Showing posts with label Spy Agency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spy Agency. Show all posts

October 15, 2019

Britain M16 Chief Was Secretly Gay, The IRA Knew and Maybe KGB (A True Spy Story)

Please keep in mind:
There is, of course, a world of difference between being gay and being attracted to underage males. However, back in the unenlightened 1970s and 1980s, few in politics would have acknowledged the important distinction

By Joseph de Burca.
Forty years ago this month Margaret Thatcher sent Sir Maurice Oldfield, the former Chief of MI6, to Belfast to co-ordinate the activities of the various branches of British Intelligence in Ireland. In 2017 the Hart Report reported the existence of an MI6 document which revealed a “small collection of papers in file three which relate to the relationship [Oldfield] had with the Head of the Kincora Boys’ Home (KBH) in Belfast”. The “Head” of Kincora was “Warden” Joseph Mains who abused teenage boys at Kincora and elsewhere.
Joe Mains, the Head of Kincora. (left) Internal MI6 records reveal he had a “friendship” and a “relationship” with Oldfield (on the right), the former Chief of MI6.  
Judge Anthony Hart proceeded to accept the notion – put forward to him by MI6 – that Oldfield had never gone to Belfast. This being so, how did Oldfield develop his “relationship” and “friendship” with Mains?
Since Oldfield was appointed NI Security Co-Ordinator in October 1979, he hardly had time to make friends with Mains before he and the other two other staff members at Kincora, William McGrath and Raymond Semple, were exposed as pedophiles a few months later by The Irish Independent. This being so, was Hart wrong in finding that Oldfield had not visited Northern Ireland before 1979 or did Mains visit Oldfield in London?
And just what was the nature of the Oldfield-Mains “friendship”?
Kieran Conway, the former Director of Intelligence for the Provisional IRA, has confirmed that the Provos knew Oldfield was gay.  The IRA had Oldfield under surveillance in the mid-1970s in the run-up to placing a bomb at his apartment at Marsham Court in London on October 1975.
Oldfield was in fact attracted to young males. Is it possible that the Soviet intelligence apparatus, the KGB, learned that Oldfield was attracted to young males, whether by surveillance or through its spies in MI6 such as Kim Philby and George Blake who would have been on the lookout for blackmail material on their MI6 colleagues? There is, of course, a world of difference between being gay and being attracted to underage males. However, back in the unenlightened 1970s and 1980s, few in politics would have acknowledged the important distinction Bizarre as it may look now, the mainstream print media routinely referred to the Kincora scandal as a “homosexual” one when it was nothing of the sort.
In the 1970s and 1980s, those who ran British Intelligence definitely viewed a homosexual in the ranks as a security risk. Hence, when Margaret Thatcher was told about Oldfield’s sexuality, his security clearance was withdrawn while an inquiry was carried out to see if he had been compromised by the Soviets. It determined that he hadn’t. However, inquiries into the loyalty of Kim Philby had failed to expose evidence of his true allegiance to the Soviet Union. Furthermore, MI5 and MI6 had let at least Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, Donald MacClean, John Cairncross, George Blake – all Soviet agents – run amok inside Britain’s intelligence community for decades.
The real question is this: if the KGB found out, what did they do with the information?
Who was Maurice Oldfield and what was he capable of?
When ‘The Troubles’ erupted, Oldfield was Deputy Chief of MI6. He assumed control of Irish affairs because his Chief, Sir John Rennie, did not share the same experience as he in the dark arts of the secret world. Rennie, who had been a surprise appointment as Chief of MI6, had a diplomatic and propaganda background whereas Oldfield had participated in deception campaigns during WW2; fought terrorism in Palestine after it; monitored the flow of weapons and money to the communist guerrillas fighting the British in Malaya in the 1950s. And, if all this wasn’t enough to square up to the IRA, he had a good idea of what it took to run a paramilitary campaign due to his knowledge of MI6’s guerrilla campaign against Albania, something that happened in the 1950s during his stint as deputy chief of MI6’s counter-espionage directorate, R5.
Sir John Rennie
Oldfield was a tubby little man who waddled when he walked, often dressed badly and was allegedly afflicted with occasional psoriasis. He has become more famous than most of his contemporaries, probably because Alec Guinness drew on his bespectacled appearance for his celebrated portrayal of George Smiley for the BBC’s production of John Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The glamour of the association with Le Carrie has eclipsed the true nature of Oldfield’s character
When Rennie retired prematurely in 1973 after a drug-smuggling scandal in Hong Kong involving his son, Oldfield finally secured the top spot he had coveted for so long. Once in the driving seat, he steered MI6 until his retirement in early 1978 under an appropriately misleading title, ‘Head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Research Department’. Under Oldfield, MI6 HQ continued to be what it had always been: a haven for criminals and the sort of place where a visitor would have been well advised to wipe his or her shoes on the way out of the building.
Oldfield was appointed Chief of MI6 by the pedophile Ted Heath
Oldfield’s retirement as MI6 Chief was not to prove the death of his career: he re-emerged from his crypt to become Ulster Security Co-ordinator at the behest of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. By then too many intelligence cooks had congregated in NI and were spoiling the spy broth. Oldfield was asked to knock heads and streamline their work.
