Monday, January 29, 2024

Murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier by Vincent McKenna

Murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier by Vincent McKenna

Introduction and Key Events

On the 23 December, 1996, when 39-year-old French woman, Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier was murdered in west Cork, the murder made national and international headlines. However, I had no particular interest in Sophie’s murder, as murders in Ireland were common in the 1990s, and I was working tirelessly in Belfast on the peace process.

Vincent McKenna

The names Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier and Ian Bailey would have no real meaning for me until many years after Sophie’s brutal murder. That meaning and interest was sparked when a fellow prisoner in Wheatfield Prison, Patrick O’Riordan, disclosed to me in casual circumstances, that Ian Bailey had admitted murdering Sophie, while staying in London with Patrick.

Confirmation of what I was told in Prison

In 2007, I was preparing to go to Cork City for the funeral of a good friend, Richard ‘Richie’ Walsh. Richie had been a fireman in Cork for over 30-years and we had met through another close friend. I decided that while in Cork City I would make contact with Ian Bailey, I would tell Ian that I had empathy with him in regards to the way he had been so badly treated by the Gardai and the Media.

Book Reviews by Vincent McKenna

The Kidnapping by Tommy Conlon and Ronan McGreevy

The Yank by John Crawley

I had contacted Solicitor Con Murphy who had been Ian Bailey's Solicitor, not realising that Con Murphy was already a Circuit Court Judge, however, Con Murphy was able to give me Bailey’s mobile phone number. I phoned Ian Bailey and told him that I had certain information that might be helpful to him, and I asked him to meet me in the hotel in Cork in which I would be staying.

When Ian Bailey arrived at my hotel, we sat in a quiet corner of the bar. Ian Bailey was nervous; he was constantly looking around him as if waiting on the Gardai or media to pounce. Ian eventually settled down, I explained to Ian exactly who I was and the reason I was in prison, I showed him media reports about my case before, during and after I was charged. Ian began to see similarities in how we had both been treated.

I told Ian that a fellow prisoner had a great deal to say about him and I wondered what the motivation of that prisoner might be. Ian, upon hearing the name Patrick O’Riordan, said:

“I thought I could trust that bastard”.

I told Ian about my time in Sinn Fein/PIRA and that I had often been in the company of men and women who disclosed the murders they were involved in. I told Ian that I did not careless whether he had killed Sophie or not, I was simply interested in O’Riordan’s motivation as I thought he might have been trying to buy his way in to my trust.

In reality, I believed Patrick O'Riordan was trying to do something good, after pleading guilty to raping his daughter.

I eventually set-out my understanding of what happened to Sophie. I told Ian that I thought much of what he had written about her was true (I did not), down in west Cork flaunting herself, bathing in a bathroom with no curtains. This misogynistic language encouraged Ian to sit forward in his seat:

“Yes, Yes, that’s it”

I told Ian that I thought someone had called to her door and she had boldly dismissed that person and there was an argument that got out of control. Ian nodded his head and did not dispute one word that I said, he offered no conspiracy theory, but nodded at the truth lay before him.

Our conversation lasted about three-hours, I told Ian that I hoped what I had told him would be helpful, as I did not like people being stitched up. I told Ian, I could have no further contact with him as I was out on bail for an alleged assault in 2005 and my association with him could weaken his position. Ian thanked me and left.

Motivation for this Report to An Garda Siochana 2022

I learned by means of a news report, 1 July, 2022, that An Garda Siochana were conducting a Review of the murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier in Cork in 1996.

While I had made a formal statement to An Garda Siochana in 2005 about the disclosures made to me in prison, I decided that I might remind the Garda Review Team about the disclosures made to me in prison in 2004.

Report to An Garda Siochana 2022 (this is not the full report submitted)

I learned by means of a news report, 1 July, 2022, that An Garda Siochana were conducting a Review of the murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier in Cork in 1996.

I noted in that news report, 1 July, 2022, that a Mr Jim Sheridan, who was introduced as someone who has made a documentary about the murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier, stated that Sophie had been stabbed several times. I would suggest that Mr Sheridan is asked about this, as it was not disclosed previously, and I believe that such an assertion could prevent the murderer admitting the crime, if that murderer were at some point moved by events/guilt to admit the killing, but try and diminish the murder as an act of violence within an act of rejection. These subtle points matter to such killers.

I write purely from memory, and so I have to place matters in context, that is why I will cover matters in this document that may not appear specific to the murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier.


In 2004, I was serving a sentence in Wheatfield Prison (this conviction returning to The Court of Criminal Appeal in 2022 based on New Findings of Fact) and during this sentence, a fellow prisoner, Patrick O’Riordan disclosed to me, his close relationship with Ian Bailey, and how Ian Bailey had disclosed to him in London that Ian had murdered Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier.

Reporting to An Garda Siochana

When Patrick O’Riordan disclosed to me what Ian Bailey had told him about his involvement in the murder of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier, I immediately made contact with An Garda Siochana. The campaign against me had calmed down at this stage. Patrick O’Riordan had no clue that I would contact Gardai, anyone watching the campaign against me in the media, including comments from corrupt Gardai, would have assumed that there was no possibility of me talking to Gardai.

Garda Officers involved in the investigation into the murder of Sophie, visited me in Wheatfield Prison and I told them exactly the circumstances in which Patrick O’Riordan had disclosed to me his knowledge of Sophie’s murder.

Garda Officers asked me if Patrick O’Riordan would speak with them directly and make a formal statement. I told the Gardai that I would talk to Patrick O’Riordan and ask him to cooperate with An Garda Siochana. I spoke at length with Patrick O’Riordan, and while he was struggling with the idea of betraying his friend Ian Bailey, Patrick O’Riordan came to understand the importance of helping Sophie’s family to get closure.

