Ireland ‘hired British army intelligence officer’ after Rugby World Cup leaks


Ireland’s rugby government have been so concerned approximately media leaks after a disastrous World Cup marketing campaign that they hired a former British naval intelligence officer to look for insects they notion have been planted internal their Dublin headquarters, it’s been claimed.

A new book by using Seán Hartnett, the pseudonym of a former navy spy, claims to expose the volume of the concern within the Irish Rugby Football Union over the Irish media’s potential to report on dressing-room rows and plans to update managers inside the 2000s. The IRFU said in response that Hartnett’s claims have been “fictionalized”.

Hartnett stated he was given embroiled in Irish rugby’s internal squabbles after Ireland’s failure to enhance into the very last levels of the 2007 World Cup in France, a marketing campaign that ended with a surprising 15-30 loss to Argentina in Paris within the remaining group game.


In the e-book, Client Confidential, Hartnett says the IRFU asked him to warn members of its board that he might use expert monitoring gadgets to discover if any of them had been covertly recording meetings with their cellular phones.

At the time he becomes employed by way of the IRFU, the writer had simply moved from a secret counter-terrorism navy unit in Northern Ireland into a private commercial espionage enterprise inside the Republic.

Hartnett additionally claims he was asked to quick the newly appointed Irish head instruct Declan Kidney. “Officially, the briefing changed into to tell them of dangers regarding information safety. Unofficially, it becomes to tell him that not all his enemies had been outside the walls of the IRFU HQ.”

The British Ministry of Defence tried to ban Hartnett’s preceding e-book detailing his role in the JACUNI (Joint Action Unit), the undercover British army force that bugged and secretly filmed IRA and dissident republican suspects.

Hartnett, born in County Cork, says he was introduced in to analyze leaks after the contents of an autopsy assembly about the 2007 World Cup, which took place in 2008 on the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, had been reported “nearly word for word” via the Irish media. He concluded the leak on the Shelbourne Hotel turned into probably the end result of recordings on a mobile cellphone.

Hartnett says Phillip Browne, the then chief government of the IRFU, turned into so involved the assembly were bugged he finally known as upon Hartnett to search for listening devices in addition to deploying other gadgets to look for viable covert mobile telephone recordings of their headquarters.

Hartnett says he then tested security by means of effortlessly breaking into their HQ in Dublin’s Ballsbridge district through taking an employee’s electronic pass card and then returning to the building thru its underground automobile park. The former counter-terrorist operative says from there he turned into able to walk instantly into the IRFU’s CEO’s office and rifle thru Browne’s files.

“From there I moved to a room around the corner where player records, which includes salaries, become overtly on display. I now knew how tons Paul O’Connell [the former Ireland captain] turned into earning. As I walked across the constructing that morning, selecting up facts as I went, no longer one single person requested who I changed into or what I turned into doing.”

After issuing his safety report, Hartnett says he addressed IRFU board individuals, telling them that the following press leak would be absolutely investigated. “Before this meeting began, I did a full sweep of this room … If each person a lot as activates a cell telephone, I’ll realize about it.”

He claims he seems he got from Irish rugby bosses were “less than high-quality; in reality, they had been downright adverse”.

An IRFU spokesman said Hartnett had “fictionalized” their dealings with a good and credible hazard assessment employer. The IRFU hired an employer RMI to “behavior an extensive-ranging danger assessment of the then newly occupied IRFU headquarters constructing, IT systems, in lodging, assembly centers being utilized by the Irish crew and IRFU”.