Danny Morrison: The Dirty War

Danny Morrison returns to Writing on the Wall for a one-off exclusive on the Stakeknife affair and how he was lured into a trap by Britain’s biggest spy in the IRA.


6:30pm - 8:00pm


Thu 09 May 2024

Thu 9 May, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

The events of 7 January 1990 changed Danny’s life. Charged with conspiracy to murder, kidnapping and IRA membership, he was eventually sentenced to eight years. In prison, Danny wrote several books, including his highly acclaimed novel, The Wrong Man, a psychological thriller about an IRA unit which is convinced that it has been infiltrated.

Between the outing of Freddie Scappaticci as Stakeknife in 2003 and his death two decades later, Danny Morrison’s conviction was overturned at the Court of Appeal - though the court withheld its reasons after an intervention from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Living in England under the protection of MI5 and despite his involvement in dozens of what must be seen as state killings, Scappaticci’s only conviction was for extreme pornography. The Westminster magistrate said, “you have not been before the court for 50 years – and that’s good character in my book.”

Danny will be in conversation with Stuart Borthwick, chair of Writing on the Wall and author of The Writing on the Wall: A Visual History of Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Tickets: £8

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About Danny Morrison

Danny Morrison was born in Belfast. Interned without trial in 1972, upon his release in 1975 he became editor of Republican News.

In 1981, he was spokesman for the hunger striker Bobby Sands, who was elected an MP before his death on 5 May 1981. Danny was also publicity director for Sinn Féin and an elected member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-1986).

After his release from prison in 1995, Danny became a full-time writer.

His prison memoir, Then the Walls Came Down, has been compared favourably to Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy. His most recent book, Free Statism, accuses successive Irish governments of abandoning the nationalist community in the North and pandering to British interests.