Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy has said she and her adviser Anne-Marie McNally both submitted Data Protection requests to a number of British Intelligence Agencies following interactions they had with Mark Hollingsworth in September of last year. News articles today have identified Mr Hollingsworth as having passed files relating to Denis O’Brien to Alaco Limited, a British Intelligence firm. Alaco was one of the firms contacted by Catherine Murphy and Anne-Marie Marie McNally but both received letters to say no details were held on file.
One of the agencies contacted, K2 Limited, advised Murphy and McNally that they would pass the enquiry onto the GCHQ and the NSA ‘so they can monitor your electronic and other communication’.
Mr Hollingsworth had presented himself as a journalist writing a feature on Denis O’Brien and the Siteserv and had made numerous contacts with Ms McNally throughout August culminating in a meeting with Deputy Murphy and Ms McNally in Leinster House in September. Both women felt his line of questioning was spurious and ended the interview promptly.
Speaking following today’s news reports Catherine Murphy said:
“Upon realising that Mr Hollingsworth’s intentions seemed different to his stated intentions we began to wonder what kind of information he, and whoever had employed him, were keeping on us. We issued the data protection requests to a small few agencies in London that we had reason to believe might have an interest in details pertaining to Mr O’Brien – Alaco was one. We had reason to be concerned that information was being compiled on us following the Hollingsworth incident and an unusual encounter Anne-Marie had with a taxi driver in the city during the Siteserv saga.”
“I am concerned at today’s reports that Mr Hollingsworth passed a file to Alaco given that they have responded to both myself and Anne-Marie to say they hold nothing on file for either of us. I would like to think that Data Protection Acts give us a level of comfort but if there are loopholes being used I believe that merits attention.”