The IRA Murder of Young Mum Margaret Ann Hearst – The Irish Peace Process

Woman accused of attending New IRA leadership meetings refused bail

Soarah political wing of the New IRA 

Sharon Jordan formerly known as Mandy Duffy

A woman who allegedly attended New IRA leadership meetings to plot acts of terrorism must remain in custody, a  judge ruled on Friday.

Sharon Jordan was refused bail at Belfast Magistrates’ Court amid claims she was present at secretly recorded gatherings where dissident republicans also discussed securing foreign backing for their campaign.

Prosecution counsel argued: “Those involved in continuing violence for political ends are impermeable to change, (and) this applicant is a paradigm example of that.”

Jordan, 45, of Cappagh Road in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, is among 10 people charged as part of a major police and MI5 investigation.

Code-named Operation Arbacia, the surveillance-led offensive against New IRA activities involved bugging two suspected meetings earlier this year.

The case centres on audio and video recordings from properties in Sixmilecross and Omagh, Co Tyrone in February and July.

A previous court was told those present allegedly discussed training, finance and acquisition, along with a potential joint venture with a Middle Eastern grouping.

Defence lawyers have raised issues about entrapment and the reported role of a state agent.

Jordan faces charges of directing terrorism, belonging to a proscribed organisation, and two counts of preparation of terrorist acts.

Opposing bail, the prosecutor claimed she poses a serious risk to the public.

“The prima facie case is this was a group at the highest echelons of the IRA, who were planning, preparing and directing acts of terrorism on a substantial scale,” he said.

“Not only to do with that they see as the political situation in Northern Ireland, (but) seeking support from outside Northern Ireland in respect of that as well.”

Defence barrister Michael Forde argued that Jordan has health issues which were compounded by the tragic death of her son in Australia two years ago.

He also predicted any trial will be seriously delayed due to the number of defendants and the impact of Covid-19.

“This lady, who enjoys the presumption of innocence, would remain in custody for a very significant period of time,” Mr Forde stressed.

Bail was denied, however, due to the risks of further offences and flight.

District Judge George Conner said: “Clearly these alleged offences are of the most serious character.”

He added: “I feel, if necessary, she might flee the jurisdiction and I can also see the benefit of someone in this organisation having international contacts.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Alan Erwin and also The Irish News for the original story 




Alleged New IRA leaders were secretly recorded planning acts of ‘mayhem’, court hears

Police officers carry out searches last month as part of Operation Arbacia
Police officers carry out searches last month as part of Operation Arbacia
The dissident republican organisation’s most senior members also discussed training, finance, acquisition and discipline within its ranks, it was claimed.

Details emerged as bail was refused to a grandmother facing terrorist charges following a major police and MI5 investigation.

She is among 10 people charged as part of Operation Arbacia, a surveillance-led offensive targeting the terrorist grouping’s activities.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard evidence in the case centres on audio and video recordings from alleged gatherings at properties in Sixmilecross and Omagh in February and July.

“These meetings were of the highest echelons on the IRA,” prosecution counsel submitted.

“They (involved) two senior members of the IRA Army Council addressing members of the IRA Executive.”

Opposing McCabe’s bid to be released from custody, he claimed the risk to the public posed by those in attendance was at the highest level.

“It was a group which is intent on mayhem and serious terrorist offences, meeting to prepare, direct and discuss those offences,” the prosecutor contended.

Defence lawyers have repeatedly raised concerns over potential entrapment and the role of a special agent in the operation.

But the prosecution insisted any assertions about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) being used to obtain authorisation were incorrect.

Defence barrister Joseph O’Keefe argued that the reported role of a state agent would expose “flaws” in the case at an early stage.

He described McCabe as a mother and grandmother with a clear record who has lived in the Lurgan area all her life.

“She should be given the benefit of the doubt and would comply with any bail conditions,” Mr O’Keefe added.

However, District Judge Peter Magill held that the alleged offences were “as serious as one can envisage”.

He pointed out the prosecution claim McCabe took a “full and active part” in terrorist discussions.

“Those matters involved the discipline, the finances and the acquisition of material by which terrorist acts can be carried out in the context of an organisation which calls itself the IRA,” Mr Magill said.

“There are indications of connections with Middle Eastern organisations also, exploration of joint ventures and exploration of attracting finance and training.

“There are also discussions in respect of discipline within the organisation (and) there are discussions of terrorist acts in furtherance of the aims of at least one Middle Eastern organisation.”

