1. The Classified Garda Files.
The information provided by the brothers, John and Pat Barry, confirms that the Garda (Irish police) had a checkpoint at the gate of Classiebawn castle in August 1977.
Garda security appears – by some accounts – to have been downgraded in 1979, shortly before Mountbatten was murdered by the Provisional IRA. Hence, while there might be a question mark about the existence of comprehensive Garda logs from 1979, there are no concerns about August 1977.
The Classiebawn logs are the key to unlocking the sordid Kincora scandal. Boys from Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast were trafficked to Mountbatten by Joe Mains, an MI5/6 agent who worked at Kincora. The same boys were trafficked to Loyalist paramilitaries and politicians by Mains as part of MI5 and MI6 ‘honeytrap’ blackmail operations.
The Garda have shown no interest in the information at their fingertips.
As far as can be told, the Government has displayed no curiosity either.
The survivors of child sexual abuse deserve better.
2. Confirmation of a Garda checkpoint at Classiebawn.
While the Barry brothers set out to defend the reputation of Mountbatten in their Sligo Champion interview – and did so in good faith – they have nonetheless highlighted a crucial issue about the Mountbatten-Kincora connection. It is one which could yet prove precisely the opposite of what they hoped to achieve with their interview. There is no doubt now that the Garda have a record of the registration plates of the vehicles they stopped at the gates.
The existence of the Garda checkpoint was already an established fact, nonetheless, the confirmation by the Barrys is important as they are living witnesses who can attest to its presence. It would now take a very daring – not to mention corrupt – Garda or Department of Justice official, to interfere with the files.
The purpose of the interview with the brothers was to afford them an opportunity to put forward a defence for Lord Mountbatten whom they do not believe was a child abuser. John Barry, who was a boy at the time, made specific reference to a Garda ‘checkpoint’ and also that:
“The guards wouldn’t have allowed some guy to come, a warden from Kincora [Boys Home in Belfast] who was supposed to have driven [child abuse victims to Classiebawn], and he was supposed to sit in the car for an hour outside the castle and let the boys in – or a boy in.
And you think the guards wouldn’t have asked: ‘What are you doing here?’ No way”.
His brother has confirmed the presence of Gardaí at the ‘checkpoint at the gate’.
3. Times and dates.
In 2019 Andrew Lownie, author of a book about Mountbatten, sought the Garda logs taken at the checkpoint. Crucially, while the Gardaí refused to declassify the files, they nonetheless confirmed they were still in existenc. See: THE MOUNTBATTEN FACTOR: Boris Johnson should not bully Dublin over Brexit because the Irish Government has information which could damage the Royal Family
What will the records reveal? In August 1977 Stephen Waring and another boy were abused by Mountbatten in an exterior building. They gained access to the grounds in a car which was driven through a Garda checkpoint.
Waring took his own life the following November. See: SECOND UPDATE: Kincora boy abused by Mountbatten committed suicide months later.
The Garda logs should contain the date and the arrival time of the car that brought Waring and the second boy through the gates of Classiebawn. They should also reveal when they left, along with the make, model and registration of the vehicle in which they were trafficked.
4. Liaison with the RUC
The Kincora boys were driven to Classiebawn by Joseph Mains, the Warden of Kincora in August 1977.
As a matter of routine, the registration plate of the car driven by Mains to Classiebawn would have been noted and logged. Next, the Gardaí would have sent them to Garda HQ. Then inquiries would have been made with the RUC. The RUC knew that Mains had connections to the Red Hand Commando (RHC), a Loyalist terrorist group. The Garda inquiry about the visit by Mains to Classiebawn would have raised a red flag. A senior RUC special branch officer would have taken control of the request.
It is inconceivable that the Gardaí would have been told about Mains’ links to MI5/6 or the RHCs.
The RUC special branch was complicit in the ‘honey trap’ operation that revolved around Kincora. Hence, the RUC undoubtedly told the Gardaí there was nothing to worry about insofar as the car driven by Mains was concerned. The RUC may even have expected a call from the Gardai and were ready for it.
Rumours about Mountbatten’s involvement in the abuse of Kincora boys have circulated in security circles in Northern Ireland for decades. The Garda request about the visitor to Classiebawn in August 1977 may be at the root of the gossip.
5. A report on Mains may reside in Garda files at its Phoenix Park HQ in Dublin.
The Garda inquiries that took place after Mountbatten was murdered on 27 August 1979, reached back to 1974. All of those who came into contact with him formed part of a massive inquiry. All of those who visited Classiebawn were investigated. A short report on Joe Mains may very well have come into existence as early as September 1979. Indeed, a record of his identity may have existed since his visit in August 1977 (and perhaps other visits in the 1970s). The Kincora scandal did not erupt until January 1980. Thus, when the Gardaí were making inquiries with the RUC in 1977 and/or 1979, about the car Mains drove to Classiebawn in 1977, there was no particular need to conceal his name, at least insofar as Kincora was concerned. The RUC hardly anticipated that Mains would become known as a child abuser in 1980.
