There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , September 1983 .

Nicky Kelly stated that the Gardai then ‘spreadeagled’ him against a wall and kicked his legs apart , causing him to fall to the ground . They jabbed him in the ribs when they were doing this , and Detective Garda Thomas Ibar Dunne is alleged to have cursed at Kelly throughout the ordeal .

The last alleged assault on that Monday (April 5th 1976) was when Detective Garda Michael Finn brought Nicky Kelly up to a cell and shoved his head into a toilet bowl five or six times ; Kelly was taken to the Bridewell Garda Station at approximately 1.00am on the Tuesday morning , where he rested the night in his cell .

On that Tuesday morning (April 6th , 1976) , Nicky Kelly said that Detective Garda Thomas Ibar Dunne shook him and that Detective Garda William Maher pushed him about and , later on , a Detective Garda Lawlor and a Detective Garda Boland pushed him from one to the other , and shouted at him . At one stage , Kelly fell to the floor and , he alleged , Detective Garda Boland hit him with a chair – further , he alleged that Detective Garda Lawlor and Detrective Garda Boland punched him on the arms and slapped him on the upper body . There was to be no let-up for Nicky Kelly after the lunch break…….

From ‘FORTNIGHT’ magazine , October 1983 .

In Britain , criminal trials are heard before juries and it is the legal duty of the presiding judge to warn jurors of the dangers of relying on uncorrobrated accomplice evidence : in the North of Ireland , however , ‘terrorist’ cases are tried by non-jury ‘Diplock Courts’ where the only comparable safeguard is the bizarre practice of the judge warning himself – in 1982 , Mr. Justice Murray refused to convict Charles McCormick , an RUC Special Branch Officer charged with the murder of an RUC colleague , on the grounds that the only evidence against McCormick was that of an accomplice ! Judges in the supergrass trials have tended not to follow suit . Indeed there is little evidence to show that they have taken any heed of their own warnings .

The prominence of supergrasses in the North of Ireland’s criminal justice system can only be properly understood as the latest instalment in a long line of ‘security policies’ which have failed to eliminate political violence from this society . In the UK , with the exception of the drive against organised crime in London in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s , informers have appeared in a much more random manner and have not been fashioned into the cutting edge of a deliberate law enforcement strategy .

The claim that the supergrass phenomenon will contribute to the pacification of the violence in the North of Ireland must be treated with considerable scepticism…….

Michael Farrell .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , June 1983 .

The name ‘Londonderry’ is as offensive to North of Ireland nationalists as ‘Rhodesia’ was to blacks in Zimbabwe – or ‘Kingstown’ to the people in Dun Laoghaire , Dublin . Even the ‘Derry Journal’ newspaper , which normally supports the SDLP , attacked them for “…sadly misreading public opinion..” over the Derry City Council ‘Derry-name’ change issue .

Sinn Fein made hay out of the SDLP’s gaffe , sticking up mocking posters about the ‘Londonderry branch of the SDLP’ all over the Bogside. It was a small issue but to a lot of nationalists it symbolises what they see as the SDLP’s tendency to play down nationalist grievances to appease British , Unionist and even Southern media opinion . (‘1169…’ Comment- …the Provos , on the other hand , blow loud ,long and hard about nationalist grievances : at this stage in their political ‘career’ they have to , in order that they may keep their own people on board . But that will change in time.)

There has only been one test of electoral strength between the SDLP and Sinn Fein since last October – in a local council by-election in Carrickmore in Mid-Ulster : it was not an SDLP stronghold , and the vacant seat had been held by the more nationalist IIP , but in the by-election in March Seamus Kerr of Sinn Fein won , with 2,289 votes to 654 for the SDLP candidate who came third , after ‘The Alliance Party’: but Carrickmore is not typical – it has a long republican tradition and the size of the Sinn Fein majority over the SDLP is not likely to be reproduced elsewhere but , significantly , Seamus Kerr claims that Sinn Fein increased its vote substantially over its total in the (Six-County) Assembly elections : if that trend is repeated , even on a smaller scale , in other areas , the SDLP must be very worried . And there is reason to think it may be…….

About 11sixtynine

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