Sunday 19 November 2017

How Irish suburbia became focus of Soviet spy network

Garret FitzGerald's new book tells how Stillorgan got its 15 minutes of fame, writes Liam Collins

When it comes to a thrilling spy story, you expect a cobbled street in Vienna, a la Harry Lime, or the bulk of the Berlin Wall looming in the background. But the Still-organ Shopping Centre as the centre of international espionage appears to be stretching things.

Yet 27 years ago, when the shopping centre in South Co Dublin was the epitome of suburban chic, it was at the heart of an international spying scandal that reverberated from the Oval Office to the Kremlin.

The then Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, has revealed for the first time the story of the secret Soviet spy network in Dublin and the 'double agent' that led to the high-profile expulsion in September 1983, of three Russian diplomats based in Dublin.

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