Wednesday 27 September 2006

The Reddaways: Britain's Answer to Cambridge's 'Ring of Five' Spies

by Trowbridge H. Ford

The secret services of developed, Western countries have long been known for their connections to their various 'old boy networks', thanks especially to the scathing comments about their recruitment, operational and advancement practices in Peter Wright's Spycatcher. Wright, apparently not one of 'theirs' - to use the lingo of civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby in the BBC comedy series, Yes, Minister! - laced his tales about his days at Britain's MI5 and during his visits to Washington with constant references to how deeply inbred and hidebound they all were within their closed worlds which wreaked of betrayals and distrust. Their set ways were, perhaps, best illustrated when Wright tried to reform the Security Service's way in more scientific, professional ways, as Bernard Porter has noted in Plots and Paranoia, only to receive this response from its gentry family recruits who had been educated at Public Schools and at Oxbridge: "That's all right, Peter old chap, I don't need to know Ohm's law. I read Greats."
(Quoted from p. 189.)

Wright laced his own account with what happened because of such intelligence practices, concentrating upon what Oxbridge had been capable of producing with its rings of spies, particularly the contributions of Cambridge's 'Ring of Five' - Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, and John Cairncross. To get to the bottom of their betrayals required political will, and risked leakage of damaging information if official inquiries were conducted. "This dilemma was particularly acute when facing the problem at Oxford and Cambridge in the 1930s. Most of those we wanted to interview were still part of a closely knit group of Oxford intellectuals, with no necessary allegiance to MI5, or the continuing secrecy of our operations." (p. 236) As a result, the Security Service was only able to conduct secret ones, under the direction of Wright himself. And by the time he finished, Harold Wilson's Labour government was so suspected of betrayals that MI5, according to Wright, conspired in its overthrow. Soon afterwards, Wilson resigned.

The consequence of this sequence of events, and their recounting by the embittered former counterintelligence officer has been the impression that Britain's intelligence services were simply a laughingstock. While this characterization had much to be said for it when it came to their dealings with the Soviets and dissent at home, they have a much better record in dealing with the withdrawal from empire, and helping manage former colonies which still matter, though accounts of this concentrate more of failures rather than successes. A good corrective for this is to study the activities of Norman and David Reddaway, scions of an old gentry family whose contributions to MI6 at the time, and up to now have greatly improved Britain's standing in the world without its hardly knowing.

The Reddaways are about as Cambridge-connected as any family can be. At the turn of the 20th century, William F. Reddaway was a fellow of King's College, and a founder member of the Cambridge Historical Journal. He was particularly interested in making known the manuscripts the University library was acquiring, and he wrote articles about Scandinavian affairs during the 17th century when these powers still had European ambitions. He supplied the account of these matters in the fifth volume of the Cambridge University Press's History of Europe, the series that Lord Acton started. His Oxbridge credentials were established when he wrote another article about the Danish Revolution for The English Historical Review. William Reddaway had five sons, and they almost all had academic careers, mostly at Cambridge. It was hardly surprising then when Professor Christopher Andrew gave lectures on Cambridge's famous spies at Fitzwilliam College in July last year, they were delivered at the Reddaway Room.

In this rather stifling atmosphere for the sons, it was to be expected that the youngest of them, Norman, sought a career in the Foreign Service after having gained a Double First in French and German in his examinations at King's College, and having served in the GHQ Reconnaissance Regiment aka the "Phantom" during WWII. Norman's first big assignment at the Foreign Office was to help Christopher Mayhew institute the Information Research Department (IRD) aka FORD, an agency desisgned to spread black propaganda throughout the world, based upon all the contacts that the war had created with people of influence, like George Orwell, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Arthur Koestler, who were now back in civil society, particularly in journalism and the arts. They could write material, help ferret out any communists and fellow-travellers in the media, and propose stories which could counter any Soviet claims far better than any cash-pressed government agency per se. "Many operations to influence the press run by SIS and IRD," Richard Aldrich wrote in The Hidden Hand, "required armies of temporary staff contracted for such specfic projects."(pp. 132-3)

While the IRD was officially part of the Foreign Office, it regularly recruited agents from MI6 aka SIS, and often became deeply involved in its operations. Norman Reddaway soon began working for SIS, and his first duty with it was with the staff of the British High Commissions in Ottawa, Canada. While this would seem a most low-level assignment, Reddaway was given the duty of restoring stronger ties with the self-governing member of the British Commonwealth by playing up the lingering ties with London. The British Embassy there has been located since 1930 in 'Earncliffe', the former residence of Canadian first Prime Minister, Sir John Macdonald, and Reddaway was given time off to write a book about it, timed to appear in 1955, the centenary of the founding of Ottawa which the Embassy helped in the celebrations of. While the Reddaways were there, their son David was born.

