13 April 2006. Photos of executed British FRU agents Dignam, Burns and Starrs: http://cryptome.org/fru-hrh.htm
7 April 2006
This is a copy of the confession by John Dignam given to the PIRA before they executed him as a British agent.
http://cryptome.org/john-dignam.zip (Zipped WMA, Audio, 8 minutes, 8MB)
BBC, 2 July 1992
IRA murders 'informers'
The IRA has admitted killing the three men found by the army at different roadsides in South Armagh last night. They claim the men were informers for MI5 and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Special Branch and they had been tried and killed by the IRA. The victims were from Portadown, County Armagh and have been identified as Gregory Burns, 33, John Dignam, 32, and Aidan Starrs, 29. In a style typical of IRA ritual killings the bodies were found in ditches, naked and hooded with evidence of beatings and single bullets through the backs of the heads.
The IRA tried to justify the murders in an unusually detailed statement, outlining the intelligence work of the three and linking them to the murder of civil servant Margaret Perry, 26. Her body was found on Tuesday in a shallow grave over the border in Mullaghmore, County Sligo after she disappeared on her way to work in Portadown over a year ago. The IRA claim that Ms Perry was having an affair with one of the dead men, Mr Burns, but says she had threatened to expose the group's intelligence links to the IRA, so they had kidnapped and murdered her.
All three men disappeared from their homes a few days ago and their bodies were dumped close to the border within 10 miles of each other, at Newtownhamilton, Bessbrook and Crossmaglen. The army left them overnight in case they had been booby trapped. These are the first killings in Northern Ireland in eight weeks, and come in the wake of recent progress at talks in Stormont, Belfast and London.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister John Major said, "The IRA's actions demonstrate yet again the true nature of terrorism".
British Irish Rights Watch
I attended a meeting on 22nd February between the family of John Dignam and the PSNIs Historical Enquiries Team in Lisburn. John Dignam was murdered by the IRA in 1992 and branded as a Special Branch informer, after he made a forced confession of involvement in the murder a year previously of a civil servant, Margaret Perry. However, there is evidence to suggest that at least one of John Dignams two associates was working for army intelligence, the Force Research Unit, and that all four murders could have been prevented. The HET is looking into the case as part of their investigation into the activities of Frederick Scappaticci, known as Stakeknife, who was FRUs key agent in the IRA internal disciplinary unit known as the nutting squad.
British Irish Rights Watch
BIRW has prepared a report on the murder of John Dignam whose body was found on 1st July 1992. The bodies of two other men, Aidan Starrs and Gregory Burns, were found on the same day at separate locations. The IRA were responsible for all three murders. They claimed that the men were informers and that they had been involved in the murder of a woman called Margaret Perry, who was killed a year earlier. According to a confession extorted from John Dignam, he was an accessory after the fact, in that he helped Aidan Starrs to hide her body. BIRW is concerned that no-one has ever been brought to book for these three murders. Like other families, if the Northern Ireland Offences Bill is passed, the Dignams can expect no justice.