There is no simple explanation for the brutal murder of Kieran Doherty, but from the stories posted below it can be gleaned that MI5 may have been involved in a massive cannabis growing operation. The intention of the ingelligence agents appears to be a set-up - the operation was "uncovered" and blamed on the Real IRA. The grower, a RIRA operative, turned up dead, and soon so did Kiernan. Britain's intelligence apparat isn't responding to questions, but the family adamantly denies the government's allegation that Doherty was involved in the cannabis operation and is demanding answers. Doherty claimed before his death that MI5 had tried to tie him to the marijuana and recruit him as an informant. He refused the informant role, according to his family, but the RIRA contends that he'd admitted involvemnt in the cannabis farm. It's still to soon to draw conclusions, but MI5 has a great deal of explaining to do and the domestic spy agency has not been forthcoming.
Kieran Doherty was murdered by the Real IRA. His family has called for an inquiry into claims MI5 agents had tried to recruit him as an informer. Photograph: Trevor McBride
The family of murdered Londonderry man Kieran Doherty have spoken for the first time to demand an inquiry into whether MI5 was involved in his death — and have strongly denied that the 31-year-old was involved in drugs.
The statement was issued last night through Derry journalist and campaigner Eamonn McCann.
A caller to a newroom in the city claimed that the Real IRA had carried out the attack.
“Kieran was not an informer and was in no way involved in drugs,” read the family statement.
Making startling claims about MI5 harassment, the statement continued: “Kieran was under continuous harassment by MI5 in the months before his death. Repeated attempts were made to recruit him as an informer. He rejected all these attempts. In the last few months of his life he went to the local media on more than one occasion to publicise and complain about MI5’s activities.
The statement claimed that four weeks ago Mr Doherty had been approached and given a phone on which he was told to phone ‘Justin’, but he threw it back.
“The PSNI and others have been asking anybody who might have relevant information to come forward. Will they ask MI5 to produce ‘Justin’ so they can interview him and find out what they know about Kieran’s death?
Comparing their son’s fate to that of murdered Sinn Fein informer Dennis Donaldson, the statement added:
The family added that Kieran was a “good and decent man” trying to lead a normal life and looking forward to getting married and getting a job following his release from prison.
They added that contrary to some reports, Kieran was not a nephew of Paddy Ward, the Provisional IRA informer.
Irish Times - George Jackson - Mar 2, 2010
A SISTER of the Real IRA man who was shot dead in Derry last Wednesday has rejected claims that her brother was involved in a drugs operation. ... Ms Doherty also repeated the family’s appeal for an inquiry to be carried out into the alleged involvement of MI5 in her brother’s death. She said the intelligence organisation had unsuccessfully attempted to recruit her brother as an informer.
"We know that it wasn’t MI5 who pulled the trigger to kill Kieran. The Real IRA has direct responsibility for his death," she added. ...
By Eamonn MacDermott
Friday, 26 February 2010
It is known that Kieran Doherty would have been close to dissident republican groups.
He was convicted of taking part in a robbery in Donegal and spent several years in Portlaoise Prison where he participated in a hunger strike over conditions faced by republican inmates.
In last night’s statement, a spokesman for the Real IRA’s Derry brigade claimed Mr Doherty had been a senior member.
There were also suggestions that Mr Doherty had been involved in the renting of a Donegal house where a cannabis cultivating operation had been discovered.
It is understood another senior republican, Seamus McGreevy, who was facing extradition to Lithuania over links to an arms smuggling plot, took his own life earlier this month following the half million pound narcotics find.
McGreevy, who had received a four-year prison sentence in 2001 after admitting his role in a Real IRA training camp, was said to have been “stressed” because of the drugs discovery.
Kieran Doherty had also alleged that he was being hassled by MI5 to turn informer. In November last year he claimed that his attempts to open a business had been blocked because he would not agree to provide information to ‘spooks.’
By Brendan McDaid
Friday, 26 February 2010
A father who was stripped, bound and shot through the head had claimed just weeks before his death that he had been approached by MI5.
It has emerged that in November 2009 Kieran Doherty gave an interview to the Derry Journal newspaper in which he claimed he had been approached by the security service.
The revelation came to light as the hunt for the 31-year-old Brandywell man’s killers continued.
Last night the Real IRA in Derry claimed responsibility for the shooting. In a coded telephone call to a local journalist the dissidents said Mr Doherty had been an RIRA member.