Refusing bail, he remanded McCabe in custody to appear again later this month.
With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter for the original story 

Shame Féin members met ‘MI5 agent’ in loyalist heartland

Dissidents ignored repeated warnings about ‘New IRA double agent’

Follow this link to find out more:  Latest photograph of Dennis McFadden during a secret meeting with Sinn Féin

Suspected MI5 agent Dennis McFadden met Sinn Fein members in a house in the heart of loyalist Carrickfergus where they exchanged party documents, Sunday Life can reveal.

The Scotsman, who later allegedly infiltrated the New IRA, was a trusted party official embedded within the mainstream republican movement long before he aligned himself with dissidents.

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Sunday Life’s investigation has uncovered this photo of McFadden who former associates says usually shied away from having pictures taken and wore hats or hoodies at most times.

With many thanks to the: Sunday Life and Suzanne Breen for the original story 

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Dissident Chief’s Daughters Shock at Revelations

THE daughter of a former top republican revealed this week how her heart was “broken” on learning her family friend was an MI5 agent.

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Aisling Hardy, daughter of the late dissident chief Tony ‘TC’ Catney, posted on Facebook after learning that Dennis McFadden was in protective custody (follow the link above to read the Facebook message). She said: “My daddy was the bravest man I have ever and will ever know. He was my best friend, my heart. “No one will ever compare in strength and loyalty. “To hear someone he welcomed, treated as family and respected has been a liar has broken my heart and faith in humans.” Catney, who passed away in 2014, was one of McFadden’s closest friends. The high-ranking republican was jailed in 1974 at the age of 16 for murdering Maurice Knowles (17) from Rathcoole on the shores of Belfast Lough. He was released in 1990 and became Sinn Féin’s head of elections. In the years leading up to his death, he had moved away from the mainstream republican movement over a disagreement with the Shame Féin strategy. He is said to have “vouched” for McFadden in republican circles.


McFadden is understood to have moved to the North of Ireland over 10 years ago. He had business interests in Belfast and Spain. He is believed to have moved in many republican circles, and had some involvement with Shame Féin members in the Glens of Antrim, before moving to dissident causes. He was heavily involved in the Celtic fan scene and holidayed with many dissidents during his time here. Before joining Saoradh and being appointed as resource officer, McFadden had attempted to join republican socialist political group Éirígí. His application was denied along with Catney and another republican. Sources said that decision was solely down to “egos” within Éirígí. And another top republican hit out at McFadden’s role in a human rights group.

McFadden managed social media pages, websites and press statements of ‘Justice Watch Ireland’, set up by Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four in 2013 to “protect the human rights and the civil liberties of all the people throughout Ireland”. But Rick O’Rawe, a former republican prisoner, said allegations a founding member of the ‘Justice Watch Ireland’ group is a suspected security force spy, would have greatly disappointed Conlon, who died in 2014. Mr O’Rawe, who wrote a book on his close pal’s life said: “Gerry wouldn’t have been at all pleased that the justice organisation which he was affiliated with had been infiltrated by anyone. “He didn’t want any part of this game of paramilitarism or security force infiltration. McFadden was listed as secretary of the company from 2014, until it was dissolved in 2016. His name appears alongside the respected miscarriage of justice campaigner, and a number of other company directors.

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The Sunday World understands McFadden also managed and controlled much of the group’s online presence and recorded and edited videos of conferences and talks, uploading them to social media and YouTube. A profile in his name on the business site LinkedIn records his job as ‘operations manager’ for the group. It can also be revealed that the Scottish-born dad – who served as a police cadet in Glasgow – ran a high profile campaign on behalf of republicans. Sources say he helped manage the ‘Justice for the Craigavon Two’ campaign group surrounding the convictions of two men convicted over the CIRA murder of a police officer. PSNI/RUC Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead on March 9, 2009 in the Lismore Manor area of Craigavon as he responded to a 999 call. Brendan McConville (42) and 22-year-old John Paul Wootton were later sentenced to 25 and 14 years in jail for the murder, a conviction which was upheld on appeal in 2014.


