On the Saturday when Niall Rush was buried, Garret FitzGerald broke off from Ronald Reagan’s visit in Galway to attend the funeral and Barry Desmond , the State Minister for Health and, therefore, the person ultimately responsible for clinical drugs trials , was also there. Hundreds turned up to the small church in Dalkey , Dublin.
The day before the funeral Joe Claffey was discharged from the White Cross unit at Stillorgan – he was a friend of Niall Rush’s and had become clearly upset when he heard of the death on the previous Tuesday. A week later he went to the Institute of Clinical Pharmachology in James Street to collect his paycheque and undergo a post medical examination. When he got there he was told that Dr Brick would like to speak with him , so he waited around for about half an hour. But no sign of the doctor and no word on him appearing anytime soon , and it was suggested that he might come back the following morning.
Later on that night , Joe met some friends and told them about Dr Brick wanting to see him – they thought that the fact that he was a close friend of Niall’s might have something to do with the doctor wanting to see him. His friends told him that , for a variety of reasons, it would be best to tape the interview. Sometime around ten the following morning , Joe went to the ICP , wearing a combat jacket in which he carried an old legal dictaphone in the left breast pocket and, as he came through the door of the building, he pushed the ‘Record’ button. He was alone in the room with Dr Brick for a while and shortly after that Dr Darragh and Dr Walker came in and began a friendly conversation. He was asked how he felt about Niall’s death and about how they knew he was upset and how shocked they were as well.
At some point, they were asking him about whether or not he was aware if Niall used any other substances , that they had done a full spectrum test on Niall which had not revealed any suspicious substances. Niall’s heavy smoking was discussed then and, after about twenty minutes , the discussion came to an end. As Joe stepped outside the door, he turned the dictaphone off…….
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.
“Mr Haughey told me that he had appointed ‘X’ and he then literally flung the file in disarray at me , and I walked out leaving the file strewn on the floor. Subsequently , the Commissioner told me that the appointment of Mr Haughey’s man , ‘Number 4’ , was such an obvious ready-up that the clerks in Garda HQ had spread the word and that Haughey’s name would stink throughout the garda force. I said that I hoped that he would spread the word that I was not a party to Mr Haughey’s decision.
Mr Haughey had not come to an understanding yet, apparently, that the Secretary was an Office holder in his own right , appointed by Government under the Minister and Secretaries Act 1924 and that the Secretary should not be obliged to act as a rubber stamp for the Minister in official matters. It would make for chaos in administration and would not serve government or parliament if senior civil servants were not free to brief their Ministers and government according to conscience and their specialised knowledge and judgements.
There were occasions in the years to come where I and my colleagues were subjected to this kind of pressure but I always encouraged my colleagues by word and example to record their true arguments without in any way questioning the Minister’s authority to make the final decisions . Even from the Cabinet , itself, we heard occasionally of particular views which would be advocated to the detriment or exclusion of alternatives. When the Devlin Commission of Enquiry into the functioning of the Public Service was set up in the mid sixties I gave oral and written evidence as to this form of mal-administration…….”
ICTU-ORGANISED PROTEST MARCH , DUBLIN , 27TH NOVEMBER 2010.
As stated ,the authors of this blog will be taking part in this protest,with other supporters and members of Republican Sinn Féin and, as such, we have assisted JI and CE workers in parts of the Dublin Mid-West area with the distribution of several hundred copies of that ICTU newspaper. However , once again, we want to make it clear that our assistance must not be misinterpreted as support for the ICTU or the trade unions affiliated to it, as that is most certainly not the case – in our opinion, those unions are far too closely linked , morally and financially, to the ‘establishment’ institutions it claims to oppose. The old adage that ‘the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend’ definitely applies here.
We will be taking part in the November 27th protest to show solidarity with JI , CE and other low-paid workers , the unemployed and other overburdened citizens of the corrupt and failed entity that is this mockery of a ‘republic’ and we view the ICTU leadership , and the leadership of the trade union movement, to be as complicit in the destruction of living standards in this gombeen shambles of a ‘republic’ as are the so-called ‘establishment’ that that trade union movement professes to be fighting against. And, given the opportunity, we, along with RSF, will make that fact clear on the 27th…..
Thanks for reading,