The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

25 May 2005

eBay Pulls Sinn Fein's Strange Auction

No Bugs Allowed

eBay Yanks MI5 Bugging Device Auction

Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein are behind one of the strangest auctions in recent memory- that of a British MI5 bugging device found in their offices last year!

After first listing it on eBay, the company removed the auction from its site with no known reason given, according to Sinn Fein.

Now the political wing of the Irish Republican Army has set up an email bidding system for the rather large device, found in the floorboards of Connolly House, Belfast, last September.

So far, they claim the high bid is US $1900. Click the link to view more images of the device.

Is this a publicity stunt? Yes, but it's one of the more interesting ones I've seen come from either side of the Northern Ireland mess, in recent memory.

I don't believe this story has appeared in the news quite yet.

This is from a Sinn Fein press release the Radio Equalizer received this evening:

Auction goes on despite eBay!

The auction on eBay for part of a British MI5 bugging device found hidden in the floorboards of a Sinn Féin office in Belfast in September 2004 has been removed from its site by the management of eBay.

Sinn Féin are now offering the device (approx 10.5 inches by 6.5 inches) for auction by email.

Included is a handwritten letter of authentication from Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams (see text below). The handwritten letter has been framed and there is a display board for the device.

This is a unique opportunity.

A historical item such as this has never before been made available and it’s highly unlikely that it will happen again. Bidding will end at midnight Irish time Saturday 4th June 2005.

The current verified highest bid: $1900.00 Please make your bid (in US Dollars) by sending an email to: and please remember to include your name, address and telephone number.

All details given will be kept strictly private and the highest bid will be posted on the Sinn Féin Online Store ( each day (click on MI5 Spy Device Auction).

Text of Gerry Adams' letter:

On September 13th, 2004, at a very sensitive time in the peace process, a sophisticated bugging device was found hidden in Sinn Féin offices in Connolly House, Belfast.

This was the second device found in Belfast within ten days. Martin McGuinness and I returned the Connolly House device to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the peace talks in Leeds Castle, England.

When we were leaving that meeting I held on to a section of that device. Since then I have been in correspondence with various elements of the British system to establish who authorised this electronic surveillance operation.

In January 2005 Eliza Manningham-Butler, head of MI5, admitted that MI5 bugged Connolly House. This note is authentication by me that the section of the bugging device which it accompanies is part of the Connolly House device which was returned to Mr. Blair.

Gerry Adams


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