieve an independent Northern Ireland. A first meeting appears to have taken place in late December 1976. Other talks followed. The aim was to merge the ULCCC’s proposal for an independent Six-County State with the Republican Movement’s programme for a new four-province federation known as ÉIRE NUA. If successful, the parties would then approach the British Labour government led by James Callaghan and ask Britain to leave Ireland.

Desmond Boal QC came on board to represent Loyalists while Seán Mac Bride SC flew the flag for Republicans. McKeague also met Gerry Adams but the meeting or meetings were unproductive. Adams left feeling that covert discussions with loyalist paramilitaries were a waste of time. However, Boal and McBride had a number of meetings at discreet venues including one in Paris. If they thought they were hiding from the press and intelligence services, they were sorely mistaken for McKeague would have been reporting developments to his handlers in MI5. Conor Cruise O’Brien became aware of it and condemned it on RTÉ Radio.

The process did not survive the bright light of public scrutiny and collapsed. There were repercussions for the ULCCC as it had not endorsed the process, and the UDA and Down Orange Welfare resigned from the co-ordinating body with the result the wider organisation went into abeyance.

Did it suit MI5 to embarrass Republicans by revealing they had been meeting notorious Loyalists such as McKeague?

Who leaked details of the process to Conor Cruise O’Brien?

Would the leaks have occurred if the ULCCC had not begun to fall apart anyway?


The failure of the ULCCC also undermined the unity of a strike which Paisley was trying to organise to emulate the successful 1974 Ulster Workers Council one which had brought down the Stormont Power Sharing administration. McKeague became embroiled in attempts to undermine 1977 strike. The campaign was one involving smears and destabilisation with strong echoes of Operation Clockwork Orange i.e. stories about homosexual activities among the organisers. The 1977 strike proved a failure.


Britain’s Foreign Office had opposed the appointment of Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich, who had been critical of British excesses in Ireland, as the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland in August 1977. Later, there was sustained British opposition, some of it made public by Tory MPs, to him being given a cardinal’s hat. After he was made a cardinal in June 1979, British diplomatic pressure on the Vatican switched to having a second Irish cardinal created, one who might balance O Fiaich’s nationalistic views. This was an almost unprecedented suggestion: there had not been two Cardinals in Ireland at the same time since the 19th century, Cardinals Cullen and McCabe.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and the Foreign Office had long since realised the value of the Catholic Church in Ireland as a propaganda tool against the IRA. The best known of the attempts made by their colleagues in British Intelligence to woo the Catholic Church were those of Sir Maurice Oldfield after his appointment as Security Co-ordinator Northern Ireland, by Mrs Thatcher in 1979. He went to great efforts to get to know Catholic priests personally and manipulate them. These efforts were detailed by his close friend, Anthony Cavendish, in his 1987 book, Inside Intelligence.

Cardinal O Fiaich, the most important cleric in the country, however, was a lot wiser to the machinations of the NIO, MI5/6 and Military Intelligence than most of his clerical contemporaries. He had a keen interest in how they operated in Ireland. His private library contained a number of books on British Intelligence, including Roger Faligot’s banned book, The Kitson Experiment which had been withdrawn as a result of a minor libel. In 1979 the cardinal became the object of the attention of MI5 agent McKeague.

McKeague loathed the Vatican and everything it stood for. He had spent his life denigrating, ethnically cleansing, torturing and murdering Catholics to stem what he perceived as the Vatican’s anti-Protestant agenda. Like McGrath, he almost certainly saw the IRA and the Vatican as partners. When there was speculation that Pope John II would cross the border during his visit to the Republic in 1979, Paisley threatened action if the proposed trip was given the green light. The Foreign Office and NIO were anxious to lure the Pope to the North. They knew that he was going to implore the IRA to abandon violence and felt his plea would have more impact if made on Northern soil. A site near the cathedral in Armagh in Northern Ireland was chosen for an open-air mass should he come. However, a number of bishops were against a visit on security grounds. Shortly after Paisley’s threats, a delegation of Loyalists including McKeague visited Cardinal O Fiaich at his home, Ara Coeli, behind the cathedral in Armagh. During the meeting McKeague assured the cardinal that the Pope had nothing to fear if he came North. Paisley could complain, he added, but without their “muscle”, he could do nothing. The story of this bizarre visit was later reported in John Hume’s biography by Belfast journalist Barry White (p. 207). At the time, McKeague’s actions were perplexing. They can, however, be explained in terms of him having been a British agent acting on orders.

McKeague’s mission was not a success and security concerns prevailed with the result the Pope did not cross the border. Instead, on 29 September, 1979, he visited Killineer, near Drogheda, close to the border, where he led a Liturgy of the Word for 300,000 people, many from across the border where he appealed to the men of violence: “on my knees I beg you to turn away from the path of violence and return to the ways of peace”.


McKeague’s Red Hand Commando (RHC) continued to pursue it murderous agenda during the late 1970s and by 1981 was plotting to kill Charles Haughey, the former Taoiseach (prime minister) and leader of Fianna Fail and his family.