In 1987 Irish Republicans and MI5’s ultra right-wing (the ‘Ultras’) seized the opportunity to float a theory that Oldfield had been compromised by the KGB. The Ultras were so paranoid about KGB infiltration of MI5 and MI6 that there is no point in trying to figure out if they genuinely believed this or circulated it maliciously as a smear. They hated Oldfield because he had interfered with their plots against the British Labour Party in the 1970s. These rumors and additional information from IRA sources eventually mingled and inspired the article  Arise, Sir Gay which appeared in the Phoenix on 8 May 1987. It was written by journalist Frank Doherty. It is reproduced below in full:
“The refusal of the Russians to deal with the Provos on intelligence matters is becoming more explicable in light of Maggie Thatcher’s admission that Sir Gay Maurice Oldfield was a sex pervert who haunted public toilets, although as she did point out he only did it “from time to time”.
In the late 1970s the Provos approached the Soviets with the offer of information about a number of specific things, to wit: Activities around the RAF defence radar at Bishopscourt; what was happening at the signals station being built by the MoD at Divis Mountain, and methods of communications used during covert operations and bomb countermeasures in places like South Armagh. Such information, obtained at ground floor level, so to speak, was regarded by the Provos as being of immense value to the Russians who could not watch British troops under operational conditions at such close quarters as the IRA in South Armagh.
In return, the Provos sought assistance from the Kremlin in acquiring arms from the Middle East, and possibly from Col. Gaddafi, whom they perhaps mistakenly believed had had his arm twisted by the Soviets to stop supplying the IRA in 1976. They also sought assistance in cracking a secure British communications system codenamed SONGBIRD of which they had many recordings they were unable to decipher, having unsuccessfully hawked the tapes around a dozen electronic laboratories in the US.
Much to the surprise and annoyance of the Provos, the Russians said “niet” to the offer. Since Maggie’s brave admission in the Commons about her favorite spy’s perversion, the Provos are less puzzled about the KGB’s failure to take up their offer. Why talk to the beggars at the door when you can sit inside and converse with the master?
It Sir Gay was not working for the KGB from years before he became head of the British Secret Service, then somebody in KGB headquarters should be sent to Siberia. However, all the signs are that he was an enthusiastic agent of Mother Russia since at least the end of the war, just like his close friends, Anthony Blunt, Kim Philby, and Tom Driberg. This may not be revealed in the British media for some time  – after all, they were almost three years behind the Phoenix in exposing Sir Gay as a homosexual molester of under-age boys – but it will emerge eventually.
The key names that of Alexander Sandor, codenamed RADO, a KGB officer who ran Joe Stalin’s wartime spy-ring in Germany from a Swiss base. Towards the end of the war, Swiss counter-intelligence uncovered the Russian spy ring, codenamed LUCY. Sandor ended up in Paris, from where he was to be repatriated to the great socialist homeland. He managed to convey to a lurking British spy that he wished to settle in the West, and when his plane landed in Cairo, where Sir Gay was British espionage chief, Sandor was taken for a two-day interrogation and at the end of this, Oldfield cabled London that he felt the poor devil should be sent back to the arms of Uncle Joe Stalin. He was and got a nominal 10 years jail sentence for dallying with the British. The sentence was nominal since, as happened in those days in Russia, he was never seen or heard of again.
The parallels between this incident and a similarly attempted defection by a KGB officer in Istanbul, which Kim Philby nobbled, are startling. But this is by no means the only thing which points to Sir Gay having an arrangement with the KGB. During the French Indochina War in the early 1950s, in which Sir Gay had a hidden hand, the perfidious Viet Minh spread stories that Sir Gay was sneaking into the jungle areas of Malaya to molest native children. The Russians quickly killed such stories and all that remains of them is a vague reference in his biography to his fondness of meeting common people in Malaya.
During his time in the North, Sir Gay, who learned to drive with difficulty but gave up after the war, would be driven in his official car from his flat at Stormont Castle to the Culloden Hotel, Hollywood, or the Royal Hotel in Bangor. From thence he would take taxis to Newtownards, Comber, Downpatrick or Newcastle for a relaxed afternoon (vodka and tomato juice) ogling at young boys or flashing in public toilets. His favorite excursion day was Wednesday when school half-days brought a surfeit of children onto the streets. It was on one such expedition that he was arrested on March 1980 by uniformed RUC men from the Golf Division, responding to a 999 call, in the toilet of the Highwayman pub in Comber.
A favorite trick of the old bugger was to discuss the nervous illness with a prospective victim. He would then drop his trousers to expose the cirrhosis when he had on his lower legs. By a remarkable coincidence, Sir Gay’s seduction technique bore a startling similarity to that of a local pederast, with whom the spy chief became friendly, although probably not intimately so. The locals had fought in the Spanish Civil War and had received a flesh wound in the buttock from a fascist bullet. As an appropriate moment, he would invite a suitable person to inspect his war wound, usually in a public toilet.