An spokesman for the terror group said:
Mr Doherty had been with his fiancee Mairead and daughter, aged two-and-a-half, just two hours before his brutalised body was discovered on Wednesday night.
At a Press conference yesterday, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison — who is now leading the hunt for Mr Doherty’s killers — said the victim had gone to the shop on Wednesday evening but never returned.
The family yesterday asked to be left alone to grieve.
Speaking on behalf of Mr Doherty’s family and girlfriend, Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson said: “Kieran's partner Mairead and his family are traumatised and in deep shock at the sudden and brutal death of Kieran.
DCI Harrison, meanwhile, has confirmed that a passer-by discovered Kieran’s body at the side of Braehead Road — about two miles from Mr Doherty’s home — at around 10.10pm and alerted a local priest.
The priest and a colleague administered the Last Rites and led prayers over the body at the scene.
It is understood the deceased was shot twice in the head, and police said they believe he died as a result of the shotgun wounds.
DCI Harrison has refused to be drawn on any possible link between the murder and drugs or dissident republican crime.
Speculation was last night mounting after it emerged that his body was found on the same road as a burnt-out motorcycle used as a getaway following the shooting of a businessman in Derry city centre last month.
A former UDR soldier was found shot dead on the same road almost 38 years ago to the day.
Inspector Harrison said he was not aware if Mr Doherty was under any threat from any organisation but confirmed the victim had been known to police.
He said, however, that he had made contact with Garda detectives in Donegal regarding the murder because of recent criminal activity in and around the area where the body was found.
DCI Harrison said: “Kieran suffered a brutal death and had sustained serious injuries. This was a savage attack for which there is no justification.
“I am aware of speculation as to how and why he met his death but these circumstances aren’t important at the moment. What’s important to me is why Kieran was murdered and who was responsible for doing that.
DCI Harrison said that whoever had carried out the execution-style murder had neither a mandate nor support.
The family of a man shot dead by the Real IRA has insisted he was not an informer or drug dealer.
Ciaran Doherty, aged 31, was stripped, tied up and left in a remote laneway on the outskirts of Derry close to the border on Wednesday night.
His family has alleged he had been under 'continuous harassment' from the secret service MI5 in the months before his death.
'We repeat that he was neither an informer nor a criminal. He was never in his life associated with drugs,' the relatives' statement said.
Last night, the Real IRA, the group which also carried out the Omagh bombing in 1998, said in a statement to local media in Derry, that it had killed Ciaran Doherty.
The group claimed the murdered man had been a senior member of its organisation.
The PSNI has confirmed that Mr Doherty was known to the police, but stressed this could never excuse his murder.
The murder has been widely condemned.
Why would the security services MI5 have been interested in Kieran Doherty?
And what is meant by he was “known to police”?
These are just two of the questions that emerge from a killing that is a throwback to the past.
Mr Doherty’s near-naked body was dumped at the roadside, his hands bound and he had been shot in the head. This was an execution — the type of killing that in the past would have been used to deliver a wider warning.
So how did the police know him?
“It’s certainly in the drugs world,” one source commented.
But that would not have been the security services’ interest in this man, if indeed they were interested.
And then you get into that world of closed doors. That comment hints at something else, but gives no other information.
Late last year, in an interview with the Derry Journal newspaper, Kieran Doherty claimed the security services had approached him.
The MI5 role in Northern Ireland is national security — their focus here the dissident republican threat. So, if the story of the approach is true, how did they think Doherty could help?
How would he be useful in the war against the dissidents?
It may well have been about who he knew and what he knew about that dissident world.
Even before last night’s statement admitting the killing, fingers were being pointed at the Real IRA.
Martin McGuinness wanted the linked 32 County Sovereignty Movement to make a statement.
But people will remember that in its past the IRA took many people down lonely roads and ended their lives there.
All of what the dissidents are doing comes from an IRA book.
This latest shooting, the mortar bomb at Keady, the car bomb outside the courthouse in Newry, the booby-trap device under Peadar Heffron’s car — none of it is new.
We have seen it all before, and in this spread of dissident activity, tactics are being taken from one page and then another in that old IRA book.
The dissidents are doing all of the things the IRA did — not the same level of activity, but there is a gradual build-up.
Some unionists argue there is “a security solution” to this.
Marching the Army back on stage, using special forces to confront the dissidents, it would be an over reaction at a time that calls for a measured response. Even in this build-up of activity, the dissidents are nowhere close to matching what the IRA once did – nowhere close to matching that capability for a sustained campaign.