The RHC plot involved a bomb attack aimed at Haughey’s yacht, the Taurima II, while it was berthed at Dingle Harbour. The RHC conspirators wanted to avenge the murder of Lord Louis Mountbatten whose boat, the Shadow V, had been destroyed in an IRA explosion off the Sligo coast in August of 1979. The RHC operation gathered momentum during the summer of 1981, a few months after Haughey and his Fianna Fáil party had gone into opposition but with a healthy 45.3% of the vote. Haughey had repaired to Kerry to relax after the election. If Haughey had been assassinated, George Colley would probably have succeeded him as Fianna Fail leader.

Michael Stone, a Loyalist terrorist, learnt about the RHC plot in the 1990s while serving a sentence in the Maze with the bomb-maker who was the driving force behind the operation. Stone referred to him as ‘M’, someone who held ‘rank’ in the RHC.

The RHC unit which murdered Thomas Ludlow in the Republic of Ireland in 1976 had reported directly to McKeague. Presumably, as a holder of ‘rank’ in the RHC, ‘M’ also reported directly to him.

According to Stone, ‘M’ had “seen” a “massive” file which disclosed a large amount of information on all aspects of Haughey’s life. This was hardly something ‘M’ or the RHC had assembled on their own. It was, however, exactly the type of information which MI5 and MI6 had been collecting about Haughey for over a decade.

In addition, ‘M’ carried out his own fieldwork. According to Stone, he “watched the [Haughey] boat for two weeks and knew it would be easy to breach its security and plant the bomb once it berthed in Dingle”. ‘M’ told Stone “the plan was that Charles Haughey would die in exactly the same way as Lord Mountbatten – blown to bits on his boat”.

Haughey kept the Taurima II in Howth during most of the year but took it to Kerry during the summer holidays. In 1981 it was skippered by a man called Brian Stafford. Haughey and members of his family including Sean and Conor and family friends were often on it. The boat would sail between Dingle and Inisvickillane where it moored just off the island. It also went on longer trips around the Irish coastline. Hence, any number of people could have been killed by the RHC bomb, not just Haughey. Indeed, Haughey might not have been killed at all.

In the eyes of the RHC, Haughey’s wife and children were fair game for this act of revenge; probably because Mountbatten’s grandson had been killed in the Sligo explosion. It need hardly be stressed that Haughey and his family had deplored the Mountbatten atrocity but this mattered little to the extremists of the RHC.

‘M’ had business interests in Dublin which provided him with an excuse to explore landmarks both commercial and industrial that could be attacked. His business associate had a car and that meant ‘M’ could travel throughout the island without attracting suspicion. He said he made the most of all opportunities and even took an unsuspecting girlfriend on holiday to County Kerry, where Haughey had a holiday home and a yacht. ‘M’ said he loved Kerry; it was a beautiful landscape. The couple spent two weeks in the caravan park in Dingle.

According to Stone, ‘M’ planned to “wire Haughey’s boat with five pounds of commercial explosives. … [‘M’] would attach the bomb to the on-board radio using an electrical detonator. Once the radio was switched on, the bomb would explode”.

Fortunately for the Haughey family, the operation ran onto the sand when two of the RHC conspirators were arrested during a bank heist a week before the proposed attack in Dingle.

There was a second hitch: the gelignite for the attack “was purchased from a quarry in Scotland and transported by a sympathetic Ulster freight firm, to the province. Unfortunately, the journey did not agree with the explosives and when the sticks were unwrapped they were covered in beads of liquid. The long transit had caused them to sweat, which meant they were volatile and ready to explode at any time. M disposed of them. He had to go back to the drawing board and look for a new device”.

In the end ‘M’ abandoned the operation. See also


The Kincora scandal erupted in Januay 1980. After the conviction of the three Kincora staff members in December 1981, a number of RUC CID officers began to circle around McKeague. Clearly, these officers did not believe the child abuse involving the boys from Kincora was confined to the staff members since McKeague did not work at the home. McKeague was picked up and questioned by them in January 1982. He responded by making threats that if he was charged, he would expose what he knew about the scandal. McKeague’s former British military intelligence handler told Holland and McDonald “that some time in January 1982 he learnt that McKeague was about to “go public” on what he knew concerning the Kincora Boys’ Home scandal”. (p. 308) To those in the CID who were not infected by the contagious immorality of the NIO/MI5/6, this could have been a major breakthrough. The obvious next step was to charge McKeague and see who he would point the finger at. Since McKeague was extremely close to Mains, he undoubtedly knew about Mountbatten. Indeed, Mountbatten was known and admired in Belfast’s paedophile and pederast community. When he died, Ken Larmour, another member of the paedophile ring, cried in front of John McMahon, a boy he – Larmour – was abusing. McMahon recalled how Larmour said of Mountbatten that “he had been so good to the boys in Belfast. Ken talked about the circle as the old Greek Culture of adult men mentoring young boys.  It was an upper class view of paedophilia”.

It is inconceivable therefore that McKeague did not know about Mountbatten. Ken Larmour was part of a circle which included Alan Campbell, McKeague and other abusers. They thrived on gossip and scandal.