Sir Gay spent much time around East Down, playing the organ at Down Cathedral and socializing in the home of a priest. He also had his picture taken in the choir stalls of the cathedral by Colin Creighton, owner of the Down Recorder, a local weekly, the only time he had allowed himself to be photographed since he got his second gong from Her Majesty in 1976 (when the pic of him which turns up in all newspapers was taken).
Sir Gay’s shyness about cameras had less to do with his fears of an IRA assassination than with preserving his anonymity for his weekly excursions around County Down – and his forays to a house in Donaghadee where he met unfortunate inmates from the Kincora Boys Home”. (Phoenix 8 May 1987 page 6.)
An interesting omission from this article is any mention of the spectacular ease with which the MI6 traitor George Blake managed to escape from a high-security prison in London in October 1966. He did so with assistance from an Irishman, Sean Bourke, who hailed from Limerick and had no experience as a jailbreaker. Once outside, Blake managed to escape one of the largest dragnets ever deployed by the British security and intelligence community. He did so with the assistance of a few more inexperienced amateurs and eventually made his way to the Soviet Union. Anyone intent upon portraying Oldfield as a KGB-controlled agent could have speculated that he might have oiled the wheels of Blake’s escape because he was under orders from Moscow; moreover, because Blake knew he was a fellow traitor and might expose him if he was left rotting behind bars for too long. Oldfield was Deputy Chief of MI6 at the time of Blake’s escape.
There are, of course, many counter-arguments to the theory Oldfield was suborned by the KGB. For a start, the KGB favored the Official IRA who were the enemies of the Provisional IRA and that alone would provide a perfectly plausible explanation for the KGB’s reluctance to co-operate with them. Indeed, during the late 1980s, the KGB was arranging for Official IRA volunteers to be trained by the North Koreans. Another pro-Oldfield argument is that he knew all about MI6’s recruitment of Oleg Gordievsky of the KGB as a British agent and never exposed him.
In addition, Kim Philby, not Oldfield, may have betrayed Alexander Sandor to the KGB.
Irrespective of whether Oldfield was a loyal servant of Her Majesty or the best kept KGB secret agent of the Cold War, it is clear he was a vile human being. He entertained colleagues at his club with stories about beating Jews in Palestine and ducking their heads in buckets of water. Oldfield referred to them as “snipcocks”.
MI6 also engaged in assassination when it suited them, something Sir Dick White, Chief of MI6 1956 – 1968,  and Oldfield were prepared to acknowledge in the right surroundings.  Before his death, Oldfield disclosed to his friends that MI6 had recommended the murder of President Gamal Nasser of Egypt by pumping the contents of a canister of nerve gas into his office. This is not something the British Government cares to recall now as it excoriates the Russian Government for its alleged use of Novichok on British soil in 2018.
Sir Dick White too admitted the plot against Nasser, to his biographer, Tom Bower, during Bower’s research of White’s career for a biography of the spymaster which he would publish in 1990 under the title The Perfect English Spy. White told Bower that he had been “in overall charge” of a variety of anti-Nasser schemes which ranged from the nerve gas plot to a military coup and even the recruitment of a hit squad. Ultimately, the plotting came to nothing (p191).
Sir Dick White
The gas MI6 had in mind to assassinate Nasser was undoubtedly developed at a facility called Porton Down. Peter Wright of MI5 described how he once went there for a demonstration of a cigarette packet which had been fitted with a poison-tipped dart by the staff of the Explosives Research and Development Establishment: “We solemnly put on white coats and were taken out to one of the animal compounds behind Porton by Dr. Ladell, the scientist there who handled all MI5 and MI6 work. A sheep on a lead was led into the center of the ring. One flank had been shaved to reveal the course pink skin. Ladell’s assistant pulled out the cigarette packet and stepped forward. The sheep started and was restrained by the lead, and I thought perhaps the device had misfired. But then the sheep’s knees began to buckle, and it started rolling its eyes and frothing at the mouth. Slowly the animal sank to the ground, life draining away, as the white-coated professionals discussed the advantages of the modern new toxin around the corpse”. (‘Spycatcher’, p162)
The fact that the poison was disguised as a cigarette makes nonsense of persistent British Government claims that that Porton Down was only ever used to develop antidotes. Quite clearly, it was a place where assassination devices were manufactured.
Oldfield receives his knighthood at Buckingham Palace, a reward for murder, deception, torture and the exploitation of paedophile networks on behalf of the Crown
Oldfield’s close friend Anthony Cavendish, also a former MI6 officer, has written about how Oldfield sanctioned the death of one of his own agents while he was in charge of MI6, an incident Cavendish remembered: “particularly well”. Oldfield had been asked for a direction about the use of a lethal tablet in which MI6 was in a position to smuggle to a source who “if he broke under interrogation, would bring about the deaths of several other SIS agents with whom he had been working. Despite his strong religious convictions, Maurice took the only course he could”. (See Inside Intelligence page 5)
The tablet was undoubtedly manufactured at Porton Down. The scientists at the facility also tested chemical weapons including anthrax and the plague on approximately 21,000 soldiers between 1939 and 1989 without their knowledge. Interestingly, in the letter sent to Charles Haughey in 1987 warning him of an MI5 assassination plot against him, the anonymous author warned Haughey that MI5 had access to anthrax. See Village in March 2018.