McFadden is said to have “controlled” a campaign claiming both men were wrongly convicted. According to sources, he was “in charge” of the Justice for the Craigavon Two’s website, Facebook page and media. A number of YouTube accounts in McFadden’s name also show various videos and talks and conferences held on the case. Despite being involved in public talks with both Justice Watch Ireland and Justice for the Craigavon Two, he does not appear in any photos or videos alongside other members. One poster for a Justice Watch Ireland event, held in a Derry hotel in 2013, lists McFadden on a speaker line up on “human rights and civil liberties abuses”. “He told us he liked staying behind the camera, that he was the photographer,” one source said.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Patricia Devlin for the original story 

Bar in McFadden home may have been bugged

McFadden double agent and MI5 informer

The home of Dennis McFadden which the New IRA now believe was bugged
Members of hard line political organisation Saoradh based in north Belfast fear that a bar in the home of alleged double agent Dennis McFadden was bugged, with recordings now in the hands of MI5.
Last week Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray said that Operation Arbacia against the New IRA was far from over. “It is a longer term investigation that will look into every aspect of the New IRA in its entirety,” she said. While 10 people are currently charged with offences linked to two meetings in Co Tryone earlier this year, there are fears among members of the New IRA that other recordings could lead to further arrests and charges. The two women and eight men, among them Palestinian doctor Issam Hijjawi Bassalat (62), are charged with a range of terror-related offences. Also charged are Co Tryone man David Jordan (49) from Pomeroy who is married to Sharon Jordan (45), who has been remanded into custody along with Kevin Barry Murphy (49) from Coalisland, Amanda McCabe (49) – also known as Mandy Duffy – from Lurgan, Damien McLaughlin (44) from Ardboe, Joseph Patrick Barr (32) from Derry, and Gary Hayden (48) also from Derry. Shea Reynolds (26) from Lurgan and Patrick McDaid (50) from Derry were remanded at a previous hearing on similar charges.
Suspected agent McFadden(pictured above), who comes from a well respected family from the Gorbals area of Glasgow, is said to have used his contacts with Celtic fans travelling to Old Firm games to cement his relationship with dissident republicans. Named in court as an MI5 agent, provocateur, McFadden is thought to have been working undercover in the North of Ireland for almost 10 years. Sources have revealed his links with Belfast date back decades when relatives hosted events for bus loads of Celtic fans arriving from the North of Ireland. He appeared back in Glasgow for a relative’s 50th birthday party a few years ago and again claimed his work as a safety inspector kept him abroad for long periods of time. What remains of the New IRA in Derry are now blaming North Belfast members for being “easily bought” with tickets to football matches and nights drinking in the bar McFadden built at the side of his Glengormley home.
Police at Ardoyne Avenue in North Belfast
McFadden fled his home on the outskirts of North Belfast a week before his activities emerged, and is now thought to be in the protection of the intelligence services along with his wife and young child. It is understood two dark coloured vehicles, including a Transit van and a people carrier, pulled up at the house the day after the arrest of nine people. Neighbours said there was one person in each vehicle but that they did not see anything being removed from the property.
Allison Morris (left) Security Correspondent for the Irish News

The New IRA now believes that these vehicles were MI5 operatives removing listening devices and cameras from the house where McFadden often entertained members of the New IRA and Saoradh, filling them with alcohol while recording conversations. This is already causing deep divisions within what is left of the New IRA, with Derry members claiming that McFadden was only able to infiltrate the organisation as deeply as he did with the help of members from Belfast. There have also been questions asked to why to date none of those from Belfast closest to McFadden have been arrested, with the dissident republicans currently remanded facing charges all from Co Armagh, Tyrone and Derry.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris Security Correspondentfor the original story –

Double agent and MI5 informer Dennis McFadden may have fled his home two weeks ago

The home of Dennis McFadden in Glengormley

The vacant home of Dennis McFadden in Glengormley
Suspected agent Dennis McFadden may have fled his home in the outskirts of north Belfast a week before details of his activities emerged, neighbours say.

He is believed to have been central to the arrest of nine republicans and a Palestinian man over the last week.

The ten were detained as part of Operation Arbacia, which is investigating the activities of the ‘IRA’, which is often referred to as the New IRA.

Originally from Scotland, he is believed to have shared the home with his partner and young child.

The red brick house is located in a quiet cul-de-sac in Glengormley.

Hanging baskets in full bloom and a slightly overgrown front garden neatly disguise the property’s sensational secrets.

Read More: Palestinian doctor travelled to Lebanon with New IRA suspect

The property was empty yesterday with the white blinds drawn.

A child’s scooter lay abandoned where it was left on a path close to the front door of the vacant property.

The suspicion of neighbours was raised last week when strangers arrived at the average suburban home.

It is understood two dark coloured vehicles, including a Transit van and a people carrier, pulled up at the house last Wednesday afternoon.

