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.

Five other men were found guilty of ‘murder’ on the word of Harry Kirkpatrick : at the time of the killing , the area was swarming with plain-clothes RUC men , who would have had information about the killing . Kirkpatrick described the alleged parts played by each of the five men , but his description of the hijacking of a car was wrong and he neglected to mention the taking-over of a house by the ‘suspects’ .

Kirkpatrick said that Henry McNamee was involved in a robbery , then changed his mind and said he was not involved in that operation. Three men , including a man named McKnight , were convicted of ‘attempted murder’ , yet McKnight was actually in court on the day of the robbery but British Judge Carswell found that he still could have had time to be involved !

Kirkpatrick claimed that the preparations for another robbery job , this one in Twinbrook , included following a worker home for two weeks , but he was wrong . The woman who was followed and held , and alleged by Kirkpatrick to be opening the Post Office every morning , had only opened the post office for the first time the day prior to the robbery . Kirkpatrick did not name two people ‘involved’ in that robbery in his earlier statements – he said later that he had “forgot” about them. He denied that the RUC had supplied him with the necessary details during any one of the 117 ‘visits’ they made to him . However , his statements were allowed in ‘evidence’ even though some of the details he offered were glaringly wrong , and were contradicted by witnesses…….

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.

As might be expected , the files prepared by the CIA ‘Emboffs’ contained a few names marked for ‘special attention’ – included were Thomas MacGiolla, Roy Johnston and even Jack Lynch! What might not be expected is marked references to Unionist politician Jean Coulter, and to “…dissident Deputy Joseph Lenehan.”

There is one piece of irony in the file that will please those of us who remember all too well the atmosphere of a certain Free State political regime : remember when Conor Cruise O’ Brien gave an interview in America in which he said that he was opening a file on letters published in ‘The Irish Press’ newspaper which he considered subversive ? However , tucked away in a corner of the Mairin de Burca CIA file was a letter published in ‘The Irish Press’ from Conor Cruise himself…….

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.

Tony Barry : ” What did the community do to solve the problem ? ”

Noel Sillery : ” There was a meeting called of the Community Development Association , and on the agenda was the drugs problem . It was the feeling in the meeting hall that everything else on the agenda should be scrapped , and the drugs problem discussed . It started off with that meeting , from which there was a committee elected , separate from the Development Association Committee.

The drugs problem had been here for about twelve months prior to that , but it was gradually getting worse . It had got to the stage where people said ‘enough is enough’ , when you had addicts lying around the streets , getting sick all over the place , terrorising the old folks and the school kids , and then people realised that their own children were watching what was going on and might copy them. There was one incident here when a young child had actually found a needle and stuck it into herself – she was just copying what she had seen the older people doing.

The first thing we did when the committee was set up was that people started patrolling the flats , and they’d sit down outside the pavilion or by the main road and watch the whole flats complex to see what was going on and to try and stop outside drug addicts coming in to look for the stuff to ‘shoot up’ .

We also got in touch with the Taxi Federation and asked them to stop bringing addicts to the flats , and they were very helpful to us with that.”

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics.. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.