These files are now coming under the scrutiny of the ‘authorities’ . Heads will role . But whose ?
From ‘New Hibernia’ magazine , April 1987 .

Despite the fact that Fred Holroyd’s allegations were not investigated , ‘security correspondents’ were briefed that the claims that he made on BBC and then RTE were “…being dismissed in Garda Headquarters..” . This week , as the first serious look at those claims is underway , the question of dismissals does not centre on Holroyd’s statements , but on those who rejected them .

Included in the file are photocopies of pages from Capt Fred Holroyd’s official notebook from that period , mentioning the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings and naming names . None of those named have been interviewed , nor have the RUC been asked to assist in the investigation , although 34 people died and the crimes are still unsolved . By far the most crucial allegation made by Fred Holroyd is that he met Assistant Garda Commissioner Ned Garvey during a trip to Garda Headquarters in April 1975 . Holroyd has a mass of detail in his notebooks about the visit . He was driven to the Border at Kileen on the main Dundalk-Newry Road by his subordinate , Ian Bushell , in an unmarked car along with Detective Inspector Frank Murray of the RUC.

The two men transferred to a Garda car driven by a Garda detective named by Fred Holroyd in his file , which also gives details of how they were escorted by a second Garda car containing other detectives , and covered front and rear by two Irish (Free State) Army Panhards which peeled off from the convoy just before the outskirts of Dublin . According to Holroyd , the visit had been arranged through the ‘Badger’, who had told Assistant Garda Commissioner Ned Garvey who had “…told Garvey what sort of a chap I was..” : Mr. Garvey has emphatically denied Captain Fred Holroyd’s claim about the visit since it was first made on Channel Four TV in the ‘Diverse Reports’ programme in the early 1980’s and through all its subsequent repetitions .

The providing of the names , times and other details in the Holroyd file obtained by G2 six months ago , offered a chance , if desired , to disprove the meeting had take place…….

Allegations of Garda brutality only hit the headlines intermittently . But the problem may be much more widespread than most people imagine . Last year out-of-court settlements of cases involving members of the Garda cost the taxpayer over €1 million . What’s going on ?
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , April 2003 .
Mairead Carey.

Most of Barry Gannon’s teenage years were spent in one institution or another : he has two children of his own , a six-year-old and four-year-old girl – their names are tattooed on his hands . He is now 24 and facing a stretch for robbery . ” I’m trying to get off the stuff . I try to turn the corner but I always seem to go straight on , ” he says .

Gannon claimed that one night in 1999 , after being arrested by gardai in Dublin city centre , he was punched and kicked on his way to the Garda station . Once inside, he claims to have been batoned on the legs , and had his head banged against a wall . He was released at about 4am and returned to the hostel for homeless young men on Whitworth Road , run by Fr. Peter McVerry – ” He had marks all over his body and was very distressed, ” says the priest . ” We brought him to see a doctor who found bruises on his legs and back which were consistent with baton marks . He got a hiding , as bad a hiding as I had ever seen . There was no way he was inventing that distress.”

After letters were written to the newspapers , the Garda complaints procedure was speeded up . Fr McVerry believes his arrest should have been captured on CCTV , but as in the case of the Walsh sisters , no footage was ever produced . ” They called me in eventually to say they had found no substance to the allegation . They believed the bruising might have occurred before the arrest . It was his word against theirs ……. “

James Gogartys Tribunal reminiscences about the shooting dead of a Garda colleague have resurrected a long-lost story of justice miscarried .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , March 1999 .

Maurice O’ Neill and Harry White of Belfast were in a house at 14 Holly Road , in Donnycarney , Dublin , : there was a £5,000 price on Harry White’s head . Maurice O’ Neill was not a wanted man . At 9.30pm they were tipped off that their ‘safe house’ was compromised , but finished their game of cards . Unknown to them , armed (Free State) police and soldiers had had the area surrounded from 8pm . Detectives at the door were listening to the last hands of the card game being played .

At approximately 9.50pm , White and O’ Neill left by the back door , to pick up their bicycles and slip away down a narrow laneway . Seconds later , Detective Mordaunt and three other armed detectives burst in the front door . Mordaunt rushed out the back in hot pursuit . Armed Officers were posted at both ends of the lane and , as soon as figures appeared at the garden gate , they opened fire . In the darkness , a chaotic fire-fight erupted . Maurice O’ Neill might have got away , but turned back when he heard a groan . He ran out of ammunition and retreated into the house , where he was captured .

Harry White escaped through gardens and a house , and hid in undergrowth for a night and a day before reaching another safe house . Detective Mordaunt’s body was found , by accident , in a garden on the other side of the lane , in the early hours of the following morning . The detective who stumbled across his corpse was searching for a lost pen . The dead garda detective had not been listed as missing as no role-call had been held .

Maurice O’ Neill had only three days to prepare his defence before his ‘trial’ by military tribunal began on November 2 , 1942 – important information was withheld from his counsel , Sean McBride – the record book showing weapons issued to the police and ammunition expended , plus information showing the targets hit by police shooting…….

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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