John Coulter
Irish Daily Star
5 Mar 2012
**Via Newshound

Could Derry schoolboy Gordon Gallagher been saved if security force touts within the Provos had been doing their jobs properly in 1973?

Instead, a nine-year-old child with his whole life in front of him to enjoy was dispatched into eternity.

For four decades, the Provos tried to blame the British Army for activating the landmine which murdered Gordon.

Then, in a dramatic turnaround, the IRA finally admitted responsibility a matter of days ago for this wee lad’s brutal killing.

But the IRA’s admission has only served to open another can of worms concerning the so-called ‘Dirty War’ in the North between the security forces and terrorist gangs.

A well-placed republican source is adamant a senior Provo at the time of Gordon’s murder was an informer and would have given the green light for the planting of the landmine which killed the schoolboy.

Why did the tout not give the precise location of the landmine? Why did his handlers not act sooner on that information? More importantly, could Gordon’s horrific death been avoided?

And equally significantly, how many others died in the Troubles either to protect the identity of well-placed touts, or because information from those touts was not processed soon enough?

According to my republican source, the senior IRA figure who ordered the landmine attack had already been unmasked as an informer before internment was introduced in 1971.

However, because no IRA members had been killed, arrested, or weapons lost as a result of the tout’s information, the informer did not face the usual fate of being murdered or becoming one of the Disappeared.

The republican source told me: “When internment came, each person was brought individually before the Brits and given the offer that their jail term would be dictated by the amount of co-operation they gave.

“Everyone was given this offer, but the meeting would only last a few minutes if you refused the offer.”

The source emphasised the person who was later to become a senior figure in the Co Derry IRA and who oversaw the landmine attack which killed young Gordon was with the security forces “for hours, not minutes”.

A message was smuggled to the IRA leadership that this individual – who is now dead – was continuing to inform. My source said this warning was ignored by the Provo leadership.

“I was told there was not enough evidence to warrant an inquiry,” added the source.

Instead of placing this tout at arm’s length, the IRA leadership actually promoted him to a senior rank within the movement in 1972.

A year later, Gordon died in the blast at his Creggan home. The republican source also described the senior IRA man who oversaw the landmine attack as “the Derry equivalent of Denis Donaldson. He was a big time informer”.

Donaldson had been the head of Sinn Féin’s Stormont administration before being unmasked as a long-term British agent. He was eventually murdered at an isolated cottage in Donegal by dissident republicans.

The source also alleged that not all the cash raised through robberies went into the IRA’s coffers to run the terror organisation. Some was secretly given to the families of victims as so-called ‘compensation’, he claimed.

Makes you wonder what the IRA did with all the millions of pounds it got from the Northern Bank heist?

On one hand, the IRA admitting it killed wee Gordon may bring some closure to the family, but it also opens another chapter in the conflict – how many other informers are to be ‘outed’ in the Dirty War?

March 6, 2012

This article appeared in the March 5, 2012 edition of the Irish Daily Star.