Mains was convicted of child abuse in December 1981.
6. 60 years of misery and vilification.
The boys who were abused by the vice network – of which Kincora was only a part – have suffered considerable pain and trauma. A series of deceitful and/or incompetent inquiries over four decades have compounded their suffering by portraying them as liars and attention seekers. Some have committed suicide. The living survivors deserve validation to ease the suffering they continue to endure to this day, not isolation and more cruelty.
Surely Micheál Martin of Fianna Fail and Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael can do something for them?
And where is the compassion of the Green Party led by Eamon Ryan?
7. Royal abuse under the noses of the Gardaí.
Mountbatten had many visitors to Classiebawn, including young boys. Some were relatives, others were not. There was nothing alarming for the Gardaí about the presence of another pair of boys, i.e., those in the car belonging to Joe Mains, the Warden of Kincora. Indeed, the Gardaí may even have been told to expect them. It is inconceivable that Mains arrived without a ‘cover’ story.
Others such as Peter Murphy, a friend of Mountbatten, and Peter Montgomery, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone, procured boys for Mountbatten during his visits to the Republic.
The late Lord Rosse of Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, was also a member of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring of which Kincora became a part. Colin Wallace, a PsyOp officer, who worked alongside MI5 and MI6 at British Army HQ NI in the 1970s, heard rumours of Rosse’s links to the abuse of boys. Rosse was a friend of Mountbatten and often visited him while in Ireland.
The Kincora whistle blower Robin Bryans wrote about Rosse’s exploitation of underage boys. In a series of letters Bryans put into circulation in the 1980s, Bryans revealed that Rosse and a man called Alan Price were part of Mountbatten’s circle in Ireland; as was Sir Anthony Blunt, the Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures (and a member of the infamous Cambridge Ring of traitors). In a letter dated 3 November 1989, Bryans provided a glimpse at the type of events that took place when Lords Mountbatten and Rosse got together with the likes of Blunt and Price. The relevant sentence read as follows: “Any of the old snapshots at Birr Castle showing the late Lord Rosse getting Alan Price to flash his codpiece for Lord Mountbatten and Anthony Blunt are unlikely to be published”.
Richard Kerr, a resident at Kincora, recalls being taken by Mains to be abused at a venue in the Republic. When they arrived, Mains told Kerr they were “in the middle of Ireland”.
Garda records should also contain details of those who visited Birr Castle while Mountbatten was present there.
These are many possible explanations for the talk about Lord Rosse’s abuse of boys at Birr Castle which reached the ears of Colin Wallace and his colleagues at Army HQ NI, Lisburn. One explanation might be that the Garda contacted the RUC when a car with Northern Irish plates turned up at the castle. Such a car could have been driven by Mains.
8. Kincora, the darkest scandal of the Troubles. A compound of evil involving child abuse, blackmail, collusive murder, the protection of child serial killers, vilification of victims, the framing of an innocent man for manslaughter, hush money, cover-up inquiries and perjury on an industrial scale.
The various Garda logs could yet cause the British Crown a problem as damaging as that of Prince Andrew, the nephew of Lord Mountbatten who abused Virginia Roberts/Giuffre. The records could also destroy a forty-two-year cover-up and demolish the reputations of MI5, MI6 and the former RUC Special Branch, not to mention countless civil servants in Whitehall who have knowingly concealed the truth about the wider Kincora saga of which Mountbatten was only a fragment.
The Kincora scandal is by far the darkest secret of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’. It involved the trafficking of children to Loyalist extremists such as John McKeague of the Red Hand Commando to further British intelligence control of Loyalist terror groups (and mainstream DUP and OUP politicians).
Child abuse was permitted to enable the State to accumulate ‘kompromat’ for blackmail purposes and thereby organise and direct murder operations by proxy assassins such as McKeague.
After the scandal erupted, the House of Commons was misled by Tory ministers. The deception of Britain’s parliament continues to this day.
Richard Kerr, a Kincora survivor who was living in England, was abducted by an RUC officer in Preston. He was assaulted and warned not to talk. He was also told he would be arrested if he returned to Belfast to give evidence against Joe Mains and his two Kincora co-defendants, William McGrath and Raymond Semple. The arrest, Kerr was told, would be for having engaged in ‘homosexual’ acts. In other words, he would be prosecuted for having been raped. Kerr was first assaulted at Williamson House when he was eight.