In 1955, they returned to London which was still recovering from the surprise defections of the IRD's Burgess and MI6's Maclean to Moscow three years before. Then Philby was sacked by SIS but he still admitted nothing about his being the ring's Third Man, and Norman soon had to deal with the fallout from the Suez fiasco - what was essentially caused by too much secrecy by all concerned. The joint military operation by the Israelis, French, and British was not only doomed because of their failure to inform Washington what they had planned (Operation Musketeer), but it also came as a bolt from the blue for the British public, causing widespread protests and condemnations when the full scope of the conspiracy became known. "Despite Eden's personal exhortations," Aldrich wrote, "Britain's psywar was a disaster." (p. 490) The IDR was then given the responsibility of making sure that this never happened again, especially operations taking the public by surprise. The media would be primed by whatever was required in future. (For more, see Reddaway's interview for the Oral History Project (1989-1991) at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College.)

Reddaway then was off to Beirut to see that this approach was put in practice when it came time to overthrow Iraq's General Qassem while Kim Philby conveniently made his way to Moscow. While Philby thought that Britain's security services had completely forgotten about him and his interests, Reddaway made sure they hadn't, even helping him find a position as a correspondent for The Observer and The Economist while he was awaiting his fate. After the IRD put together the stories to blacken the Iraqi dictator's reputation, and a list for the world's media of all the troublesome Iraqi communists and fellow-travellers to clean out while his overthrow was taking place, MI5 assigned Nicolas Elliott, a former MI6 resident in Beirut, to force Philby's flight on January 23, 1963 to Moscow by claiming that he had finally been exposed as the Third Man, so that he would not be around to prevent the clean-up in Baghdad. (Yuri Modin, My Five Cambridge Friends, pp. 287-9) Qassem was overthrown a few weeks later, and his killing was followed by a bloodbath by the Baathists' National Guard. (Con Coughlin, Saddam, p. 41ff.)

Qassem's overthrow having proved so successful, Reddaway and the IRD used the same plan, but on a much grander scale - thanks to the £100,000 that Foreign Secretary Joe Garner had given them with no strings attached - when it came time to get rid of Indonesia's President Sukharno. (For a conventional explanation of his ouster, see Aldrich, pp. 585-91, though note that it, like Coughlin's about Qassem's, is missing any mention of either Reddaway or the IDR.) "MI6 spread lies to put Suharto in power," The Independent explained on April 16, 2000. "The BBC, The Observer and Reuters carried 'fake stories' manufactured by agents working for the Foreign Office." The whole process, it added, was arranged by propaganda expert Reddaway, one so successful that the world's media explained it in just the terms he had crafted - conniving Sukharno and his Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Pranoto Reksosamadra kidnapped and killed several uncooperative fellow officers in order to start a PKI (communist) bloodbath in Djakarta.

Defence Minister at the time, Labour's Denis Healey, upon being finally able to comment on what was afoot, exclaimed: ""Norman Reddaway had an office in Singapore. They began to put out false information and I think that, to my horror on one occasion, they put forged documents on the bodies of Indonesian soldiers we had taken." (emphasis his) Healey still denied knowledge of the President's ouster, and the massive bloodbath of Chinese and communists that followed, though he would have supported MI6's campaign to arm Sukharno's Islamic opponents. Similarly, Stella Rimington, much later the Security Service's Director General, was recruited into it to help with the campaign from Delhi, as she explained in her autobiography, Open Secret: "I was merely told to carry out the rather basic task of stuffing envelopes with all sorts of printed material, which was sent out from London, and posting them off to a whole series of addresses. It was very important, I was told, to get the right stuff in the right envelopes..." (pp. 74-5)

With this under Reddaway's belt, he was soon back in London as the Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office to help organize public support for Britain's entry into the European Economic Union. The means by which this was accomplished were lavish breakfasts that Lord McAlpine provided at the Dorchester Hotel for all those in Parliament, Europe, and America who could play a part in making it happen. "By the late sixties," Paul Lashmar and James Oliver wrote in "How MI6 pushed Britain to join Europe" for The Daily Telegraph on April 27, 1997, "IRD had more than 400 people occupying River-walk House opposite the Tate Gallery and undercover officers in embassies all over the globe." This later was included in their book, Britain's Secret Propaganda: The Foreign Office and the Cold War, 1948-1977 which was so revealing but damning of Reddaway's career.

