Northern Ireland news

Family of alleged agent Dennis McFadden refused to go into 'protective custody'

Suspected agent Dennis McFadden and the home he disappeared from a few weeks ago

Hardline party Saoradh has said alleged MI5 agent Dennis McFadden has been in contact with his family to confirm he is in protective custody.

Nine members of the party and a Palestinian doctor have been charged with offences linked to two meetings in Co Tyrone this year.

McFadden, who is believed to have been an agent for more than a decade, booked the properties that were fitted with cameras and listening devices.

Originally from the Gorbals area of Glasgow, McFadden who was a former special constable with the Police Scotland, went missing from his home near Belfast several weeks ago.

Operation Arbacia, targetting the New IRA is ongoing with further arrests expected in the Republic. It was reported on Sunday that authorities plan to seek the extradition of alleged members of the New IRA.

Posting online Saoradh said McFadden's family had been in constant contact.

"This engagement has made it clear that McFadden, under the direction of his MI5 superiors, set out to entrap republicans at the behest of the British government," it said.

"Since the entrapment case occurred this MI5 agent has contacted his family to admit what he is, sent his handlers to their doors and MI5 even attempted to kidnap them into 'protective custody' – which they resisted and refused."

It was also reported on Sunday that a second agent may have been involved in the Co Tyrone operation. A Belfast man who provided 'security' for the meetings, features on the recordings but has yet to be arrested.

McFadden often hosted this man along with prominent Belfast members of Saoradh at a bar he had built in his house in Glengormley. That was also believed to be bugged and those recordings are also now in the hands of MI5.

McFadden claimed to work as a safety inspector and this kept him abroad for long periods.

Currently in custody are Co Tyrone couple David Jordan (49) and Sharon Jordan (45), Kevin Barry Murphy (49) from Coalisland, Amanda McCabe (49), from Lurgan - also known as Mandy Duffy - Damien McLaughlin (44) from Ardboe, Joseph Patrick Barr (32) from Derry, and 48-year old Gary Hayden also from Derry.

Shea Reynolds (26) from Lurgan and Patrick McDaid (50) from Derry were remanded at a previous hearing on similar charges.

Doctor Issam Hijjawi Bassalat (62), who claims he was entrapped by McFadden into travelling to Belfast to attend the July meeting is also remanded in custody.

"It is the opinion of his immediate family that McFadden cares for no one but himself and the personal profit resulting from his actions," Saoradh said.

"Not those who he has imprisoned in this dirty snare. Not their distraught family members who welcomed him into their homes as a friend. And not even his own family.

"The McFadden family have freely stated to Saoradh that they are disgusted by the actions of their family member, someone who they want no further association with.

"Just as our imprisoned comrades and their families are victims of the presence of MI5 in Occupied Ireland, so too has the family of Dennis McFadden been betrayed. Saoradh stands with them just as we stand with our comrades and their families here at home.

"Saoradh would like to place on public record that the wider McFadden family should face no negativity, threats, coercion or any other recriminations from republicans or others for the sins of their former family member."

It has been reported, meanwhile, that McFadden is believed to have saved the life of prominent loyalist Johnny Adair. Three dissidents were jailed in 2015 for plotting to kill Adair at his home. It was reported that McFadden was suspected of facilitating bugging of their homes which prevented the bid.

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