Secret documents obtained by an IRA spy network included transcripts of telephone conversations between Tony Blair and President Bush, security sources confirmed yesterday.
As Northern Ireland enters its biggest crisis since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the province is bracing itself today for a final meeting of the power-sharing Assembly. Direct rule from Westminster is likely to be imposed within days.
The disclosure that terrorists gained access to confidential White House information is likely to provoke a furious reaction in America. David Trimble, Northern Ireland's First Minister and leader of the Ulster Unionists, compared the republican espionage as "10 times worse than Watergate", which led to the resignation of President Nixon.
Confidence in sharing power between the Unionists and Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, has collapsed following the revelations connecting them...