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The Irishman

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An Irishman, employed on the underground fuel-storage tanks at Scapa, was accustomed, when in drink, to express I.R.A. sentiments of considerable violence, and investigations show that the Birmingham Police already suspected him of having organised a bomb outrage. This was alarming, for his work at Scapa gave him access to large quantities of dynamite. But there were no powers under which he could be forcibly removed from the islands and subtler methods had to be employed. The first step was to make him drunk, which was easy. Next, the civil police arrested him for being drunk, detained him for a few hours and released him on bail of ten shillings. While he was on remand, it was indicated to him that worse charges than that of having been drunk and disorderly might be preferred against him and that he would be well advised to jump his bail. Moved by this kindly counsel, he bolted conveniently to Glasgow.

This remarkable anecdote was recorded in the official Naval Intelligence Division history of 1939-1942, written by C.L. Morgan and available in the National Archives.