Government papers reveal alleged MI5 plot to assassinate former Taoiseach

Government papers reveal alleged MI5 plot to assassinate former Taoiseach

HISTORIC government papers released today reveal an alleged plan to assassinate former Taoiseach Charles Haughey in 1987.

The documents, released by the Irish National Archive under the 30-year rule, include a letter deemed to have been written by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) to Charles Haughey, saying an MI5 officer asked them to "execute" him.

The letter, which was sent to Mr Haughey in 1987, contained a long list of collusion allegations against the British intelligence services, including the statement: "In 1985 we were approached by a MI5 officer...he asked us to execute you."

It further stated that UVF paramilitaries had been supplied with details to allow the assassination to take place – including information regarding the Taoiseach’s personal security and aerial photographs of his family homes, cars and his private yacht.

The late taoiseach's son, Seán Haughey has since confirmed to RTÉ, that his family were aware of the death threat at the time and took it seriously.

The Irish state papers also contain a claim that Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams "set up" an IRA gang who were shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall, County Armagh, in 1987, however the party have described the claim as "nonsense".

The claim was passed on to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs by the respected Catholic cleric, Fr Denis Faul, about three months after the Loughgall killings.

In May 1987 eight IRA men were shot dead by undercover soldiers as they loaded a 200lb bomb onto a stolen digger and smashed through the gates of the barracks.

The late Monsignor Denis Faul - a former Maze prison chaplain who was credited with helping to end the IRA hunger strike in 1981 - told Irish diplomats later that year that there was a theory that "the IRA team were set up by Gerry Adams himself".

"These claims are utter nonsense," a party spokesman said in response to the declassified file.