Loyalist supergrass trials: an opportunity for open source intelligence?

Rachel Monaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
1169 Downloads (Pure)


In the 1980s some thirty members of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland both republican and loyalist, agreed to provide evidence against their former colleagues in return for a reduced sentence or immunity from prosecution, a new identity and life. Such individuals became commonly known as ‘supergrasses’. This article drawing on archival and documentary research explores the potential opportunity these supergrass trials provided for republican paramilitary groups to gather open source intelligence on their loyalist counterparts. It also tracks whether individuals named by loyalist supergrasses were subsequently targeted by opposing paramilitary groups on their acquittal or release from prison.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1026
Number of pages13
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Issue number7
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Nov 2019


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