AddThis SmartLayers

Irish daily publishes new Wikileaks disclosures

The Belfast Telegraph has dedicated 13 pages to a series of sensational disclosures from the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

Reporters from the Independant News and Media owned newspaper trawled through embassy cables to find details of the full extent of ongoing American involvement and concern in Northern Ireland affairs.

They revealed that talks between the loyalist Democratic Unionist Party and republican Sinn Fein began in 2004 – at a time when the unionists were still insisting they would not negotiate with the republicans.

The findings were published today (Tuesday) and follow a lengthy investigation with the Telegraph’s Dublin stablemate the Irish Independent and WikiLeaks based on the contents of cables sent to and from US consulate in Belfast and the US embassy in Dublin.

Belfast Telegraph journalists Adrian Rutherford and managing editor Paul Connolly, along with three Irish Independent journalists, spent weeks analysing almost 7,000 pages containing almost 2.4 million words.

Said Paul: “The paper has given over 13 pages to intricate and fascinating detail about the peace process, and negotiations surrounding the political settlement in Stormont.

“We have also uncovered fascinating details about US interest and involvement in the ongoing battle against terrorism in Northern Ireland.

“There is also a series of highly-unflattering assessments of many local politicians, which will unfold as we continue our major series across the week.”

The Belfast Telegraph splash revealing the Wikileaks disclosures

The classified documents obtained from WikiLeaks date back as far as 2004. Articles include one using information the news team uncovered about the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein being in direct talks three years before they agreed to share power.

They also discovered that details of private talks between Irish president Mary McAleese’s husband and loyalist paramilataries were relayed straight to the White House.

Paul added: “There is also evidence of extensive attempts to obtain sensitive information both in Ireland and against friendly EU powers.

“The Ireland cables reveal the Americans to have been a fairly honest broker in Northern Ireland, but they do reveal the sheer extent of America’s very large information-gathering network. ”

The paper obtained around 1,900 sensitive dispatches – many designated confidential or secret, detailing years of covert analysis and scrutiny of Northern Irish, Republic of Ireland and international matters.

One comment

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.