William McGrath, the ‘housefather’ at Kincora pleaded guilty to child abuse in December 1981. He went to prison for a few years. Upon his release he received a £10,000 payment from persons unknown. Mains and Semple also pleaded and served prison sentences. None of these me spoke out. No doubt Mains and Semple received hush money too.
Colin Wallace, who became a Kincora whistle blower, was framed for manslaughter. He was vindicated decades later.
A series of inquiries became little more than venues for perjury by the RUC, MI5 and MI6.
A number of sex abuse survivors committed suicide. They came from Kincora and other homes under the sway of the vice ring.
The gang at the centre of the abuse network was also responsible for a series of murders of boys. This was – and continues to be – covered up. A programme about the murders of a group of boys in the 1960s and 1970s by the Kincora gang has been made for the BBC. They have yet to broadcast it. (See the clipping below for further details. It is from the 6 May 2022 edition of Dublin’s Phoenix magazine.) Efforts are still being made to suppress the programme.
9. The Complicity of the Irish Government.
By withholding the content of the Garda’s Classiebawn files, the Irish government has allowed itself to be pulled into the Kincora quagmire. It is one scandal which refuses to go away no matter how hard the British Establishment tries to get rid of it.
Micheál Martin, the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister), is reportedly interested in securing a senior position with the European Union after his term in office comes to an end in December 2022. His failure to order his police force to act upon information and/or release intelligence which could clarify a sordid aspect of the Kincora scandal will hardly commend him to his European colleagues.
The survivors of Kincora and the wider Anglo-Irish Vice Ring of which it was a part, deserve full disclosure of the Garda logs and Garda communications with the RUC in respect of visitors stopped at the Garda checkpoint at Classiebawn, or noted at Birr Castle.
10. The failure and lack of interest of Sinn Féin.
Village reported the existence of the Garda files in 2019. Sinn Féin (SF) has shown no interest in holding the government to account over them during the intervening period.
The victims of the Kincora vice ring were Protestant children. If the victims were Catholics from a Nationalist community, would SF’s TDs (Irish members of parliament) have acted?
Would SF have said nothing if MI5 had let sadistic Loyalist thugs such as John McKeague rape Catholic orphans?
The Kincora scandal highlights the sectarian nature of Irish politicians. Historically, politicians based in the south have protested loudly against wrongs occasioned to the Catholic community in Northern Ireland, but rarely about Protestant suffering. The rape, murder and vilification of Protestant children by State-protected paedophiles has proven to be of no concern to them. Why are they being so helpful to MI5/6, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and the RUC/PSNI?
Rumours are prevalent in Garda circles that Sinn Féin’s colleagues in the IRA have entered into what is at least a tacit agreement with British Intelligence not to attack each other in relation to intelligence-type scandals from the past, especially the Freddie Scappaticci affair which is a severe embarrassment to both groups. Scappaticci was a member of the IRA. He ran the IRA’s internal investigations department. He tortured and murdered suspected informers. He was later exposed as a British agent who reported to the FRU and MI5.
On the other hand the rumours about a Republican-MI5 deal may be nothing more than smears designed by anti-Sinn Féin gardaí to undermine Sinn Féin. If so, the party is lending credence to them by ignoring the plight of survivors of child sexual abuse linked to MI5 and Royalty in the Republic.
A complementary possibility is the baleful influence of British agents inside SF performing the bidding of MI5. Denis Donaldson spied on the party for Britain at the highest level. William Carlin of SF in Derry was another British agent. Freddie Scappaticci murdered loyal IRA members for years, thereby paving the way for the rise of British agents.
The Garda also riddled SF with informers.
11. A Garda Explanation for non disclosure that makes no sense.
The Gardaí are refusing to release the August 1977 records on the basis that they are part of an ongoing investigation into the Mountbatten murder.
The Garda excuse is hogwash because Mountbatten was not murdered for another two years. He was blown up in 1979 along with others by the Provisional IRA, not by Mains, someone with connections to Loyalist terror groups and MI5 and MI6.
Put simply, Joe Mains had nothing to do with Mountbatten’s murder. The Gardaí do not suspect that he, or any guest who was permitted passage through the gates of Classiebawn in August 1977, conspired to murder him at any stage. The logs can be released without jeopardising an investigation into the IRA that has long since gone into hibernation.
12. Andrew Lownie is still looking for the Garda’s Classiebawn logs.
Andrew Lownie has written a string of international bestselling historical books. He has appeared on a variety of TV documentaries, including a recent one on Channel 4 based on his latest book, Traitor King. Lownie spent approximately €400,000 – his life’s savings – in a battle with the British State to secure the release of an archive containing Mountbatten’s papers. He has all but won that battle. He has now returned his eye to the Classiebawn files
Lownie has been 100% consistent about where the abuse at Classiebawn took place: in a building outside the castle itself. (A separate incident involving a third boy took place in a hotel near the castle.)
