A former British spy in Sinn Féin has expressed fears that if prosecutions are taken against senior party figures and IRA veterans, it could have an impact on Brexit and the restoration of Stormont.
The warning from Willie Carlin comes after a major three-year police investigation into the activities of the British Army’s top agent in the Provisional IRA has culminated in files recommending prosecutions.
Operation Kenova was set up to investigate the activities of the agent, known as ‘Stakeknife’, who headed the notorious internal IRA security unit, known as the ‘Nutting Squad’.
Investigators examined the role of his unit in 40 murders and whether or not Stakeknife’s handlers had prior knowledge of them. Mr Carlin, an agent for both MI5 and British army intelligence within Sinn Féin in Derry for 11 years, was interviewed by the Kenova team last April.
He fears the impact that multiple arrests and prosecution of Sinn Féin figures and former IRA men could have on Brexit and the restoration of Stormont.
“My concern is that this report is being considered in the middle of Brexit,” said Mr Carlin.
Are we going to have Sinn Féin and IRA members arrested or prosecuted during Brexit, and trying to bring people back into Stormont? That’s a very volatile situation.
He said that if Stakeknife gives evidence he would “tell everything and implicate people”. He added prosecutors would also have to “put his handlers on trial”, which could have repercussions for the British Army and State.
In his book, Thatcher’s Spy, Mr Carlin says he was airlifted out of Derry after Stakeknife tipped off his handlers that Mr Carlin was due to be killed.