As sure as night follows day, MI5 would have assumed McKeague knew all about the Royal from Mains or one or more of the boys such as Stephen Waring who had been abused. Indeed, it is far more likely that they had express knowledge that McKeague knew about Mountbatten’s crimes. Moreover, research by Village  indicates that at least one of the boys molested by Mountbatten was also defiled by McKeague.

Of equal – if not more – concern to MI5, was the fact McKeague knew about the honeytrap which had been set for the “Wife Beater”.

McKeague gave an interview to the Sunday World in July of 1980. At this stage the noose was beginning to tighten around Mains, McGrath and the third Kincora staff member yet to go on trial, Raymond Semple. McKeague must have been greatly concerned about his future too but was placing his faith in his MI5 handlers to protect him. When asked if he feared assassination he replied: “At one time, yes, but now it’s the last thing on my mind. If it happens, it happens. I have no family of my own, the only person I worried about was my mother and now she’s gone. .. People say I’ve sold out, but I haven’t changed. My loyalty is to Ulster. But I could get a Loyalist bullet. If it happens the only thing I want is to be left in a Republican area so that they’re blamed”.

But his handlers could not protect him from RUC inquiries because some of the RUC CID officers were far from corrupt. He had the ammunition to blow MI5’s paedophile blackmail operation asunder and destroy their grip over people such as James Molyneaux MP, the “Wife Beater” and many others. The politicians were certain to resign and face criminal charges whereby they would become useless to MI5 who had put such effort into ensnaring them. Suffice it to say, McKeague was also threatening to destroy Mountbatten’s reputation.

If McKeague was to “go public” or even speak to the honest members of the RUC’s CID, the prospect of chaos loomed: soon members of the vice network could be fighting like ferrets in a sack and a lot of dirt could spill out.


MI5’s concerns about McKeague were solved permanently on 29 January, 1982, when he was assassinated at the shop he ran on the Albertbridge Road in Belfast by a two-man unit of the INLA. One of them shot him in the head at close range in the presence of an elderly assistant. According to Holland and McDonald, “Two men were involved, escaping on foot into the Short Strand. One of the men is known to have been working for the Special Branch, and the other is also alleged to have had security force connections”. (308)

Conveniently, the murder took place before any further enquiries were undertaken or charges levelled against McKeague by the CID.

The INLA was never able to establish why the unit which carried out McKeague’s assassination chose to do it. Furthermore, the unit acted without any sanction from their superiors.

Authors Holland and McDonald provided a further insight into the assassination by revealing details about a man called Rabbie McAllister, an INLA member who had become an RUC Special Branch agent. The INLA was a Republican paramilitary organisation which had been formed by former members of the Official IRA. McAllister was arrested on 5 February, 1982, a few days after McKeague’s assassination. He provided the RUC with a statement revealing copious details about the activities of other INLA members. Significantly, in a later affidavit he swore that, “Towards the end of 1981 as a result of constant arrests and psychological pressure I was trapped into working as an informant for the RUC Special Branch”. (p. 308)

According to Holland and McDonald, “McAllister was involved in five murders and attempted murders that took place between September 1981 and January 1982. In court, the police revealed that he had made his statements when he realised that ‘his Special Branch handlers could not help him’ (Belfast Telegraph, 4 November 1985). In November 1985, McAllister was sentenced to a total of 766 years for his part in the series of crimes, including the murder of the UDA man Bucky McCullough. This raises many questions, not the least of which is how it was that McAllister, while working for the Special Branch, was allowed to commit serious crimes, including murder and attempted murder. The McKeague killing was not mentioned by McAllister in his statement, though he is alleged to have been part of the unit that carried it out. This raises another complex problem. A former leading member of the INLA reported that no-one in the organisation knew who gave the order for McKeague to be shot. This is more intriguing still in the light of the allegation that McKeague himself was working for British army intelligence”. (p. 309)

Holland and McDonald were also able to reveal that while McAllister was in jail, “he approached a senior member of the Belfast INLA (imprisoned on the word of) another informer and told him that British intelligence had helped set up McKeague. They had guaranteed that there would be no foot patrols in the area when the assassination took place. It is also alleged that the eighteen-year-old gunman who actually shot McKeague made a long statement outlining his involvement in working for the security forces, and left it in the keeping of a Belfast priest”.

Readers interested in discovering more about the role of McKeague and his Red Hand Commando as instruments of MI5 dirty tricks – including an attempt to assassinate the former Irish Taoiseach, Charles Haughey in 1981 while he was an MI5 agent can visit: This article also describes his career before he was recruited by MI5 including his involvement in a bomb campaign which toppled Capt. Terence O’Neill as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in 1969; his participation in the kidnap and torture of Catholics who were then murdered in “Romper Rooms”; his imprisonment in 1973 and an attempt by the IRA to murder him in 1975. The article also demonstrates how Captain Brian Gemmell was a party to MI5’s surveillance of McKeague before his recruitment by MI5. Gemmell’s revelations forced MI5 to concede to the Hart Inquiry that they considered recruiting McKeague after watching him arrange sexual assignations in London with young males in 1976. They then proceeded to deny that they actually attempted to recruit him. However, the success McKeague and his Red Hand Commando enjoyed in avoiding police attention over the next six years belies this as does his complicity in the “honeytrap” set for the “Wife Beater” and his visit to O Fiaich.