Patrick O’Riordan agreed to make a statement under caution to An Garda Siochana and I arranged for Gardai to return to Wheatfield Prison and take a cautioned statement from Patrick O’Riordan.

Patrick O’Riordan was serving 10-years for Rape, it was one of the highest sentences handed down for rape in The Central Criminal Court in 2004, similar rapes and more gratuitously violent rapes and multiple-rapes/victims were attracting sentences of 3-7-years. Patrick O’Riordan gained nothing from making a statement to An Garda Siochana and would serve his sentence in full.

Upon my release from Wheatfield in 2005, Garda Officers involved in the Sophie investigation asked if I would make a formal statement about what Patrick O’Riordan had disclosed to me, and I did make such a formal statement.

I did not seek any benefit from this process and I did not gain any benefit from this process, I served my sentence in full with the normal remission for good behavior.

Upon my release from prison in 2005, I began working with Gardai in relation to concerns regarding Bertie Ahern and corrupt payments he was receiving in relation to the siting of The National Children’s Hospital at The Mater Hospital site.

I have in 2022, meet with and spoken to, in detail, about these matters, a senior Cabinet Minister from the 2005 Fianna Fail lead Government.

Why Did I Believe What Patrick O’Riordan told me?

For decades, I have had to be able, to a high degree, determine the validity of what people disclose to me. If I simply reported everything told to me by Terrorists or other Criminals over the years, I would keep a great many Garda Officers busy. So, I have developed mechanisms, that help me determine the validity of what people disclose. Such mechanisms help me sort the wheat from the chaff.

Patrick O’Riordan had nothing to gain, by telling me that Ian Bailey had admitted Sophie’s murder while staying with Patrick O’Riordan in London. The context in which Patrick O’Riordan disclosed was not set-up or staged. Patrick O’Riordan had entered my cell seeking legal advice about a totally unrelated matter, as had dozens of other prisoners during my time in Wheatfield.

I was assisting people such as William ‘Billy’ Clare (Continuity IRA), Larry Kane Snr and Jnr (Real IRA), Ciaran Byrne (Provisional IRA Bagman), Dessie Dondon and Frog Eyes Stanners (McCarty/Dundon feud Limerick), Kinahan Gang members and so forth. All of the prisoners I assisted, felt confident to disclose to me as the State appeared to be hammering me.

By pure chance, when Patrick O’Riordan entered my cell, the TV was on, and the news was being reported. The news reported something about the Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier Murder and Ian Bailey, I had no particular interest in either. Patrick O’Riordan said in passing, in a casual manner, “I know Ian Bailey”. I then became interested in the relationship between Patrick O’Riordan and Ian Bailey.

When I showed an interest, Patrick O’Riordan disclosed in a very casual manner, a very close personal relationship with Ian Bailey. Patrick O’Riordan disclosed information about Ian Bailey, that could only come from a relationship were two men had bonded beyond that of mere friendship.

Patrick O’Riordan told me how he and Ian Bailey had been extremely close at the time of Sophie’s murder. Patrick O’Riordan said that he was operating a chip-van at the time of the murder, and as Ian Bailey could not get work as a journalist following Sophie’s murder, Patrick had given Ian a job in his chip van, the chip van was operated by both Patrick and Ian.

Patrick and Ian regularly drank alcohol together, smoked cannabis, both men were violent towards women, both men had arrived in Ireland following violence against women in England. Patrick O’Riordan had operated a Brothel in England and so the abuse of women was second nature to him, it was easy to understand how Ian Bailey or any other person could disclose a serious crime to Patrick O’Riordan.

At some point after the murder of Sophie, Patrick O’Riordan had returned to London, and Ian Bailey joined Patrick in London at some point. It was during this shared time in London, that Ian Bailey and Patrick O’Riordan were sharing ‘Trophies’ (Crimes) that Ian admitted that he had in fact, not in dark-humour, murdered Sophie. Ian Bailey was able to disclose that Sophie had not been raped, Ian had simply got into rage when Sophie denied his drink fuelled romantic advances.

It is common for violent criminals to share Trophies, each believing that the other will remain loyal to the other as they have both admitted guilt, “You Rat on me, I will Rat on you”, would be the mantra.

For example, when I was a member of Sinn Fein/PIRA, it was common for Sinn Fein/PIRA members to share ‘Trophies’, I was often in the company of men who disclosed their roles in murders, bombings and so forth.

Patrick O’Riordan’s fellow brothel-keeper and sexual-partner in London was an actress of Brookside fame, so it is easy to see that O’Riordan and Bailey would have common interests. It would also be easy to see how either Ian or Patrick, or both, could buy-into the company of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier, and due to their skewed view of women, misinterpret Sophie’s kind nature.

By the time of the full disclosure by Ian Bailey to Patrick O’Riordan, the bond was so strong between the two men, that Patrick O’Riordan felt unable to tell An Garda Siochana about Ian Bailey’s admission.

Events that brought Patrick O’Riordan into my Cell?

In 2001, Patrick O’Riordan had arranged to meet with his 22-year-old daughter, whom he had not seen for some time, in Cork. After spending an evening drinking together and smoking cannabis, Patrick O’Riordan invited his daughter to stay with him in a Bed and Breakfast in Cork. During this stay in the Bed and Breakfast, Patrick O’Riordan raped his daughter, and then made his way to Cork Airport where he was arrested by Gardai following a complaint being made to An Garda Siochana by his daughter. Patrick O’Riordan later pleaded Guilty to rape and was sentenced to 10-years.

