‘Irish Gerry’ | 

Gerry McGivern: Provo bomber who tricked Conservative Club into thinking he was unionist

When the west Belfast man dropped dead aged 46, they even flew the union flag at half-mast in honour of him

Gerry McGivern

Ciaran BarnesSunday Life

UDA killer Herbie Montgomery is not the first paramilitary to move overseas and trick his new friends into believing he was an honest guy.

IRA bomber Gerry McGivern did the same, convincing his friends at the Conservative Club in Torquay that he was a committed unionist.

When the west Belfast man dropped dead aged 46 in July 2014, they even flew the union flag at half-mast in honour of him.

They were later horrified to discover that McGivern, who they knew as ‘Irish Gerry’, was in fact a Provo bomber who fled to England after being exposed as a police informant.

Conservative councillor Robert Excell described the revelations as “embarrassing”, saying: “This really concerns me, surely the police would have known about his background. This breach of security should have been flagged up, we don’t want terrorists living in Torquay.

“I’ve no idea why the flag at Hele (Conservative Club) was flown at half-mast when Gerry McGivern died, as this normally only occurs when dignitaries have passed away. I must admit, it is embarrassing.”

Gerry McGivern with former partner Anne Mackay

In 1989, McGivern was part of an IRA unit that severely injured soldier Steve Gill in an explosion on the Falls Road in west Belfast. The squaddie, who later appeared on TV show Big Brother, lost both legs and an eye in the blast.

A year later McGivern was kneecapped by the Provos for robbing £6,000 from a local supermarket. In 1992 he was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to IRA membership, armed robbery, criminal damage and aggravated burglary.

By that stage republicans had worked out McGivern was working for the RUC so he served his sentence on the criminal wing of prison. After his release the thug moved to Liverpool where he was jailed for three years for supplying heroin.

McGivern was freed in 2000 and relocated to Torquay, adopting the guise of ‘Irish Gerry’ — a true blue unionist and highly-regarded member of the town’s Conservative Club.

Following his death in 2014, McGivern’s partner Anne Mackay paid tribute to him in a local newspaper, saying: “He was a charmer, well-liked by everybody and had a heart of gold. He was a colourful character in the village. Everybody knew Irish Gerry.”

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