MI5 was to benefit from other convenient deaths: Joss Cardwell, Chairman of Belfast Corporation Welfare Committee – which was responsible for Kincora – was also questioned by the RUC in 1982.

Two of Richard Kerr’s social workers became aware of what was going on at Kincora and tried to get the authorities in Belfast to intervene but they met a blank wall because of abusers like Joshua Cardwell. He was Chairman of Belfast Corporation’s Welfare Committee which was responsible for Kincora. He was also a friend of Mains. Another key figure was a legal official called Young who helped suppress the scandal, also an associate of Mains.

Kerr knew Cardwell as “Joseph” Cardwell and recalls that he wore a “funny” hat and drove a blue minivan. He does not believe that he “owned the minivan but one was provided for him and others as transportation for outings out of Kincora”. Cardwell took his victims to the Adelphi Hotel in Portrush. Kerr recalls the “evening bar” was “down the stairs back then”. He was plied with alcohol by abusers at this venue.

Cardwell committed suicide in March 1982 after being interviewed by the RUC about Kincora. A door could be heard slamming in hell immediately after he took his last breath. Cardwell was one of the links between Belfast and London. On at least one occasion he sent Steven Waring from Kincora to London for sexual abuse. Again, the fact the RUC spoke to Cardwell indicates that they did not believe that the abuse was confined to the four walls of Kincora. See also


Pastor Willie Mullan, a former alcoholic and a friend of William McGrath and Ian Paisley, was another individual who was implicated in the scandal and committed suicide. Suffice it to say, he did not work at Kincora either.

Many former Kincora and Williamson House boys committed suicide including Stephen Waring. The latter’s death was particularly welcome as he had made complaints in 1977 about what was happening. Had he still been alive in 1980, he would have presented a severe problem to the architects of the cover-up: Armstrong, Duff, Smith and Jones.

While these deaths did not put the Kincora toothpaste back in the tube, they did help stem what could have been an utter disaster for the NIO, MI5 and MI6.



Another instrument in MI5’s dirty tricks toolbox was the use of fraudulent witness statements. Village has been shown one which was prepared but never signed by a British soldier who worked with MI5 and MI6 at Lisburn. The forgery was presumably prepared but never presented to him as it became clear he was not corrupt. He will be referred to as Michael Schneider (not his real name) in this article. Nonetheless, an unsigned copy survived and was furnished by the Hart Inquiry to Schneider. Its purpose was to undermine Colin Wallace

The fabricated Schneider statement contained a brief resume of his career including the fact that he had: “worked as an Information Officer in the Ministry of Defence in Northern Ireland from 1972 until 1976. The exact dates I am not sure”.

Schneider in fact worked at this post until December 1975, a date of which he was well aware. Presumably, the prevarication in the statement was designed to make him look indecisive and provide ammunition to undermine him if it became necessary to do so later.

Schneider’s relationship with Colin Wallace was introduced next: “Whilst at Northern Ireland I (worked) with the chap called Colin Wallace”.

Schneider says that he would never have used a word such as “chap”. The phrase is, however, typical of the type of language used by the upper class type of Englishman that MI5 and MI6 employed.

Significantly, Schneider’s alleged description of Wallace did not include any reference to his PSYOPS (psychological operations) role although Schneider was well aware that Wallace carried out psychological operations:

“Colin Wallace and I were serving as officers in the army cadet forces and this is where my contact with Wallace was initiated. Initially Wallace and I were both [illegible] same grade but later in my service with MoD, Wallace was promoted to Senior Information Officer. Wallace was at no time answerable to me and we were both involved at a level in similar work.”

The statement also conceals the important fact that Schneider had access to intelligence files at Lisburn. Indeed, he knew about the abuse at Kincora because he had read some of the files that were flowing into Lisburn about the home. Yet, in the forged statement the very opposite picture is painted. Schneider has described the next passage we are about to quote as a “blatant lie”: “I have been asked if I ever heard about Kincora Boys’s home in my/any capacity whatsoever. I have never seen any official document to my knowledge, on Kincora boys’s home although I do recognise as a result of the situation that prevailed in Northern Ireland at this time, it may have been discussed verbally. If Wallace may have discussed Kincora with me, I cannot remember any specific detail”.

 The statement also conceals the important fact that Schneider had access to intelligence files at Lisburn. Indeed, he knew about the abuse at Kincora because he had read some of the files that were flowing into Lisburn about the home. 

The lies which Schneider has described to Village as “balls” kept flowing:  “The names McGrath and [John] McKeague mean something to me, although I cannot connect McGrath with any verbal conversation regarding Kincora. I did not know that McGrath worked at Kincora boys home but his assumed association with the Protestant Military Organisation called “TARA” was on record”.

