THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY…….
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.
In January 1984 , former RUC detective sergeant Thomas McCormick had his conviction quashed : he had served twenty-one months of a twenty-year sentence for hi-jacking and armed robbery , and had been convicted on the word of Anthony O’ Doherty, an RUC informer inside the (P)IRA .
O’Doherty himself was sentenced to eighteen years , and was held in the same part of Crumlin Road Prison – in the annex – at the same time as Harry Kirkpatrick ; O’ Doherty had asked for an eight-year remission on an eighteen year sentence.
One of James Prior’s last political acts in the North of Ireland was to order the release of Anthony O’ Doherty , which occurred after he had given evidence against former RUC detective sergeant Thomas McCormick…….
WHERE DO THE DRUGS GO ?
The official line is that the evidence is finally taken under guard to a certain multinational chemical-processing company that is under contract to the State Department of Justice to dispose of the substances and the packaging.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , March 1988. By Marguerite Barry.
At the headquarters of the ‘National’ (sic) Drug Unit in Dublin Castle, there is a comfortably-furnished waiting room where those with inquiries wait to be seen . There are armchairs , upright chairs , a soft carpet , plants and a table where someone has kindly provided an ashtray .
Everything in the room is marked and bar-coded with a State Garda Asset number . And well they might be – the only other item in the room is a large glass cabinet displaying several large – 8 oz and 16 oz – bars of cannabis resin , bags of marijuana leaves and buds, a tube containing (and marked) ‘The highest-quality Dutch seed : swazix skunk’ , a bag of white tablets marked with doves , uppers , downers , a bag of a brown heroin-like substance , a 500ml bottle of methadone hydrochloride and several tubes of a white powder . A lot of money’s worth , in other words.
The display case also houses a collection of smoking materials , or perhaps the contents of an ethnic crafts shop – elaborately carved bongs and water bongs, pipes and chillums, a 10-inch rolling machine , a little box marked ‘smokers gauzes’ , weighing scales and weights . Perhaps such exhibits are commonplace in garda offices now . Instead of being destroyed , the booty adorns the walls of the captors , like moose heads and stuffed pheasants – the fruits of other hunts – once did…….
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 : ” Would drug addicts be beaten up by the residents that patrol the flats if they did come into the area ? “
Noel Sillery : ” No , nobody has ever been beaten up. If a known drug addict came in and he was approached and he was known to be going in to look for drugs , he’d just be asked to leave the flats , and they would leave.”