Wikipedia on James McCann before some brutal editing

27 Mar

Below is the text of an earlier and more comprehensive entry on James McCann in Wikipedia. It has since been edited to a much shorter and less comprehensive article, showing some bias in a) erasing or diminishing McCann’s connections to the IRA in Northern Ireland; and b) diminishing the involvement of Howard Marks and Roger Reaves in the Telmo smuggling attempt.

James Joseph “Jim” McCann (born 25 March 1939 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a figure who has been linked with Irish republicanismdrug trafficking[1] and the smuggling of arms to the Provisional IRA in the 1970s.[2]

McCann has dual UK and Irish citizenship, and uses an Irish passport. In 1971 he escaped from Belfast’s Crumlin Road Prison, where he was awaiting trial for a petrol-bombing at Queen’s University.[3] Prominent drugs trafficker Howard Marks was involved with McCann for several years in smuggling hashish from Afghanistan through Irish ports, specifically Shannon Airport, to the UK via Milford HavenWales.[4] He was imprisoned at various times in GermanyFranceCanadaNorthern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on drug- or IRA-related matters.[5] He was described as, “possibly the most effective arms supplier” for the IRA in the 1970s.[2] The Provisional IRA reportedly punished him for his involvement in the drug trade with a beating. He was arrested in the Irish Republic in 1979 on a drugs trafficking charge and held in Portlaoise Prison, but was not convicted. He was resident in the Netherlands from at least 1993.

McCann has used several aliases in the course of his career, the most well-known being ‘James Kennedy’, and has sometimes been known as ‘Kennedy-McCann’ or ‘Kennedy McCann’. He has also used the names Gustave Robert Baehr, Peter Carrington, and Mr Peters.

James McCann

McCann in cyclist’s gear in Amsterdam, 2010

Criminal convictions

While accused of many offences, McCann was convicted of only one serious offence since coming to prominence in the 1970s, before which he had been convicted only of a string of minor offences, such as passing dud cheques and/or breaking and entering, in Britain in the 1960s.

On Saturday 2 March 1991, McCann was arrested in a hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany, under the name of Robert Gustave Baehr. Identified by his fingerprints as James McCann, he was charged with being a member of a criminal gang, with smuggling 1,528 kilogrammes of hashish from Morocco to England in March 1988, and with possession of two false passports and small quantities of cannabis and cocaine at the time of arrest.[6]

At his trial before the Dusseldorf Amtsgericht, evidence was given that McCann had joined with Howard Marks and an American, William Roger Reaves, to supply the hash as part of a shipment on board a motor vessel, the Telmo, organised by Reaves and destined for the London market. Reaves and others had already been convicted in German courts. Marks, extradited to the USA on other charges, was never tried for this offence.[7]

In December 1992, after 21 months on remand, McCann was found guilty of participating in “a criminal gang whose purpose was to traffic in considerable amounts of narcotics” and of possession of false passports and quantities of cocaine and cannabis. McCann was sentenced to three years for the drugs trafficking charge and six months each on the other charges, six of which were concurrent. As he had already served almost half the 42-month sentence in detention, he was released shortly afterwards and returned to the Netherlands, where he had lived since the late 1980s.[8]

Under the name of James Kennedy McCann, he was a member of the Republic of Belarus official delegation to a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in The Hague in 2000.[5]

His company (Greenfield Project Management Ltd), since struck off [6], had attracted funds in the Netherlands, putatively to build bioethanol plants in Belarus. It collapsed after the Belarus Government withdrew support in 2009 following its failure to raise investment finance, leaving debts of at least €3 million. [7] McCann had acted as Director of Strategy of this company.

5 Responses to “Wikipedia on James McCann before some brutal editing”

  1. Finlay 03/04/2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing
    your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed
    and I hope you write again soon!


  2. greenfieldcg 29/03/2015 at 5:12 pm #

    Reblogged this on Jim McCann: On The Run.


  3. tim 23/02/2016 at 5:31 pm #

    slander is a crime also


    • greenfieldcg 24/02/2016 at 2:31 pm #

      What slander? We’re talking about a convicted gangster, thief, conman, and smuggler.

      Slander involves damage to a person’s reputation, good name, and standing in the community. In McCann’s case, this is just not possible, because he has no good name or reputation to damage.



  1. This conman turned 82 today | Greenfield Creditors Group - 25/03/2021

    […] This follows the earlier, successful efforts of two Provisional IRA sympathisers to have all references to McCann’s involvement with the IRA and its predecessors removed from the original entry (described here). […]


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