Why Ireland failed to accept the Bolshevik revolution – although on paper it tried to do so
On January 30, 1972, British soldiers shot 26 civilians during a protest march in Northern Ireland. Of these, 14 people died and the rest were injured. The soldiers don’t even show mercy as the protesters run away and keep the pressure on. Some of the people have returned to help the wounded, but as thanks they also receive a bullet. Other victims were cut by rubber bullets, batons and kicks with military clubs. The British Army is simply on a roll and clearly has no mercy.
With a tribunal of inquiry set up with accusations that it was yet another abuse of rights, the judges concluded that the soldiers were innocent because they only used force against provocateurs and people who were carrying weapons – weapons such as oil bombs. The jury selected does not have a single Irishman. Bloody Sunday, as the day will be remembered, has caused some countries to think much more seriously about their influence on the island.
Ireland is the nest of spies who are always working to destabilize and increase tension. Favorites among all cadres are precisely the residents of the KGB, whose aspirations are to directly influence the West. After Dublin is shaken by the chaos and effect of the protests, Soviet agents rush to develop another interesting story – the officialization of the spy ring.
At the same time, institutions such as the CIA, MI6 and J2 – Irish military intelligence – began to report very serious activity in the Eastern Bloc.
In late 1972, the KGB organized the so-called Operation Splash. The purpose of the occupation is to supply weapons to the Irish Revolutionary Army, which professes to some extent Marxist ideas. In case you’re wondering if this could even be credible information, it’s described in considerable detail in Mitrokhin’s archives, who tells the secret history of the KGB in a long and not-so-romantic book.
The vessel sent is named Gearbox and is to pass through the fishing grounds, dropping anchor about 50 miles off Northern Ireland. The military organization must wait for the arsenal of 70 automatic rifles, two light machine guns, 10 Walthers and about 41,600 magazines covered in special containers to be handed over. The Russians throw the weapon into the fishing nets and in this way the same will reach the fishing boats.
Yuri Andropov has given permission for this mission, but officially does not want to have any connection with the USSR. The weapon sent was collected from West Germany, while military experts took pains to lubricate the old guns with special German oil, removing any doubt from them.
A few hours after the ship’s departure, a fishing boat will pass by to collect everything needed and start the little revolution. This is the first documented delivery, but it certainly won’t be the last. The IRA will get many more tools for waging war.
The KGB is making every effort to open a Soviet embassy somewhere in Ireland. Paddy Donegan – Foreign Secretary – would repeatedly refuse such an invitation. The first talks were documented as early as 1973. The informal ones continued for decades, but there is always a reason why diplomacy fails. Whenever the press asks him why he refuses, he explains very simply:
“If the USSR sends 22 diplomats to Dublin, they will come with at least 22 more partners. Of their total number, about 30 will be spies.’
Paddy’s connection to the USSR is Mr. No, or Andrei Gromyko, who has often demonstrated how he can twist the arms of the Western powers and find loopholes in every respect. Moscow’s dream is to get closer to London and he is the only man for this mission. Gromyko also once served as ambassador to the US, so opening a new consulate in Dublin is a no-brainer at this stage.
The battle between David and Goliath can be screened in the negotiations of the two with the search for an option in which no one gets hurt. The problem is that the Kremlin really wants to send at least 20-30 people. Paddy disagrees and against the backdrop of Moscow’s wishes, he proposes to open an Irish embassy in the USSR.
The Russians are ready to compromise and allow the entire diplomatic team to be a maximum of 6 people. Meanwhile, 17 people will fly to Dublin. The deal is signed at the UN headquarters in New York and marks the beginning of one of the newest and most advanced KGB spy bases in Western Europe. Even if we don’t want to admit it, it’s a small and unofficial holiday.
Anatoly Caplin will go to Dublin as the first ambassador to Ireland. Gennady Salin will be appointed first secretary and press secretary, while Viktor Lipasov arrives to fill the role of second secretary, along with his wife Irina. The USSR begins to arrange the pieces on the chessboard and everything becomes more than interesting. The Soviet delegation gets its quarters on a very special street – George Orwell.
The sum of 720,000 dollars was paid for their small complex of approximately 5 acres. After two years, the USSR claimed that the buildings were outdated and needed new ones, planning to demolish their old building and erect a new one with an additional 18 apartments, a library and even a cinema. And if the people of Dublin see nothing wrong, every intelligence begins to express dissatisfaction and look for a new way to sabotage Russian ambitions. People like Michael Quinn will point out some troubling facts:
“Irish J2 Military Intelligence is involved in the complete monitoring of people entering and exiting the estate on George Orwell Street, also known as ‘Orwell Road.’ MI6 spies, meanwhile, have been busy removing the IRA from Northern Ireland. Every opinion was considered at the table; forged letters, propaganda, sabotage of IRA weapons, even murder.
However, British Prime Minister Ted Heath wanted more. False stories were told that the IRA was involved in fraud, witchcraft and it was even claimed that Soviet grenade launchers would soon arrive on Irish shores. Another suggestion was to invent legends about bombs causing cancer.’
The Crown is slowly and surely losing its influence over Ireland, but it doesn’t mind sabotaging any flirtations with the USSR. The investment in propaganda is more than good, but the more important question: how successful is it? Of course, the CIA gets in on the fun too. The Washington Post will claim that this will be the first Russian intelligence coup that will go down in the history of the century.
Fortunately, a group of Americans and West Germans are working undercover with Crypto AG, a Swiss company run by Boris Hagelin. He is known for creating a special machine for encrypting information, which has been in the arsenal of Soviet agents since 1952.
The spies sell Hagelin’s device to all interested intelligence agencies around the world. Ireland paid the sum of $1.25 million in the early 1980s, and with the new equipment it became clear that the CIA could decipher anything sent from Dublin.
At that time, the KGB was walking in the most reliable place in the world – the pubs. Hitting the most vulnerable groups is more than enough as legends of a coup by the IRA, the movements of the British army, as well as the focus of NATO and the dispatch of American submarines begin to circulate.
More than 90 Russian intelligence agents have been able to transfer directly from Britain to Ireland so that the number of diplomats can still be maintained. Entering England may be considered a more difficult task, but in the meantime we must not forget that Ireland is open to anyone who wants to live there.