A member of a republican band who rubbed shoulders with the IRA and Sinn Féin's top brass is today exposed as a top drugs' baron.
And the Sunday World can also reveal that convicted drugs' pusher Paul Morris was in the British Army – even as he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland playing at Sinn Féin and Provisional IRA commemorations.
He belonged to the Martin 'Doco' Doherty republican flute band named after a revered IRA man murdered by loyalists outside a Dublin pub.
But Morris is now behind bars after cops dramatically caught him with almost half a million pounds' worth of heroin in his car.
The bandsman, who once toadied up to senior Provo and Sinn Féin figures, is beginning a four-year jail sentence for possessing the deadly drugs' stash.
That came after Morris toured the country belting out pro-IRA songs – while he was a serving member of the British Army who made no attempt to hide his job from his fellow bandsmen nor Sinn Féin supporting friends.
Although he was on bail for possessing the huge heroin haul, Morris continued to openly attend republican events.
The heavily-tattooed bandsman brazenly showed up at the 'Volunteer Pearse Jordan commemoration' in West Belfast in November just weeks before he was jailed.
Later, he boasted to friends about how he'd taken part in the march – in the republican stronghold of Ballymurphy – to honour the IRA member shot dead by the security forces 20 years ago.
But bizarrely, Morris had himself been a British Army driver for four-and-a-half years.
The Martin 'Doco' Doherty flute band attended a host of other pro-Sinn Féin and Provisional IRA commemorations last year.
On its own website, the band advertised how it was taking part in a rally in Crossmaglen which was addressed by Sinn Féin national chairman Declan Kearney. The Scottish band also publicised its appearance at a commemoration in Newry where the main speaker was Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady.
And it took part in the Dundalk Easter rally which was addressed by Gerry Adams. Indeed, the Sinn Féin president even posed for photographs with band members.
Morris was photographed marching with the band through the streets of Glasgow in May – two months after he was charged with possessing the deadly drugs' stash – at the annual commemoration for Martin 'Doco' Doherty.
Doherty was shot dead by the UVF in 1994 outside the Widow Scallon's pub in
Dublin as he tried to prevent loyalist gunmen entering the premises with a bomb.
Morris, from Renton in West Dumbartonshire, was stopped by police while driving along the motorway last March.In the boot of the car, cops found bags of heroin with an estimated street value of over £446,000.
At his trial last month, Morris pleaded guilty to the drugs' offence. Arguing for a lenient sentence for his client, solicitor Liam O'Donnell stressed his British Army background.
The lawyer revealed how for four months last summer, Morris had also worked for the US Army in Kuwait.
"He started gambling and experimenting with cocaine and that is why he became involved in this offence," O'Donnell added.
Sentencing Morris to 45-months in jail, Judge Lord Bracadale stated: "It is unfortunate that someone with a genuinely good record should get involved in this."
Neither Morris's membership of the republican flute band, nor his participation in Sinn Féin and Provisional IRA commemorations, was mentioned in court.
But some republicans in the North, who were in the dark about both Morris's drug-dealing and British Army membership, are horrified they hosted him in Ireland.
One Newry activist told the Sunday World: "His band were regularly here. They'd sleep on the floor of the Barcroft community centre. It's disgusting that Paul Morris, who worked for the British Army, marched to the republican plot where local IRA volunteers killed by that same army are buried."
Another Scottish republican band – the Brendan Hughes Republican Flute band, named after the legendary Belfast IRA leader known as 'the Dark' – also voiced its anger.
It said drug-dealing wrecked communities and too many families had been torn apart as young people became addicted to the poison Paul Morris and others supplied.
In a statement, the Martin 'Doco' Doherty band claimed Paul Morris was expelled from the band in May. The band claimed he was expelled, under its constitution, when "details of his former employment" in the British army came to light.
"Anyone who has had dealings with our band will tell you it's completely anti-drugs," a spokeswoman said. "Our band has an impeccable reputation the length and breadth of the whole republican community and will continue to do so."
Despite Paul Morris's expulsion from the band, he still lists it approvingly on his Facebook page and several band members remain friends with him.