IRA informer Seán O’Callaghan dies

Provisional IRA
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The IRA informer Seán O’Callaghan has died at the age of 62.

The Tralee native died yesterday while on holiday in Jamaica visiting a family member.

A post-mortem is to be carried out after he was found in a swimming pool.

Seán O’Callaghan was one of the most controversial figures to emerge during the Troubles.

In his autobiography, he said he joined the Provisional IRA in 1970 when he was 15 years old and that he rose to become head of the organisation’s Southern Command. He was elected to Tralee Urban District Council for Sinn Féin in 1985.

Seán O’Callaghan said he served as a garda informer because he was disgusted by republican violence and claimed that his tip-off led to the authorities seizing an IRA arms consignment from the US on the Marita Ann ship in Fenit in 1984.

Mr O’Callaghan also claimed he’d been ordered by the IRA to try to kill Prince Charles and Princess Diana but that he’d helped sabotage this plot.

He confessed to murdering a police officer and a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment. He served a prison sentence before being released as part of a pardon by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997.

Critics, which included members of the Republican movement, accused him of being a fantasist who made outlandish accusations; a charge Mr O’Callaghan denied.