MI5 agent helped

British security services to capture an Irish terrorist and then protected his identity by pretending to be the man's friend, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

The agent, Patrick Daly, wrote more than 50 letters and cards to Peter Jordan in prison, offering to launch a campaign on his behalf and persuading him not to go on hunger strike.

He told a jury that in the 1980s he drove Jordan on a surveillance mission in a plan to blow up a military leader - described in court as Colonel Batty. 'I drove Peter Jordan to the vicinity of Col Batty for reconnaissance and reported to Special Branch of everything I had done.'

Jordan was subsequently arrested and convicted.

Mr Daly denied he had 'set up and framed' Jordan, but had passed on the information to his Avon and Somerset Special Branch handlers.

He was shown one letter in which he allegedly told Jordan: 'Always remember you have friends outside to help you . . just say what you want and we will do it, whether it's pickets or MPs.'

Mr Daly was a Special Branch informer on Irish terrorists in Bristol for 15 years and an MI5 mole in Galway, the court has been told.

He is giving evidence in the trial of Martin McMonagle and Liam Heffernan, who are accused of plotting a bombing campaign and conspiring to steal explosives for the campaign from a Somerset quarry.

Mr McMonagle, from Limerick, and Mr Heffernan, from Belfast - both 31 - have denied conspiracy. It is alleged Mr Daly was recruited by the Irish National Liberation Army to help an active service unit - including Mr McMonagle and Mr Heffernan - steal the explosives, but that he was, in fact, an MI5 agent.

To maintain his cover and protect his life, Mr Daly told the court he had played a prominent role in republican groups.

On one occasion he made a platform speech at a major rally against the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

He had taken part in fund- raising for the wives and children of terrorist prisoners.

Mr McMonagle's counsel, Rock Tansey QC, suggested that Mr Daly - who gave evidence from behind a large brown paper screen to protect his identity - lied with amazing ease.

Mr Daly replied: 'It is part of my cover. I was in danger and possibly could have been shot. I was hardly going to say I was working as a police agent, was I?'

He told the court he had not even told his wife of his double life until they moved back to Ireland in the late 1980s.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor