The recent drama series Charlie has recenty screened on our televisions paints a very diplomatic picture of Irish politics in the late half of the twentieth century . Yet not many know the connection
The Taoiseach ,The arms dealers ,his money and the Gulf war.The arrival of an obscure millionaire to Massbrook Pontoon Co Mayo in the later part of the last century was cloaked in secrecy. Across the lake of Lough Conn the home town of Charles Haughey and Enda Kenny ,Castlebar was to be the recruiting ground for one of the largest arms controversies in modern times and the key issue that led to the Gulf War.
Here is that story.
International Signal Control Pennsylvania may not be a well known entity to most people however and many might never of heard of it ,however it was central to the people whom bankrolled Irish politicians into power in the late 60' 70;80;and 90'.
International Signal and Control (ISC) was a U.S. defense contractor based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that was involved in the manufacture of electronic missile subassemblies, navigation components, fuses, power supplies for proximity fuzes, and grenade technology.
By the 1980s, ISC's business primarily consisted of illegal arms sales started at the behest of various US clandestine organizations. On paper the company looked to be extremely profitable on sales of high-priced "above board" items, but in fact these profits were essentially non-existent. After the sale of the company to Ferranti in 1987 all illegal sales ended immediately, leaving the company with no obvious cash flow, and the merger led to the ultimate collapse of Ferranti in 1991..
Ferranti was a well known figure in the West of Ireland when at his peak in the 70s. As youngsters we would marvel at the private helicopters flying over our small farm in Co Mayo in the 70' completely out of place as such contraptions were ,they were the symbol of power and stsus of the extremely wealthy.
Denis Ferrantii took over Massbrook House Pontoon in the later part of the last century. It is worth pointing out former president Mary Robinson now reside there as the land purchase records show.
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993 (the Belgian subsidiary lives on as Ferranti Computer Systems and is now part of the Nijkerk Holding). Known primarily for defence electronics, the company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
The firm was known for work in the area of power grid systems and defence electronics. In addition, in 1951 Ferranti began selling the first commercially available computer, the Ferranti Mark 1.
Mayo politicians were suddenly vieing for the support of the wealthy Ferrantii and political figures regularly called on his home to gain his financial support. Charles Haughey was born across the lake of Lough Conn in Castlebar Co Mayo and although his family moved to Co Meath political need and financial backing are the fundamentals of all ambitious brilliant yet broke politicians.
Haughey soon re attached himself to the apron strings of his place of birth and provided the perfect candidate for a foreign arms dealer to groom for the top job in Ireland .
Enda Kenny ironically also from the same place in the West of Ireland emerges into politics at an even more opportune moment when Castlebar Airport the personal landing strip for Ferrantii aviation was in need of a revamp.
Both young politicains were in bed with the devil and his advocates as no one could have forseen what was unfolding in Pennsylvania USA all blind to the lure of Ferrantii s financial backing to get to Kildare St and the office of Taoiseach. Ferrantii was in a deal with the International Control and Signals Corp which was ripe for takeover yet this company was a clandestine operation with rogue arms sales to any country that would buy.
It is also suspected that Airey Naeve discovered the nature of this operation and questioned the ethics of the British Government funding a UK arms company whom was selling weapons and technology to its most avid opposition.
Kevin Cahill has written that, prior to his assassination in 1979, Conservative MP Airey Neave was on the verge of a massive overhaul of the security services, possibly involving a merger of MI5 and MI6 and arising from his belief in corruption in the security services. Cahill suggests a link between Neave's murder and Sir Richard Sykes' murder and the attempted murder of Christopher Tugendhat in December 1980. Cahill claims that Neave would have been head of the combined security services with Sykes and Tugendhat as his deputies, with Sykes responsible for foreign operations and Tugendhat responsible for home operations.
Fine Gael were in power at the time and most of the labour from Ireland was in Saudi Arabia .
Ferrantii moved to buy ISC and exposed its actual business of operations. Was this a favour to the Royal Family?
ISC was involved in two major indiscretions, for which CEO James Guerin received a 15-year prison sentence:
It defrauded and caused the collapse of the British company Ferranti, which acquired it in 1987.
