Another informer outed
A former Sinn Fein election worker has admitted yesterday to
being a paid Special Branch informer for 25 years.
In a statement issued through his lawyer, Frank McManus, Sean
Lavelle, from Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, said he was recruited as
an agent in the early 1980s.
"I was pressurised into this after I was arrested some time in
1980," said Mr Lavelle.
"I deeply regret my activities and the hurt which they have
caused to my family and to my community."
Mr Lavelle was never a member of Sinn Fein. His association with
the party as an election worker ended ten years ago.
Fermanagh Sinn Fein assemblyman Tom O'Reilly said the information
he provided his handlers with would have been "extremely
"The knowledge Sean Lavelle had on republicans in Fermanagh isn't
worth talking about," said Mr O'Reilly.
"He worked voluntarily for Sinn Fein at election times, that was
the extent of his involvement with the party. His work was really
Mr O'Reilly said the people who would be hurt most by Mr
Lavelle's admission are his family and friends.
He added: "They are going to feel betrayed. Mr Lavelle has lied
to the people he professes to love for the last 25 years.
"It's clear there's an element in Special Branch and the PSNI
that remains a negative force with this political policing. It's
preventing progress in the peace process."
Mr O'Reilly said Mr Lavelle was safe and living at home.
"He is still living in Donagh," he said. "He is safe. There
nothing untoward with the man."
The naming follows the shock identification last month of Denis
Donaldson, a leading member of Sinn Fein, as a British agent.
The outing of Mr Lavelle as an agent of 25 years has also caused
surprise, but only because the information available to Mr
Lavelle would have been considered virtually worthless.
Last week, Mr Adams predicted further revelations on Britain's
covert actions against republicans.
"You are going to get more alleged agents or real agents being
trotted out in the time ahead," he said after a meeting with a
bipartisan US Congressional team in Belfast.
"You are going to get more efforts by dissident elements within
the British system to stop progress," he said.
"You are going to get this seized upon by the DUP and others who
are afraid of a future based on equality. What we have to be is
tenacious, resilient and patient about moving all of this
forward," the Sinn Fein President added.