The Mob, the IRA, Johnny Depp, the double agent and me…

It started with an ITN weekend-reporting shift in London. And it ended with my appearance in a Hollywood movie starring Johnny Depp. In the intervening 25 years, the intriguing story of the IRA’s Marita Ann gunrunning ship took me to Boston on the trail of American mobster and Provo supporter Whitey Bulger, where I met the FBI and the family of one of Bulger’s murder victims as well as undercover cops and lawyers. I also ended up face to face with the IRA leader who led the Irish side of the gunrunning operation and the former Provisional who tipped off the authorities about the Marita Ann.

t was on my birthday in September 1984 that I flew from Belfast to London to work for a couple of days with ITN. But no sooner was I in the door than I was out again, flying back to Ireland with an ITN crew, this time on a private jet that was waiting at Heathrow.

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The Mob, the IRA, Johnny Depp, the double agent and me…

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