Locals say there was one person in each vehicle and at this point nothing was removed from the property.

It is understood both vehicles left the area shortly before a white removal van arrived in the sleepy street shortly after 2.30pm.

Within an hour the truck pulled out of the street laden with the contents of Mr McFadden’s home.

However, one local said that the property was empty for around a week before the arrival of the removal truck.

One neighbour said that although Mr McFadden, who managed a bar in west Belfast, kept to himself there was a regular stream of visitors to the property.

It is reported that had installed a mini bar at the side of his house and regularly served himself and visitors pints of draught Guinness.

It has been suggested that at times he could work his way through two kegs a week, which were often delivered to the house by taxi.

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story 


Suspected agent linked to ‘IRA’ surveillance named as Dennis McFadden

Dennis McFadden double agent and MI5 informer 

Dennis McFadden has not been seen since last week
A suspected agent believed to be central to the major MI5-led operation targeting the ‘IRA’ has been named as Dennis McFadden.

A member of the Saoradh national executive, he held the post of resource officer.

It is believed that he was also involved in financial affairs.

Originally from Scotland, he has not been seen since last week.

It is understood the contents of his home on the outskirts of Belfast were packed into a removal van on Wednesday and friends and acquaintances have been unable to contact him.

Sources say he moved into the property last year with his wife and young son.

It is believed that Mr McFadden was responsible for renting two properties in Co Tyrone used for separate meetings this year which have led to 10 arrests in a major surveillance operation targeting the ‘IRA’, also known as the ‘New IRA’.

The Irish News understands that he was also responsible for transporting some of those who attended the meetings to both properties.

It has been suggested that he has a long association with the republican movement.

Fresh concerns are said to have been raised as recently as last year.

It is said that at one point he was openly challenged, while some republicans refused to be in his company.

If is not known if the suspected agent involved in the MI5 operation was recruited as an informer and will now become an ‘assisting offender’ or was an MI5 or PSNI agent directed to infiltrate republican groups.

It is suspected he has been taken into some form of protective custody, possibly to a security facility somewhere in the north.

Mr McFadden has faced threats online since details of his alleged role began to emerge.

He was a former manager of a well known west Belfast bar and it is suggested he often travelled abroad for work.

Mr McFadden was close to several senior republicans, including Tony Catney who died in 2014, and was described by those who knew him as “personable”.

He was known to attend a large number of republican functions across Ireland on a regular basis and was also involved in other projects and campaigns.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story 

Sinister picture of republican ‘gunman’ near Derry’s Bogside bonfires

Photographs have emerged purporting to show an armed republican on the streets of Derry last week.

Follow this link to find out more: a masked man with what appears to be a rifle on the streets of Co Derry

Captured by French politics PhD student Hadrien Holstein, the grainy pictures show a masked man posing with what appears to be a rifle close to the controversial Bogside bonfire.
Scrawled on a gable wall behind the shadowy figure was the one-word slogan ‘INLA’. The pictures were taken late on Thursday night, as the bonfire was under construction. Mr Holstein (26), a doctoral student at the University of Paris-Nanterre, has been researching Irish Republicinism for the past five years, and has published several academic papers on the subject. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, the student said the gunman had emerged from the shadows close to the bonfire and had issued a chilling threat to the security forces.

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“I was covering for my own work the bonfire on the Bogside. “I decided to spend some moments during the night at the bonfire,” the student said. “And at one moment, someone made me a sign, called me to come over – and there was the gunman.” The PhD student asked the gunman if he could take a photograph. “He said OK, and made a short statement,” he said. “He said he was from the Republican Movement, Derry Brigade. “I asked for a precious group, but he didn’t reply. “He said he was looking for RUC child abusers, and said all Crown Forces are legitimate targets. “Then he turned away and went back to where he had come from.” 

Members of the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) with credit to An Sionnach Fionn for the original photograph

The incident took place around midnight on Thursday, according to Mr Holstein’s account of the incident. The student said he had not spoken to police about the incident, and nor did he plan to. “My PhD is mainly about the republicans,” he said. “If I contact the police, you know, it is the end of my work, my PhD. “Nobody would speak to me again, so I decided not to do it.” Asked if he was frightened by what he saw, the student said: “At the beginning, yes, because it was the first time I saw a gun. “But in the end I was more stressed than frightened. “When I understand it was OK in a way, that I could be safe and just taking a picture, I was more stressed.” He accepted that the terrorists may have been using him as a channel to send a message to the outside world. I think they knew I was a Frenchman,” the PhD student said. “I’m not 100% sure but I suppose they were expecting that I contact the media to make coverage, it was accepted I’d make publicity. “I’m French, I’m not part of the community, so they saw me as an external person.”

