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.
In relation to the incident at Dublin Airpoprt , Det Sgt Denis Palmer said he was “horrified” to learn that Declan Griffin was caught with drugs , and was only there to meet him to get information about an unrelated crime. The jury of eight men and four women took just over an hour to reach a unanimous decision in the case : Griffin was acquitted.
Meanwhile , down in Cork , Customs had become aware of another operation where gardai were running a drugs courier who worked for one of the city’s most notorious criminals , Tommy O’ Callaghan: their concerns about the activities of Garda informant Edward Keating were raised at the highest level with the Garda but Garda HQ was well aware of what was going on – a garda from Blarney , Jack Doyle, had already raised the matter with senior officers in Dublin , so concerned was he that large amounts of drugs as well as firearms were reaching the streets in an operation which had been designed but had failed to catch Tommy O’ Callaghan.
Garda Doyle had secretly recorded tapes of conversations with the informant Eddie Keating , who was the ‘transportation manager’ for O’ Callaghan’s drug gang , and handed the tapes over to the senior officers in the hope that they would carry out an internal investigation. Garda Doyle was then ‘retired’ from the force , on the grounds that he was mentally unfit to carry out his duties : he believes his forced retirement was a means of discrediting his story…….
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.
” In Captain Kelly’s book “Orders For The Captain” the action in this case is described (page 12) as “…a continuation of this ‘softly softly’ approach..” whereas the exact opposite was the intention , the Government’s – or at least the Taoiseach’s – desire that it should be seen publicly that the ‘Twenty Six’-side of the Border could not be used for violent purposes in the Six Counties.”
MID-JANUARY 1970 :
” I told the Minister that I had learnt from Mr Ward (the Assistant Secretary) of the Commissioner’s visit on December 10th , 1969 , and of his instruction to the Commissioner to have further checks as to the authenticity of the information. I told him that I had spoken to the Commissioner that morning and that he had assured me that the information had been checked immediately after 10th December and that it stood up.
I had asked the Commissioner why had he not reported back and he said that he thought that the initiative for another meeting should lie with the Minister – I was not satisfied with this , as it seemed to me that there was an anxiety on both sides to let the matter die…….”
BRENDAN LILLIS , MAGHABERRY AND BUNDORAN….
Call for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis :in a statement on July 18 last, the POW Department of Republican Sinn Féin called for the immediate release of a seriously ill Republican prisoner in Maghaberry jail, Co Antrim.
“The continued incarceration of Republican prisoner Brendan Lillis in Maghaberry jail in Co Antrim is just further proof of the bloody-mindedness of the British state to Irish political prisoners.
When Brendan Lillis was arrested and charged his licence was revoked. Yet when the charges against him were dropped he was not released. If the charges were genuine then he would surely have been taken before the Diplock court – as is considered “normal” by the British state. But the charges were not proceeded with, and yet Brendan Lillis is still in Maghaberry.
Brendan has been very ill for some time and is now just five and a half stone in weight. To continue to keep him is jail constitutes cruel and inhuman treatment.
Republican Sinn Fein calls for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis, if for no other reason than on humanitarian grounds. To continue to keep him in jail is nothing other than vindictive”.
Republican Sinn Fein POW Department
223 Parnell Street
POWs refuse to accept criminalisation policy :
“The situation in Maghaberry jail has worsened over the last several months
while David Ford, British minister of justice in the Stormont regime sat on a report that would solve the impasse in the jail. For eight months this report has been with Ford, and no doubt his bosses the First and Second Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, but he has refused to act on it and tries to justify his inaction by blaming the Republican prisoners.
The full-body humiliating and unnecessary strip search of the POWs is a major stumbling block to bringing about a conclusion to the protest and a major one in the commencement of this action by the POWs. The men were driven to take such drastic measures because they refuse to accept the British Government policy of criminalisation. A policy that was discredited by hundreds of POWs culminating in the deaths of Bobby Sands and his nine comrades in the H-Blocks in 1981.
For the past 13 days, (the ‘dirty’ protest commenced on June 5 last, alarmingly reminiscent of the notorious H-Block conditions) the prisoners have been locked-down 24-hours a day and were refused visits because of their refusal to be classified as criminals, similar to the stand taken by Bobby Sands and his comrades. Relatives are now being victimised and used to add extra pressure on the prisoners, including the ending of all visits until they capitulate on their principled protest.
The POWs are not allowed out of their cells even for a shower or exercise in the yard. They have been living in a ‘tomb’ for two weeks and it looks likely to continue. Everything except their mattress has been removed from the cells. The BOSS chair is a modern device which scans the prisoner’s body for concealed items without the POW having to be forcibly stripped naked and one is in use within the prison already. However in a bazaar twist, prisoners leaving and entering the prison, whether to courts or hospital, are still subjected to this vile naked body search. What is the rationale?
There is a hidden agenda here. Is it policy or disguised sectarianism?
The answer may lie in the mindset of the prison administration, the warders, all the way up to the British Government itself. The day–to-day running of the jail is done almost exclusively by men and women of a loyalist/unionist mindset with the express purpose of making life as difficult as possible for the Republican POWs. The very same mindset pertained at the time of the H-Blocks.
This, the 30th Anniversary of the H-Block Martyrs, is a grave indictment of the British and Stormont authorities that they still continue with the attempted criminalisation of Irish Republican political prisoners.”
Issued by Josephine Hayden
Republican Sinn Féin
223 Parnell Street
Show your support for Irish Republican Prisoners and for the Cause of Irish Republicanism…..