Rosanna Davison and Maeve de Burgh

Rosanna Davison and Maeve de Burgh

It has been revealed that Chris de Burgh’s mother, Maeve de Burgh, was a British spy working in Malta where whith her husband trained Albanian patriots to fight the Enver Hoxha’s communist regime. Chris de Burgh is a British/Irish singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1986 love song “The Lady in Red”.

The revelation astonished Chris de Burgh’s daughter, Rosanna Davison, a 26-year-old model who, in the making of Who Do You Think You Are for? a popular popular RTÉ (Irish) show had visited her quiet grandmother Maeve, in her home at Wexford’s Bargy Castle to gently admonish her, ‘You never told me!’

‘You never asked,’ Maeve had replied, to the bemusement of thousands of TV viewers.

'Operation Valuable' Albanian volunteers, Malta

'Operation Valuable' Albanian volunteers, Malta

Maeve and her husband, Colonel Davison, were part of ‘Operation Valuable’ on of the earliest attempts to overthrow Albania’s communist regime by training Albanian exiles in Malta. They were a group of volunteers who were intent on freeing Albania from the grip of communism.

‘The young men were being trained in Malta to operate behind communist lines in Albania and make life difficult for the communist authorities,’ Maeve said.

‘I did a lot of secretarial work, including coding and decoding messages both to and from Albania to London. Col Davison trained the young recruits in explosives in an isolated fort.’

When they started to train the Albanian volunteers they were not told that the previous group of insurgents sent to Albania had been discovered and executed. Devastatingly, the agents they trained met the same fate as the previous recruits: they were discovered by the Albanian authorities and executed.

‘The appalling loss of life couldn’t continue, so the operation was disbanded – though nobody was able to pinpoint how the Albanians were getting their information.’

Many years later when Kim Philby was revealed as a spy passing information to Russians, the Davisons realised it was likely him had been passing on information about their Albanian trainees to his communist bosses.

Tweeting Rosanna wrote: ‘She was once a spy in WW2 where she trained Albanians to overthrow their communist regime!’ She then corrected herself, tweeting: ‘Sorry a spy in the Cold War … Very James Bond’.


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