The Director General of the Security Service (MI5), Jonathan Evans, said in September last year that dissident republicans posed “a real and increasing security challenge” in Northern Ireland. A warning born out by the recent attempt on the lives of police officers in North Belfast.
Less obvious in this age of peace is the unseen struggle in the shadows as the security agencies attempt to recruit agents to secure life-saving intelligence while dissident republicans attempt to find ‘retired’ Provisional IRA members with life-taking skills. The advances in electronic technology since the ceasefires, has somewhat diminished the role of the agent, yet the informer remains an invaluable resource.
Gerry, not his real name, was a member of the IRA. He was both a bomber and RUC Special Branch informer who now finds himself being ‘head-hunted’ by both the dissidents and intelligence services.
Here, he tells us of the pressure he says he’s being placed under.