David Neligan describes how information was collected on undercover British intelligence agents targeted by the IRA in 1920.
David Neligan was a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police who worked as a spy for Michael Collins at Dublin Castle during the War of Independence.
He describes how intelligence gathering worked and how the names were gathered of British agents who were to be killed on the morning of 21 November 1920.
Michael Collins.had set him a task,
To keep the men abreast of what was going on in the G Division.
Every member of the G Division kept a diary tracking their movements. David Neligan made it his job to read these diaries. He describes one incident of almost getting caught by an inspector.
I sweated blood for a couple of minutes.
He would memorise the activities of the G Division men noted in the diaries and report the information to Michael Collins and his men.
On the night after Bloody Sunday, he had an appointment to meet Liam Tobin. Following the events of the day the city had a heavy military presence.
It was impossible to describe the atmosphere in Dublin on that night.
However when Liam Tobin did not turn up to David Neligan’s shock and fear Michael Collins himself arrived. He immediately warned Michael Collins off as the place was crawling with secret servicemen. With nothing to report he told Collins to,
Go away for Christs’s sake.
On the night before Bloody Sunday. Liam Tobin and Tom Curran invited David Neligan to the Gaiety Theatre. When they met, Bill Tobin produced a list of all the secret servicemen who were to be shot the following morning.
As it happened, two of the men on the list were also in the Gaiety Theatre that night. The list was compiled from various sources and the use of a Thom’s Directory. David Neligan himself had also supplied some of the names on the list which took months of work to compile.
They were a hard crowd to get at because they were professionals.
David Neligan recalls there were scenes of complete panic at Dublin Castle when the shootings took place. There were many arrests as the British had no idea who was responsible.
This interview with David Neligan was recorded on 27 June 1978.