Hidden in plain sight: an Irish informer in 19th century London


This talk is the story of an Irish émigré with a dark secret, in London, 1888. Against a backdrop of resistance/sedition, assassins, secret societies, informers and spies, we will hear voices hidden for a century in a tale of family betrayal and friends turned one against another. Recent landmark decisions of the Information Commissioner (2011-2015) have sealed records of these events effectively indefinitely, despite their now being 130 years old – to protect today’s information-gathering methods, and present-day descendants of 1880s informants – leading us to ask where the limits of access to historical source material should lie.

Sponsored by:

Society of Genealogists

Case Study Espionage Social History