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brew ira Double agent made tea as terror group's farcical meetings were bugged

New details came out during a bail hearing connected to PSNI/MI5 operation

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Dennis McFadden

Dennis McFadden

Dennis McFadden

New IRA double agent Dennis McFadden spent his time at secretly bugged 'Army Council' meetings offering to make tea, it has emerged.

Jaw-dropping details about the state of the New IRA have come out of a bail hearing for one of the ten people arrested and charged with terrorist activity following a joint PSNI/MI5 operation into the republican group.

Previous court hearings have revealed how covert recordings showed the New IRA planned to kidnap a drug dealer to seize his arsenal of guns and then murder him.

But at the latest failed bail hearing for one of the accused - Derry native Gary Hayden - further details of recordings taken secretly at a so-called safe house set up by McFadden reveal how the New IRA were in disarray and losing support.

Defence Counsel Joe Brolly read details of some of the recorded conversations and claimed they show "these people are interested in republicanism and social justice but are still talking in the past. By their own admissions they have no capability. This is not a terror cell organising attacks."

The accused are heard discussing a "f***ing embarrassing" protest where nobody showed up. They also discuss the "best vet for dogs", how Usain Bolt is "f***ing massive" and agree how lovely the "smell of turf" is.

He says double-agent McFadden can be heard throughout asking if anyone wants a cup of tea.

The ten accused are husband and wife David and Sharon Jordan, as well as Damien Joseph McLaughlin from Dungannon; Kevin Murphy from Coalisland, Amanda McCabe and Shea Reynolds from Lurgan; and Patrick McDaid, Joseph Barr and Gary Hayden from Derry. Dr Issam Bassalat from Edinburgh is charged with addressing an IRA meeting.

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Gary Hayden

Gary Hayden

Gary Hayden

During a bail application for Hayden at Dungannon Magistrates Court, prosecution counsel said: "The people involved are the highest echelons of the IRA. The risks are clear and manifest from the content of those meetings. There is an entrenched and ingrained mindset that will not change."

In one meeting, discussions included the IRA and army executive, constitution, military, weaponry, an economic bombing campaign, close-quarter shootings of police officers, cyber-attacks, parades and commemorations.

Previously it was disclosed self-proclaimed chair of the New IRA army council, David Jordan, spoke of torturing people if ordered.

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Self-proclaimed IRA chief-of-staff Kevin Murphy discussed obtaining weapons from drug dealers through kidnap and threats to murder.

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Republican David Jordan speaks to protestors. Photo Press Eye.

Republican David Jordan speaks to protestors. Photo Press Eye.

Republican David Jordan speaks to protestors. Photo Press Eye.

Opposing bail, prosecution counsel added Hayden has previous convictions including wearing paramilitary-type clothing and attending an unnotified parade.

The court heard each defendant has a full copy of the papers and Prison Service has provided Blu-ray DVD players to view discs of evidence.

Defence counsel Joe Brolly said Hayden's convictions involved "simply dressing up in combats. He took part in a public procession but wasn't aware it was unnotified."

He added the covert-recordings amounted to "talking shops pure and simple. There are sentimental discussions about the old days. Absolutely nothing is planned."

Hayden attended a meeting set up by: "State agent Denis McFadden...who has since disappeared."

A person refers to a protest at which no-one turned up as: "F***ing embarrassing. If we're serious about this we're in f**ing trouble... If this becomes a talking shop and it's in danger of that, I'd be in favour of not coming back. You can't go round f***ing hugging people constantly."

Mr Brolly added that there was "a really wacky conversation about cyber attacks and another around not upsetting druggies or ex-Provos."

An attendee says: "Jesus, we need to be careful because you'd be too f***ing busy looking over your shoulder for those druggies coming to shoot you or some c*** in the Provos."

Mr Brolly said the conversations included "the best vet for dogs, the lovely smell of turf and a Derry man who ran a protection racket and sold hooky cigarettes from a pub, which someone described as a real cesspit".

Conversation turns to "INLA involvement in drugs and recruiting big steroid-head doormen. If you look at them wrong there's 10 at your door the next day and they'd batter you. They're selling steroids in every gym in the city and none of them have a brain cell."

While the group watch Usain Bolt on television, one person comments: "Look at the f***ing size of him. He's f***ing massive."

The defence said: "It's all very amicable. They discuss Cheltenham as a Covid spreader, a great singer not getting the recognition she deserves, someone called Tiernan has set a wedding date and a Michelle got donations of £300 for the prisoners' families."

Throughout the meeting McFadden keeps asking if anyone wants more tea. District Judge Michael Ranaghan threw out the bail application having determined risks remain too great.

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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