In this Paper Trail Pro podcast, we out Britain’s Man in Maynooth.
We examine the rather cosy relationship between a highly influential Irish Monsignor at Maynooth College and a British covert spy and propaganda unit.
At first glance, the file I found was a brief, quite nondescript information report from one British civil servant in the Dublin embassy to another British civil servant in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Looks can be deceiving though.
The Information Policy Report from the Republic of Ireland dated 23rd September 1971 was prepared by Information Officer, PJC Evans, for DN Brinson, working in the Guidance and Information Policy Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Evans’s report briefly outlines the objectives and methods of the small and seemingly stretched Information Section a few weeks after internment when hundreds of Irish Catholics were rounded up and held without trial.
Nevertheless, it was sent with a “Secret Annex on the IRD activity” which jumped out at me as it highlighted that the post was run by the Information Research Department (IRD).
Covert British Propagandists
The IRD was a deeply covert propaganda unit that was set up within the FCO primarily to combat the communist threat during the Cold War. It was also brought into the north of Ireland by British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, in the early 70s to be used against the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Listen to this podcast to hear of the relationship between the infamous IRD and the man in charge of Maynooth College in 1971, Monsignor Jeremiah Newman – Britain’s Man in Maynooth.
Britain’s Man in Maynooth features in a soon-to-be-published book called Trope – Essays and Articles by Ciarán MacAirt