In 2001, Ian Bailey seriously assaulted his partner, Jules Thomas, and then made his way to Cork Airport where he was arrested by An Garda Siochana. The Modus Operandi of Patrick O’Riordan and Ian Bailey in 2001, following violent attacks on women in Cork should not be over-looked.

John O’Donohue TD and the Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier Murder

When I spoke to Garda Officers who had been involved in the Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier investigation, the role of John O’Donoghue TD as Minister for Justice is paramount.

While initially placing pressure on James Hamilton (DPP) to bring charges against Ian Bailey, O’Donoghue then allegedly decided that Ian Bailey should not be charged and the case be shelfed as unsolved.

John O’Donoghue also initially placed pressure on senior investigating Garda Officers to solve the case, however, as the case became a national and international embarrassment, O’Donoghue sought to have the case shelfed.

The reason that I believed what I had been told about O’Donoghue’s abuse in public office, is because, I had under a freedom of information request, discovered O’Donoghue’s abuse in my own case, DPP v Vincent McKenna. In my own case O’Donoghue had not only lobbied Gardai and James Hamilton (DPP) to initially charge me, after the DPP had directed no charges, but O’Donoghue had left a paper trail (see, Exhibits).

While O’Donoghue had visited me in Wheatfield Prison shortly after my sentencing and apologised for his interference in my case, and I had rejected his apology, neither O’Donoghue nor I, could have anticipated what would be disclosed under a FOI request. After I had received the disclosures, O’Donoghue moved quickly to change the FOI Legislation, and Leinster House voted like sheep without inquiring for the need for the proposed change. O’Donoghue also directed some of his staff to shred papers relating to O’Donoghue’s perverting justice in my case.

So, I am satisfied, having personal knowledge and evidence of O’Donoghue’s corruption in public office, that his abuse of office in relation to the case of Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier is central to the failure of the case to be prosecuted.

While John O’Donoghue TD was giving interviews to the media, stating that he was pursuing a policy of “Zero Tolerance” to sex crime, the reality was something completely different, like Gerry Adams saying Sinn Fein/PIRA were policing the communities in Belfast, when in fact they were protecting hundreds of prolific child-rapists and moving then into north Dublin, Dundalk and Donegal.

Exhibit 1

Following the disclosures of John O’Donoghue’s criminal activity in my case, I issued criminal proceedings against O’Donoghue. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

The Kidnapping Review, Don Tidey, Provisional IRA, Brendan McFarlane IRA

The Kidnapping, Review, October, 2023 by Vincent McKenna MSc


1982-83 would see Sinn Fein/PIRA enter electoral politics on a grand scale, however, the invoices and claims for expenses were for the first-time costing Millions of pounds to settle. Martin McGuinness had in 1982 meet with Fr Patrick Ryan at St Stephens Green in Dublin, where Patrick Ryan handed over less cash than expected from Gaddafi, McGuinness was furious as he explained the situation to Joe Cahill at 44 Parnell Square, Dublin.

I was present when Martin McGuinness was complaining to Joe Cahill about Fr Patrick Ryan, as my cousin PIRA Jeff McKenna, who would be killed in a hit-and-run in Dorset Street, Dublin in 1982, had brought me into 44 Parnell Square on a number of occasions and I was treated a a confidante. Jeff had been managing The Prisoner of War Department at Blessington Street. McGuinness suggested that Fr Patrick Ryan was spending, on himself, money that was destined for Sinn Fein/PIRA.

By early 1983, McGuinness, had a mere, £9,000 to hand over to PIRA member, John Crawley, who was directed by McGuinness to use his American accent to buy weapons across the counters of US gun shops and send them back home. This is where the initial information came from about the supply of weapons that would later be captured, McGuinness could not help boasting to those based at 44 Parnell Square, and I among those gathered.

Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams were desperate for money, the money counterfeiting operation was producing poor results, takings from armed robberies often ended up in the pockets of the PIRA robbers, who rarely received their £10 per-week from the PIRA Leadership to supplement their social welfare claims. When Kevin Mallon was released in 1982, with his grand plan, to kidnap a race horse, Shergar, rather than place his dole money on it in the local bookies, Martin McGuinness said yes, Gerry Adams said yes, and the game was afoot.

The Reviewer

I have been associated with and involved with Sinn Fein/Provisional IRA since 1969, when as a child, I sat in my Uncle Sean McKenna’s kitchen in Newry, while he, JB O’Hagan and others created Sinn Fein/PIRA for the border counties, at exactly the same time as other founding members created Sinn Fein/PIRA in their own respective areas.

Vincent McKenna, front left, carrying symbolic coffin to commemorate the death of PIRA Hunger-Striker, Kieran Doherty TD.

I begin this review by saying, The Kidnapping, by Tommy Conlon and Ronan McGreevy, is perfectly timed, it is published when many thousands of victims of Sinn Fein/PIRA and Loyalist Terrorists, remain without answers. It is published at a time when Gerry Adams and his fellow gangland criminals continue to try and airbrush their crimes of rape and murder from the public consciousness.

The Kidnapping comes at a time when this author faces the 50th Anniversary of the murder of my favourite Uncle, Cyril McCaul and his best friend and workmate Ivan Charlton. Two young men driving home from work on the 27 November, 1973, when they drove into a lorry that had been high-jacked by Provisional IRA criminals and placed on a notoriously dangerous part of the Ballygawley to Dungannon Road to lure the RUC into an ambush.

The Provisional IRA in Tyrone, led by my cousin Kevin McKenna (Chief of Staff, 1983-1997) claimed that the deaths of Cyril and Ivan were accidental, however, the statement of cowards rang hollow in my 9-year-old ears as I looked upon Cyril’s decapitated body in the morgue in Dungannon. In 1980, I volunteered for and was recruited by An Garda Siochana to infiltrate Sinn Fein/PIRA in Monaghan/East Tyrone, which was led by my cousin Kevin McKenna.

