"The Trigger Men", Martin Dillon, skilfully
stretches investigative journalism to the ultimate
"hair line crack" where libel law and
the public interest meet. Dillon has "lifted
stones and peered under them" to study the
highly sordid and clandestine world of the State
Counter Insurgency and Intelligence Forces, its
personell, Political policy advisors, Military advisors
and its vast network of informers and agents. An
Intelligence apparatus of the state that ranges
from collusion with Loyalist Paramilitaries to FRU,
MRF, 14th Inst, MI5, MI6, SAS, RUC Special Branch
also includes the conglamorate of individual British
Political leaders and overlords in GEN 42.
moves from the fixed axis of the narrow North of
Ireland blame game by foccussing on the hideous
crimes of the state security services and their
agents and indeed the active involvement of the
more commonly called "spooks" and "securocrats"
in the conflict. The dirty war was says Dillon,
"a direct consequence of the policies of the
Heath Government, which allowed the intelligence
apparatus of the state to operate without judicial
oversight." Dillon's account clearly demonstrates
that the British Intelligence Forces and their overlords
both utilised and employed hate filled Unionist
psychopaths, Clerymen and paedophiles "who
undertook assassinations on behalf of the state"
in a British colonial war of terror against primarily
the Catholic population in the North of Ireland.
convincing insight and scrutiny will undoubtedly
leave even the more informed readers with a deep
sense of betrayal or vulnerablity. Especially, when
it is clear that highly placed Government Ministers
are not only continuously developing but also adherring
to policies, which sanction the murder and brutilisation
of its own citizens. Furthermore, it is deeply disturbing
that the same "invisible hand" of such
unaccountable "spooks" and "securocrats"
remain not only an "ever present" influence
on British policy in a "peace-time" North
of Ireland but according to Dillon such British
policies were responsible for "some of the
darkest episodes of the conflict ". Which says
Dillon "have been deliberately covered up"
and must become "opened up to honest scrutiny",
or there will remain "a lingering doubt about
the willingness of the British Government to admit
to past crimes."
rise and fall of some notorious Loyalist leaders
are also profiled by Dillon in an endeavour to unearth
their underlying motivation and ideology which accounts
for the murder of hundreds. Prominent leaders and
trigger men, such as John Mc Keague, William Mc
Grath, Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair, Billy 'King Rat'
Wright Shankill 'Butcher' Lenny Murphy, Michael
Stone and the murder gangs under their control share
a broad centre stage with the influence of Paisleyism
that shaped their sectarian outlook. This is controversially
entwinned with a background for some of the notorious
leaders who Dillon claims had emanated from a dysfunctional
family or they were a victim of sex abuse as children
which progressed in adult life to noxious sexual
perversion, paedophile rings or greed as the gun
and bible psyche of British loyalists.
is apparent that Dillon's scrutiny of Republicans
is the lesser plot. In a chapter on Domninic McGlinchy,
Dillon includes a personality profile on Francis
Hughes. Elsewhere in the book, Dillon outlines the
murderous efforts of the British intelligence services
and its agents to protect a highly placed agent
within the Provisional IRA called "Stakeknife"
with the IRA green book published for good measure.
Therefore, it is clear that "The Trigger Men'
is more concerned with the hideous underworld of
loyalist collusion with the Intelligence/security
services and at times, the book resembles a revisitation
to "The Shankill Butchers" twenty years
Dillon's journalistic professional "never burn
bridges style" with contacts is most notable
if not frustrating for some throughout the book.
It is clear that Martin Dillon is restrained in
revealing only what can be legally revealed which
leaves the impression that the author knows much,
much more. Dillon obviously seeks to serve the public
interest and further the rights of investigative
journalists. Which is better said by Dillon himself
in a poem he dedicates to murdered Irish journalist
Marty O Hagan.