The overarching purpose of the forgery emerges next:  an assertion designed to undermine the authenticity of a document entitled ‘“TARA” – Reports Regarding Criminal Offences Associated with the Homosexual Community in Belfast’ dated 8 November 1974 which was written by Colin Wallace. This document revealed a deep knowledge of the abuse at Kincora. In the 1980s it was published in full by the Irish Times and featured in Paul Foot’s book on Wallace. If true, it demolishes the cover-up. According to the forged Schneider statement: “I have been shown a document marked EGM3 by Detective Inspector … ‘To my knowledge I have never seen this document before”‘.  

Schneider was never presented with the TARA memo by anyone in the RUC – nor anyone else – to ascertain if he had seen it. Had they done so, he would have told them precisely what it was they did not want to hear: that he had seen it. Not only that, he had seen other documents relating to Tara while at Lisburn including a 1973 press briefing which Wallace had shown to a number of journalists.

Schneider did not appear as a witness at the Hart Inquiry. If he had, Hart would have had to write a different report.


Another tactic in the ongoing cover-up is to conceal files from official inquiries. The RUC, MI5, MI6 and the NIO promised to provide the Hart Inquiry with all the relevant files in their possession. In blatant contravention of this undertaking, it has since emerged that a series of Kincora files were not passed to Hart and will not be disclosed to the public for a number of years, if ever. It appears they emanated from the Belfast Welfare Department and possibly other civil service departments. There are potentially many files dating back to the early 1970s when residents made complaints which were ignored. At this point in time it is not clear what files are being retained. In addition, MI5 and MI6 did not furnish the true files they hold on figures such as John McKeague, the “Wife Beater”, James Molyneaux and other influential Loyalists who were child abusers.

Some of the Belfast child welfare files may have been seen by officials in the run up to the establishment of the McGonagle Inquiry. It was set up shortly after the conviction of the Kincora staff in December 1981.  On the 17th of that month, Ed Moloney and Andrew Pollak published an article in the Irish Times which revealed that the ‘”real scandal of the Kincora Boys” home, as the Lord Chief Justice Sir Robert Lowry indicated in court yesterday, was the fact that the activities of Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath apparently went undetected by the authorities since the home was established twenty years ago”. The reporters then listed several occasions upon which boys had made complaints to social workers or welfare departments which had been passed to the RUC and other authorities but ignored.

On the same day, 17 December, 1981, the NI Eastern Health and Social Services Board set up the McGonagle probe. It was described as a committee of inquiry into the management of Kincora and associated matters. As more press revelations were made, additional powers were afforded to the inquiry. Its Chairman was the former North of Ireland Ombudsman Stephen McGonagle. His colleagues included Dr Stanley Worrall, Headmaster of the Methodist College, Belfast, Professor Olive Stevenson of Keele University and Professor Norman Tutt of Lancaster University.

On 13 January 1982, Moloney and Pollak published a report outlining details of the suicide of Stephen Waring in November 1977. Although not included in the article, Village has discovered that Waring was one of the boys Mountbatten had abused in Classsiebawn in August 1977. What emerged in 1982 was that Waring had made a number of allegations against the staff at Kincora before his suicide.

Three of the five members of the McGonagle Inquiry resigned quickly telling the media they had been given assurances about the wide scope of their inquiry but that it had been curtailed.

According to a source in Scotland, his father was part of an early investigation into Kincora and what he discovered shocked him. Thereafter, he and his family received protection from a friendly police officer back in Scotland. The police officer seems to have had reason to fear that the family was in some sort of danger. Details of this affair have been provided to the IICSA in London.

What is in the suppressed Kincora files that is so damaging that the British Government is still keeping them under lock and key? The answer is probably a simple one: some of the abuse victims may have provided the names of their abusers or clues as to their identities. If this is so, these statements have the potential to establish that abuse took place beyond the four walls of Kincora. Hence, their declassification would sweep aside the findings of the Terry, Hughes and Hart inquiries, all of which relied upon the cherry picked statements which did not reveal the existence of a wider paedophile ring. Such a revelation would have a domino effect. Once the British Establishment is forced to concede the existence of a wider ring, a proper inquiry would surely have to be called. Such an inquiry would have to have as part of its terms of reference a mandate to probe how the scandal was covered up for so many decades and by whom. The odds are that such an investigation, if successful, would extend beyond the lairs of MI5 and MI6 to the Cabinet Office and Buckingham Palace.


The most recent development in this sordid scandal is that Andrew Lownie has confirmed what has been long suspected by those who have followed the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring scandal for decades: that files have been destroyed. Please see the letter Lownie received from the NIO on 13 March, 2020, which is set out in full below:

What was in these files?

What was the justification for their destruction?

Is there an idiot in any village in Ireland or Britain who truly believes these are the only files which have been destroyed?

The Establishment cannot afford to destroy all of the files on Kincora and the scandals to which it is linked. A central file almost certainly exists. As indicated earlier, such a file would be kept in the massive safe in the Cabinet Office in Downing Street.



The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) is a Loyalist paramilitary murder gang. Its name has been misappropriated by those behind the ongoing cover-up of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring scandal in an attempt to intimidate Richard Kerr.

Kerr, who lives in Dallas, Texas, was sent an intimidating letter in November 2016 to deter him from making any further revelations about his life.

