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Hide seek and negotiate: Alfred Cope and counter intelligence in Ireland 1919–1921

Sloan, G. (2018) Hide seek and negotiate: Alfred Cope and counter intelligence in Ireland 1919–1921. Intelligence and National Security, 33 (2). pp. 176-195. ISSN 1743-9019

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/02684527.2017.1329118

Abstract/Summary

British intelligence in Ireland between 1919 and 1921 has been characterized as a toxic mix of incompetence and mendacity. This article will challenge this judgement by examining the activities, impact and consequences of a British civil servant, Alfred Cope, who between 1920 and 1921 was an Assistant Under Secretary in Dublin Castle. Using the three criteria of counter-intelligence operations: the ability to locate, identify and neutralize a target, it will be shown that within months of his posting to Dublin British intelligence, albeit inadvertently, had located and identified him as passing classified information to Sinn Fein. Political patronage meant the ability of the intelligence community to neutralize his impact was nugatory. Latterly Cope recognized the consequences of his actions reverberated beyond the period of his time in Ireland.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:67484
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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