PIRA Kevin McKenna, speaking at Carrickmore, Tyrone in 1975, during one of the many cease-fire agreed between Sinn Fein/PIRA and their MI6 Handlers.

The Kidnapping is a masterpiece as it places the Victim, Don Tidey and the sacrifice of our Defense Forces centre stage, while shinning a bright-light in to the dark sadistic minds of The Kidnappers and those who directed them, including former British Minister for Education in Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness and the wordsmith himself Gerry Adams TD.


Only those who have had a political lobotomy, would believe that Provisional IRA Director of Operations in 1983, Kevin Mallon, conducted a series of kidnappings, and their potential political consequences, without the seal of approval from Provisional IRA Northern Command and PIRA Army Council, who were in 1983 beginning to make political capital from the entrails of the Hunger-strikes of 1980-1981.

The Kidnapping Available HERE


The Psychopathy of The Kidnappers and their Masters

Thanks to Google, anyone can now quickly establish the murderous credentials of those who describe themselves as Sinn Fein/Provisional IRA. However, I would like to quickly set out the psyche of the men and women, that I knew as Sinn Fein/PIRA.

This Book published by, The Irish News, in Belfast contains 60 letters and articles by Vincent McKenna.

Also please note that the terminology, ‘Sinn Fein/PIRA’, was not the invention of British Spooks or Unionist Dinosaurs, but was in fact coined at the Sinn Fein/PIRA Ard Fheis (National Conference) in 1986 by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, and we in the Sinn Fein/PIRA Propaganda Department, were told to sell the term far and wide, in order to undermine the newly created ‘Republican Sinn Fein/Continuity IRA’ that had split with Sinn Fein/PIRA due to a policy shift on abstentionism, although the truth be told, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, was not wholly enthusiastic about our newly sanctioned official policy of Ethnic Cleansing.

Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane OC

According to Seamus McElwaine, whom I had known since 1980, and whom I met again in Crumlin Road Jail in 1981. Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane was OC on the The Kidnapping of Don Tidey in 1983. And Kevin Mallon was Director of Operations who tasked McFarlane with the Kidnapping of Don Tidey. Seamus McElwaine had returned to his stalking ground of Knockatallon, Scotstown, following his role in the Kidnapping of Don Tidey. Seamus McElwaine told Jim Lynagh and I that he and Brendan McFarlane had opened fire in Derrada Woods killing Private Patrick Kelly and trainee recruit Garda Gary Sheehan.


Seamus McElwaine claimed that he had been drafted into the kidnapping of Don Tidey, by his Father’s life-long friend and IRA comrade, John Joe McGirl. Since the PIRA escape from Long Kesh/The Maze Prison September, 1983, Seamus McElwaine had spent his time with other PIRA escapees in the County Leitrim wilderness while sustaining life with groceries and other essentials supplied by John Joe McGirl and his nephew Francie (whom with Tommy McMahon planted the bomb on Louise Mountbatten’s boat in Sligo in 1979).


Seamus McElwaine was well able to survive in the rugged terrain of County Leitrim, a terrain that was no different from the hills, valleys, bog and ditches that he had scurried about in Knockatallon since he was a child. The gathering of dried twigs and heather to boil a kettle and the dispersing of the give-away smoke with stems of heather fashioned into a brush, was trade-craft for McElwaine.


John Joe McGirl, while a man full of hate, was not a stupid man, John Joe knew well that urban sectarian killers such as Brendan McFarlane would not fair so well as young McElwaine when they returned to the Leitrim bog with their quarry. Seamus McElwaine, would prepare base camp and all of its associated features, McElwaine would ride shot-gun and this was the perfect stage for McElwaine to perform.

John Joe McGirl seen here at Jim Lynagh's funeral with Martin McGuinness and planning retaliation for Loughgall, which would be Enniskillen.

Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, had made his name by murdering innocent civilians in Belfast’s urban jungle, in normal circumstances Brendan would have been treated like any other serial killer, however, he was a member of Sinn Fein/PIRA and that provided Brendan with a flag of convenience for his sectarian hatred. Brendan would some years later, in a secret deal, receive a Royal Pardon from Queen Elizabeth for matters not associated with Derrada Woods, showing without doubt that McFarlane was no republican.

While Gerry Adams was in Long Kesh in 1975, he was directing and sanctioning much of the sectarian murder in Northern Ireland. Adams would later claim that he had no hand in such sectarian murder in 1975-76, however, if that were the case, he would not have chosen Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane to represent Sinn Fein/PIRA during early meetings in 1985 with John Hume.


Seamus McElwaine, lauded as a ‘Freedom Fighter’ by ‘cease-fire soldiers’ such as Matt Carty TD (Who never actually knew McElwaine), was in fact a coward who murdered Protestant Farmers and other civilians along the border. The convenience of his Protestant targets often being off-duty RUC or UDR, was just that, a convenience to conceal a blood lust for his Protestant neighbors.


In June 1980, I was 16 years-old, I had left Tyrone, and I was living in a bed-sit on my own in Monaghan Town. I had been sworn into Na Fianna Eireann, I had been sworn into Provisional IRA by Kevin McKenna and I would be later sworn into Sinn Fein/PIRA by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Elected TD 1997).


I had in 1980, done as I had promised to my dead Uncle in 1973, infiltrated Sinn Fein/PIRA with a view to making them pay for my uncle’s death. By 1979, I had an interest in electronic engineering, and before leaving school I had done a placement with Loughran’s Garage in Ballygawley. However, any prospect, if there ever was one, of me walking away from my promise to my dead Uncle, were dashed on Easter Monday 1979.

