IRA Robbery
In Until the Next Time, there is a reference to a bank robbery that Jerry Coonan had committed. Coonan managed to steal over three million British Pounds from under the noses of the British Security Service (MI5) as he worked a double game on them, supplying them with false information to cover his own criminal activity. He and a team that included at least one MI5 operative working undercover tunneled into a branch of Lloyds Bank in London on September 11, 1971 and made off with the money. Coonan had convinced MI5 that he would inform them when the theft was happening and that they could swoop in and arrest high-level IRA members and decimate the IRA’s ability to buy any more weapons. Instead, he went in forty-eight hours early and escaped capture, leaving the MI5 operative tied and gagged in a hotel room. After four days of news coverage, British authorities issued a D-Notice, a notice usually reserved for issues of national security, requesting that news coverage be discontinued, and the story disappeared from newspapers. The purpose for the D-Notice was never disclosed, although it is assumed the Security Service wished to avoid being embarrassed by the IRA.
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