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.

Henry ‘Harry’ Kirkpatrick was the eldest in his family : he had three younger sisters and the family lived in the Lower Falls area of Belfast , then in Ardoyne . In 1969 , when he was twelve , violence overtook the Kirkpatrick family and they were burned out of their house by loyalists . They moved from one address to the next , finally ending up in Springhill . By this time , his sister and grandmother had died in a car crash , and his mother and father had separated .

Henry went to primary and secondary school and in 1970 he ended up in St. Thomas’s school in Whiterock . However , he was moved out and sent to do social work with nuns . He joined Na Fianna Eireann, as did his friend Gerard Barkley and , over the next few years , they attended classes on explosives and weapons , sold Republican newspapers, collected money for Republican POW’s and acted as lookouts for operations being carried out .

Around 1973 , Henry Kirkpatrick worked at Belfast Laundry and met his future wife there . He would marry her eight years later . He also worked as a barman for a while but the hours didn’t suit and he quit the job . In 1974 , he left the Official IRA following the split: Seamus Costello left and took many members with him…….

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.

The main question re Howard Marks re-occurs again and again – will he tell all or some of what he knows about MI6 – either at an Old Bailey hearing into the original charges or at the separate proceedings following the recent arrests ?

If the charges were proved , he faces a long spell in jail so the temptation to speak out or do a deal might become strong , and there is always the possibility that the other defendants in the second case might cross-exam him about his MI6 role .

Since his disappearance in 1974 , Marks has been freely moving around in Britain with little or no attempt made by British police to apprehend him . He visited many of his old haunts and contacts , at Sussex University and in London . He bumped into an old university colleague , a ‘Guardian’ newspaper reporter , at a party and , as a result , ‘London Weekend Television’ prepared a film profile of his story . This film was due to be shown last July (ie July 1979) but the Programme Controller at LWT , Michael Grade (son of Lew) , stopped it after taking legal advice about the British Official Secrets Act…….

THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST HEROIN IN DUBLIN. The drugs crisis is one of the major problems facing young people in Dublin today. In large areas of the city it has now reached massive proportions , while in the inner city there is estimated to be a higher percentage of drug addicts and drug abusers than in Harlem in New York . But it has been only recently – 5 years after this epidemic began in earnest – that any notice has been paid to the problem. And even now the Free State government has failed to confront the crisis in a meaningful way . Tony Barry of Na Fianna Eireann has been looking at the issues for ‘IRIS’ magazine.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine, December 1984.

In an article in a Republican newspaper in June 1982 , Siobhan O’ Malley described how a young Dublin housewife ran an unusual credit system , marking down details of the purchases she was owed for in a child’s exercise book , the same as you might for teabags or sugar .

But her ‘customers’ were young drug addicts being supplied with £10 bags of heroin on credit until the weekend . If any ‘customer’ defaulted on his or her weekend payments , the ‘heavies’ were called in . Very few failed to pay up a second time .

An addict with an average heroin dependency might use three or four £10 bags a day , depending on the purity of the supplied drug ; but the ‘tolerance’ induced by repeated use of the drug means that many long-term addicts need to find up to £100 a day to achieve the same ‘kick’ . Not surprisingly , one of the characteristics of the heroin problem is the lengths to which pusher-addicts will go to introduce or reintroduce someone to the drug , since their own craving for a ‘fix’ of increasing amounts of heroin is dependent on their ability to involve more and more people with the drug . It is this ‘pyramid pushing’ which has been responsible for the massive growth of the heroin epidemic in such a short space of time…….

About 11sixtynine

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