From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , September 1984.
By Derek Dunne.

It was coming up to eight o’clock on the morning of Monday May 28th. At 23 Iona Road , John Kennedy was on the point of leaving for work , making van deliveries across the city and into the country. Shortly before he left the house he went into Niall Rush’s bedroom to call him. Niall mumbled something to John , fell back to sleep.

About two hours later , he was woken up by Shay O’ Brien , a friend of his who called to the house. Shay went down to boil the kettle , make some tea. Niall and Shay sat in the kitchen , had tea and toast , and discussed what they were going to do over the long weekend coming up. Shay was going to Kerry , other people in the house were thinking about going to Donegal , but Niall was undecided. He still had five days to make up his mind. The next five days he planned to spend in the ‘Institute of Clinical Pharmacology’ in James Street , Dublin.

Around 11.30am , the two left the house to walk into town . Niall was expecting to meet some Spanish students in Bewleys Cafe and talked about going to Burton Hall in Stillorgan , Dublin , meeting Joe Claffey in White Cross Clinic on the way back and made an arrangement to meet Shay in Bowe’s Pub in Fleet Street in the city centre at about 5pm.

He then headed-off for Burton Hall in Stillorgan…….

THE PETER BERRY PAPERS……. The Top Secret Memoirs of Ireland’s Most Powerful Civil Servant : Dirty Tricks, Election ’69/ Spying on a Unionist Politician/ Keeping the (State) Taoiseach informed/ The Garda Fallon Murder/ Advice to Jack Lynch- ‘Fire the pair of them…’/ Vivion De Valera’s advice to O’Malley/ Rumours of a Coup D’Etat/ The Internment Plot, November 1970/ Secret Meeting with William Craig.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , June 1980.

Peter Berry was incensed by the failure of one of his former (State) Ministers , Brian Lenihan, to accept ministerial responsibility for a decision about the disposition of the Secret Service Fund which was to cause uproar in the Dail (Leinster House) in November 1968. He was also gravely disillusioned by the handling of the arms crisis, at all its stages and , finally, he was dismayed that the (State) Government failed to provide him with the recompense for his premature retirement , which he himself precipitated to ease the pressure on the Government over a kidnap plot which involved him.

Mr Berry’s stature as a public servant is not in doubt. (State) President de Valera once referred to him as “an outstandingly fine person”. Desmond O’Malley, when (State) Minister for Justice , repeatedly expressed his and the (State) Government’s admiration and appreciation for his contribution to the State. In the Dail (Leinster House) on May 9th , 1970, Jack Lynch paid public tribute to his service. His original intention was to retire in January 1970 but he was prevailed upon to continue in office . He made known his fixed intention to retire in July 1970 and reiterated this when the kidnap plot was uncovered in November 1970 but, even then, Jack Lynch attempted to prevail on him not to go but Berry’s disillusionment by then had run too deep.

While the narrative on the arms crisis is done in chronological order, his papers on his earlier career are diffused. He had only begun to work on this part of his life story when he died suddenly of a heart attack on December 14th, 1978…….


The main supplier of electricity to houses and business premises in this State , the ‘ESB’, may soon be increasing its prices – apart from this already-announced 1st October 2010 increase – due to its own administrative incompetence in relation to where its approximate 50,000 substations are built.

Most , if not all, of those substations are built on land not ‘owned’ by the ESB – five such parcels of land with ESB substations on them are ‘owned’ by a firm of Dublin solicitors who recently found themselves in the State Circuit Court to answer a case brought against them regarding rent issues by the ESB .

As far as this blog understands ,the ESB took the case in order to , as it thought , ‘clear the air’ regarding it having to pay rent to the ‘owners’ for the land or , if instructed by those ‘owners’ to do so , that it would not be legally obliged to remove its equipment from that parcel of land – if the ESB had got a ‘ruling’ to that affect it could have used same as a precedent in case any of the ‘owners’ of the other approximate 50,000 parcels of land got ‘uppity’ re not having the use of , or proper access to , ‘their’ land.

The ESB , a semi-State organisation, attempted, we believe, to use ‘the Landlords and Tenants Act’ to obtain a ruling that it did not ‘owe rent’ for the land and that it could not be placed under an obligation to remove the substation structure/building if told by the ‘owners’ to do so – but it lost the case.

The State Court decided that the ESB substation should be classed as ‘machinery’ which was , in this instance, (stored/kept/housed ?) on land on which rent could be charged , if the ‘owners’ so decided or , again, depending on the ‘owners’ – land which could be cleared of that which presently occupies it. The owners of that parcel of land have since begun legal cases in relation to the other ESB substation-landparcels it also ‘owns’.

This blog believes that the ESB has appealed to the State High Court in relation to that State Circuit Court decision and we have been told by a ‘Legal Eagle’ friend of ours that the ‘landowners’ “…..appear to be on safe ground..” (pardon the pun!) re any ‘pay rent/vacate the site’ instruction from the ‘landowners’ : if our friend is correct , and the State High Court supports the decision made by the State Circuit Court , then the ESB will either have to pay rent (and ‘back money’ ?) on possibly all fifty-odd thousand sites or move its equipment – either way , it’s more than likely that the expense incurred by either option will not be paid for out of whatever savings or profits it has ; instead , that cost will be borne by its customers.

If we hear more – before or after your next ESB bill arrives in the post – we’ll let you know…….


…….two Republican events taking place this Sunday , 12th September 2010 ,and one postponed event…..

a 1798 Remembrance Day will be held at the Fordtown Memorial Site in County Meath ; those attending are asked to assemble in Fordtown at 3pm. More information regarding this Commemoration can be had by ‘phoning 086-7326922.

Republican Sinn Féin in Dublin will be holding one of these in a Dublin hotel – over 600 tickets have been sold already , and about 50 more will be sold between now and Sunday 12th September next.

Due to a double-booking in the 79’r Pub in Ballyfermot , Dublin , the advertised Ballad Session which was to be held on Saturday 25th September 2010 has been postponed untill Saturday 16th October 2010 ; other than the change of date , all details are as were ie group , admission price , raffle etc.

….AND one event to be held on Monday 13th September 2010 –
The Annual Bobby Sands Lecture will be held on that Monday at 7pm in Wynns Hotel , Abbey Street , in Dublin , at which the main address will be delivered by Republican Sinn Féin Poblachtach President , Des Dalton. All Welcome , no admission charge.

About 11sixtynine

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