SF leader Adams accused of setting up ambush in Loughgall, Fr Faul alleged.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

SF leader Adams accused of setting up ambush in Loughgall, Fr Faul alleged. thumbnail Fr Denis Faul is said to have brought the claim that the ambush was set up by Gerry Adams to the attention of the Irish Government.

SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams is alleged to have set up the ambush of a notorious IRA gang by the SAS at Loughgall, state declassified files have revealed.

Eight members of the East Tyrone brigade were shot dead after they smashed through the gates of an RUC barracks in a stolen digger with a 200lb bomb in Loughgall in May 1987.

British Army special forces were lying in wait and killed all of them, along with innocent bystander Anthony Hughes.

Documents declassified by Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs show that Fr Denis Faul brought the claim that the ambush was set up by Gerry Adams to the attention of the Irish Government.

It is claimed Fr Faul, was at St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon at the same time as Padraig McKearney, one of the IRA gang, intent on causing the destruction of the police station and any of its inhabitants.

A school teacher and chaplain in Long Kesh prison, Fr Paul, who died in 2006, said he was "intrigued" by the theory that "the IRA was set up by Gerry Adams himself".

He also revealed that two of the gang, Jim Lynagh, a Monaghan councillor and McKearney "had threatened to execute Adams shortly before the Loughgall event".

It was claimed at the time that Lynagh and McKearney "disliked Adams political policy" and that they were leaning toward Republican Sinn Fein.

Gerry Adams has refused to respond to the allegations personaly but a spokesperson for Sinn Fein said: "These claims are utter nonsense".

Days after the Loughgall operation, Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Lenihan wrote to Secretary of State Tom King, urging him not to triumph over the killings and to show "sensitivity in regard to the funerals which are now taking place".

The Tanaiste also questioned whether "such a large number of casualties, including the civilian casualty could have been avoided".

Notes from the briefings by the British Government to Irish officials in London show that the security forces claimed that during the event the IRA fired first, the gun battle lasted two to three minutes and that the SAS "fired no more rounds than was necessary".

It was also claimed that every IRA weapon had been fired.

Meanwhile, the declassified files also revealed that every weapon recovered from the bodies of the IRA attackers, eight guns, inclduing six automatic rifles, a shotgun and a pistol had been used in other murders.

Dated 20th May, 1987, a letter from Tom King to Brian Lenihan stated ballistics tests indicated "the weapons recovered were responsible for every single murder and attempted murder in Fermanagh and Tyrone".

It was also revealed that on 14th May 1987, Daithi O'Ceallaigh, an Irish diplomat at the Anglo-Irish Secretariat cabled Dublin noting that "one particular security benefit has been the removal of three very experienced paramilitaries Lynagh, Paddy Kelly and McKearney.

Another Belfast based Irish official David Donoghue held a meeting with Bishop Edward Daly, the Bishop of Derry.

In a cable to Dublin, Donoghue claims Bishop Daly said Lenihan "got it about right" in his reaction to Loughgall and that he was "struck by the lack of sympathy in the Derry area with the dead IRA men". He is also said to have described the attackers as "armed to the teeth".

The cable also claimed the Bishop had become "affected by his own abhorrence of the Provisional IRA and the disgust he felt at their hypocrisy".


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete