From ‘New Hibernia’ magazine , April 1987.

My Aunt Molly would say about my Uncle Jack – ” And there’s a strange thing about that man – he never seemed to meet rich people who are good company . Maybe such folk don’t exist , but if they do , you’d imagine that , surely , for once in a lifetime , your uncle might share a public house stool with somebody who owes less that himself. ” But she was never really bitter about it .

Jack was Jack , and not for anything in the world would he ever be anybody else – except on Friday , after a few jars , when he was Rockefeller! Aunt Molly just thought that it might be nice if the working class didn’t always have to mix with people poorer than themselves . It was alright for folk like the Good Samaritan or Antoine Ozanam who founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul : they were rich to begin with , helping the poor was only a kind of slumming . And Uncle Jack’s ‘outlaws’ , our rich relatives , didn’t help a great deal . One or other was always stirring the muck .

As one of the ‘outlaw’ relatives was fond of saying , ” Mark you my words , Molly Carr , that fella of yours has more principles than is decent in any man . A union official who does it for nothing ! A bank robber who does it for the Cause ! What sort of an eejit have ya married at all……. ” The bank robbery ! Now theres a story…….

<img src=" THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW …….
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.

Michael McDowell has stated ” The current system is just not acceptable . I’m going to make sure that time doesn’t start running where there is an investigation in progress . ”

Legislation providing for the long-awaited Garda inspectorate will be brought to Leinster House “…very shortly .. ” , McDowell says , although officials have conceded that the bill , which was first promised two years ago , is unlikely to be passed before the end of the year .

Robbie Dawson (25) didn’t bother complaining to the Garda Complaints Board , though he says he was “battered” by gardai on his way to Store Street Garda barracks : he readily admits he had been “out of it” on vodka and heroin when he was picked-up by the Gardai . By chance , members of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the ‘CPT’ for short) were in Dublin on the day , carrying out a spot-check on the treatment of persons detained by the gardai .

Robbie was brought to a room in Buswell’s Hotel in Dublin to be examined by a doctor…….

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 .

The State Appeal Court reduced Harry White’s conviction to ‘manslaughter’ , on the basis that the Gardai had not identified themselves as such before opening fire .

Garda Chief Superintendent Gantly was in charge of the raid on Holly Road in Donnycarney . Doubts about who shot Detective Mordaunt were strengthened in February 1948 – Superintendent Gantly was shot dead by one of his own men during a search for a burglar at the Hammond Lane Foundry . As censorship eased , an electorate tired of repression ditched Fianna Fail from office that same month , bringing in the first ‘Inter-Party’ Administration .

When de Valera tried to speak in Maurice O’ Neill’s home town of Cahirciveen in County Kerry , an angry crowd broke up the meeting . There is no reason why Maurice O’ Neill’s case cannot be re-opened .
(Next – ‘The Younger Breed : Tony Gregory’ – from 1985)

About 11sixtynine

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