It exported classified military technology to South Africa, which was then forwarded to third countries, notably Iraq.
ISC was acquired by Ferranti in November 1987. This merger caused the collapse of Ferranti due to the debts of its new subsidiary. Ferranti was eventually broken up and the majority of the defense subsidiaries were purchased by GEC. On October 31, 1991, ISC founder James Guerin, and 18 others were indicted by a Philadelphia Federal Grand Jury on charges of a "$ 1.14 Billion Fraud (Ferranti/ISC Merger of November, 1987)" and the illegal sales of Arms to South Africa and Iraq. in 1992. On December 5, 1991 Mr. Guerin pleaded guilty to eight charges including: conspiracy to inflate the accounts of ISC by means of non-existent international contract supported by false paperwork and circular cash transfers; conspiracy to defraud Ferranti shareholders and investors (at the time of merger with ISC in 1987); obtaining finance on fraudulently inflated share values when ISC plc was floated on the London stock exchange in 1982, and money laundering between US, UK and Swiss banks. He was sentenced to a 15-year prison term.
In 1994, after Bobby Ray Inman requested to be withdrawn from consideration as Bill Clinton's first Defense Secretary, his critics speculated that the decision was motivated by a desire to conceal his links to ISC. Inman was a member of the board of directors of the company, which was allegedly either negligent or approved the exports.
This led to the appointment of William Cohen by default and the defence secretary that was never to be suddenly opened the door of the Pentagon to Israelii /US citizens in politics.
Cohen was born in Bangor, Maine. His mother, Clara (née Hartley), was of Protestant Irish ancestry, and his father, Reuben Cohen, was a Russian Jewish immigrant; the two owned the Bangor Rye Bread Co.
As Secretary of Defense Cohen played a large role in directing the United States military actions in Iraq and Kosovo, including the dismissal of Wesley Clark from his post as the NATO Supreme Allied Commander. Both Operation Desert Fox in Iraq and Operation Allied Force in Kosovo were launched just months after al-Qaeda carried out the United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998.
The inherited problems of International Signals Control seen the defence secretary chasing around cleaning up the mess.
From 1984 to 1988, ISC sent South Africa more than $30 million in military-related equipment, including telemetry tracking antennae to collect data from missiles in flight, gyroscopes for guidance systems, and photo-imaging film readers, all of which would form the "backbone" of a medium-range missile system. Some of this technology was reportedly transferred to Iraq.7] Another link to Iraq was the supply of the specifications for the Mk 20 Rockeye II cluster bomb through Chilean defence .
When he presented the FY1998 budget, Cohen noted that he would involve himself with the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which would focus on the challenges to U.S. security and the nation's military needs over the next decade or more. When the QDR became public in May 1997, it did not fundamentally alter the budget, structure, and doctrine of the military. Many defense experts thought it gave insufficient attention to new forms of warfare, such as terrorist attacks, electronic sabotage, and the use of chemical and biological agents. Cohen stated that the Pentagon would retain the "two regional wars" scenario adopted after the end of the Cold War.company Carlos Cardoen, which was able to build an almost identical weapon that was subsequently used against coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War of January–February 1991.] These activities allegedly happened with the knowledge and assistance of U.S. intelligence agencies (including the CIA) and in violation of United States and United Nations sanctions.
So why was Charlie Haughey so avid in his efforts to unify and support a single Germany . ?
As he settled into office, Cohen faced the question of the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he supported, and its relationship to Russia. At a summit meeting between President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Helsinki, Finland, in March 1997, Yeltsin acknowledged the inevitability of broader NATO membership. Two months later he agreed, after negotiations with NATO officials, to sign an accord providing for a new permanent council, to include Russia, the NATO secretary general, and a representative of the other NATO nations, to function as a forum in which Russia could air a wide range of security issues that concerned that country. Formal signing of this agreement would pave the way for a July 1997 invitation from NATO to several nations, probably including Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, to join the organization.
And so the plot thickens and leads to many questions on who is actually financing our politicians and to whom they serve .
Certainly not the people of Eire and as for nuetrality
When the devil pays your wages ....?