Operation Chiffon: The Secret Story of MI5 and MI6 and the Road to Peace in Ireland

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Operation Chiffon: The Secret Story of MI5 and MI6 and the Road to Peace in Ireland

Operation Chiffon: The Secret Story of MI5 and MI6 and the Road to Peace in Ireland

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Big Night of Musicals 2023 By the National Lottery Big Night of Musicals 2023 by the National Lottery 7.50pm, BBC One Ambiguous phrases were very much the currency we were involved with,” one of the MI6 officers, Michael Oatley, tells Taylor. The point, he adds, was to encourage the IRA to believe that its aspiration of a united Ireland might be possible through peaceful means and that the British government could help.

Despite its simplicity, there was always the risk of misunderstandings. Duddy, concludes Taylor, “was occasionally prone to a degree of exaggeration”. At key moments, it was unclear whether McGuinness was speaking with the authority of the IRA’s decision-making body, the army council.

There would always be those on both sides of the Irish Sea who believed that no spoon was long enough to sup with the IRA. But the reception that Mayhew received suggests that political and public opinion was by then at least in line with the government – and quite possibly ahead of it – in believing it was time to talk about peace. Taylor is the doyen of authorities on Northern Ireland, having spent fifty years reporting on the Province. Trusted by all sides in the conflict as an objective journalist, Taylor succeeded in gaining an entrée into each sectarian camp, acquiring unique access to leading political and paramilitary figures. With such impeccable sources, Taylor’s oeuvre has been rich and unique. In addition to five works on Irish and international terrorism, Taylor is author of the critically acclaimed Ulster trilogy Brits , Provos and Loyalists . Notably, Operation Chiffon closes the circle on this series of monographs, concomitantly filling a lacuna in the history of Northern Irish affairs. The role of secret intelligence, as Sir Alexander Cadogan (one-time Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office) complained, was the “missing dimension of most diplomatic history ”. Tellingly, it was the absence of official documentation, interviews or public disclosure surrounding Operation Chiffon that compelled “Robert ”, despite the restraints of the Official Secrets Act, to tell his story. As he confessed to the author, “I’d like what I did to be remembered. ” Operation Chiffon, as the communications came to be known on the British side, also chronicles the extraordinary risks that the go-betweens sometimes took, and the ways in which they frequently redoubled their efforts to achieve peace through dialogue at those times when the carnage was at its most unspeakable and their chances of success seemed most remote. The exuberant quiz that takes place on a gigantic lazy susan wraps up its current run with another trio of contestants hoping to win big cash. Among the six celebrities offering counsel between bouts of chair-dancing is a strapping dude who knows a thing or two about wheels: Sir Chris Hoy. Graeme Virtue

On the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Peter Taylor tells for the first time the gripping story of Operation Chiffon, the top-secret intelligence operation that helped bring peace to Ireland. For their part, the British, while stressing that there could be no withdrawal without the consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland, would use deliberately vague language. They told the IRA that they were prepared to discuss “structures of disengagement”, for example, while withholding their reservations about the century in which they believed that might happen. Nobody could foresee that 23 years later the train would hit the buffers of BrexitWomen’s Super League Football: Tottenham v Arsenal, 2pm,Sky Sports Main Event At Brisbane Road. Followed by Man United v West Ham at 5pm. Chiffon’s mission was to get the IRA to end its violent campaign and embrace the political process that eventually led to the historic Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago.

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator in the Northern Ireland peace process, in 1998. Photograph: Gerry Penny/AFP/Getty Imagesc entur y UK Joint doctrine counsels military leaders to overcome such cultural illiteracy through “cultural awarenes s” and “cultural expertise ”. The former is defined as being “critical to understanding, requiring us to develop cultural expertise in are as where we are likely to operate, together with more general awareness of other culture s” . The latter “requires immersion in another’s culture and generally develops in concert with the ability to speak the language and to understand the mindset ”. As the historiography of “the Trouble s” makes clear, the British signally failed to observe these best practices between 1969 and 2 007. A gripping exploration of how MI5 and MI6 worked for a ceasefire with the IRA – and how one meeting changed everything' Telegraph



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