A Dublin tale more recent than most on this blog…
From the Times, October 12, 1983,
“A hoax holiday competition involving a middle-aged Dublin couple, Britain’s security services and Irish terrorists turned into an Irish “who-dunnit” mystery last night.
Was it MI6 which set up Mr and Mrs Tony Hayde as the contest winners in order to extract information on Irish terrorist groups while the couple enjoyed their “prize” under the Torremolinos sun?
Or was it a deep-laid plot by the enemy to discredit British intelligence?
From yesterday’s revelations, it was possible to choose either conclusion.
Certainly, the allegations against MI6 gained strength when it was learnt that letters sent out in connexion with the “free holiday prize” ostensibly from a holiday company called Casuro in fact bore the telephone number listed in internal Post Office records as belonging to No 60 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, the London “station” of MI6. And the address on the letters was merely that of a mailbox company service, on the other side of London…
One of the letters went to a reputable Dublin firm, Melia Travel, booking a week’s holiday for two at the Melia Costa Del Sol hotel in Spain. The other letter went to Mr and Mrs Hayde announcing that they had won the week in Torremolinos as third prize in the – bogus – contest. The couple, who live in Walkinstown, Dublin, are founder members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army.
Melia Travel has confirmed not only that it received the holiday booking from “Casuro” – signed by “Frank Moate, marketing manager” – but also a banker’s draft for IR £100. Melia confirmed the booking in writing to Casuro’s London address and on September 2 this year received final payment of IR £462, along with instructions that the tickets should be sent to the Haydes.
Mr and Mrs Hayde say that after arriving in Torremolinos they went out for dinner with the holiday courier and other “prize winners” who all later said they were involved with British intelligence.
The couple, who admit to having met Dominic McGlinchey, allegedly INLA chief of staff and Ireland’s most wanted man, say that they were offered immediate cash and the promise of a further £10,000 in return for information.
Mr Hayde, aged 45, and his wife, Margaret, aged 41, declined, saying they knew nothing about terrorism. They immediately checked out of their holiday hotel.
Mr Matthew Corcoran, manager of Melia in Dublin, said that with hindsight the paperwork from Casuro looked a little strange. Another member of the firm said it was odd that Casuro had made no request for the 10 per cent discount due to travel agents.”
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