On Easter Monday 1979, I had cycled from Aughnacloy to Clogher to witness my cousin Leo McKenna getting married to his Fiancée Bridie. As I stood there watching Leo and his bride leave the Chaple, I noticed a van, it was odd, I had seen a van moving like this in 1977 just before PIRA gunmen jumped out and shot dead David Morrow in Aughnacloy.


As I stood there transfixed on the van, a gunman dismounted and opened fire on Leo’s brother-in-law, Michael Cassidy, Michael’s little daughter screamed, another gunman dismounted and kept firing into Michael’s body as he lay dead on the ground. Soon after arriving in Monaghan Town, I would be in the company of Michael Cassidy’s killers, Jim Lynagh, Laurence McNally and Aidan McGurk.

On the 28th June 1980, Jim Lynagh, Laurence McNally and Aidan McGurk would strike again, this time, they would murder William Elliot at the mart in Ballybay. The Garda Murder Squad AKA ‘The Heavy Gang’ were drafted into Monaghan Town from Dublin. One of those arrested, and who is still alive in 2023, broke under interrogation and gave up everything he knew. Seamus McElwaine arrived into McCagues Pub in Park Street, Monaghan Town and declared to myself and other Sinn Fein/PIRA gathered, that An Garda Siochana had just raided a number of arms dumps under McElwaine’s control.


I first met Seamus McElwaine in 1980 when he was 20-years-old, McElwaine had, like myself, joined The Provisional IRA when he was 16-years-old. By the age of 20-years, Seamus McElwaine was an established serial killer, who operated in Monaghan, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh and so forth.


Seamus McElwaine and Jim Lynagh would then team up for one of their most cowardly murders. The murders of Norman Strong and his son James at Tynan Abbey, followed by the burning of their home and their bodies. A sadistic ritual often adopted through history by those who have lost sight of an elusive cause, because of their blind sectarianism and addiction to murder. McElwaine and Lynagh were going to repeat this outrage on Lord Paddy Rossmore, however, Gardai were fore-warned.

Formally The Round House Bar Monaghan Town. The morning after the Stronge murders, many of the murder gang were arrested from the basement of The Round House Bar.

Lynagh and McElwaine, often in my company, often compared how various bullet types had impacted on their victims at close range. In March 1981, McElwaine, like the coward he was surrendered along with fellow criminals to the British army. Finally, it was clear that McElwaine had no stomach for a fight when he and his comrades met armed and on-duty soldiers.


In 1982, when we held the Sinn Fein/PIRA convention in Monaghan Town to choose our candidate for the forth coming General Election in February, 1982, attempts to run Kevin Keelan were scuppered, by Seamus McElwaine’s father, Jimmy and his delegation from Knockatallon/Scotstown. Jimmy McElwaine, backed by a supporting letter from John Joe McGirl, insisted that Seamus McElwaine should be the chosen candidate.

Seamus McElwaine was run as the candidate in the February, 1982, General Election and our vote collapsed, as McElwaine was on remand for two of the many murders he had committed. The good people of Cavan/Monaghan had voted for Hunger-striker, Kieran Doherty as they believed that doing so would save his life, they were not going to vote in large numbers for a known serial killer such as McElwaine, no matter, how many votes belonging to dead men that we cast.


In May 1982, McElwaine was convicted and sentenced to Life for the murders for which he was charged, the Judge described Seamus McElwaine as a “Dangerous Killer”. However, McElwaine was not finished yet, and in September, 1983, McElwaine would escape from The Maze Prison, with dozens more Sinn Fein/PIRA convicted criminals. Brendan McFarlane had hand-picked McElwaine for the escape, while other men who had already served long sentences, were left behind. It was McElwaine who told me that Gerry Kelly MLA was the escaping prisoner who shot prison officer, John Adams in the head.


Many of those Sinn Fein/PIRA who had escaped from The Maze Prison in September, 1983, would initially hide-out in County Leitrim, under the watchful eye of John Joe McGirl and his nephew Francie. Brendan McFarlane was OC of those feral creatures who now lay low in the boglands of County Leitrim. McFarlane would choose the team that would kidnap, business executive, Don Tidey. The camp and its fire-power would be delegated to Seamus McElwaine.


Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, Gerard McDonnell and Tony McAllister, would be the core team, acting under direct orders from Director of Operations, Kevin Mallon.


Don Tidey Kidnapping, Why?

We in Sinn Fein/PIRA in the Irish Republic had funded three general elections in 1981-2, and we were feeling the pain of The Adams Project, ‘The ballot box in one hand and the Armalite in the other’. In Northern Ireland, assembly elections and Westminster elections were matching the costs incurred in The Irish Republic. We needed millions to fund The Adams Project, and we were effectively broke.

Active PIRA Terrorists were supposed to be paid £10 per-week to supplement their social welfare payments from the state, however, when invoices and expenses claims for elections were settled, there was very little left to pay PIRA Terrorists.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and I, were tasked with placing £10 per-month into brown envelopes, for the wives of PIRA terrorists, those terrorists imprisoned in Portlaoise and Long Kesh. The wives were on social welfare, and the £10 per-month was a small top-up.


The kidnapping of Shergar, promised much, and delivered nothing only a national and international crackdown on Sinn Fein/PIRA activity. Kevin Mallon’s bet, and McGuinness’s hopes lay dashed on a beaten docket. Contrary to the artistic license employed by Sean O’Callaghan and others about the demise of Shergar, the horse was shot in the head with a revolver by Kevin Mallon, when it had injured its leg in a horse box and was simply buried in a bog in County Leitrim. Kevin Mallon and my cousin Kevin McKenna were very close from their active days in Tyrone.


