BOOKS: STAKEKNIFE’S DIRTY WAR The sensational Inside Story of Freddie Scappaticci

The Inside Story of Scappaticci, The IRA’s Nutting Squad, and the British Spooks who Ran the War
In this sensational exposé of British Intelligence’s top informer in the upper ranks of the IRA, Richard O’Rawe delivers the most definitive account yet of the Troubles’ most enigmatic, notorious and sinister figure, Freddie Scappaticci.
Code-named Stakeknife, from the late 1970s through to his eventual exposure in 2003, he was the ‘jewel in the crown’ of a British infiltration system designed to cause mayhem and chaos in the IRA’s military operations. O’Rawe gained unprecedented access to Scappaticci’s former comrades who reveal extraordinary details of the inner workings of the IRA’s Internal Security Unit, known locally as the ‘Nutting Squad’, and Scappaticci’s deadly role as it’s ‘spy-catcher’ general. As a British agent himself, Scappaticci kept his handlers fully informed about who was being questioned and who was being sentenced to death. Yet, more often than not, they failed to intervene despite having every opportunity. In Stakeknife’s Dirty War, Ricky O’Rawe looks not only at the brutal murders that Scappaticci handled for the IRA, but also asks whether the tasking and co-ordinating groups, the primary British intelligence organisation in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, aided and abetted the IRA in the murder of its own citizens. The political scandal at the heart of this story is that Scappaticci’s intelligence handlers were aware of almost every abduction and execution he carried out prior to it taking place; a scandal that became the subject of one of the most expensive British government inquiries ever, Operation Kenova.

In this compelling and extraordinary story of state-sanctioned murder and extreme moral ambiguity in the overriding quest for the protection of ‘national security’, the truth is truly stranger than fiction.

Paperback • €18.99 | £17.99 •  272 pages •  226 mm x 153mm • 9781785374470

On Sale 15th September 2023
€18.99 | £17.99
About the Author

Richard O’Rawe is the author of the best-selling books Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-Block Hunger StrikeAfterlives: The Hunger Strike and the Secret Offer that Changed Irish HistoryIn the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story and the novels Northern Heist and Goering’s Gold.

One comment

  1. They didn’t call the troubles in Ireland the Dirty War for nothing.

    There were absolutely no restrictions on the foul murderous deeds carried out by the British security service.

    The slaughter of innocent civilians with shoot to kill policies as demonstrated by Bloody Sunday and the Coal Island massacres may be the obvious security service outrages.

    But the arming of loyalist thugs to kill civil rights lawyers like Pat Finnucaine and Rosemary Nelson, or the murder of innocent people to protect army infiltrators or indeed the use of infiltrators to advance timers on IRA bombs so that they would explode early causing slaughter that would turn nationalists against them, were all part of the British Dirty War.

    That is how you try to retain colonies, suppress independence movements, and having done it all around the world, no one should be under any illusion that they would do the same in Scotland.

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