Oldfield’s friend Anthony Cavendish, gave an insight into the world Oldfield inhabited when he wrote in his memoirs, Inside Intelligence, how as “the years go by, the lies take over from the truth and morality accepts the other demands which are made on an [intelligence] officer to get the job done” and that “theft, deception, lies, mutilation and even murder are considered if and when necessary”.
Oldfield’s admission about Nasser highlights a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dimension to his character. Despite his knowledge of MI6 murder plots and plenty more besides, he nonetheless managed to present himself to his friends and family as a devoutly religious man. After the MI6-Littlejohn scandal (which involved the employment by MI6 of two Scottish brothers who claimed they had been given orders to assassinate IRA leaders in Ireland; attack Garda stations and rob banks), he assembled the unsettled secretarial staff at MI6’s HQ to solemnly assure them MI6 did not employ assassins. This was only the visible tip of the iceberg of deceit. In reality when push came to shove there was no depth that Oldfield and White would not plumb for Queen and Country.
Chapman Pincher (left) Marsham Court flats where Oldfield lived (right)
Chapman Pincher was a British journalist with friendly links in the intelligence community  – some would say far too friendly – and an array of contacts inside Whitehall. He has written about how Oldfield faced turmoil after aspects of his sexuality came to light behind the secret doors of Whitehall in 1980. He has described how in 1985 at a “dinner in Grosvenor House …  Sir David McNee, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, had told me that Oldfield had been suspended from secret work after Scotland Yard officers had reported his involvement in homosexual activities. His behavior, which would then have barred him from service in MI6, was not detected until he had retired as MI6 chief in 1978. Courageously, he had come out of retirement at Mrs. Thatcher’s request to become security supremo in Northern Ireland, and McNee had been so concerned by what he was then told about the ‘rough trade’ visiting Oldfield’s London flat that he informed the Home Secretary [Willie Whitelaw], who alerted Mrs. Thatcher”.
Pincher’s book ‘Traitors’
Pincher received confirmation of Oldfield’s proclivities in 1986 from Sir Michael Havers, one of his Establishment sources or “oysters”. According to Pincher, the “most delightfully indiscreet oyster I ever met was Michael Havers, the Tory Attorney-General for many years and, briefly, Lord Chancellor. He had a healthy sense of the ridiculous which made him deride excessive secrecy, but he also derived peculiar pleasure from breaking the secrecy rules with which he was so deeply involved. Among many leaks to me, perhaps the most extraordinary was his detailed confirmation — while we were shooting pheasants in 1986 — of the Official Secrets scandal surrounding Sir Maurice Oldfield, the former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6…I took no action until Havers told me that Oldfield had confessed his folly to him and had admitted having falsified his positive vetting form over many years when asked about his sex life. He also told me that the Prime Minister had withdrawn Oldfield’s security clearance and suspended him from his intelligence job, though he had been allowed to continue, briefly, after inquiries had shown that he had not been blackmailed and had promised to restrain himself”.
Mrs. Thatcher commented on Oldfield’s resignation in a statement to the House of Commons on 23 April 1987, when she revealed that “reports were received which caused [Oldfield’s] positive vetting clearance to be reviewed. In March 1980, in the course of that review, he made an admission that he had from time to time engaged in homosexual activities. His positive vetting clearance was withdrawn”.
In his book Traitors: The Labyrinth of Treasons – which went to print shortly before Thatcher’s statement about Oldfield – Pincher revealed that “I have known of Oldfield’s staggering duplicity – for that is what it was – for several years and have been diffident about revealing it because he was a friend. But the indisputable facts of the case are being commonly discussed by very senior officials who were involved with it and who have made them known to me in order to have them put on record. … Oldfield, a man of charm and erudition, was a lifelong bachelor. Former close colleagues of his whom I have consulted say they were unaware of his homosexuality, as were their wives, who are usually perceptive in this respect. Some believed that his reason for not marrying was because he suffered from psoriasis, which embarrassed him when it flared. His homosexuality, which was clearly compulsive, came to official notice only following his retirement from MI6 in 1978 and during his appointment a year later to an intelligence post in Northern Ireland, which he took up at the request of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Thatcher. Oldfield’s new duty was to serve as co-ordinator between the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Army, which were in conflict. He required rigorous personal protection, not only because his job made him a prime IRA target, but because there had already been an attempt on his life in October 1975 when an IRA assassin hung a 30 lb bomb in a holdall on the railings below his London flat [at Marsham Court]. The bomb was spotted and defused within a few minutes of its set time to explode”. (p111)
Oldfield had been provided with 24-hour protection by Scotland Yard. According to Pincher, the detectives who were watching over his flat at Marsham Court became concerned by the number, frequency, and type of men visiting it. “Those callers included waiters of various nationalities and young men who, the detectives deduced, had nothing to do with intelligence. One of them, whom they described as a hobo, had to be barred from the property because he was so persistent at demanding entry. Some of these men were traced, and the detectives’ inquiries convinced them that some were homosexual and functioned as male prostitutes”. (112) Oldfield lived within easy reach of Piccadilly Circus where “rent boys” – also known as ‘Dilly boys’ – were sexually available to adult predators; his flat was also close to Victoria Station, another notorious locus for the exploitation of teenage male prostitutes.
