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.

Another man from Derry has also been arrested ; he had been arrested in 1984 in Derry and had been in RUC custody but was not charged on Kirkpatrick’s word at that time. Now that man and Liz Le Guria both face ‘trials’ based on the informer’s ‘evidence’ .

Since 1982, almost four hundred men and women have been arrested , charged and remanded in custody on the ‘word’ of informers , and have been held for an aggregate of one thousand years before coming to ‘trial’ . It can take up to two years to have an appeal heard , and some of the victims in the Kirkpatrick case will have served six years by then – twelve years in real terms. Such is British ‘justice’ , as practised here in Ireland.
[END of ‘The Trouble With Harry’.]
(NEXT : ‘Presidential Address of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh to the 85th Ard Fheis of Sinn Fein , October 1989’.)

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.

Everyone has heard tall tales about a big incinerator in the midlands , proud display cases in the ‘National (sic) Drug Unit’ and bits going ‘missing’ along the way ; officially , only small ‘street deals’ are taken into garda stations , and only 24-hour stations , at that. Bigger hauls require the expertise of the Garda Technical Bureau , which is called in to photograph the scene and examine other evidence left behind.

Then the drugs haul is taken to the garda forensic-science laboratories at the Phoenix Park headquarters in Dublin , where substances are examined to confirm quality and quantity and analysed for fingerprints , hairs and fibres. These should be the first non-garda hands to come into contact with the contraband since they were confiscated.

While the file is being prepared about the investigation and arrests (if there are any) for the State DPP, the evidence is stored at Phoenix Park HQ. Once the file is complete , a request can be made to the DPP for permission to dispose of part of the seized amount ; the rest of it is kept – usually about 20 kilos of cannabis or 1 kilo of cocaine , heroin or other controlled substances . Ten per cent of the excess is also kept as a reference to the size of the seizure and the rest of it can be destroyed. The State DPP may, on the other hand, refuse permission if the case requires all the evidence to be kept, rather than just sample amounts…….

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 : ” Were drug pushers who were living in the flats barred from the area , as happened in some other places ? ”

Noel Sillery : ” Nobody was really barred from the flats. The people that were pushing drugs were ostracised – we let them know in no uncertain terms that we didn’t want them here , and it was very effective.

We had one drug pusher , Jamie Gantley, who actually burnt his flat in order to get rehoused out of the area. We had a number of pushers moving out . So that action was effective for us. There was also the community pressure ; if something came up at a meeting about either drug pushers or addicts being seen to go to one particular flat , it would be discussed and it could be decided that we’d march on that person’s flat to see what was happening there .

But at the same time , everyone had the right at those meetings to defend themselves. ”

(PLEASE NOTE – this will be our last ‘3-in-1’ post for 2009 : we will be posting other material over the Christmas period , but our usual ‘3-in-1’ posts will not be returning until early in the New Year.)

About 11sixtynine

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