While the Heath government was able to cobble together enough parliamentary support to join the EEC, it was done so at terrible cost, especially since it lost power little over a year later in the February 1974 General Election, setting off increasing treachery by Britain's covert network since it suspected the Heath's replacement, Harold Wilson, was a Soviet agent. Despite Wilson's acquiescence in Unionists destroying the Power-sharing Executive which had been agreed to at Sunningdale, Berkshire, just before the election, key secret operatives, led by Reddaway, thought that the Labour Prime Minister was far too soft on subversion all round, resulting in the IRD leading a mini-destructive campaign, especially in Northern Ireland, against his government. While he and his ministers were increasingly attacked for their alleged communist pasts, efforts were made behind the scenes to crank up the war in Ulster despite Home Secretary Merlyn Rees's strengthening of the border with the Reopublic with more troops.

The basis of the subversion in Northern Ireland was found in two 1971 documents that reporter Paul Foot found in which Reddaway, Donald Maitland, and MI6's Dick White called upon Clifford Hill and Hugh Mooney to mount an anti-IRA campaign, connecting it with the alleged aims of international communism - what had been so effective in bringing down Qassem and Sukharno. Maitland, who went on to become Head of the Permanent Representation to the ECC, had been Stella Rimington's boss when she had been stuffing all those envelopes back in Delhi. (p. 65) While the new effort just made reporting of events throughout Ireland just what the British securocrats wanted the public to know by getting rid of independent reporters like Mary Holland of The Observer, thanks to the dictates of owner Conor Cruise O'Brien, efforts included tactical military operations, especially across the border with the Republic, when it was thought that Rees was not doing enough about the problem. (For more, see Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, The Origins of the Present Troubles in Northern Ireland, p. 99.)

While it is more difficult to determine who pulled the strings which resulted in such action, it is not difficult to determine what was the first operation which so stirred up both the Wilson government and that of Liam Cosgrave in the Republic - the shooting of Patrick McElhone in Pomeroy, located on the border, on August 7, 1974 - one of the 'quick jobs' that a senior Special Air Service (SAS) officer told The Guardian's Simon Winchester about in December 1976, . McElhone had no connection with the IRA, and he was killed by trigger-happy troops, apparently members of the SAS, who had just been introduced into the area. When the Irish parliament complained about the killing, the PM directed Martin Burke of the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs to investigate the matter, and the fat was in the fire when the Wilson govenment allowed him to visit the murder site - what started a ferverish campaign to get rid of Wilson, once he won re-election in October.

(For more, see: )

As for who arranged efforts which resulted in this killing and subsequent ones, especially those of totally innocent Paul Duffy and John Boyle, it seems to have been the work of Airey Neave, who would become Margaret Thatcher's Shadow Cabinet minister for Northern Ireland, long after he had arranged Heath's overthrow as Conservative Party Leader. Just before Wilson's surprise resignation in March 1976 - long before the make-up of any Thatcher government had been determined - he had a meeting with both Thatcher and Neave on January 6, 1976 about the deteriorating security situation in the province, indicating that the PM thought that he had been responsible for more than his parliamentary performance indicated.

The previous day, the IRA had murdered in cold blood 10 Protestant workers at Kingsmills, County Armagh - what had been triggered by loyalists murdering two members of the Catholic Reavey family, and three members of the O'Dowd family the day before - resulting in Wilson announcing that he was sending in another 600 troops, including 150 from the SAS, into the province, and what Neave's biographer completely misrepresented by having the massacre occur after the meeting, and adding that Neave thought unbelieveably that the IRA had been 'dead for a long time.' (Quoted from Paul Routledge, Public Servant, Secret Agent:The Elusive Life and Violent Death of Airey Neave, p. 281.) What else could explain a most knowledgeable writer so deliberately distorting a sequence of events, and so obviously misrepresenting what Neave must have said to Wilson?