Sir David McNee and Attorney-General Sir Michael Havers
Pincher also reported that the police kept a “closer watch and questioned the porters at the apartment block, who disclosed that the men had been in the habit of visiting the flat over several years, while Oldfield had been Chief of MI6, and to such an extent that the porters themselves had become suspicious. They recalled that Sir Maurice had returned one night scratched and bruised, as though he had been in a fight. He told one of the porters that he had fallen, but this was thought to be an unlikely explanation. While in the flat alone one of the detectives found books and magazines about sexual perversions with photographs of nude young men. The policemen put in a report to the Head of the Special Branch suggesting that Oldfield might be a security risk. The situation was then reported to the Metropolitan Commissioner, Sir David McNee, who was so perturbed that he called on the Home Secretary, William Whitelaw”. (112)
Pincher also revealed that there had been “concern that Soviet counter-intelligence might be aware of the situation, but there was no evidence that Oldfield had been subjected to any kind of pressure. Because he undoubtedly was the best man available for the Northern Ireland post, he was interviewed on the Government’s behalf by a senior Minister. In the most direct language, he was told that his unfortunate sexual habits were known, but as they appeared to have led to no harm, he could continue with his work in Northern Ireland, provided he gave a solemn promise that he would curb himself throughout his tenure. Oldfield, who made no denials, promised to do so and seemingly caused no trouble before he had to leave on the grounds of serious ill-health in 1980”.
Oldfield’s proclivities, however, had in fact been the subject matter of speculation  – if not well-known to his colleagues in the intelligence community  – for decades.
Dick White cooperated with the British author Tom Bower, the author of his biography. White had assigned Oldfield to a plum posting in Washington in 1960. According to Bower, a number of senior CIA figures would claim “they had suspected he was a homosexual ‘within weeks’ of his arrival but assumed he had been ‘vetted and cleared in London”. The reality was that he had lied about his sexuality on three occasions during the course of security checks making a “nonsense of positive vetting’. According to Bower, in  ‘Washington, [Oldfield] would even be summonsed by Denis Greenhill, the minister in the embassy, and cautioned about the presence of young male lodgers in his apartment. One was an American Marine, the son of a CIA officer; another was an Iranian lecturer. Oldfield – “the chief pontiff of positive vetting” according to some – laughed off any suggestion of impropriety”. (317)
Denis Greenhill who knew about the ‘young males lodgers’ who stayed at Oldfield’s flat in Washington. 
Dick White acknowledged to Bower that although he had noticed Oldfield’s “effeminate mannerisms”, he was unaware he combined “regular attendance at his church with a secret ‘quest for “rough trade”. Once, he had asked Oldfield about allegations that he was homosexual and had accepted his denial. But his judgment was protective and flawed: “Maurice was over-involved in his work and obsessive. He needed a good wife [..] to get a complete change of subject in the evening”.  (p317)
As it happened, a potential bride somewhere was spared a life of neglect for Oldfield had contemplated a lavender marriage to conceal his true sexual orientation.  According to his close friend Anthony Cavendish, he “worried constantly” that as a bachelor he was a “natural target” for black propaganda and had once suggested to Cavendish “half-seriously” that his life would be “so much easier and more pleasant” if Cavendish could “find a wife for him”. His excuse for not looking for a bride himself was because he “just did not have the time to devote to that sort of pursuit” on account of work.
The British media has buried its head in the sand when it comes to the connections between MI6, Oldfield and the Kincora Boys’ Home scandal for decades.
Joe Mains. Did he visit Oldfield in London? Did he visit his office at Century House? 
The Kincora scandal involved the rape of neglected working-class children and orphans who had been taken into care by Belfast City Council and sent to Kincora and a string of other deplorable institutions such as Williamson House. Terrified youngsters were dangled as bait for twisted Loyalist paramilitaries, Unionist politicians and other assorted perverts. The victims endured years of rape and degradation at the hands of multiple abusers in a string of care homes and hotels in Belfast including the Park Avenue, the Europa and the Queen’s Court in Bangor. A lifetime of debilitating psychological pain followed: some victims committed suicide; one Kincora boy, Stephen Waring, threw himself into the night sea from the Liverpool-Belfast Monarch ferry in November 1977.
An important admission made by MI6 at the Hart Inquiry in 2016 has been ignored by the mainstream UK media. Judge Anthony Hart carried out a lightweight and deeply flawed inquiry into Kincora and other care homes in NI. Hart was gullible and naive but not dishonest. He unearthed  and – to his credit – published hitherto unknown information that was embarrassing to the British Establishment. Some of the new information related to an MI6 officer referred to as ‘Officer G’ by Hart. This officer stated that having “examined four ring binders with material relating to Sir Maurice Oldfield, including the 1980 MI5 investigation” in preparation for the Hart Inquiry it had emerged that, “The relationship [Oldfield] had with Kincora Boys’ Home (KBH) in Belfast and subsequent ‘rent boy scandal’ is, in my view the only remaining potential sensitivity in the papers. The sensitivity being that [Oldfield]’s may have a link to (by association through his friendship of the KBH Head) of the alleged crimes at the boys’ home. Given the current climate surrounding similar cases, it may at some point emerges as an issue”. (Chapter 28, Paragraphs 619)
Files kept at MI6’s new HQ reveal a link between Oldfield and Kincora
Hart also noted that paragraph 5 of the MI6 review paper contained the following comment: “More worryingly is the small collection of papers in file three which relate to the relationship [Oldfield] had with the Head of the Kincora Boys’ Home (KBH) in Belfast”.
