MI5 ADMITS SPY OPERATION
The head of MI5 has admitted that British intelligence agents
placed a sophisticated listening device at the head offices of
Sinn Fein in Belfast.
In the first formal admission of the bugging operation, MI5's
director-general Eliza Manningham-Buller bragged to a
Westminster parliamentary committee, "they [Sinn Fein officials]
had to almost shred the office to find it".
The 5ft device was found last September hidden in a floor joist
at the headquarters of the party, which is the IRA's political
Sinn Fein said at the time that two live microphones were found,
one pointed towards the upstairs office and the other at a
downstairs conference room.
When the bugging was disclosed, British officials refused to
discuss the matter. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams 'returned'
the device at scheduled talks with the British Prime Minister
Adams described the bug as "a serious act of bad faith" and
violation of human rights". He added: "The British make it very,
very hard to make peace when this goes on.. this is a violation
of the peace process."
Sinn Fein's Bairbre de Brun urged Dublin's Minister for Foreign
Affairs, Dermot Ahern to raise the matter with Britain's Direct
Ruler, Paul Murphy, who she said must have authorised the
Ms de Brun said the news of the bugging "will shock even those
who have become hardened to the fact that the nationalist
community has been spied upon and harassed for the past 35 years
by these same shadowy organisations.
"Given this highly disturbing report, the British government
must now provide a satisfactory reply to the European
Parliament, to the Irish government, and most importantly to the
voters whose rights have been infringed.
"Time and again undercover British securocrats have created
difficulties in the peace process, culminating with the closure
of Stormont after unsubstantiated allegations of a spy-ring.
These are the same people who have admitted responsibility for
spying on republicans ten years into a peace process."