Ian Cameron

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Person.png Ian CameronRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png

Ian Cameron was an MI5 officer in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

According to David Leigh:

MI5 fought - and beat - MI6 for control of Intelligence in Northern Ireland under a succession of 'DCI's on two-year tours to this new, uninhibited career-posting - Ian Cameron, Jack Credock, John Parker.[1]

According to Richard Deacon, MI6 chief Maurice Oldfield initially welcomed a stronger MI5 presence in Northern Ireland established in late 1973 - early 1974:

So at Stormont Castle the MI6 officer was relived by Dennis Payne of MI5, and the intelligence controller at Lisburn, Craig Smellie of MI6, was replaced by Ian Cameron of MI5. Unfortunately, though these moves made sense and initially all went smoothly, much later MI5 also committed in blunders in Ulster.[2]

Fred Holroyd, an Army officer who had worked for MI6, recounts that he was called into Cameron's office a few days after Smellie's departure:

During our interview he told me that he did not want me crossing the border for any reason at this particular time as he was supervising an RUC operation in the Republic and did not want to risk any possible interference.[3]

Holroyd also describes having a second conversation, immediately afterwards, with an SAS officer, Major Keith Farnes:

He asked me what I though of Cameron. I said, quite honestly, that I hadn't been very taken with him. Farnes told me that I was not the only one to feel like this: an NCO in the Intelligence Corps who had been running ten different sources in the IRA had seen them all murdered within a few days of MI5 taking over operations. He had gone into a bunker and shot himself in the head. In Farnes's words, 'MI5 leaks like a sieve!'[3]

Raymond Murray comments on this story: "I find no record of ten informants having been shot by the IRA at this time."[4]


  1. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.209.
  2. Richard Deacon, 'C': A Biography of Sir Maurice Oldfield, Futura, 1985, p.174.
  3. a b Fred Holroyd, War Without Honour, Medium Publishing, 1989, p.100.
  4. Raymond Murray, The SAS in Ireland, Mercier Press, 1990, p121.