Northern Ireland news

Derry man with links to former senior Saoradh figure suspected of being informer

Connla Young

A suspected informer with links to a former leading member of Saoradh in Derry has been brought into protective custody by a state agency, The Irish News understands.

The republican has not been seen locally since the end of last week.

A spokesman for Saoradh, which has the support of New IRA prisoners, said he was not a member of the hardline party, but was "on the periphery of some activism by local members".

The Irish News understands that the suspected agent has close ties to a former prominent member of the party.

He is believed to be the first suspected informer linked to Saoradh to be exposed since Dennis McFadden's cover was blown almost two years ago after an MI5 sting targeted the New IRA.

The information provided by McFadden, who is also believed to be under the protection of British state agencies, was a serious setback to the paramilitary group.

Suspected British agent Dennis McFadden

Sources close to the New IRA last night said the man had fallen under suspicion in recent months and that the paramilitary group is currently carrying out an investigation.

The suspected informer was "exposed" after being challenged by a family member and failed to turn up for "debriefing" after being ordered by the New IRA.

A spokesman for Saoradh said: "This man was used to target local republicans in the Creggan area of Derry.

"We believe that (the man) is with his handlers in England. (The man) has now thrown his life away and for what?"

The spokesman also urged "anyone who has been compromised or approached by British intelligence services to come forward and safely remove yourself from this dangerous activity".

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