Twenty-six men were convicted on the word of Harry Kirkpatrick. On their appeal against those convictions could well rest the future of the ‘Anglo-Irish Agreement’
(‘The Hillsborough Treaty’)
. Based on a full transcript of the Kirkpatrick trials , the story of how these convictions were obtained shows why the ‘Supergrass System’ is a pale shadow of justice.
By Derek Dunne. From ‘MAGILL’ magazine, February 1986.

Life in the annex of Crumlin Road Prison wasn’t too bad for Henry ‘Harry’ Kirkpatrick . It was here that he was serving five life sentences for murder and over seventy other offences. There was a black and white television and a record player in the room and , just down the hallway from his room , there was a colour television set which he could avail of . And he had a guitar , which he played when he sang a song he had composed about ‘Supergrasses’ . He had company in that high security annex – on and off nine or ten ‘grasses’ had spent time there .

Just now , William ‘Budgie’ Allen and James Crockard (see piece dated ‘Thu 21st Feb 1985’) were there , two loyalist ‘supergrasses’ . The food wasn’t too bad either , as the annex had it’s own kitchen , separate from the main jail , as the inmates were afraid that they would be poisoned otherwise.

For almost two years , Henry ‘Harry’ Kirkpatrick had ‘lived’ there . The only times he had been out was when he had gone to Castlereagh Interrogation Centre to make statements , or to court . Between the time the ‘trial’ of the twenty-seven men he named had started and Kirkpatrick took the ‘witness’ stand , British Crown counsel had spent over forty hours with him in Castlereagh over a perion of seven days . An adjournment was sought and granted to him on the basis of ‘ill health’ . When he got on the stand , it was the first time the defence knew that he had all those ‘visits’…….

Customs Officers in England have arrested a man who could blow the lid off an embarrassing British Intelligence operation against the Provisional IRA , when he answers drug smuggling charges in London later this year.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine, July 1980.
By James Curtis.

Customs Officers in England have arrested a man who could blow the lid off an embarrassing British Intelligence operation against the Provisional IRA , when he answers drug smuggling charges in London later this year .

The man is Howard Marks, 34, an Oxford University graduate and a former agent of MI6 , Britain’s external intelligence gathering department . He is also a former associate of the ‘Irish Pimpernel’ , James McCann.

Howard Marks was picked up in the bar of a quiet country hotel in Lavenham , Suffolk , in England , on Friday May 16th 1980 , during a series of customs raids in Britain which netted cannabis allegedly worth £10 million on the street market . During the swoop , a 50 ft yacht , ‘The Bagherra’, was detained and searched at Oban in Scotland ; four tons of cannabis were found at a farm building near Fort William , in Scotland , two tons of cannabis were impounded at a house in Kettering in Northampshire and a further four tons were seized at a farmhouse near Basildon in Essex . Customs investigators describe the drugs as a record haul and pulled in twelve people for questioning , seven of whom , including Howard Marks , were charged with dealing and conspiracy to smuggle drugs…….

A look at issues raised by Liz Curtis’ recent book.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine, August 1984.
Review by Trisha Fox.

Liz Curtis , a member of the ‘Information On Ireland’ group , sees it as essential that people like herself are not only engaged in writing academic books , but work on all fronts of the cultural struggle to challenge the British propaganda machine . The ‘Information On Ireland’ group has been involved in producing booklets on the British media , plastic bullets and arguing for a British withdrawal .

Recently the group took part in an event organised by the GLC’s media working group as part of the London ‘ Anti-Racist Year’ campaign – they spoke at a conference entitled ‘British Media and British Imperialism’ , which was addressed by two members of Belfast Sinn Féin as well as by speakers from black , third world and anti-imperialist organisations , and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom . At present , ‘Information On Ireland’ is producing a short book on anti-Irish racism in Britain…….

About 11sixtynine

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