TUESDAY , 30 AUGUST 2005 .

Last month PATRICK MAGUIRE was released from an English jail after serving 10 years for a ‘terrorist’ crime he insists he did not commit . A wide range of prominent people , from Cardinal O’Fiaich to Sir John Biggs-Davison , believe him .
DAVID McKITTRICK , London Editor of ‘The Irish Times’ newspaper , re-examines the evidence .
From ‘Fortnight’ magazine , May 1984 .

One of the defendants , Guiseppe Conlon , was a particularly pathetic figure – aged fifty-two , he suffered from Chronic Tuberculosis and had not worked for eleven years .

He arrived at the Maguire house only hours before the police raid , on his first visit to England for seventeen years . He had come to inquire about his son Gerry , who had just been arrested . He died in prison in 1980 and on his deathbed asked Gerry Fitt to clear his name . Fitt promised that he would try .

The campaign to clear the Maguire’s family name , and to achieve a posthumous pardon for Guiseppe Conlon , goes on . In a sense those jailed were victims of the IRA , for their 1974 bombings led to a great wave of anti-Irish hysteria in England and tremendous pressure on the police to catch the bombers . ( ‘ 1169 ….. ‘ Comment – Unfortunately , the fact that the police made a mistake in this case did not ensure that “tremendous pressure” was brought to bear on them to stop it happening again . )

Meanwhile , it stands to reason that the authorities will resist with determination any attempt to reopen any of these cases , for to do so would run the risk of having to grant up to seventeen pardons : such an admission of injustice would be to much for the system to bear . ( ‘ 1169 … ‘ Comment – ….and that remains the prevailing mindset within the British ‘Establishment’ regarding this country – its last colony . )

(Tomorrow – ‘A Gay View On Kincora’ – from 1984.)

As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein – and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
First published in ‘ MAGILL ‘ Magazine , September 1984.

During the last election , Patsy Wright , a Sinn Fein member of Athy UDC , met Alan Dukes (FG) and they had an argument about Section 31 of The Broadcasting Act : according to Patsy Wright , Dukes told him that Sinn Fein could go on the radio whenever they handed up their guns – Wright argued that Sinn Fein had no guns : ” Would you ever fuck off , ” Alan Dukes replied .

Six months later , however , in June 1983 , Joe Bermingham , (FS) Minister of State , invited Patsy Wright to the opening of a new Garda Station in Athy ; Wright declined the invitation . He said that he would not attend such an opening until there was a thirty-two county Republic . The Government’s attitude towards Sinn Fein has hardened considerably over the past eight months . This hardening followed the Dublin Central by-election , the deaths at Ballinamore and the Harrods bombing .

The main result of this tougher approach is the embargo on dealings with elected public representatives who are members of Sinn Fein – this embargo was started by Labour Party Ministers and became Government policy on February 21 . It has caused intense bitterness and confusion .

There was , for example , the proposed Civic Reception for Dick Spring in Midleton , Cork , during the Euro elections …….


On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued ‘Ireland’ and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .

Doctor Michael Moloney found a two-inch bruise on John Milne’s chest and left shoulder , and found that he was mildy agitated . Milne also complained of back pain and pain in his leg from time to time . A jury heard the case in November 1983 and after a two-and-a-half-hour deliberation , found that the two named gardai had assaulted John Milne . They made a £51,900 award , plus costs .

Stephen Moore was arrested a third time under Section 30 of The Offences Against The State Act : in June of 1984 , he became one of 2,216 people arrested under that Section , that year ! He was held for nine and a half hours – there was , this time , no questions , no interviews , no charges . He was fingerprinted and photographed . He lost a day’s wages – at that time he started work at 4.30 pm and finished at 3am . He was arrested by his next door neighbour at 2.30pm – his neighbour , Garda Ted O’ Mahony , had gone on duty half an hour earlier , and had been ordered to carry out the arrest .

The O’Mahony’s and the Moores had been neighbours for eight years ; the two households got on well together . Last August , Garda O’Mahony was told that he was being transferred to Gorey , in Wexford , within two weeks . He appealed the decision to Commissioner Lawrence Wren – the appeal was turned down . He then appealed to the Garda Tribunal . Garda O’Mahony was well liked locally . He asked for an explanation as to why he was being moved , and was told that it was in the interests of the Garda force .

He was forced to take up duty in Gorey , by May 1 . He had spent 15 years in the gardai , almost eight of them in Clones , County Monaghan – he had never been disciplined . According to his wife , “…all he ever wanted was a reasonable explanation .. ” ( ‘ 1169… ‘ Comment – The “explanation” was , obviously , that a ‘cover-up’ had begun , and people were being moved into , or out of , place . ) …….


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics.. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.