Wilson's depature resulted in James Callaghan, the Foreign Secretary, becoming the new PM, and David Owen going to the Foreign Office. About his first action there was closing down the IRD, resulting in Reddaway being sent off to Warsaw as its new British ambassador, where he undoubtedly helped in getting Cardinal Karol Wojtyla more aware of, and active in Polish politics, resulting in his election as Pope John Paul II on October 16, 1978. The campaign where the Polish press was mobilized, the Pope was tuned in to what was going on so that he could make the most of it, and the Soviets were caught on the back foot sounds just like more IRD practice to be accidental. (For more, see Christopher Andrew, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, p. 508ff.)

With Norman Reddaway ending his official career on such a high note, it was hardly surprising that his rather maverick son, David, changed his mind about finishing his eduction, and getting a post in the Foreign Service. After attending Oundle Prep School, like his father, he did voluntary work in Ethiopia before going back to Cambridge to finish his education, obtaining an history, like his grandfather, before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1975. It was while he was serving in Iran in 1978 that circumstances dictated that he join the SIS too. While stationed in Tehran, the Iranian Revolution took place, resulting in the slow incapacitation of all the Americans operating there, especially when all the staff of their embassy was taken hostage on November, 4, 1979.

In this context, Washington was almost totally dependent upon Britain for its intelligence, and while David Reddaway has discussed how he held the Iranian militants at bay at the British Embassy, his assistance to the Americans was much more important. Reddaway had now become quite fluent in Farsi, and he became quite involved in exfiltrating the six Americans hiding, unknown in the Canadian Embassy, and in the planning of Operation Eagle Claw, the military one in April to forcibly remove all the hostages from Iran. As President Carter explained afterward, it was "a real clock-and-dagger story," though all the claims about CIA agents on the spot, and trained elsewhere doing all the dirty work must be taken with many grains of salt since its whole network had been nearly wiped out by the seizure of its "diplomats". (Quoted phrase from Christopher Andrew, For The President's Eyes Only, p. 450.)

While Eagle Claw turned out to be complete fiasco, it was not because of any failure by Reddaway. He apparently did the reconnoitering for the landing sites and secret storage sites. Then there was allegedly a CIA agent, posing as an Irishman - something Americans are notoriously bad at - and buying trucks and seeing to their safe storage in anticipation of the mission. "CIA agents in Tehran," Andrew added in the same vein, "disguised as foreign businessman and media mployees, reported that the guards at the U.S. embassy had become lax, and convinced Carter that 'security around the compound was no longer a serious obstacle to a surprise entry by force.' " (p. 452) Someone even found the Pakistani cook - who was still working at the US embassy, and knew exactly where the hostages were being held because he was providing their meals - and persuaded him to take a flight out of Tehran to inform Washington of the intelligence.

For his efforts, the 27-year-old Reddaway was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, an almost unprecedented honor for such a young person, and he was made First Secretary (Political) at the Madrid Embassy. With every MI6 agent having to do his own black propaganda operations since the IRD no longer existed, the new First Secretary kept an eye on what Libya's Qaddafi was up to while cranking stories which served Anglo-American purposes, especially the continuance of its parliamentary system under King Carlos, as Andrew has explained in a fashion any former member of the IRD would appreciate:

"During 1981, for example, the KGB sought to fuel Spanish opposition to seeking membership in NATO by planting media stories that Reagan was putting pressure on the king of Spain. In November Spanish journalists were sent copies of a forged letter from the president, urging the king "to act...with dispatch to remove the forces obstructing Spain's entry into NATO.' " (Quoted Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, eds., Instructions from the Centre, p. 152.)

It seems most unlikely that any KGB agent would be allowed to send such a crude, counter-productive message - especially after the King Juan Carlos had just closed down the coup by disgrunted Civil Guards - to the Spanish media which could only backfire on the Soviets, and this suspicion is strengthened when one reads the Andrew and Mitrokhin volume, only to find no mention of this forgery in the KGB files the former librarian smuggled out of the defunct USSR. And there is no shortage of alleged forgeries about other matters in the Mitrokhin Archive - KKK messages to Olympic committees of African countries about their possible athletes being treated like monkeys if they came to the US Olympics (pp. 238-9), Willy Brandt being an agent of influence for various foreign countries (pp. 442-3), and the like. The planted stories seemed like Reddaway work to strengthen the King's hand in solidifying Spain's march to become a stable democracy - what was achieved when Socialist Felipe González won a parliamentary majority in the next election.

