By Jim Smith
BOSTON — The family of the IRA gun-runner who was allegedly killed by Irish American gangster and FBI informant James "Whitey" Bulger filed a $50 million lawsuit in federal court last Thursday against eight former FBI agents and Bulger’s gang.
John McIntyre of Quincy disappeared in November 1984 at the age of 32 after reportedly telling authorities that Bulger and his associates were involved in the unsuccessful plot to smuggle tons of arms and ammunition to the IRA off the coast of Ireland from the fishing trawler Valhalla.
McIntyre’s remains were unearthed from a grave in Dorchester in January 2000 after police and federal agents were led there by a former top deputy of Bulger, Kevin Weeks, who is now in prison seeking leniency.
In the lawsuit, McIntyre’s family contends that the FBI agents were protecting their prized informant, Bulger, when they told him that McIntyre was implicating him in the gun-running operation and related crimes. At that time, Bulger was helping the FBI to bring down the Italian Mafia in New England.
Bulger was indicted last September by a federal grand jury for the murder of 18 people, 16 men and two women. He has been a fugitive since 1995, when he was allegedly tipped off about a pending indictment by his FBI handler, John Connolly, who is one of the agents named in last week’s suit.
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The McIntyre family’s attorney, Jeffrey Denner, told reporters last week that he has "horrifying" evidence that the government caused McIntyre’s death.
Three other wrongful-death suits have been filed against Bulger and his associates by families of other victims. Unlike McIntyre’s lawsuit, however, they did not name the FBI as defendants.