Before we turn to the threatening letter, a little additional context might assist in explicating the underlying menace of it: Richard Kerr was a close friend of Steven Waring who was also a resident at Kincora. Waring was one of those abused by Mountbatten. He committed suicide by plunging into the sea from the Belfast-Liverpool Monarch Ferry in 1977 rather than suffer any further abuse. Kerr has been haunted by his death ever since. Like Kerr, Waring had been taken out of Kincora and subjected to vile abuse on both sides of the Irish Sea.

In November 2016 Kerr received the following anonymous letter:









The anonymous letter was posted from south East Anglia. There is, however, little or no mystery about the identity of its true author.

Kerr had made a number of trips to Ireland and the UK before he received the letter. During these trips he was – as he puts it himself – “hijacked” by some very unsavoury characters whom he instinctively distrusted and to whom he decided not to provide his address in Texas. This group pretended they were interested in exposing the VIP paedophile ring but in reality wanted to find out what Kerr was going to say about it and discredit him.

They made the monumental error of taking Kerr for a fool when in fact they were the amateurs .

Instead of providing his own address, Kerr gave them the address of a trusted confidant who lived on the North Central Express Way in Dallas. Yes, you guessed it: the threatening letter was subsequently sent to the confidant.

The North Central Express Way address was also provided to the BBC’s ‘Panorama’ programme. However, since the staff at ‘Panorama’ are not known for sending vile threatening letters to child-abuse survivors, the odds must be high that it was sent by those with a vested interest in covering the scandal up.

In addition, two others were provided with the address, both of whom can be discounted as the author of the letter.

Why would the authors of this letter go to such lengths in an effort to intimidate and upset Richard Kerr? Why go to all this trouble if the VIP vice-ring had never existed? The letter is consistent with the fact that it was and is still being protected.


In July 2019 the more excitable elements of the British media got themselves in something of a lather after the conviction by a Newcastle jury of Carl Beech, 51, a former NHS manager, for perverting the course of justice, i.e. telling the police a pack of lies. He was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in 2019. Beech’s deceit relates to the existence of an alleged  murderous  VIP paedophile ring based around Westminster involving Jimmy Savile, the former British prime minister Ted Heath, 1970-74, and others. Beech’s allegations prompted a £2million-pound Scotland Yard inquiry. Beech claimed he was a survivor of an “establishment group” which including politicians, military figures and spies. Absurdly, he claimed the group kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered  boys in the 1970s and 1980s. This triggered an ill-fated probe that ended without a single arrest being made.

Beech was found guilty after a ten-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud over a £22,000 criminal compensation pay-out he received for the alleged abuse he suffered.

That Beech would be exposed as a liar amid a blaze of publicity was predicted by Village  years ago. Village  readers will be more familiar with Carl Beech as ‘Nick’. In the past he was a figure of anonymity merely referred to as ‘Nick’ in the UK press. His real name only emerged at the trial.

Beech concocted a series of grotesque lies about a VIP paedophile ring which murdered boys. An array of gullible hacks in the British media initially lapped up the claims and splashed them all over the pages of their newspapers. After his conviction in July 2019, they they flipped and engaged in a frenzy of condemnation of him.

No one, we are now told, can now believe a word Nick/Beech has ever said.  Accounts of child abuse perpetrated by the likes of Ted Heath can now be dismissed as nonsense according to the former PM’s supporters because Nick made allegations about him. What next? Jimmy Savile is innocent too? Sir Cyril Smith was a paragon of virtue?

Is there more to Nick the Deceiver than meets the eye, a lot more perhaps?

Richard Kerr, who was a genuine victim of sex abuse, concluded Beech was a fraud years ago. When Beech made efforts to contact him, he was rebuffed by Kerr. Had Kerr fallen for Beech’s lies, he  would now probably be the victim of tabloid derision.

Instead Kerr was subjected to intimidation to get him to shut up as described above, i.e. the UFF threatening letter.

One person who was taken in by Beech was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson. He received severe criticism for this. In fairness to Watson, he acted out of genuine concern for victims of child abuse. Ironically, one of those who abused Kerr in London back in the 1980s  while he was still a resident of Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast  has recently voiced criticism of Watson over the Beech affair. Village refers to this man as ‘The Sadist’.

Arguably, Watson deserves much praise when the overall picture is taken into account. He was one of a handful of MPs who had the courage to take up the thorny issue of VIP abuse in the House of Commons. Watson did the world a service by highlighting the egregious case of the paedeophile Peter Righton in October 2012 in the House of Commons. Righton was subsequently convicted of child abuse. Righton was part of an abuse network that included Dr Morris Fraser who abused boys all over the world and was a member of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring of which Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast was a part.  In his defence to the criticism he has received over the Beech scandal, Watson has stated that, “For decades victims of child sexual abuse were ignored or failed by the criminal justice system. I hope this one fraudster does not take us back to a time where people are too frightened to report serious crimes against innocent children”. How many children were saved from Righton and others by Watson’s intervention? Probably quite a lot. Watson can be proud of that fine achievement.