Shortly after that, Reddaway returned to London to help the FCO achieve some kind of resolution to the continuing Falkland Islands problem with Argentina, but before much headway could be made on this score, he was caught in the Thatcher government's involvement in the Anglo-American plan to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union without a nuclear war - what was to be triggered by the assassination of Sweden's Olof Palme, and to be accomplished by American attack submarines sinking Soviet nuclear ones when a suprised Moscow sent them hurriedly on line as a countermeasure to any pre-emptive attack. (For the full story about this, see my article about the Palme assassination (Operation Tree) in Jerre's ThinkTank at Reddaway was made private secretary to the totally inexperienced new Minister of State Lynda Chalker at the Froeign Office to make sure that she went along with any awkward arrangements the process might require.

And there were many when the plan to blame the assassination on the Soviets failed because of its penetration of the operation by spies, particularly CIA's Rick Ames, the Bureau's Robert Hanssen, the Mossad's Jonathan Pollard, the US Navy's Ronald Pelton, and the Walker spy ring. When the whole plot then proved an utter fiasco, without even a likely assassin of the statsminister being found, Washington, London, Tel Aviv, and Moscow had find a likely scapegoat for it, and punish him - what was started by the Libyans apparently blowing up a West Berlin discotheque on April 5, 1986. What Reddaway - thanks to what he had learned about America's help in recapturing the Falklands - had to do was to persuade a most reluctant Thatcher and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe that Gaddafi was responsible for this terrorism, and that British bases could be used by US F-111s in the retaliation against Libya without ignighting a wave of bombings of Britain's embassies in the Middle East. He succeeded, staying on with Chalker until Howe was sacked in July 1998 for having failed to prevent Captain Simon Hayward, Palme's apparent assassin, from complaining about his treatment in Sweden by British officialdom in Under Fire: My Own Story. (For more, see my article about how Thatcher committed political suicide by sacking Howe in the archive of

Reddaway was then sent to the British Embassy in New Delhi, studying the foreign relations of the area before Britain resumed diplomatic relations with Tehran. Once it occurred, he was ideally suited to be named its Chargé ´d'Affaires, having married Roshan Firous, a prominent Iranian woman, during his first tour there. Reddaway essentially did what he had done before - developing agents among the Iranians who could prove helpful when Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq finally came crashing down. Unfortunately, the Bush administration would not permit this when Operation Desert Storm was in its closing stages, and all the Shiite rebels in the South, and Kurds in the North who Reddaway had encouraged to revolt against Baghdad went for naught when Saddam's revived Republican Guard ripped into them. Still, he was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1993 for his aborted efforts when he left for Argentina.

While Minister there, he became involved in various 'false flag' operations that Israel's Mossad was mounting to make the Western powers more supportive of its aims in fighting the so-called war on terrorism against the Muslims. While the Israelis were bombing their Embassy and Balfour House, Finchley, in London, resulting in the wounding of 19 people, most of them Jews - thanks to their setting up various Palestinians for the crimes - the Mossad was setting up the Iranian Ambassador Hade Soleimanpour to Buenos Aires in a similar way eight days earlier, thanks to help there from Reddaway in the British one. (For more about the one in London, especially its 'false flag' aspect, see Annie Machon, Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers, p. 225ff.) The bombing of the Jewish Center in Argentina - which had been the site of a similar but small bombing two years ealier - killed 85 people.

The best evidence of MI6's complicity, especially Reddaway's, in these bombings are the facts that he has never been mentioned in any of the lists of MI6 agents which have been leaked to the press - apparently by disgruntled former agent Richard Tomlinson - just when the pursuit for the killers was getting most heated; that no one has ever been convicted of the crimes - a result so bad that the Argentine federal judge handling the Buenos Aires case Juan José Galeano has been impeached, removed from office, and now he and eight other officials are being investigated for complicity in it; and the absurd stories that Tomlinson and other alleged whistleblowers, particuarly former MI5 officers David Shayler and Annie Machon and 'Martin Ingram' and 'Kevin Fulton' of the British Army's Force Research Unit, have peddled in order to keep the real secret operations covered up.