Emphatically, Lownie has never claimed that Mountbatten abused boys inside the castle itself.
Lownie has never changed his story.
The chapter in his book on Kincora has not been revised. Not has a word has been changed.
Yet, John Barry believes he has changed his story. In fairness to John Barry, many people have written about Mountbatten and Kincora, and he may be mistaking Lownie’s 100% consistent account with those of others. For the record, Barry’s comments in the Sligo Champion were as follows:
“It is all untrue in the book. Then Lownie later said it wasn’t in the castle – that it was in one of the outhouses, and that they were trafficked from Kincora to Mullaghmore.
Barry’s defence of Mountbatten is made in good faith and entirely well-meaning. He comes across as a likeable man concerned about the reputation of someone he once knew and who died in horrible and tragic circumstances. That, however, does not make him right.
Another aspect of his argument is feeble. The Sligo Champion report continues to quote John and his brother Pat thus:
“I [John] was in Classiebawn in August 1977, when these allegations refer to, and I saw nothing. Never.
“And I was there for years before that and after it. Nothing.
“Sure, if that was the case, would my mother bring me up there all those years as a child?” he asked.
John’s elder brother Pat, who worked in Classiebawn Castle from 1965 to 1970 before going to work in the Mountbatten’s UK estate of Broadlands in the early 1970s concurs.
“I saw nothing. My mother wouldn’t had let me go to Broadlands when I was 18 if there had been any suspicion of anything like that.”
“His own grandchildren were always in the castle,” says John. “It was impossible for anything like that to go on. It couldn’t have happened, not with the security around the castle, with a checkpoint at the gate.
“It didn’t happen, and it couldn’t have happened. I was there in August 1977. I played with his children.
“We could roam freely through any rooms of the castle. There were no strangers came to the castle.
Sadly, thousands – if not millions – of child abusers have managed to operate for decades without being detected. Many go to their graves without ever having been confronted with what they did. Countless priests, swimming coaches, scout masters, school teachers and the like gained access to children with the express knowledge and approval of their parents. Parents do not have a special gift to detect who is or is not an abuser. The mere fact that Mrs Barry did not suspect Mountbatten was a child abuser has no probative value. Happily for her, her boys were not abused.
Significantly, Mountbatten does not appear to have preyed on random children. He had boys brought to him, or visited child brothels. They were orphans and children in care with no one to protect them. They were broken, compliant and disposable little things. Mountbatten’s child pimp, Joe Mains, was a close friend of Alan Campbell, the prime suspect in the murder and disappearance of Brian McDermot and other boys in Belfast. Campbell features in the BBC documentary described in the Phoenix magazine article reproduced above. The BBC is still refusing to broadcast it.
A detailed account by one of Mountbatten’s former drivers which exposes his sickening and perverted habits can be found here: Mountbatten, the Royal who abused boys aged 8-12..
The Sligo Champion article does not deal with the mountain of evidence that Lownie dug up about Mountbatten’s abuse of children, including FBI files revealing he was a paedophile. John Barry does not appear to have carried out any research of his own into the FBI files or the evidence of Mountbatten’s driver. This being so, it is difficult to understand how he can assert that: ‘It is all untrue in the [Lownie] book.’
Andrew Lownie was not asked to comment on the interview with the Barry brothers before the piece was published.
David Burke is the author of ‘Deception & Lies, the Hidden History of the Arms Crisis 1970’ and ‘Kitson’s Irish War, Mastermind of the Dirty War in Ireland’ which examines the role of counter-insurgency dirty tricks in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s. His new book, ‘An Enemy of the Crown, the British Secret Service Campaign against Charles Haughey’, was published on 30 September 2022. These books can be purchased here:
Other stories published by Village which exposed UK VIP child sex abuse scandals:
Mountbatten, the Royal who abused boys aged 8-12. The British Government purchased Mountbatten’s archive for the benefit of historians (allegedly) but has locked it away. It may include details about his links to paedophile networks including the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring.
Village’s online book on the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring begins here: The Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. Chapters 1 – 3.
The plot to discredit victims of VIP sex abuse: Carl Beech and the ‘Useful idiots’ at the BBC. The incompetence of the BBC has now made it a pawn in the cover-up of VIP sex abuse. The darkest forces in MI5 and MI6 are the true beneficiaries of its inepitude.
Enoch Powell: Suffer little children.
Margaret Thatcher, MI5 and the murder of the lawyer Patrick Finucane: Thatcher’s Murder Machine, the British State assassination of Patrick Finucane. By Joseph de Burca.