Frank Hegarty

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Person.png Frank HegartyRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Frank Hegarty.jpg
BornAugust 28, 1940
DiedMay 1986 (Age 45)
Cause of death
gunshot to the head
Victim ofassassination
IRA member recruited as British informer. Executed in 1986 with direct involvement of Martin McGuinness.

Frank Hegarty was an IRA member who was recruited as British informer. He was executed by the IRA in 1986.[1] Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin leader and a leader within the Provisional Irish Republican Army at the time, was accused of direct involvement.

It is unclear whether media stories in 2011 about the case[2], supported by anonymous British intelligence sources, were an attempt to derail his run for President of Ireland.


Hegarty had been recruited and promoted by the IRA during the 1980s. However he was spying for the British – and he became a target for the IRA after revealing to the British the location of three major arms dumps in the Republic. He was abducted from Buncrana, County Donegal, and shot in the head by the IRA for informing in May 1986 after he had been lured home with claims he would be safe.[2]

Martin McGuinness personally set up the rendezvous which led the murder, the Irish Government was told in 1987.[3] The claims against McGuinness were also supported by the evidence of former IRA executioner Freddie Scapaticci and by an anonymous British intelligence agent "Martin Ingram", who was Frank Hegarty’s handler.[2]

In 2011, the family of Frank Hegarty spoke to media after having kept silent for decades, to insist that McGuinness had lured Hegarty to ­his death. McGuinness was at the time running for President of Ireland.[4]

In 2017, previously secret files in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin revealed that the then Bishop of Derry Edward Daly made the damning claim seven months after the killing of Frank Hegarty.