I was abandoned by MI5, says agent who infiltrated the IRA
A DOUBLE agent who infiltrated the IRA on behalf of the British security services has accused MI5 of abandoning him to a life of alcoholism and mental health problems.
Raymond Gilmour, who escaped Northern Ireland and now lives in south-east England, acted as a “supergrass” during a trial of 35 IRA suspects, and although the case collapsed in 1984, he claims his actions saved a number of lives.
At the time, Mr Gilmour said MI5 promised to pay him £500,000 and provide him with a new home, identity and adequate psychiatric support, as well as a pension.
Instead, he insists that the security services paid him only £600 a month, then abandoned him after three years, and that his false identity does not stand up to close scrutiny.
As a result of the stress of his work for MI5, Mr Gilmour said he had become an alcoholic and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mr Gilmour has now made a formal complaint about his treatment to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, whose role is to examine complaints against the intelligence services.
However the IPT said yesterday that it, would never confirm or deny whether it had received a complaint, even if the individual had told the media they had submitted a complaint to them.
Mr Gilmour, who has the support of his MP, said he was 17 when he joined the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1976 while serving as a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) special branch agent.
After four years he transferred to the Derry wing of the IRA, where he served for two years before his cover was blown in 1982, when information he supplied was used to recover a machine gun.
He was quoted by the BBC as saying: “I brought the INLA to their knees in Derry, I brought the IRA to their knees in Derry, and I saved countless lives. If I’m being treated like this after many years, what do you think people down the chain are being treated like?
“I am living on a knife-edge because of my mental health, I have no financial stability, which was promised – I have nothing.”
When he agreed to testify, it led to the arrest of 35 republicans in Londonderry, but his evidence was later dismissed by the then Lord Chief Justice as “unworthy of belief”, which left him “heartbroken and disgusted”.
He said: “I knew I was telling the truth, I was told there were deals struck by RUC men behind the scenes that decisions had to be made that wouldn’t be palatable for me, so I was going to be the fall guy.”
Mr Gilmour had to flee for his life, and even today, 30 years on, he insists he is “totally paranoid” and still sleeps with a gun under his pillow in case of an assassination attempt.
Yesterday, Danny Morrison, a former publicity director for Sinn Fein, said: “There will be no love lost for him, no sympathy for him, and it doesn’t come unexpected that when MI5 are finished with people they discard them.”
However, Ian Paisley jnr, the Democratic Unionist Party MP for North Antrim, said: “An agent who worked for the government in the dirtiest war ever this side of Kosovo should be protected.”
Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Office said the government’s policy was not to say whether an individual was or was not an agent.
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