A self-confessed former MI5 agent from Derry has written a new book in which he tells “the full story” about spying on republicans.
Willie Carlin began working for the British security services in the 1970s and continued to supply them with information over an 11 year period.
When his cover was blown in mid-1985 thanks to one of his old MI5 handlers being jailed as a Soviet spy, Carlin says British prime minister Margaret Thatcher authorised the use of her jet to whisk him to safety.
The new book, “Thatcher’s Spy”, which is due to be published this autumn, is being promoted as “a remarkable real-life spy thriller - the Cold War meets Northern Ireland’s Dirty War”.
Former British soldier Carlin claims that, for 11 years, he worked alongside former IRA commander Martin McGuinness in the republican movement’s political wing in Derry. He was, he says, MI5’s man at McGuinness’ side and gave the British State unprecedented insight into the republican leader’s strategic thinking.
Carlin says he worked with McGuinness to develop Sinn Féin’s election strategy after the 1981 hunger strike and his reports on the republican leadership were read by the British Cabinet, including Margaret Thatcher herself.
Carlin also claims that it was a fellow agent, known as Stakeknife, who saved his life when his cover was blown by his handler.
The new book is also said to contain new revelations about the Raymond Gilmour super-grass trial in 1984.
Carlin claims to have made a low-key visit to Derry a number of weeks ago.