For years Village   warned that Nick was probably a cog in a devious plot by the remnants of a VIP abuse network to distract the public from their repulsive  crimes by getting puppets like him to make  absurd claims that were so utterly irrational no one would believe them and thereby taint genuine VIP sex abuse survivors with the same brush. We called it the ‘Dietrich Gambit’  after the celebrated film based on Agatha Christie’s ingenious play Witness for the Prosecution.  In that film Marlene Dietrich played a cunning witness for the prosecution who testified at a murder trial with the premeditated intention of being exposed as a liar and thereby discredit the prosecution. Village  published  its suspicions that equally dark forces were conducting a comparable gambit in an effort to  control and manipulate the public perception of the VIP sex abuse scandal in the UK.  This was done, we speculated,  with the tacit – if not outright – support of MI5 and MI6 who have a vested interest in covering up what went on at Kincora Boys’ Home and other institutions in Britain and Ireland where children were exploited by VIPs. For a start, they lied to the Hart Inquiry about their practice of sexual blackmail; see the article  Hart Attack and  the array of stories about the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring  on this website for further details.  We raised the possibility that these dark forces had spent years promoting manifest hoaxers like Nick. These people produced remarkably similar and far fetched yarns which were published by the media. We speculated that the strategy all along was to expose their lies at given points in time and thereby paint all claims of VIP sex abuse made by survivors as dubious if not unhinged.  Nick’s conviction and the flurry of media attention around it may be the latest success of this possible plot.

If Nick was part of a sinister Dietrich Gambit, it would offer a coherent explanation for the otherwise senseless behaviour of the British police and the BBC during the fiasco that engulfed Cliff Richard, a patently innocent man falsely accused of sexual wrongdoing. The reaction of the British public to the outrageous ill-treatment of such a beloved figure as Cliff Richard only served to diminish and undermine concern about VIP abuse rings. With the conviction of Nick, that outrage went into overdrive. The story competed with the bombastic exploits of the newly installed Boris Johnson as British PM for the lead headlines in the British tabloid press. In many instances, Johnson’s activities took second place in the pecking order.

There is a sinister pattern here as a parallel effort was made on the internet to portray Cliff Richard as a visitor to the infamous boy brothel at Elm Guest House. He was meant to have used the absurd name ‘Kitty’ on these visits. Richard never went near the place nor anywhere like it. Richard in fact spends an enormous amount of his free time working for charities and deserved a lot better than the abhorrent treatment that was meted out to him. Happily, there isn’t a sane mind in the UK that now believes any of the slurs hurled against him. Was the person or group behind the assault on Richard’s reputation linked to Nick/Beech and the group which sent the threatening letter to Richard Kerr in the name of the UFF?

Paul Gambaccini, the popular broadcaster, was another entirely innocent victim of abhorrent treatment at the hands of the British police in a fashion similar to Cliff Richard.


After Beech’s conviction there was an attempt to salvage the reputation of the former Tory PM, Ted Heath. This despite the careful, considered and credible report by the Wiltshire Police concerning the abuse of boys perpetrated by Heath. Why? Because Nick made daft claims about Heath therefore Heath must be innocent.  If you follow the logic of that argument, Jimmy Savile must be innocent too.

The case against Ted Heath does not rest on a word uttered by Beech. In August 2015 the Wiltshire Police launched ‘Operation Conifer’ into allegations that Heath was a paedophile. The force determined that there were substantial grounds to suspect him of child abuse. As a matter of law the force was not entitled to reach any conclusions about the potential guilt of Heath and it did not. The furthest it could go was to state that if Heath were alive, he would have faced further questioning about the accusations levelled against him. Mindful of this, the force has found that Heath would have faced questions under criminal caution relating to:

  • 1 incident of rape of a male 16;
  • 3 incidents of indecent assault on a male under 16;
  • 4 indecent assaults on a male under 14;
  • 2 indecent assaults on a male over 16.

The investigation spanned the period 1956-92. None of these incidents took place while Heath was Prime Minister, 1970-74.

There are some very real victims of this whole nasty mess. They include not only Cliff Richard but also Lord Brammal and Paul Gambaccini, all of whom were investigated by the British police on the basis of grotesque claims made by manifest liars and fantasists. The common denominator in each case is a British police force which – on the surface – seems to have lost control of its senses.


Who funded Beech’s expenditure in Sweden? It has emerged that Nick planned to make a new life for himself under an assumed identity in Sweden after his lies were detected and he faced a slew of criminal charges.  He purchased a riverside property in the village of Overkalix near the Artic Circle in the name of Stephen Anderson. Did he have a passport or fraudulent legal documents in the name of Anderson? If so, how did he get them? According to a report in  The Daily Telegraph,  ‘Seemingly flush with cash [in Overkalix], Beech, who was given £22,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in the wake of his claims of abuse, did not hesitate to pay 450 Krona (£38) for a haircut, £84 for a tin of paint, or £1,350 to fix the air conditioning in his car.’ The Sun is reporting how the house cost £17,000 and that Beech planned to buy a ‘large house across the road plus several cabins by the riverside, including a luxurgy villa‘. A local plumber called Patrik Elemalm has revealed how he installed a new bathroom and renovated the pipework for £4,500.  According to Par Andersson, the budget for the villa was £85,000. In the event,  Nick went on the run under yet another name, Samuel Karlsson, from an extradition warrant. He was finally caught and returned to the UK to face justice.

