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The Irish People editor wins top award for Scap scoop.

Byline: SINEAD KING

IRISH People editor Greg Harkin has scooped a prestigious award for exposing the man at the heart of the British military's murderous collusion war in Ireland.

Greg took the gong at the ESB Media Awards last week for his riveting expose of the notorious spy codenamed 'Stakeknife,' who acted as a double agent at the heart of the Provos for a generation.

The story, which ran in Ireland on May 11, lifted the lid on the shocking secret past of west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci.

He had been second in command of the IRA's dreaded Internal Security Unit and gained a reputation as a fearsome interrogator of those accused of betraying the terrorists' code.

But all along the mass killer was the top paramilitary tout in Ireland, reporting back to the British Army - and nothing was ever done to curb his bloody career.

Greg, 34, said: "The Ministry of Defence and the British government is going to have to get used to the idea that this story isn't going to go away.

"The fact is they got as dirty as everyone else in the conflict in Northern Ireland and it's time they acknowledged that.

"I'd particularly like to thank all my colleagues in both the editorial and legal departments of The People who helped me so much in doing this story and other stories on the Force Research Unit.

"It beggars belief though that Sir John Stevens and Hugh Orde, who have known about Stakeknife's activities for more than three years, appear to have done absolutely nothing about those allegations."

In March this year Greg received a commendation for both investigative journalist of the year and the daily news journalist of the year awards at the IPR/BT Press Awards in Belfast.

And in 2001 he was given the accolade of Journalist of the Year at that year's IPR/BT event.

The People's Northern Ireland edition has also won the prestigious Newspaper of the Year title TWICE since Greg took control five years ago.

Other winners at the ESB awards included Mary Holland, who took a special award for her outstanding contribution to Irish journalism.

And David Power, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain collectively won the journalist of the year award for their searing Power Pictures for RTE documentary 'Chavez - Inside the Coup'.

CAPTION(S):

EXPOSE: Irish People editor Greg Harkin won Scoop of the Year for his Stakeknife reports
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2003
Words:403
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