Several days later, the man that had handed the roll of cash to Conall O’Brien in the back room of The Standard before sending him on his way, sat in the same seat in the same back room, in conference with two other men. He was furious. He and other senior members of the PIRA had been looking into carrying out a series of attacks on British army units in Germany. Covert cells had been formed specifically for the job and had identified a small number of army bases at various locations, Soltau being one of them, where security was perceived to be less than efficient compared to most of the garrisons on the British mainland. The PIRA had contacts with other terrorist organisations in Europe including Revolutionäre Zellen or RZ, and would be able to procure whatever ordinance necessary to carry out the attacks. Regardless of their size or the type of units occupying them, nearly all of these bases had an armoury. A spectacular rash of attacks was being meticulously planned against those chosen, one of the criteria of the target being that the armoury was under protected.
The attacks were all to be synchronised, one single night of absolute mayhem. The object was to liberate as many weapons and as much ammunition as possible, split the haul and cache it around the country until the time was right to smuggle everything back to Ireland. It was to have been a night that would go down in history, proof that the organisation was capable of anything and no enemy target was safe. But now, as reports had come in about the fiasco in Soltau, everyone agreed that security was certain to be stepped up on every garrison, whether in Germany or elsewhere. The entire operation had to be postponed while they reconsidered.
“I told him. I made it perfectly clear he wasn’t to go anywhere near that camp,” the man shouted, thumping his fist on the table to punctuate the statement. “All that work, all that intelligence, all that time, fucking wasted!”
The second man that spoke appeared calmer than the first but his eyes betrayed an equal amount of emotion, burning bright with anger.
“You shouldn’t have let him go anywhere near Germany. Anyway, he fucking didn’t go there himself did he! It was those two numbskull sons of his that went, just the two of them and they fucked up good and properly, so they did. Our contacts over there will think we’re a complete bunch of amateurs. It’s fucking embarrassing!”
Turning on his associate the first man retaliated, “The trouble is that if I hadn’t agreed to help, O’Brien would have gone after him regardless and we’d have had no control over him. Besides, this character was with the paras on Bloody Sunday, so he was. Once we found that out he had to be given what he deserved, regardless of him interfering with the O’Brien girl. I thought by warning him about Soltau and telling him to do the job at the airport, he’d not affect our plans. I told him he’d be on his own if they got caught and we’d deny any connection with them,” he paused and the silence remained unbroken until he continued.
“He was supposed to send a squad of men. We gave him money, more than enough to carry out the job properly at the airport. The only reason I agreed to give him anything at all was to make sure he did the job properly without giving the Brits cause to increase security in Soltau or any of the other targets. Instead he sends just those two eejits. I’ll bet he pocketed half the cash.”
The second man exhaled a breath noisily to express his resignation and replied, “Well, the whole operation is out of the question now, the MPs will be on high alert. They’ll be all over the place, so they will. Those idiot O’Briens are well known to the police, they’ve never hidden the fact that they’re IRA, always spouting off. No matter what story they come up with nobody will believe them. We’ll be blamed and we’ll look like fucking fools,” he still remained calm but there was more coldness to his voice as he turned to the third man who hadn’t yet spoken. This man was younger than the other two, big and athletic he looked as hard as nails. He showed no emotion whatsoever.
“Duffy, I want you to pay the O’Brien family a visit. I want them punished. All of them. In fact I think it would be best if everyone who had anything to do with this sorry tale was obliterated. I’ll be in touch again soon with some more details”
The third man nodded, got up and left the pub. He still hadn’t spoken.