Last night, Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said the emergence of the terrorist image was “disturbing”. “It’s clearly very sinister,” the MLA told the Belfast Telegraph. “We know over the weekend, and with the burning of images of the Queen and poppy wreaths, it has caused a lot of upset and hurt right across the community. “And the appearance of what appears to be a gunman will no doubt strike fear into that particular community.” He said the incident had echoes of the scenes leading up to the murder in the city of journalist Lyra McKee a year ago. “It’s worrying, given the fact a young journalist lost their life on the city’s streets due to a gunman. 

That image represents a huge step backwards in terms of community relations and the development of the peaceful society that we all want.” Mr Middleton called on those involved to “get off the backs” of the community because “it’s clear that they are not wanted”, and said that anyone with any information on the gunman should contact the PSNI/RUC as soon as possible. This year Derry bonfires have come in for heavy criticism from senior Sinn Féin figures, with deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill describing them as “displays of hate”. The PSNI/RUC said last night they had no reports of the Bogside gunman incident.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and David Young for the original story 

Driver doused in petrol during Derry hijacking as city suffers third night of violence

Police come under attack in Derry in a third day of violence in the city
A driver was doused in petrol by a group of men who hijacked his recovery lorry before setting it alight in Derry last night as the city suffered a third night of violence. 

In another incident a masked gang of up to 20 people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car.

There were further hijackings and attempted hijackings in the city last night, after similar incidents in recent days.

The fifth anniversary of the introduction of internment on 9th August 1971 was marked with disturbances and the hijacking and burning of vehicles. This picture was taken on the Falls Road, Belfast, N Ireland. 197608090356b
Copyright Image from Victor Patterson, 54 Dorchester Park, Belfast, United Kingdom, UK.
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Youths threw petrol bombs, paint bombs and other missiles at police in two separate locations as officers responded to a hoax security alert on Skeoge Road and later to the hijacking of the recovery lorry near Galliagh roundabout. Police said around 150 young people had gathered close to the roundabout and officers were attacked.

Two to three men stopped the recovery vehicle and one of them poured fuel inside the lorry “covering the driver”.


“Both males managed to escape from the vehicle in what was a terrifying ordeal for them and get to safety before the truck was set alight.

“NIFRS and police attended the scene where a crowd of around 150 people had gathered. Some of those who had gathered threw missiles, including stones and bottles, at officers. A petrol bomb was also thrown but failed to ignite.

“As this was taking place, police received a report of an attempted hijacking in Galliagh Park where a woman was stopped by a young masked male who tried to take her vehicle – a black Kia – using a wheelbrace. The woman managed to flee to safety. Damage was caused to the car door, and the woman was understandably left shaken.”

Police said the third incident took place at around 12:40am today when a van was hijacked and set alight in Fergleen Park.

Another attempted hijacking was reported just after 2am when up to 20 masked people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car on Fairview Road

A number of vehicles were also hijacked in the city on Tuesday August 4.

Derry and Strabane District Commander Chief Superintendent Emma Bond said the violence was “not representative of this city” and was taking place against the backdrop of the death and funeral of former SDLP and civil rights leader John Hume.

She said police had gathered evidence with a view to making arrests and asked community and elected representatives to continue using their influence.

“This has been the third night of disorder in our city at the hands of cowards determined to cause disruption in our communities.  It is unacceptable and I am very disappointed people made a deliberate decision to go out onto the streets and cause trouble,” CS Bond said.

“Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on the city as John Hume was laid to rest. The scenes in our communities last night are not representative of this city.

“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on our streets over the past few nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for our communities being impacted, and the people who live here.”

CS Bond had a message for onlookers.

“I would also urge anyone, including those who gathered to watch this disorder last night to understand this is not entertainment. This is dangerous, reckless activity, which has a significant impact on not only the people whose vehicles were targeted, but also on the local communities.”

She thanked community and elected representatives who had been on the ground last night and asked them to continue to use their influence “to help us maintain control of the situation so we don’t have another night of disorder and our communities don’t come under attack again”.

“We have gathered evidence in relation to these incidents and are working to identify those responsible and those involved and we can assure the public we will be working towards making arrests,” she added.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Maeve Connolly for the original story 

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