A day to confess

 

This is a long blog.  You will find no pictures and no humor in it.  It might disturb you and two names have been changed in it.

It has been sometime since I wrote about my experience with disgraced former FBI agent John Connolly and Whitey Bulger.  I was reluctant to do so until both were behind bars.

I have also been wrestling with writing about a day in time of years past.  On occasions I would say, what the heck no one will believe it and on others, I have been hesitant because it might identify the person involved.  I don’t want that to happen. With that said I now put pen to paper.

I will call my companion of this day Sean and you decide if his confessions are true or not.

I must mention that I have told of this day to several Irish born people.  Some are believers, others have discounted Sean as another IRA want to be.

Sean is from a small notorious IRA town on the border of Northern Ireland.  He came to the states in the 70s and has lived, worked, married and had kids since he arrived.

Sean, a friend and I were trying to start up a company.  The concept was solid and a business plan was written. The three of us had extensive experience in advertising, music delivery and television/radio.

Sean and I met at a bar on the north shore of Boston to discuss our next step.  We decided to set up meetings with companies that we had contacts with to see what they thought of our business plan and to test the waters.  At the end of our meeting Sean asked me about my connection to Ireland and then asked what I thought of the IRA. I answered, they’re terrorists.  Our meeting ended with a plan to set up appointments with potential clients during the next week. Once that was accomplished we would hit the road.

Off we go.  As soon as we got on the highway, Sean said “ last week, I asked you what you thought of the IRA and you called them terrorists.  I was in the IRA and I was not a terrorist.” I have listened to many a drunk South Boston guy, that has never been to Ireland, claim they were in the IRA.  Some guy passed a hat around raising money for the cause and they put a buck into it and felt they were now in the IRA.

Sean was different.  I asked him if they had ranks in the IRA.  He came back with “didn’t you have a rank in the Marines?”  I then asked what his rank was. His answer was chilling. “Brigadier General”.  I followed with what did a Brigadier General in the IRA do? He said he was the head of operations under Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.  I thought dam, if he is telling the truth he was in the top tier of the IRA.

I then asked what did the head of operations do.  That was all it took, bone chilling stories came one after the other.

“Do you know anything about the helicopter escape at Mountjoy prison?”  he asked. No I didn’t. He said “ I planned it and put all the pieces together.”

The Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape occurred on 31 October 1973 when three Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, Ireland, aboard a hijacked Alouette II helicopter, which briefly landed in the prison exercise yard.

The history books will detail what happened that day, but the things Sean told me about the planning, kidnapping and practice runs are not in any book or newspaper file.

After asking about my connections to Ireland Sean knew where I went when traveling there.  He told me of his participation and planning of an art heist near where I visited and now live.

Rose Dugdale a posh, rich, well bred young English socialite smashed her way into Wicklow’s Russborough House and pulled off an art heist that made her infamous around the world.  The gang made off with 19 masterpieces by Rubens, Gainsborough and Goya, and the only privately held Vermeer in the world.

He went on about being responsible for getting weapons and briefly mentioning ties to Whitey Bulger and Patrick N**.  His main source was Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. Muammar Gaddafi, who took over Libya in a 1969 coup, saw the IRA as a comrade-in-arms fighting British imperialism and he was partly responsible for providing it with more modern weaponry.

I asked him if he traveled to Libya to purchase the weapons and if he did, wouldn’t his passport indicate his frequent travels there.  His response was “How naive you are Dan, I had eight passports”.

Were you ever arrested?  “Yes, for a minor charge and was placed in a cell with a young drunk Irishman serving in the British Army.  He looked at me and said I know you and I say no you don’t we have never met. The kid says I had your picture taped to my leg with the instructions to kill on sight,”  At that point I didn’t have to ask if he had killed anyone, I knew the answer.

He talked about how small in numbers the IRA was and practically no one knew who was in it.  He attended an operational meeting to deliver instructions for an upcoming operation and those in attendance were strangers as was he to them.

He talked about the British taking his brother up in a helicopter to interrogate him and pushing him out at 30 feet breaking his legs.

I asked him if he was married in Ireland.  Yes he says I was married to the children of Ireland.  Does his American wife know of his IRA background? No!  Does anyone? Yes, you. Why did you leave Ireland? “I was a soldier, we had beaten the British but had no politician to negotiate a settlement.  I felt, my job was done.”

After a long day we parted.  Believe me when I say I was looking over my shoulder all the way home.  We set a date to meet to review potential client notes and to plan our next move.  That meeting never took place. Another week goes by and I start calling. No reply.  I call several times a day for the next week, still no answer or reply. It was at that point I realized that he must regret telling me about his “association” with the IRA and that disappearing from my life would be in his best interest.  I have not heard from him since that day.

Ask yourself why would anyone make this up, if made up why would you not tell other people, and why did Sean disappear from my life.

Sean lives in a small town in Maryland, he is an Eucharistic Minister in the Catholic Church and I wonder if he has confessed to anyone besides me.

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