John McKeague

John McKeague

THE PHOENIX reported last May that the BBC was refusing to broadcast The Lost Boys, which has become the documentary du jour, because it linked the disappearance of five boys in Belfast to a paedophile ring employed by MI5 (see edition 6/5/23). A lucky few managed to watch the film, made by Alleycats, last month at the Irish Film Institute. Producer Ed Stobart and director Des Henderson appeared on the BBC NI’s Talkback radio show days later but alas, a segment of the transmission vanished into the ether – just as they spoke about the involvement of MI5 agents in the scandal. Alleycats amassed 100 hours of interviews. One that nearly made the final cut was an interview with one of the former handlers of John McKeague. It has long been claimed that McKeague – a notorious loyalist terrorist, serial killer and child molester – was a British agent. This is now confirmed.

In 1966 McKeague was arrested for molesting two YMCA boys. Sir Knox Cunningham MP, QC, another paedophile, helped him slip free of the charges. That same year McKeague moved to Belfast and transferred his allegiance to Ian Paisley. He soon became a friend of the child rapists who ran Kincora Boys’ Home.

John McKeague was involved in the bombing campaign that toppled Capt Terence O’Neill as Stormont prime minister of NI. In August 1969, he led the loyalist gangs that burned hundreds of Catholics out of their homes in Belfast. He set up the Red Hand Commando sometime in 1972. It enjoyed close fraternal links with the UVF.

McKeague engaged in a series of gruesome sectarian ‘romper room’ murders with UVF men, during which victims were given slow and horrific deaths in torture chambers located in disused buildings, lock-up garages and rooms above pubs and drinking clubs controlled by loyalist thugs.

John McKeague became an RUC informant in 1971. He was handed over to British military intelligence the following year. In 1976, Capt Brian Gemmell of British military intelligence attended an MI5 conference at Buckingham Palace Road, London, at which the MI5 officers spoke about a compromising film they had shot of McKeague while engaged in homosexual acts, something that was still illegal in NI.

McKeague was recruited and lured loyalist paedophiles to hotels where MI5 recorded them abusing Kincora boys.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) knew about McKeague’s sexual deviancy. On May 23, 1975, UDA supreme commander Andy Tyrie and his colleague, John Orchin, met James Allan, a senior MI6 officer at the NIO. According to declassified British files, there were “some ribald discussions of Mr McKeague’s proclivities”.

The Kincora scandal erupted in January 1980. Two years later the RUC questioned McKeague about his rape of boys. He threatened that, if he was charged, he would expose what he knew about the scandal. He was assassinated in January 1982, taking his secrets about MI5 to the grave.

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