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Martin McGartland Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Fifty Dead Men Walking (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Man Running (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Martin McGartland
Martin McGartland was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on January 30, 1970. He was born into a staunchy Irish republican, Roman Catholic family in Belfast, he grew up in a council house in Moyard, Ballymurphy at the foot of the Black Mountain. He had two sisters (Catherine and Elizabeth) and a brother (Joe), while his parents were separated.

While the Troubles escalated, republican areas like Ballymurphy came increasingly under the control of the local Provisional IRA who, in the absence of any normal policing, took on policing functions. Their methods were not met with approval from all residents. One of the effects of the continuous rioting and the campaign of shootings and bombings in Belfast and all around Northern Ireland was to make Martin grow up fast.

Martin described his childhood in West Belfast as one where he would join with the older boys in throwing stones to goad the British Army. He’d also join in with the other Catholic youths to fight against Ulster Protestant boys from loyalist estates nearby; this mainly involved throwing stones at one another. Catherine was one of the many kids that joined the youth movement of the IRA. She later got killed after she accidentally fell through a skylight at her school.

Martin went to Vere Primary School, a controlled school located in Moyard, Ballymurphy, and closed in 2011. Martin later attended St. Thomas’ Secondary School. He befriended this homeless man that sheltered in the disused Old Broadway cinema on the Falls Road, and provided the guy with money and food. Martin’s first job was working a paper round, and he later delivered milk.

He got involved in petty crime, which brought him to the notice of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. His activities also attracted the attention of the IRA and on multiple occasions he barely escaped from local disciplinary squads. Since the start of the Troubles, so many Irish nationalists reported offenses to Sinn Fein, this political party closely associated with the IRA, instead of the RUC. Which made the IRA a police force in some areas.

Martin has said that because he was sickened by the increasing Provisional IRA violence that was directed at young Catholic petty lawbreakers in the form of punishment beatings, which were often carried out with baseball bats and iron bars and knee cappings, while just 16 years old, he agreed to provide info to the RUC about local IRA members, thereby preventing any of them from carrying out many attacks against the security forces.

At that same time, he was employed by the IRA as a security officer in this protection racket; his job was to guard this building site in Ballymurphy that was under the IRA’s protection. Then he worked for this local taxi firm as an unlicensed driver, and paid a percentage to the IRA. Which enabled him to better identify suspects that had been targeted by RUC Special Branch. He would drive IRA punishment squads around and heard them boasting about the beatings they’d meted out to their victims. Martin asserts that many were just innocent people that had somehow incurred the wrath of some member of the IRA.

He was exposed as an informer in 1991, he got abducted by the IRA, however was able to escape and resettled back in England. His identity was then publicly known because of a minor court case. He later got shot six times by a gunman, however recovered from injuries.

“Fifty Dead Men Walking: A true story of a secret agent who infiltrated the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA)” is a non-fiction book that was released in 1999. For over four years, Martin lived the astonishing double life of a secret agent. To the IRA, he was this trusted Intelligence Officer and an integral member of this active service unit. But to the British Government, he was just known only as ‘Agent Carol’.

Martin is credited by British Intelligence with saving the lives of at least fifty people. Every time he tipped authorities off, he risked detection and yet, fearlessly and heroically, he continued passing on such life-saving information. His cover got blown finally. He got taken from Sinn Fein headquarters in Belfast to this IRA safehouse for questioning and an almost certain execution. Even though he was guarded by armed men, in a desperate attempt for his freedom, he dived out of a third floor window.

This breathtaking story is a major film with the same name now that stars Jim Sturgess (who played Martin) and Sir Ben Kingsley (who played Fergus, his British handler). It was directed by Kari Skogland. Martin has disavowed the movie saying that it was as close to the truth as Earth is to Pluto.

“Dead Man Running: A True Story of a Secret Agent’s Escape from the IRA and MI5” is a non-fiction book that was released in 1999. Here is the remarkable true story of Martin McGartland that worked undercover as a British agent inside of the Provisional IRA. Captured by the Provos, he escaped and got re-settled back on the mainland, however later found that he’d been deliberately sacrificed by MI5. The book also details his return back to Belfast in order to try and find out why MI5 had tried to organize his execution.

During his time in hiding he got arrested and taken to court so many times on flawed charges brought against him by Northumbria Police. Eventually the Crown Prosecution Service, advised by Northumbria Police and MI5, ordered him to have a trial for trying to pervert the course of justice. The jury found him not guilty inside of 10 minutes after a 4 day long trial.

Both CPS and Northumbria Police lied in Court in their desperate attempt to win a conviction against him. The CPS and Northumbria Police even gave his new identity, and his home address out in open court. As a direct result of this, the IRA tracked him down to his ‘safehouse’ and shot him six times. MI5, Northumbria Police, and the British State continue to cover up IRA involvement in Martin’s attempted murder. While Martin continues his fight for justice and truth.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Martin McGartland

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