The ‘Spy’ Next Door
Deaglán de Bréadún
It’s only a matter of time before there is a Hollywood blockbuster made out of the story of the alleged Russian spies living in US suburbia. One of the couples was called Murphy and there is talk of an Irish passport being used.
I was particularly taken with this extract from our website report, detailing part of the case against Richard Murphy.
Murphy, who was born in Philadelphia and lives in New Jersey, flew from Newark to Rome last February, where he was instructed to collect an Irish passport in the name of Eunan Gerard Doherty before flying on to Moscow, according to the criminal complaint filed by FBI officers.
The alleged spy was told to carry Time magazine and wait outside the Libreria shop near San Giovanni subway station in Rome. The passport was described in communications as an old “transit passport”.
He had to wait for a contact to approach and say: “Excuse me, could we have met in Malta in 1999?” Murphy was told to reply: “Yes indeed, I was in La Valetta, but in 2000.”
The story is reminiscent of the old (fictional) yarn about the Russian secret agent dispatched to a small Welsh village to meet a spy called Jones.
When he meets Jones, the Russian is supposed to say, “The red cow is in the meadow” and the Welshman has to reply: “The green crow flies at dawn”.
Our Russian friend fetches up at the local tavern at an early hour and knocks on the door. The landlord opens an upstairs window and asks, bleary-eyed: “Who are you looking for, then?”
The Russian replies: “Misther Djonz.”
Tavernkeeper: “Is that Jones the baker, Jones the postman, Jones the milkman, or Jones the chimneysweep?”
Russian (after a pause): “The red cow is in the meadow.”
Tavernkeeper: “Ah, that’ll be Jones the Spy you’re after!”
(It’s the way I tell ‘em.)