The state trumpets every drugs seizure as a major victory over the barons. But the war against drugs is really a murky world characterised by botched operations , questionable use of informers and ego-driven squabbles between the Garda Siochana and customs officials.
Mairead Carey gets the inside story.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , August 2002.
RTE News had come and gone , leaving Customs to comment that the operation seemed to be stage-managed by the Garda. They assumed that the RTE correspondent was given ample notice earlier that day to be present for the Urlingford seizure. At first , the Garda claimed that the seizure of £130 million worth of cannabis resin was intercepted by them , but it soon became apparent that they had brought it in themselves. No criminals turned up to meet the consignment.
Nonetheless , the government of the day hailed the operation as a major success , an example of co-operation between the Garda , Customs and the Naval Service : nothing could have been further from the truth.
Fianna Fail , the main opposition at the time , shied away from the debacle – only the PD’s , and most notably current Justice Minister Michael McDowell, insisted on raising awkward questions about the Garda operation. The public , he said, was entitled to know whether the Garda had standing authority to land huge amounts of drugs in the State without prior ministerial sanction…….
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.
” As my Assistant Secretary , Andy Ward, said to me – ‘How lack of information on this simple point cast doubts on the validity generally of the police information is a strange conclusion for the Minister to make’. It is evident at any rate , from the Minister’s own mouth, that before 10th December he was aware of the situation and that the subject matter to be discussed with the Commissioner and Chief Supt. Fleming was no surprise.
It was subsequently learned in the Department of Justice that no note was made of what transpired at the interview but the Commissioner supplied , on request by me in May 1970 , a photostat copy of an aide memoire written by Mr. Fleming on a foolscap sheet of paper which, according to the Commissioner , Mr. Fleming read to the Minister and then handed it to the Minister to read.
In the months January to April when the Minister resigned , neither the Minister nor the Commissioner ever expressed doubts to me as to Chief Supt. Fleming’s source of information. I find it all the more extraordinary that either or both individuals should entertain doubts in view of the facts regarding the promotion in the previous week of Mr. Fleming (from the rank of Superintendent to Chief Superintendent) and the positive action taken in 1968 to give him consultative assistance…….
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON……?
Turn on your speakers ,take a look , and make up your mind…..
This Sunday , 12th June 2011 , RSF in Dublin will be dividing its ‘personpower’ between two events : The Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown and the Monthly Raffle : we wish the team in Bodenstown every success (and good weather!) – but we won’t be there , as this blog crew and three others have been ‘seconded’ to work inside a dry hotel , with an operational bar (!) to ‘run’ the Raffle. But sure we don’t mind ‘roughing’ it…… 😉
HAPPY HOLIDAYS…. !
As previously mentioned – once or twice before (!) – myself and four other girls are off very soon now for a wee two-week break in the shopping outlets and in-and-around the Fifth Avenue area of New York City and , as such , this will be our last post until early July 2011 . We hope you will miss us as much as we will miss you but one thing we won’t miss is the shopping outlets in-and-around ….. etc !
See you when we get back – stay good , and stay true : slán go fóill anois.