Hart concluded that this was not evidence of MI6 involvement in Kincora because Officer G had made a mistake and was merely referring to allegations about the relationship Oldfield had had with the “KBH Head”. (620)
However, neither MI6 nor Hart quoted any contemporaneous report alleging a friendship between Oldfield and the Warden of Kincora, Joseph Mains, the only man who fits the description of “KBH Head”.
Moreover, the Hart report seems to indicate that Hart was speculating about what the MI6 officer meant. If Hart contacted Officer G at any stage after he had finished giving his evidence to clarify what the position actually was, Hart did not make this clear. The overwhelming likelihood is that he did not bother.
Nor is it clear whether or not Hart actually reviewed the “collection of papers” linking Oldfield and Kincora.
Richard Kerr was sexually abused at Williamson House at the age of eight by Eric Witchell, an Anglican lay monk, who was a friend of Joe Mains. Witchell was later jailed for abusing other boys at Williamson House, where he had been headmaster. The abuse of Kerr started one night after Witchell visited his bed. “I was on my side, I had a teddy bear. I was biting into that while he had his hand down my backside and fumbled around”. [the Belfast Telegraph, February 2015]
Full rape commenced later. At Kincora, Kerr was forced to have sex with Mains in a hotel, a guesthouse, and in the shed at the back of Kincora which “had a chair and a mattress in it, that’s about all”. At 16 Mains found him a job at the Europa Hotel in Belfast where the abuse continued in the hotel’s bedrooms.
While at Kincora, he had once walked into a room while Mains was engaged in a discussion with someone he later recognized from photographs as Oldfield along with other men in suits. Mains jumped up and ordered him to leave the room forcefully.
All of this adds credence to reports that were in circulation in the early 1980s that Oldfield personally interviewed some Kincora boys who were brought to him at an MI6 safe house in Bangor during the 1970s. However, MI6 informed the Hart Inquiry that there was no record of Oldfield ever having visited Ireland during his time as MI6 Chief. Readers can decide who they believe.
There is an obvious error in paragraph 607 of Chapter 29 of the Hart Report where it is stated that: “As we have explained, Richard Kerr has alleged that he was sexually abused by Sir Maurice Oldfield”. This is not so. Emphatically, Kerr has never made any such an allegation. Incredibly, at paragraph 159 of Chapter 26 the following appears: “Kerr did not know at the time who Oldfield was, he says, and does not suggest that he abused Kincora boys.”
This absurd and egregious error on the face of the Hart Report has never been corrected.
Kincora Boys’ Home. Richard Kerr believes he saw Oldfield during a visit to Oldfield at Kincora
Throughout his report, Hart refers to MI6 by its alternative acronym SIS. Like MI6, Oldfield was given a clean bill of health by the Hart Report: “The Inquiry has examined all the material held by SIS relating to Sir Maurice Oldfield as described by SIS Officer A in his statement of 8 December 2016 and found nothing to indicate that Sir Maurice Oldfield ever visited Northern Ireland before he took up his appointment as Security Coordinator in October 1979. (624)
“Having reviewed all of the evidence we are satisfied that the allegations about Sir Maurice Oldfield’s connections with Kincora have no substance”. (625)
On 23 April 1987, Margaret Thatcher exploded a bombshell in the House of Commons when she revealed that after Oldfield’s appointment as Security Co-ordinator in Northern Ireland in October 1979, “reports were received which caused his positive vetting clearance to be reviewed. In March 1980, in the course of that review, he made an admission that he had from time to time engaged in homosexual activities. His positive vetting clearance was withdrawn. By this time he was already a sick man; he finally ceased to serve as Security Co-ordinator in Northern Ireland when a successor took over in June 1980; he died in March 1981”.
Ken Livingstone MP (and future Mayor of London) noticed a discrepancy in the way John Imrie of MI5 had been treated compared to the mauling Oldfield received after the exposure of his sexual predilections in 1980. Oldfield was pushed to the side-lines by Thatcher after she discovered he had confessed to what he had described as his homosexual “tendencies”. How could the mere admission of such “tendencies” have cost him his “positive vetting” i.e. his license to operate within the intelligence community, Livingstone wanted to know. It was not homophobia since Imrie, a convicted flasher who approached men in toilets, and had been quizzed about Kincora, managed to retain his job and achieve promotion. Perhaps the explanation is that Oldfield had become an enemy of the ultra-right-wing faction that controlled MI5 and held Thatcher in their thrall whereas Imrie was presumably well got with them, especially after his service for them in Northern Ireland. Oldfield had enraged the Ultras at MI5 by interfering with their plots against Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Livingstone brought the Oldfield-Imrie discrepancy up in the House of Commons on 8 March 1988.