This is not a re-run or a repeat of that old war.
It is a situation in which some of the tactics are being recycled.
The dissidents will not be condemned from the stage.
To some it will sound outrageous, but there is a better chance that talking would succeed — a dialogue done secretly and with the intention of persuading them that there is another way.
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent } guardian.co.uk } 1 March 2010
The family of a man murdered by the Real IRA dissident terror group has demanded an inquiry into allegations MI5 agents had been trying to recruit him as an informer.
Kieran Doherty was buried today in his native Derry, five days after his naked body was found on the outskirts of the city. His family claimed the 31-year-old had been subjected to "continuous harassment" by MI5.
The Doherty family said Kieran had been in jail but had been "trying to get on with his life" after his release. Their statement added: "Kieran was a good and decent man trying to lead a normal life and looking forward to getting married."
They said in the last months of his life he had been so stressed and he was sometimes almost unable to speak to his partner. He had lost weight and had been treated in hospital for depression, they added.
At a requiem in the Long Tower church in Derry, Father Roland Colhoun condemned the Real IRA. "To those who killed Kieran, I think we should say they have brought terrible distress to his family. In the decisions you made last Wednesday, you changed the lives of his family.
The Doherty family challenged Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers to launch an investigation into the alleged role of MI5.
In the Stormont assembly today Foyle MP Mark Durkan said the Security Service had "serious questions to answer" over their activities in the final months of Doherty's life.
The SDLP MP added that it was important the assembly demonstrated unity
The victim's mother, Christine, said her son's death was brutal.
The Real IRA has claimed that Kieran Doherty, whom it abducted and murdered last week, had admitted his involvement in a €500,000 cannabis factory uncovered by gardai in Donegal last month.
In a statement, a representative of its ‘Army Council’ claimed Doherty (31) had made the admission during a six-week ‘investigation’ by the Real IRA following the discovery of the drugs factory.
Doherty’s family have strongly denied he was involved in the drugs trade.
The dissident spokesman said Doherty, who was a prominent member in Derry, had been “interviewed” twice by the Real IRA before the night of his murder.
The Real IRA said that at the second interview, at which Doherty was “court-martialed”, he had made the admission after hearing “witness statements” from other members of the criminal gang who were allegedly involved with him in the cannabis factory.
The Real IRA spokesman said that Doherty had been a member of its “GHQ (general headquarters) staff” and had known the organisation’s rules when he joined.
While Doherty had admitted involvement with the drugs gang, he had denied working for MI5, the spokesman claimed.
However, the Real IRA believed that MI5 “had played some role” in the drugs factory which had been set up to “blacken the IRA’s name and link us to the drugs trade which we abhor and oppose”. The cannabis factory was discovered by gardai at a house in Carrigans which was owned by Seamus McGreevy (56) from Co Meath, a founder Real IRA member who killed himself over a month ago.
McGreevy had built the house but had been unable to sell it due to the property market slump. He asked Doherty to rent the house to tenants and to act as its caretaker. The two men, who met when they were serving sentences in Portlaoise prison, were described as being “like father and son”.
The Real IRA said that, from its investigation, it believed McGreevy had no involvement in the cannabis factory and was horrified when it was found.
“An outside IRA security team moved in to carry out the inquiry. It was an extensive investigation during which many witnesses, including members of the criminal gang involved in the drugs factory, were interviewed.
The spokesman claimed when Doherty was first interviewed at a paramilitary “court of inquiry”, he denied these allegations. However, the Real IRA representative claimed that on the second occasion when Doherty faced a “court martial” and was shown statements from the gang members, he “admitted his involvement”.
The spokesman said that at both “interviews” Doherty had been ordered not to discuss the issue with anybody nor to contact other Real IRA members.
McGreevy came into a very substantial sum of money when a motorway was built through farmland he owned. Republican sources said he gave most of this to the Real IRA and also to ex-prisoners who were struggling financially. They said he had given Doherty money to set up a café for himself but the venture had failed. Republican sources described McGreevy as a “very trusting, quiet countryman”.
Until the discovery of the drugs factory, Doherty had been a popular member of the Real IRA nicknamed ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Goggles’ because of his glasses. The Real IRA claimed it had “strictly followed the green book”, the IRA’s rulebook which all members endorse, during its ‘investigation’ into Doherty.
The spokesman claimed that admitting one of its members had become involved in the drugs’ trade, and then killing him, was “not something we did lightly”.