AS MI5 ARE AC­CUSED OF ABAN­DON­ING UN­DER­COVER WHAT IT IS RE­ALLY LIKE TO IN­FIL­TRATE THE IRA... The gun­man in the chest, stomach, hand and leg...i be­lieved I was go­ing

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JON LIVESEY

WHAT could pos­si­bly be worse than throw­ing your body 45 feet from a third­storey win­dow?

For Martin McGart­land, a se­cret agent work­ing for MI5, the thought of break­ing ev­ery bone in his body seemed like noth­ing com­pared to be­ing tor­tured by the Pro­vin­cial IRA, or Provos.

Be­tween 1987 and 1991, Marty in­fil­trated the IRA, se­cretly feed­ing in­for­ma­tion back to Royal Ul­ster Con­stab­u­lary’s Spe­cial Branch and en­abling them to in­ter­cept vi­o­lent ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

Hav­ing worked with some of the group’s head hon­chos, like Davy Adams and Brian Gillen, when his cover was blown and he was ab­ducted by Padraig Wil­son and Paul ‘Chico’ Hamil­ton, he knew that leap­ing from the win­dow of the Belfast flat was his only hope of sur­vival.

Af­ter es­cap­ing, Marty was given a new iden­tity and started a new life in Whit­ley Bay, North Ty­ne­side. But in 1999, the IRA tracked him down and he was shot SIX times out­side his home.

A com­bi­na­tion of luck and de­ter­mi­na­tion saw him sur­vive the at­tack but now, in his early 40s, he’s still con­stantly look­ing over his shoul­der in fear of yet an­other at­tempt on his life.

Last week, MI5 se­cret agent Ray­mond Gil­mour, who also in­fil­trated the IRA in the 1980s, re­vealed he’s tak­ing the British se­cu­rity ser­vices to tri­bunal for aban­don­ing him.

As our in­tel­li­gence ser­vice pre­pares to de­fend it­self against the for­mer mole, Mid­week Sport looks at an­other heroic in­fil­tra­tor with rea­son to feel ag­grieved.

In Marty’s book, Fifty Dead Men Walk­ing – also a ma­jor film star­ring Jim Sturgess and Ben Kings­ley – he de­scribes in graphic de­tail be­ing shot at close prox­im­ity by an IRA as­sas­sin.

Ithat mo­ment I had felt noth­ing. Now the pain wracked my body, my chest, my side, my stomach, my arm, my hand. Sh*t it hurt.

I grit­ted my teeth to try to quell the pain, but I couldn’t. I kept talk­ing to my­self, telling my­self that I could han­dle the pain as long as I lived. I tried telling my­self that the pain wasn’t that bad, but it was get­ting to me. I just wanted to curl up and sleep. also re­alised that if I didn’t get to hospi­tal quickly I would be a goner.

I tried to shout for help but the words wouldn’t come. I couldn’t find the strength and only moans came from my throat.

Then I heard voices and looked up through the mist in my eyes and saw my neigh­bours, the Con­non fam­ily.

Je­sus it was good to see them. I could have cried when I re­alised they had come to the res­cue, had come to help me.

I knew the whole fam­ily – they were good, hon­est peo­ple and we had be­come friends. Some­where in my mind I re­called that their elder son Adam, aged around 18, had stud­ied first aid and that his mother, An­drea, was some­thing to do with a hospi­tal.

I heard them ask­ing me ques­tions and I can’t re­call if I replied or not. My mem­ory was go­ing, so was my brain. I think I mur­mured, “F***ing Provos.”

“Keep quiet, stay still,” Adam said. “An am­bu­lance is on the way. Just lie still and you’ll be OK.”

Adam took off my T-shirt and some­one ran off and re­turned with cling film which he wrapped around my chest and my side in an at­tempt to stem the bleed­ing. I re­mem­ber him stuff­ing socks in my wounds try­ing to stop the flow of blood that was ev­ery­where.

I re­call his mother cradling my head in her arms, talk­ing to me, sooth­ing me, keep­ing me con­scious as we waited for the am­bu­lance. I owe my life to that fam­ily, and par­tic­u­larly Adam. If it hadn’t been for his quick think­ing I would be dead.

The next thing I re­mem­ber was wak­ing in hospi­tal some 48 hours later, drift­ing in and out of con­scious­ness. My mother Kate, sis­ter Lizzie and brother Joseph were there stand­ing around the bed, and I won­dered what they were do­ing there, stand­ing at the end of my bed look­ing at me.

I asked if I was go­ing to live. They gave me the an­swer I

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