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.

Two men, Fitzpatrick and Power , were convicted of the ‘murder’ of an RUC man , based on an alleged conversation that one of those men had with Harry Kirkpatrick. Gerard Steenson was convicted of conspiracy to cause an explosion along the route of a British ‘Royal’ wedding in 1981 ; Kirkpatrick recounted meetings with an American and an Englishmen about that operation, but he couldn’t remember their names. Also , Kirkpatrick was a year in custody before he mentioned the incident. But Steenson was still convicted.

Kirkpatrick claimed there was a plan to blow up a civil servants car and six people were thus convicted of conspiracy to cause an explosion. However , in his first statements to the RUC re that operation , Kirkpatrick never implicated a man named Jimmy Brown , who was one of the six . And Kirkpatrick got the make of the watch used in the device wrong and did not know exactly where the alleged target lived.

Kirkpatrick claimed that six .303 rifles were brought to Belfast from Dublin whereas another RUC informer , Rabbie McAllister, said they had come from Dundalk. Kirkpatrick then claimed that the six rifles had come from somewhere in the State – on the basis of that ‘evidence’ , three men were convicted of possession…….

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.

Richard Milhaus Nixon smiled and waved at the Dublin crowd . Then he ducked – an egg had been thrown at him , as his motorcade was winding its way along Merchant’s Quay . There was little excitement generated by Nixon’s visit and only those determined to express some outrage at the continuing obscenity in Vietnam got anything out of the visit. Mairin de Burca took the opportunity to throw an egg at ‘the leader of the Free World’ , which was not as ‘effective’ as the napalm he was dropping on the Vietnamese , but it made the point. As a result , de Burca appeared in the Dublin District Court on November 17th 1970 to answer three charges arising from the incident.

Two of those charges were dismissed immediately and she was fined two pounds for throwing the egg. Cheap at the price. However – that ‘Egg’ incident is one of the convictions in her file and it is gone into in great detail under the heading ‘ Dublin Egg-Throwers Gently Treated’ , and a US Department of State confidential telegram in the file reports back to Washington on the case , noting that a CIA agent took notes in court and was identified in the file as ‘Emboff’ – code for ‘Embassy Officer’ or ‘Embassy Official’ . The telegram itself stated –

” Judge O hUadhaigh dismissed first two charges and fined Miss de Burca two pounds sterling (4.80 dollars) for throwing a missile.” The ‘Emboff’ , in filing the report, was careful to use great precision of words : as in “…throwing a missile..” [ie an egg!] . It was also recorded , by that person – ” Emboff present at trial noted sympathy displayed towards Miss de Burca by Judge , who made sarcastic remarks about the word “motorcade” and peroration about freedom of expression and the right of protest.” Strange , then , that this same State Judge is known to be very pro-establishment in his outlook…….

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.

We sent one of our reporters , Tony Barry , to talk to Noel Sillery, Chairperson of Dolphin House Community Development Association, about the heroin problem in that area.

Tony Barry : ” How bad was the problem before the community organised itself to fight heroin?”

Noel Sillery : ” Well you’re talking about around the summer of 1983, and at that stage you had drug addicts lying all over the place – they were ‘shooting up’ with heroin in the fields at the back of the flats complex , in the stairways in the different blocks of flats, and over in the football field.

It was all quite open. They were getting sick all over the place , and hassling everybody , the old people especially . Young kids were seeing what they were doing and some were taking example from it. You’d have about 300 people coming in here on a daily basis , looking for ‘junk’ . Taxis were coming in at all hours of the day and night bringing people to get their fixes. It got so bad that people were coming in , getting their fixes and ‘shooting up’ immediately , where they stood. There were used syringes all over the place…….”

About 11sixtynine

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