The next big fund-raising event, was even less successful than the Shergar fiasco. Galen Weston, remembered by PIRA Chief of Staff, Kevin McKenna, from Kevin’s time working in Canada, had been put forward as a good candidate for a kidnapping. However, in an exclusive, in, The Kidnapping, former Garda Commissioner, Nacie Rice, states that Sean O’Callaghan’s claim that he (Sean) tipped off An Garda Siochana about the plan to kidnap Galen, is in fact a false claim.


Sean O’Callaghan was being sponsored in London by Lord Cranbourne, and Sean’s false claim about saving Galen Weston, may have had more to do with getting a free lunch than reality. This reviewer can reveal that the name Galen Weston never left the inner circle of The General Headquarters Staff at 44 Parnell Square, Dublin, and the plan was only discovered by accident, when an ‘unofficial’ search’ was conducted of Rita O’Hare’s office in the early hours of 14 July, 1983. Gardai would later say that they had received a tip-off two weeks before their operation to protect Galen Weston.


The unofficial search of Rita O’Hare’s office was conducted by a Garda Agent acting under direction from senior Garda Officers. The search had nothing to do with kidnappings, but was focused on establishing the whereabouts of printing plates that were being used to print counterfeit Irish money and posing a threat to the value of Irish currency and the Irish economy. Rita O’Hare had concealed beneath a floor board, magazine and news-paper cuttings relating to Galen Weston, including pictures of his home and maps. This version of events supported by senior Gardai.


Senior Gardai put their own plan in place to protect Galen Weston, his family, and Ireland’s international reputation. Following a shootout with the would-be kidnappers, Gardai arrested all concerned and as they were convicted in November, 1983, Gerry Adams MP applauded their efforts on his behalf from the public gallery. While Martin McGuinness had sanctioned all kidnappings, he had also made it very clear that the kidnappers were not to allow themselves to be arrested, due to Sinn Fein/PIRA making electoral gains.


Interestingly, while artistic license has also been used by some to describe the discovery of hundreds of thousands of pounds in a PIRA bank account in Navan, the reality of the discovery, is much simpler. The money which was paid by Galen Weston’s company, to ensure no further threats to his family or staff, was to be transferred to America for the purchase of explosives and weapons for the PIRA.


Alan Clancy, who owned the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan Town, was an ardent supporter of the PIRA, with former PIRA member, Tommy McNulty, in his book, Exiled, explaining how, The Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan was a hot bed of Provisional IRA activity, including the storage of weapons and fund raising.


It was from The Four Seasons Hotel that Catholic Headmaster, Cormac McCabe, Aughnacloy, was kidnapped by Kevin McKenna and Hensey McKenna, tortured and murdered, while his wife and handicapped child waited at the dinner table in The Four Seasons Hotel for Cormac’s return from the bathroom.


The revolver used to kidnap Cormac McCabe was kept in Alan Clancy’s night-safe, it was removed by doorman Seamus ‘The Bull’ McCleary (Not Sinn Fein/PIRA) and handed to Kevin McKenna. Kevin McKenna and Hensey McKenna wrestled Cormac McCabe out of the front door of the hotel and he was driven to his death by James Fox.


Seamus ‘The Bull’ McCleary and his wife Mary McCleary would enjoy free holidays in America provided by Alan Clancy for Seamus’s role in Cormac McCabe’s murder. However, Seamus ‘The Bull’ McCleary, soon regretted helping the PIRA when he was subject to a brutal assault by PIRA members in Emyvale, leaving Seamus with life changing injuries. One of those who attacked Seamus, Frank Daly, told me that he ran the full length of the dance floor in the Emyvale Inn and kicked Seamus in the head with hog-nail-boots as Seamus lay helpless on the ground.


The Kidnapping


Tommy Conlon and Ronan McGreevy, have published The Kidnapping at a time, when the well-oiled, illicitly funded, Sinn Fein/PIRA propaganda machine tries to white-wash its human and civil rights violations, including mass-murder and rape, from the human consciousness.


Conlon and McGreevy interrupt the false narrative by meticulously and uncompromisingly, producing a victim centric Masterpiece, that is revealing, captivating and emotionally draining.


The Kidnapping survivor, the hostage to gangland criminals, Don Tidey, appears from the fog of 40-years of Sinn Fein/PIRA misinformation, as a modest man of extraordinary character, a soldier who stands head and shoulders above the gangland criminals who so grievously and callously snatched a hard-working family man from his family, community and work place colleagues.


Those cradle-to-the-grave social welfare claimants in Sinn Fein/PIRA, who masterminded The Kidnapping of a hardworking family man, pale in the shadows of Don Tidey. Tidey brought wealth creation to Ireland at a time when another generation were being forced onto the famine ships by the murder, misery and economic self-defecation cast upon our people by his Sinn Fein/PIRA Kidnappers.


Kevin Mallon who had escaped from Mountjoy with my Monaghan Town based mentor, JB O’Hagan, did not act alone in this heinous crime.


Kevin Mallon was Directed by Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams and the other members of The PIRA Army Council, who were desperate for money to fund their dual strategy of ‘The ‘Ballot Box in one hand and the slaughter of the innocent in the other’.


Behind The PIRA Army Council was the grubby little hands of The General Headquarters Staff, at 44 Parnell Square. Joe Cahill, Rita O’Hare, Rose Dugdale, Phil Flynn, Seamus McGarrigle, who would launder the proceedings of their nefarious activity.


The Bag-men, Phil Flynn, Alan Clancy, Patrick ‘I am Slab’ Murphy and Vincent Conlon would spread the spoils with the assistance of their little helpers in Bank of Ireland. Yes, as early as the 1980s we in Sinn Fein/PIRA had our people on the inside of the banking system.