“Will the Prime Minister take time in her busy day to reconsider the statement that she made to the House last year about Sir Maurice Oldfield?” Livingstone asked her. “Will she consider the inconsistency of the withdrawal of his positive vetting while no action was taken against Mr. Peter England, a deputy secretary in the Northern Ireland Office, and Mr JL Imrie, an assistant secretary at the Northern Ireland office, following investigations into the buggery of young children at the Kincora boys’ home? Is she not disturbed that Mr. Imrie has taken no action against the newspaper that named him and his activities four weeks ago, although he continues to work for the government in the Ministry of Defence? Can she assure the house that she is convinced of Mr. Imrie’s innocence?
If not, will she now finally concede a genuinely independent inquiry into what went on in the home in Kincora, irrespective of the damage that may do to MI5 when its role is exposed?”.
Thatcher replied: “I have nothing further to add to the statement that I made on Sir Maurice Oldfield in the House. I note that the Honourable Gentleman uses the privilege of the House to name people who are unable to answer back”.
Thatcher’s answer was patently absurd. In the first instance, Peter England was dead and could not sue so parliamentary privilege was a red herring. Secondly, the whole point of Livingstone’s question about Imrie was to highlight the fact that Imrie’s name had appeared in the Sunday World yet he had not sued the paper. Thatcher, who had practiced as a barrister, surely knew that newspapers did not enjoy parliamentary privilege for stories that did not arise from an exchange in parliament.
Imrie was also named twice by Private Eye in 1988 in connection with Kincora.
As indicated earlier in this article, the IRA knew about Oldfield’s private life long before Chapman Pincher wrote a word about it. Their knowledge probably dated back to their surveillance of him prior to the assassination attempt at Marsham Court on October 1975. Republican sources had been circulating rumors about him to journalists in Ireland in the 1980s. In 1983 some of this gossip surfaced in The Phoenix magazine in Dublin. In a piece entitled The Curse of Kincora  the magazine included a strong hint about Oldfield’s sexuality: “Now a lot of dirty linen is being washed in public, and the background to the purges in British intelligence in Northern Ireland, and perhaps some details of the private life of Sir Maurice Oldfield, the Ulster Security Coordinator and former MI6 chief, seems likely to emerge.  Bachelor Oldfield’s dislike of all women except his aged mother was so notorious that The Sunday Times included mention of it in an obituary”. (Page 3, 18 February 1983)
Oldfield was also a sly and cunning exponent of the art of propaganda. MI6 worked for hand in glove with the Information Research Department (IRD). The IRD specialized in propaganda. Both MI6 and the IRD were departments of the Foreign Office.
Arguably, the greatest IRD coup in Ireland during Oldfield’s time in MI6 was to inveigle Dr. Garret to become a member of the so-called  ISC Study Group (ISCSG) on Ireland. It was run by a man called Brian Crozier. In 1994 Crozier published his memoirs, ‘Free Agent: The Unseen War 1941-1991’,  in which he admitted that he had run propaganda campaigns for MI6 and the CIA.
A young Brian Crozier (left). Crozier in later life with Ronald Regan 
Garret FitzGerald would become Minister for Foreign Affairs in February 1973 and served as Taoiseach twice in the 1980s. As a member of the ISCSG, Fitzgerald contributed a chapter to Crozier’s 1972 book, ‘Ulster Debate’. It formed part of the IRD’s propaganda offensive to exculpate the Parachute Regiment after Bloody Sunday and much more besides.
In his autobiography, Crozier revealed his close friendship with Oldfield. It is inconceivable that Crozier did not report back to Oldfield on what FitzGerald did, said and thought at the meetings of the ISCSG and on its fringes. Crozier’s insights into FitzGerald may have informed British negotiations in the run-up to the Sunningdale Agreement. Oldfield was central to the process leading up to the conclusion of the Sunningdale Agreement, even flying to Dublin on at least one occasion. In addition, the Crozier-FitzGerald link may help to explain what Oldfield’s friend and hagiographer Richard Deacon had in mind when he described the ‘comprehensiveness of certain of [MI6’s] intelligence reports’ Oldfield was able to furnish to Whitehall after he became MI6 Chief in 1973.
FitzGerald was certainly not taciturn while in a British company. On the contrary, he was a regular visitor to the Embassy in Dublin where he once supplied information – since declassified by the UK’s National Archives – about  Charles Haughey and the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee to British officials. (See Village May 2017.) He was also a source of information about Jack Lynch. Ambassador Robin Haydon drew up a secret profile of Haughey in 1980 which contained a passage speculating about the cause of Lynch’s resignation. “This reasoning [about Lynch’s departure] was confirmed or at least echoed in conversations I had with … Garret FitzGerald and many others. It is probably the truth or as near as we are likely to get to it”.
Garret FitzGerald, British Ambassador Sir Arthur Galsworthy and President De Valera
While FitzGerald was happy to disclose his involvement with the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, British-Irish Association and his support for Irish membership of NATO in both of his autobiographies, there is no mention of Crozier or the ISCSG anywhere in either of them; nor indeed in any of his writings. Hence, it is not clear what FitzGerald discussed with Crozier and how long the relationship lasted.
