Supergrass Gilmour dies alone in England

Derry supergrass Raymond Gilmour died alone in his home in Kent, according to reports.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 12:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 9:25 pm

The 55-year-old British agent’s remains are understood to have been found by a relative, several days after he passed away.

Gilmour, who was originally from Balbane Pass in Creggan, but who has been living under an alias for decades in England, is expected to buried in the coming days.

Gilmour’s name has passed into local lore since he was uncovered as an informer back in the early 1980s.

In December 1984, a court case mounted on evidence Gilmour supplied against 35 people from Derry, involving 180 charges, were dropped.

Many of those released as a result had already spent over two and a half years in prison.

The Journal reported at the time how the wrongfully accused upon returning from the Crown Court in Belfast were greeted by a large crowd of men, women and children as they arrived on a bus at Bishop Street.

The then Lord Chief Justice had dismissed Gilmour’s evidence as being “unworthy of belief”.

In recent years, Gilmour spoke of his addiction to alcohol and his mental health problems, and in 2007 expressed a wish to return to his native Derry.

He claimed he was 17 when he joined the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1976 as a RUC special branch agent.

He said he then moved to the IRA in 1980 before his cover was blown two years later when police used information he supplied to recover a machine gun.

In an interview with the ‘Derry Journal’ a number of years ago, he said: “I brought the INLA to their knees in Derry, I brought the IRA to their knees in Derry and I saved countless lives.”

Back in 1984, the Journal reported how Gilmour had first come to public attention on August 24, 1982 when the RUC, aided by the British army units, carried out a massive search and arrest operation in nationalist areas of Derry, the biggest since Operation Motorman. This resulted in over 50 people being arrested during ‘Operation Ragwort’.

Gilmour had left Derry the previous week claiming initially he was taking his family - who were unaware of his double life at the time- to Butlins.

His family, including parents Patrick and Bridget, called on Raymond Gilmour to desist from his activities.

In November 1982 Gilmour’s father Patrick was kidnapped by the IRA in an attempt to get Raymond to retract his evidence. A threat to kill his 61-year-old father however did not happen and Patrick Gilmour was released in September 1983.