Ivor Bell, Pat Doherty, Kevin McKenna, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, Martin Ferris, John Joe McGirl, JB O’Hagan, Michael McKevitt would sanction Kevin Mallon’s operational psychopathy, Brenda ‘Bik’ McFarlane, who had forced hunger strikers to sign Affidavits so their families could not save them when they went into comas, would again be OC.

Here Gerry Kelly MLA and PIRA Chief of Staff, Kevin McKenna carry the coffin of Martin McGuinness. McKenna, the mass murderer had received an Amnesty from the British. 

Brendan McFarlane would command a group of ruthless killers, he being king among them, to kidnap and terrorize an unarmed family man, who rather than offending Ireland had brought its children prosperity through jobs and opportunity.


Following Seamus McElwaine’s participation in The Kidnapping he returned to the boglands of Knockatallon, a bogland that bordered county Fermanagh. One of the greatest vexations for McElwaine, was that the land from which his Family cut their turf each year, still remained in the hands of Lord Paddy Rossmore. The McElwaine’s had to pay a land agent each year to cut turf from what they believed to be Irish Land and common land to its people.


Those of us who knew McElwaine’s deeply ingrained hatred of Protestants, could see his relief to be back on familiar ground where he could stalk and kill his prey. However, it was ground beneath which he would soon be buried, set-up for The SAS by enemies within. His destiny had been cast in stone in 1985, when his father Jimmy, had once again challenged The Provisional IRA Command Staff in Monaghan.


At the 1985 election convention in Monaghan Town, we in Sinn Fein/PIRA proposed to run Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin for the county council and we knew we would face opposition from Jimmy McElwaine, who felt the candidacy was naturally his, and not the suited new boy, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.


When Jimmy McElwaine was defeated at the Monaghan convention, this set, in motion, the events that would unfold at the 1986 Sinn Fein/PIRA Ard Fheis. Jimmy McElwaine had made enemies for himself and his son, no matter how many paramilitary trappings were unfurled at Seamus’s funeral in 1986.


Also at the 1985 Convention, this reviewer was asked to run as a candidate for the Urban Town Council, a seat once held by Jim Lynagh, who was, in 1985, in Jail. The PIRA OC, Edward ‘Ned’ Hamill said he would propose me and his wife Bernie would second me, this was mainly due to the fact that there was internal division about some leadership members allowing RUC Super-grass, Owen Smyth to return to the ranks.


However, I rejected the nomination and gave Owen Smyth and Pádraigín Uí Mhurchadha a clear run.


The 1983 cold blooded murders of Garda Shehan and Irish Solider Kelly in Derrada Woods, are often presented by suited terrorists, such as Gerry Adams, as an isolated incident, where PIRA gunmen, feared they were going to be shot and opened fire in self-defense, however, according to Seamus McElwaine this was not the case.


In March 1983, the PIRA Chief of Staff, Kevin McKenna, had upon request from Jim Lynagh sanctioned the murder of Irish Prison Officer, Brian Stack in Dublin. This murder, while in contravention of standing order number 8, was retrospectively sanctioned by Martin McGuinness (who was in Dublin handing over money to John Crawley and others to buy weapons), Martin Ferris, Joe Cahill, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy and Michael McKevitt.


The murders of Brian Stack, Garda Shehan and Solider Kelly a clear message to those who would dare interfere with PIRA plans. In 1984, following the murder of Brian Stack, a plan by Martin Ferris and John Crawley to escape from Portlaosie Prison was foiled. In 1985 another plan by PIRA members to escape from Portlaoise prison was foiled. However, it was clear that contraband, once denied to the PIRA in Portlaoise Prison by the professionalism of Brian Stack was now making its way to the terrorists.


Conlon and McGreevy describe through the Lense of eye-witness testimony, the savagery and barbarity of Brendan McFarlane and Seamus McElwaine as they cleared a path in front of them, leaving behind the depleted lives of Shehan and Kelly, both Irish Patriots murdered in cold blood by the enemies of Irish Republicanism. Mc Farlane who would with fellow escapee Gerry Kelly MLA, a short time later accept a secret Royal Pardon for crimes separate from the Tidey Kidnapping, from their British paymasters. What self-respecting republican would take anything from the British.

When this reviewer, began a prolonged debrief of former PIRA Hunger-striker, Sean McKenna, 1990-92, Sean McKenna was adamant that Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane and Seamus McElwaine were the shooters in Derrada Woods. Sean disclosed this as a matter of fact, not propaganda against his former OC, Brendan McFarlane.


At Chapter 25, Conlon and McGreevy set-out the trials and tribulations of those who went On-the-Run following their role in the Tidey kidnapping. This reviewer can shine another light into this dark corner. When PIRA member/Sinn Fein candidate, Peter Sherry, from Dungannon, became too hot to handle after he had murdered innocent civilian, Malcolm Cullen, in Shields Timber Yard in Dungannon in 1984. The PIRA Leadership tasked Peter with travelling to The UK where he would ride shotgun for Brighton Bomber, Patrick McGee.


However, Peter Sherry sent a message to his Boss, Kevin McKenna in Monaghan that he was moving over-seas, this information was intercepted by a Garda Agent, passed to his Garda contact, which was passed to C3 at Garda HQ and onwards to RUC Tyrone. This led RUC Officer, Ian Phoenix to follow Peter Sherry to a PIRA Laire in Scotland, where Brighton Bomber, Patrick McGee was arrested along with, Tidey Kidnapper, Gerard McDonnell.


McGee and McDonnell and their team planning a bombing campaign across UK holiday resorts, where the potential existed for many innocent men, women and children to be murdered and maimed. Soon afterwards, another of the Tidey Kidnapping gang, Seamus McElwaine would be shot dead by The SAS, who lay in wait at a remote location, that only a small number of PIRA knew about. 