The introduction to Ulster Debate, which was written by Crozier, solemnly explained that “the Institute commissioned four of the five studies that appear in this book and convened a Study Group with the object of considering each of the papers and producing constructive suggestions”.
Like all good propagandists, Crozier spun a good yarn: “The guiding principle of the Study Group was realism. The outcome is a guide to the Irish problem and proposals that respect the facts and possibilities of a dangerous and delicate situation. Each paper is a separate contribution. It does not necessarily reflect the view of the other members of the Study Group”.
Unfortunately, the ‘guiding principle of the Study Group’ was not ‘realism’. Some of the more risible allegations in the book included:-
  • The claim that on 13 December 1971 the IRA “hi-jacked a Canadian aircraft but were apprehended”. (p140);
  • A claim that Catholics in Belfast had marched in favour of internment on 13 March 1971. (129);
  • That on 10 March 1971 a “feud between the Officials and the Provisionals broke out into open violence. There were murderous street battles in which it was estimated that 40 to 50 members lost lives”. (p129) However, not a single soul died on 10 March. Six people in total died during March 1971 of whom four were British soldiers;
  • That Cathal Goulding was leader of the Provisional IRA (p136). Goulding in fact led their sworn opponents, the Official IRA;
  • Lord Chalfont, a former FCO minister, referred to the Mini-Manual of the Irish Guerrilla(surely an IRD forgery) which contained “a characteristic attack on the Catholic priesthood” by the IRA which described the Church as “the enemy in our mists, the vipers nourished by the fruits of our sweat, the black beetles eating away at our very sustenance”. This absurd quote can only have been included to undermine the IRA in the eyes of Catholic Irish-America;
  • That FF (i.e. Jack Lynch and Des O’Malley) had rendered the Republic a safe haven for the IRA (p60);
FitzGerald was not the only high-profile dignitary to extend his prestige to the publication. Professor JC Beckett of Queens University and Prof FSL Lyons of Trinity College did so too, alongside Lord Chalfont.
 The real purpose of Ulster Debate was to portray Britain in the best light possible in America and elsewhere. It was distributed throughout the world by British Embassy and consulate staff.
Ulster Debate
One group that emerged well out of Ulster Debate was the Paratroop Regiment. According to Ulster Debate, on 2 October 1971 a “paratrooper gave his life in an effort to save some children”. (p135) No one died on 2 October 1971, let alone a paratrooper, although a soldier did save a child in similar circumstances on another occasion.
An allegedly “clear” account of Bloody Sunday; one that could be relied upon “beyond doubt”, was tendered by Lord Chalfont: the IRA had been responsible for starting the violence of that dark day and the soldiers were the victims of unwarranted IRA propaganda. Chalfont argued that “When the IRA used the mobs as a shelter for ambushes and snipers, sooner or later a tragedy of that sort is inevitable. When this happens another weapon in the armory of terrorism comes into its own – the weapon of propaganda. The action of the security forces in London was the subject of unceasing IRA propaganda …and much of it was swallowed whole in sections of the British press”.
In Ulster Debate, Garret FitzGerald described Bloody Sunday as an “aberration” that had caused an “astonishing” rift between the UK and Ireland which had traditionally been “basically friendly”.
FitzGerald argued that “against this long-term background the present unhappy state of Anglo-Irish relations can be seen as an aberration. An almost total – and unprecedented – failure of communications between the two countries, especially after the Derry shootings, created a momentary mutual hostility that is uncharacteristic of their normal complex but basically friendly relationship with each other. That this could have happened in the face of the means of mass communications now available is astonishing and indeed deeply worrying. Past experience suggests, however, that in time the misunderstandings caused by such communications blockages will be dissipated”. (p73)
FitzGerald referred to “the events of Londonderry” on page 78, whereas on page 73 he described the city as “Derry”. Did someone edit his work?
FitzGerald also used Ulster Debate as a platform to attack the Republic’s failure to contribute to the defense of Western Europe by refusing to join NATO.
Joseph Mains was sent to prison after his conviction for sex abuse at Kincora. He kept his mouth shut about his links to British Intelligence while behind bars and went to his grave without letting the world know what he knew. On the other hand, his co-conspirator William McGrath gave a large hint to Chris Moore, author of a book on Kincora, that the intelligence services had been involved in exploiting the pedophile network which revolved around it before his death. The real truth about Oldfield’s involvement with Kincora has yet to emerge. It is unlikely in the extreme that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) in London is going to do anything about it.
The truth about Oldfield’s relationship with Kincora, not to mention his practice of blackmail, assassination, and black propaganda, will continue to gather dust in files in MI6’s archives in London as long as callous and dishonest people run the British Government and its intelligence services.  The grotesque Jeffrey Epstein scandal hints that they are still prepared to let pedophiles exploit children – in this case, young girls – for nefarious purposes.   Both MI5 and MI6 claim they have difficulty in attracting high-quality recruits to their respective organizations. They have only themselves to blame. What normal person would want to become part of an organization that has a history of protecting pedophiles – and may still be involved in similar activities?
Originally published in Irish "Village" Magazine

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