The £22,000 from the Criminal Injuries cannot explain the money he spent in Sweden. Beech spent £10,000 of the compensation as a deposit on a white Ford Mustang convertible. The full cost of the vehicle was £34,000. He also appears to have spent most of his life in debt and lived in a rented accommodation. While he and his former wife had once lived in a house they had acquired with help from his mother they had been unable to maintain it. At the time of his divorce he was living in a house for which he paid  £1,100 rent per month. Beech’s wife told the BBC’s Panorama that he consistently spent beyond his means.

As someone who did not possess property or other valuable assets which he could have sold and was always in debt, the source of the money he spent in Sweden is deeply troubling. Where did he get it all?

There is more: before he fled, he had become bored living in his new house – presumably while the works were taking place – and on 16 February 2019 checked into Room 110 at The Grand Artic Hotel for six nights where he told the staff he was ‘sick of microwave meals’. Significantly, he checked in under the name ‘Carl Anderson’ and, according to The Telegraph,  ‘paid by card‘. Does this mean he was able to get a credit card in yet another false name. If so, how?

There are other deeply disturbing questions about Beech. The police found 342 child abuse images on his computer some of which were rated at the A level, i.e. the most serious category on the scale. After the police found the images, Beech tried to blame his teenage son for downloading them. He has also been convicted of spying on a teenager while he urinated. He videoed the boy with the use of a secret video camera. His long suffering former wife has disclosed how Beech had very little interest in pursuing a sex life with her. Indeed, he went years without having sex with her.

Beech was well able to hide his true nature. He gave talks to children as young as five about the dangers of child abuse for the UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and attended workshops attended by young children. He has visited dozens of primary schools in Herefordshire as part of the NSPCC  Speak Out Stay Safe  programme. According to Simon Murphy of  The Guardian  he ‘was also the governor of two schools…In total he volunteered at 33 schools for the NSPCC”. In the 1990s he worked as a paediatric nurse on a children’s ward in London. His former wife has revealed that she had believed he ‘loved children. He went straight onto a paediatric ward when he qualified, then did his sick children’s nurse training’. Also that  when ‘he was a student nurse, he used to go off and help at a school with children who had difficulty reading.”

Bearing all of the foreging in mind, it is reasonable to ask:   was Beech part of a paedophile network  which supplied him with the photographs found in his computer? Worse still, was  he part of a network which recruited him to make his dishonest claims so as to protect a group of VIP paedophile higher up the food chain? Village  is aware that money is no object to at least two VIPs who abused boys in the past and have provided ample funding to at least one of their former victims to remain silent about their crimes.

Are we meant to believe the police believed Heath had room for a double bed on the Morning Cloud?

How could the British police have believed a word Nick said? The ten-week trial exposed the idiotic nature of his allegations. Could the British police really have been that stupid? He claimed he had been abused by Heath on a double bed on Heath’s boat The Morning Cloud. Just where did they think he fitted it? In reality the yacht had hammocks. Photographs of the vessel were readily available on the internet.

Beech provided a picture showing where he had been beaten and claimed he had scars to prove it. Yet he has no scars. Still the police believed him.

Beech was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment on 26 July 2019. If he was indeed part of a complex plot to discredit VIP child abuse survivors and it involved the darker elements of MI5 and MI6 (including those who lied to the Hart Inquiry in 2016), he never had any chance of being allowed to settle in Sweden under an assumed name as he may have hoped. Instead, he was always destined to go on trial and become a media sensation. If this speculation is accurate, and he decides to reveal all at some stage over the next decade, no one will believe him.

In the very worst case scenario, Beech may have been an abuser and never a victim at all. He may have been bribed and cajoled into making his fetid claims by people who have something over him and access to ample funds. The carrot was the money he had in Sweden, the stick held over him was proof of some sort of wrongdoing, perhaps the possession of child pornography or something worse.

The more sinister elements in MI5, MI6, along with The Sadist, (the pederast who abused Richard Kerr while he was still a resident at Kincora) must have been cock-a-hoop, not to mention the members of the various overlapping paedophile networks which Jimmy Savile frequented. Combined, they seem to have convinced the British media that: {i} a string of fantasists including Nick, {ii} none of whom knew each other, {iii} concocted absurd stories with similar themes by sheer coincidence  {iv} all of which were treated as credible by credulous police forces who {v} all overreacted in a grossly unprofessional manner to the detriment of innocent men with high profiles such as Richard, Brammal and Gambaccini and that none of this involved manipulation by any hidden force.

Chapters 1 – 3 can be accessed at:

Chapters 4 – 7 can be accessed at:

Chapters 8 – 10 can be accessed at:

Chapters 11 – 13 can be accessed at:

Chapters 14 – 18 can be accessed at:

Chapters 19 – 24 can be accessed at: