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.

When February 1985 came around and the ‘trial’ began , the twenty-seven accused had served an aggregate of thirty-five years between them – the equivalent of seventy years in sentencing terms. There had been thirty-three in the dock , of whom three had jumped bail ; one of those , John O’ Reilly, is currently in Portlaoise Jail fighting an extradition order whilst the other two are facing separate ‘trials’ .

Harry Kirkpatrick’s sister , Michelle , and his brother-in-law were also granted separate ‘trials’ . One of the defendants , Thomas Molloy, made statements to the RUC which were challenged – most of those statements related to incidents that had occurred since Kirkpatrick had been arrested and they were not used in any way to corroborate Kirkpatrick’s account of what he claimed happened and , in many instances, they contradicted directly what Kirkpatrick had claimed !

Some of the British Crown witnesses changed their evidence between the time of the ‘incident’ itself and the ‘trial’ of the twenty-seven accused : ‘Incident Number 20’ was indicative of this…….

A Dublin District Justice was accused by American embassy intelligence personnel of encouraging left wing agitators and tolerating hostile acts against the United States…….
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine, ‘Christmas Special’ 1980.

The two FBI agents then entered a note marked ‘Confidential’ into their file . It was headed – ‘Women’s groups in Ireland ; National Women Committee , Irish Women United , Irish Country Women’s Association , Trade Union Women’s Forum and the Women Peace Movement’ . The information in that file was subsequently transferred to other FBI files and even today is on tap from the FBI computers for use by any FBI agent sent over to Ireland to infiltrate the Irish womens movement. So , if you meet someone on their way in from the airport , speaking with an American accent and asking for the “National Women Committee” or the “Irish Country Women Association” you can be reasonably sure that they’ve been briefed by the FBI !

At the end of the meeting the two FBI agents served papers on Mairin de Burca , thereby starting a flurry of controversy over FBI surveillance of the campus . One student wrote to her Congressman , John L. Burton, enclosing a newspaper clipping of a report on the actions of the FBI agents. When Burton wrote to the FBI seeking an explanation they promptly added the newspaper clipping to their files! The FBI then marked with an ‘X’ the names of three students mentioned in the clipping , presumably with the intention of opening files on those students.

Several months later the FBI agents’ notes were retyped in a file stamped ‘Secret and Confidential’ . At one point in her speech , it was noted that Mairin de Burca mentioned by name another Irish feminist – this name was also marked with an ‘X’ and was underlined , with a handwritten note wrote beside it which read “No Loc” , indicating perhaps that the FBI were unable to locate any reference to this person in their files . It could also indicate that this person had ‘no loc’ on her bike ; either way , the whole thing is irrelevant and a waste of American taxpayers money…….

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.

The actions of the gardai , though, go further than merely turning a blind eye to the activities of drug pushers. In many instances they have actually seemed to side with the pushers against the Concerned Parents against Drugs groups(CPAD) that have sprung up in Dublin communities. Parents attending local meetings to discuss the drug problem have been stopped on their way out and questioned . (‘1169..’ Comment : that particular misdirected State action is still happening to this day – ‘ordinary’ [ie non-members] supporters taking part in a picket or protest , or attanding a fund-raiser, are stopped and harassed by the Political Police [Special Branch] on their way home from the event.)

Those stopped are told by the Special Branch that the anti-drugs campaign is a political ‘front’ and that they should have nothing more to do with it . The gardai have also gone to pubs and chip shops where drugs have been sold and which have been marched on by CPAD groups, and told the proprietors to have nothing to do with the anti-drugs campaign.

In January 1984 , the Chairperson of the Dolphin House Community Development Association, Noel Sillery, was held for two days under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and questioned about the anti-drugs campaign…….

About 11sixtynine

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