Perhaps, the most diverting effort in all this was the The Executive Intelligence Review publishing an article in the May 14, 1999 issue, "The 'MI6 factor' in the murder of Princess Diana," along with a list of hundreds of alleged SIS agents, including its top leadership which it claimed not only murdered her but also Dodi Al-Fayed. "The attached list identifies," the article added, "the unprincipled and unscrupulous individuals involved with MI6 worldwide." While the current MI6 Director Sir David Spedding and his staff were getting raked over the coals for their alleged conspiracy in Paris which killed the two on August 31, 1997, David Reddaway was getting a clean bill of health by not being listed for what had happened back in Buenos Aires in July 1994, and what he was now doing back in London to make sure that the investigations of the two bombings got nowhere, adopting the cover of handling routine issues for the FCO's Southern European Department, and then of Director of Public Services while doing so.

When the 9/11 attacks occurred, the threats caused by the earlier bombings essentially disappeared, and Reddaway was ready to move on with the Coalition's new agenda, attacking the "axis of evil" at it central point, Iran, but Tehran would not hear of his becoming the British Ambassador there. Their own intelligence services had learned a lot about him by then, and what they hadn't learned themselves had been filled in by books, especially the one by Lashmar and Oliver. While there was no official explanation as to why he had been rejected, a conservative Tehran daily newspaper claimed that he was a "Zionist MI6 agent" - what the British media and officials strongly denied, especially trying to make out that the anti-Semites in Tehran thought he was Jewish when it was only referring to his relationship with the Mossad. Reddaway had to settle for being the UK's Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Once affairs had settled down there after the Taliban's ouster, he was appointed British High Commissioner to Canada, the country which London and Washington considered most important to get on board with its war on terrorism. While Canada had supplied 2,300 troops to help police Afghanistan, it refused to help militarily in Saddam Hussein's ouster, and Reddaway's assignment was to get Ottawa to make up as best it could for this failure. He did everything imaginable to make this happen - supporting associations like the Canada Club of Ottawa and The Ireland Fund for Ireland while constantly playing up Ottawa's traditional associations with Britain from the residence 'Earnecliffe' where McDonald once lived. And when the three Christian Peacemakers, two of them Canadians, were rescued earlier this year by British and Canadian special forces, Reddaway took the lead in explaining the lengths the British had gone to in order to secure their release. "Anthing we can learn about how this was done," he explained, "will be very useful for another time."

Reddaway's personal expectations were suddenly cut short, though, when the revelation about Martin Burke's investigation of the murder of Patrick McElhone back in 1974 finally sunk in with the Foreign Office and MI6 - what started in the summer of last year when the official files of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs were released under its 30-year rule. Reddaway just happened to be serving in Ottawa by coincidence with now the Irish Ambassador to Ottawa Martin Burke, and they had become the closest of friends. While Reddaway had gone to Canada with the expectation of serving there for four years, it suddenly had to be cut short so that he could go to Dublin to prevent dangerous blowback from the McElhone and subsequent murders - what ultimately culminated in Neave's own assassination - especially since Burke was now going off to Luxemburg to be Ireland's ambassador there.

Before Reddaway even presented his credentials to the President of Ireland Mary McAleese on September 12th, MI6 was apparently already at work in Northern Ireland to create deceptions
which would reduce the possibility of much blowback. Aine de Baroid, another high-ranking official with the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs, had been working with Mrs.McAleese's husband Martin in East Belfast in the hope of getting loyalist paramilitaries there to disarm so that the Good Friday Agreement could finally be implemented, and in August she started receiving anonymous threats, ones the PSNI took so seriously that she was obliged to return to Dublin to continue her work - what was intended, it seems, to make loyalist threats and murders rather than British military ones back in the 1970s the pressing question of the day. The loyalists suspected of being the culprits, the Shoukri brothers, have now denied the claim, and one can only wonder if it were just loyalist dissidents involved, why they would not have threatened the husband of the hated Republic's President instead.

How it all plays out from here, we shall just have to wait and see. Though, by any standard, Cambridge University has made amends for the betrayals by its 'Ring of Five', thanks to the efforts by the Reddaways.