McElwaine’s boasting of murdering many and injuring and maiming the innocent, had bought him a hole in the ground he so loved. I did not know who John Kelly was when McElwaine told me in Crumlin Road Jail in 1981 about shooting John in 1979, he was in fact the father, of DUP Leader, Arlene Foster.


John Joe McGirl who had feed and taken care of the Tidey kidnappers, was not done yet. In retaliation for Loughgall on the 8 May, 1987, John Joe would personally supervise the construction of the bomb that would be planted at the war memorial in Enniskillen in 1987, murdering 11 innocent men, women and children and maiming dozens more. 

Charlie Caufield, a close friend of McElwaine’s and Lynagh's, was OC on the Enniskillen Bomb. Most of the bomb team were arrested in Monaghan Town as they returned from planting the bomb, however, there was no forensics and the bomb exploded two hours after their arrest. The bomb done exactly what Kevin McKenna had planned it to do, just as the Shankill bomb done exactly what it was planned to do in 1993, anyone who thinks different, is either ignorant of the facts or a Sinn Fein/PIRA apologist.



The Kidnapping is a timely Masterpiece crafted on the potter’s wheel of truth. The Kidnapping exposes Sinn Fein/PIRA and their suited mouth-pieces as being no different from The Kinahan Cartel. Sinn Fein/PIRA are happy to benefit from the proceeds of crime, and are happier at kidnapping unarmed civilians, than they are confronting armed military personnel.


Kevin McKenna, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, Pat Doherty, Joe Cahill, Kevin Mallon, JB O’Hagan, John Joe McGirl, Rita O’Hare, Rose Dugdale, Martin Ferris and the rest, were and remain nothing more, either in life or death, than the anti-thesis of Irish Republicanism, their actions repugnant, to all, but those who sell their soul for shillings, or seek protection from the consequences of their crimes.


The Kidnapping, must be read, by all who seek a better world for their children, that world cannot be handed over to The Butchers of Derrada Woods or those who would applaud them from the public gallery.


Friday, June 30, 2023

Coagh Inquest Vincent McKenna

Coagh Inquest Vincent McKenna




WITNESS STATEMENT OF VINCENT MCKENNA given under Oath 30 June, 2023.

I have been asked by the coroner to give a statement in respect of the inquest into the deaths of Anthony Doris, Michael Ryan and Laurence McNally on 3rd June 1991.

I, Vincent McKenna, of an address known to the coroner, will say as follows:

In June 1991 I would have been a member of the Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein in Monaghan Town. Anthony Doris, Michael ‘Pete’ Ryan and Laurence McNally were at that time members of a Provisional IRA active service unit operating from Monaghan Town.

Book Reviews by Vincent McKenna

The Kidnapping by Tommy Conlon and Ronan McGreevy

The Yank by John Crawley

I am originally from Aughnacloy and in 1980 when I was 16 I moved to live in Monaghan Town. Several members of my extended family were members of the IRA and my cousin, Kevin McKenna, was the IRA’s Chief of Staff. When we moved to Monaghan Town, I became a member of the IRA and Sinn Fein. I was sworn in by my cousin, Kevin. I believe due to my family connections; I was never operational and my role was to gather intelligence for the IRA.

I would have known all three of the deceased. I would have been very friendly with Laurence McNally. We would have trained and completed marathons together. I first met Pete Ryan in 1981 in a pub in Monaghan shortly after he had escaped from Crumlin Road jail. After escaping from jail, he became part of the ASU in Monaghan and he became the CO of the unit after the death of Jim Lynagh in 1987. I knew off Tony Doris who was from around Omagh and had been recruited by Brendan Doris. Whilst I had been in his company, he was the one I knew the least.

Pete Ryan, Laurence McNally and Tony Doris were all members of the ASU based in Monaghan. The ASU from Monaghan operated like the flying columns of the 1920’s striking a target and then disappearing back into the local area. All three men were active members of the ASU taking part in numerous attacks. I would describe them as being psychopaths as they seemed to have no conscience about killing. In my experience of the IRA this was common place as I had seen men I would regard as conservative Catholics give orders to take life without a second thought.

During the time I was a member of the IRA I provided information to the Garda Special Branch based in Monaghan. My experiences in the IRA made me want to help to stop their campaign and for this reason I provided information.

In the mid 1980’s Jim Lynagh would have been the commanding officer for the Monaghan ASU. I would describe him as an intelligent and driven commander. The ASU in Monaghan Town would have been militant and hard-line with no interest in the peace process. Around this time Lynagh took direct control for the strategic command of his unit moving away from the direction of older leaders in the area like Brendan McKenna and JB O’Hagan. Lynagh’s unit during the 1980’s was responsible for many murders and attacks on the security forces and civilians.

After Jim Lynagh’s death in Loughgall the ASU in Monaghan became very paranoid about security. At that time, I was the foreman at Clonkeen Mushrooms based at the crossing at Middleton on the Monaghan/Armagh border. Laurence McNally and several other IRA men lived near to the mushroom farm. Since I was the foreman, I was able to secure the farm and IRA members could access the farm unseen by foot so it became a regular location for meetings.

In my intelligence role I would have been involved in these meetings. Whilst I was not aware of the details of the operation in Coagh, I knew at that time an operation was to take place. I was aware that Laurence McNally’s wife was to drive Laurence McNally and Pete Ryan to meet Tony Doris as part of the operation. I am 100% positive this happened. After Loughgall people were reluctant to put themselves forward for operations and this is why McNally’s wife had to drive them to meet Tony Doris. That is all I can recall of the details of the operation in Coagh.

Statement of Truth

I believe that the facts stated in this statement are true.

Signed: Vincent McKenna

Dated……2nd October 2022

Further Details: 

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