Fifty Dead Men Walking: The true story of an undercover agent inside the IRA.
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For more than four years, Martin McGartland lived the astonishing double life of a secret agent. To the IRA, he was a trusted Intelligence Office and an integral member of an active service unit. To the British Government however, he was known only as 'Agent Carol'. Martin McGartland is credited by British Intelligence with saving the lives of at least fifty people. Every time he tipped off the authorities, he risked detection and yet, heroically and fearlessly, he continued to pass on life-saving information. Finally, his cover was blown. Martin was taken from Sinn Fein headquarters in Belfast to an IRA safehouse for questioning and almost certain execution. Though guarded by armed men, in a desperate bid for freedom, he dived from a third floor window...This breathtaking story is now a major film starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess.
daily contact with the men who organised and controlled the bombings and shootings throughout Northern Ireland. I had also struck up a relationship with a middle-aged man named Danny, a down-and-out who spent his time hanging around pubs and betting shops in Belfast and for whom I felt some compassion. I had noticed him hanging around, running errands for anybody and everybody, and in return he would be handed a few cigarettes or a couple of quid. Few people bothered to speak to him and most
was hit squarely in the cheek by a bullet, smashing his teeth. He received little sympathy from any of us, however, despite his bravado. From then on he would be called ‘Hamburger’, because it looked for weeks as though he had a large piece of burger stuffed in his mouth. But the injury cured him of his recklessness for he would never again be seen prancing in front of the British soldiers. Most of the incidents, however, were no laughing matter but deadly serious affairs. One Ballymurphy man was
these would often prove embarrassingly unreliable. Several times, IRA members risked carrying out a bombing only to find that the detonator was ineffective and the operation a waste of time. As a result, orders were issued to the effect that detonators should be assembled by bomb-makers in batches of ten, so that three or four of them could be tested – exploded, in effect – hopefully ensuring that the home-made detonator would perform correctly when the bomb was laid. If two or three tests
believe that it would be that easy for an IRA gunman to kill a Divisional Commander. I was convinced that they would have better security than Lynch was suggesting. To me it sounded like a mad idea. As we drove back, he continued to chat about his operation. ‘Marty,’ he remarked, ‘that bastard’s already as good as dead.’ The following day I informed Felix. His attitude was as positive as always. ‘I must inform the Commander to ensure his safety.’ Within 24 hours, the Commander and his family
was both furious and upset. He also knew that, for the first time, I felt he had failed me and I now doubted if there was real trust between us. Kicking the van as I clambered out, I told him, ‘I’ll phone you if I can. But remember, this might be the last time you ever see me alive. And if it is, then it will be on your fucking conscious.’ Later, after I had calmed down a little, I wondered if I had been too heavy-handed with Felix, for I knew that he was always under incredible pressure from