Northern Ireland news

Suspected agent linked to 'IRA' surveillance named as Dennis McFadden

Dennis McFadden has not been seen since last week 
Connla Young

A suspected agent believed to be central to the major MI5-led operation targeting the 'IRA' has been named as Dennis McFadden.

A member of the Saoradh national executive, he held the post of resource officer.

It is believed that he was also involved in financial affairs.

Originally from Scotland, he has not been seen since last week.

It is understood the contents of his home on the outskirts of Belfast were packed into a removal van on Wednesday and friends and acquaintances have been unable to contact him.

Sources say he moved into the property last year with his wife and young son.

It is believed that Mr McFadden was responsible for renting two properties in Co Tyrone used for separate meetings this year which have led to 10 arrests in a major surveillance operation targeting the 'IRA', also known as the 'New IRA'.

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The Irish News understands that he was also responsible for transporting some of those who attended the meetings to both properties.

It has been suggested that he has a long association with the republican movement.

Sources say that security concerns were voiced about the Scotsman by some republicans in west Belfast as far back as a decade ago.

Fresh concerns are said to have been raised as recently as last year.

It is said that at one point he was openly challenged, while some republicans refused to be in his company.

If is not known if the suspected agent involved in the MI5 operation was recruited as an informer and will now become an 'assisting offender' or was an MI5 or PSNI agent directed to infiltrate republican groups.

It is suspected he has been taken into some form of protective custody, possibly to a security facility somewhere in the north.

Mr McFadden has faced threats online since details of his alleged role began to emerge.

He was a former manager of a well known west Belfast bar and it is suggested he often travelled abroad for work.

Mr McFadden was close to several senior republicans, including Tony Catney who died in 2014, and was described by those who knew him as “personable”.

He was known to attend a large number of republican functions across Ireland on a regular basis and was also involved in other projects and campaigns.

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