Census worker Joanne Mathers murdered on the orders of IRA chief Martin McGuinness

Census worker Joanne Mathers murdered on the orders of IRA chief Martin McGuinness

FIRST he named Martin McGuinness as the IRA godfather who ordered the murder of census worker and mum Joanne Mathers.

Now Raymond Gilmour says he will name the woman who provided the murder weapon when he is interviewed by detectives from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit (TIU) at a police station in England.

Mother-of-one Joanne Mathers was shot dead by the IRA in Derry in 1981 as she collected census forms in the city.

The murder was a warning to other Census workers to stay out of the city.

Speaking from his hideaway home in England, Gilmour has told Belfast Daily that he has recalled the information about the woman following the publication of his book ‘What Price Truth?’.

“This woman, who was a good looking girl in her day, came over from the Shantallow area and walked to the Waterside in the east to provide the gun.

“The murder weapons was .357 Magnum revolver which had been stolen from the home of a part-time RUC officer.

“This girl was a courier for the IRA in the city. She never came to the attention of the police which allowed her to move easily from the west bank to the east bank of Derry.

“When I am being interview by the PSNI in due course I will tell that Martin McGuinness ordered Joanne Mather’s murder; that this woman couriered the gun across the city for the murder; and I will name the man who shot her.

“I believe on the strength of my statements all three people should be arrested and questioned. If not, then I am just wasting my time,” added Gilmour.

The woman who provided the murder weapon had a brother shot dead by the security forces in Derry.

Gilmour, who is currently working with trusted ex-security force members, says he has little love for his former IRA commander in Derry.

“Martin McGuinness is now the deputy first minister in Northern Ireland but he appears to have forgotten all about his past in Derry.

“I mean, he was the man who taught me and republicans in Derry anti-interrogation techniques to prepare us for our arrest by the RUC and British Army.

“To look at him now he thinks he is a statesman but his hands are dripping in the blood of many, many people. People shouldn’t forget that.’’

McGuinness has two previous convictions for IRA membership in the Republic.

However, he has never been charged in a Northern Ireland court despite the security forces believing he was head of the IRA’s Northern Command and also Chief of Staff at one stage.

Gilmour says he was never asked to provide any information on McGuinness when it came to his supergrass trial in the early 1980s.

“It just never came up with my handlers. It is alright being wise after the event, but it does pose the question was he working for the Brits after all. Somebody was protecting him, I believe.

“He was the top Provo in Derry and the police didn’t want to put him away at the supergrass trials.’’

Gilmour was the only witness in the supergrass trial of 35 INLA and IRA suspects but it collapsed in 1984.

Former IRA supergrass Raymond Gilmour

Former IRA supergrass Raymond Gilmour

The then Lord Chief Justice Lord Lowry dismissed Gilmour’s evidence as being “unworthy of belief”.

However, Gilmour, who was essentially a ‘wheel man’ for the IRA during attacks in Derry, says Lord Lowry was wrong.

“I knew I was telling the truth, I was told there were deals struck by RUC men behind the scenes that decisions had to be made that wouldn’t be palatable for me, so I was going to be the fall guy,” he says.

Creggan-born Gilmour first joined the INLA when he was 17 working as a covert agent for RUC Special Branch.

After a fallout, he left the INLA and later joined the IRA in 1980, passing back information on Provo players and operations.

However, two years later his cover was blown when police used information he supplied to recover a machine gun.

“I brought the INLA to their knees in Derry, I brought the IRA to their knees in Derry and I saved countless lives,” he says proudly.


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