Fred Holroyd: Whistle-blowing, The Troubles and the ‘Dirty War’

Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:25:00 GMT

Wednesday 12 December 2012 at 16:15 in JM3/06

Dr Stephen Dorril (Huddersfield)

Fred Holroyd: Whistle-blowing, The Troubles and the ‘Dirty War’


Major Fred Holroyd arrived in Northern Ireland in January 1974 as a Military Intelligence Officer and was involved in the most controversial period of ‘The Troubles’. He was removed from his position at the end of May 1975, ostensibly on medical grounds. His allegations have been the subject of media investigations, which were divided as to the truth of his claims, and RUC and Irish Garda reports, which branded him a liar. The Irish Baron Inquiry, however, considered this to be ‘unfair’ and suggested that ‘one must also consider the possibility that those who investigated his allegations would have had, even sub-consciously, a desire to find them false’. In their apparent eagerness to deny Holroyd any credibility whatsoever, RUC officers ‘made inaccurate and misleading statements which have unfortunately tarnished their own credibility’.

Dorril looks at Holroyd in terms of recent research on whistle-blowing and considers the current status of three highly controversial allegations which are at the heart of his claims of knowledge of ‘Dirty Tricks’ in Northern Ireland. In doing so, he breaks the official silence on one of the key events of the whole of The Troubles.

Dr Stephen Dorril, is senior lecturer in Journalism and Media. This research paper is part of a wider study of British intelligence and the Troubles - The Dogs in the Street say...


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