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.

Garda informant Edward Keating got through Customs on his own and the gardai met him in Rosslare , took possession of the drugs and brought them back to Anglesea Street Garda Barracks ; the drugs were later returned to the informant. The plan was that Keating would drive with the load to and through a garda checkpoint in the remote area of Ballycunningham in County Cork , drop the drugs , and be brought home by gardai.

The following day it was announced that 52 kilos of cannabis and 20,000 ecstasy tablets had been found by gardai after a car had failed to stop at a roadside checkpoint. The drugs were put on display for the television cameras , and the Cork drugs squad got the kudos.

The following day Garda Jack Doyle met Edward Keating in Blarney and asked what had happened to the rest of the drugs – he was told that they had been left in a drain at the ‘Yellow House’ , an area six miles west of Blarney , and picked up by the gang. Almost 50 kilos of cannabis and 30,000 ecstasy tablets had gotten through…….

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.


” Early in the month I reminded the Minister (Mr O Morain) of his discussion with the Commissioner and asked did he yet want to see him – he said no. Later, he told me that he had discussed the information about the Baileboro meeting and Captain Kelly’s part in it with the Minister for Defence who questioned Col Hefferon , the Director of Military Intelligence, who described the information as “pure poppycock”. When I related this back to the ‘S Branch’ the comment was – “Christ , Hefferon must be in the swim, too.”

Politically the month was uneventful , in my recollection, except that information of a highly confidential nature was coming through of imports of arms through Dublin Airport, facilitated by named members of the Customs staff : one consignment labelled “agricultural machinery” had been invoiced to a firm in Walkinstown in Dublin who were puzzled to receive notification from the Customs at Dublin Airport of a cargo for them but when the firm sent a representative to view the cargo it had disappeared.

Another cargo , weighing three-and-a-half cwts, labelled “machine parts” and invoiced to an engineering firm, disappeared in similar fashion . The ‘S Branch’ were aware from a highly confidential source of the dates the cargos were cleared , the names of the accommodating Customs and Dublin Airport officials and of the individual members of the IRA involved but for fear of a leak-back which might disclose the source the importations were not reported-on in writing. They had no doubt of the authenticity of their information…….”


The civil unrest that is taking place now in London , Birmingham , Bristol , Liverpool , Manchester , Wolverhampton etc is a mirror-image of that which has happened and/or is happening in Antigua and Barbuda,Australia,Bahamas,Bangladesh,Barbados,Belize,
Botswana,Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada ,Cyprus, Dominica , Fiji Islands,Gambia,
Ghana, Grenada, Guyana ,Ireland ,India,Jamaica,Kenya,Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi ,
Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius,Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand,Nigeria,
Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia ,Seychelles, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa,Sri Lanka,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Zambia, Egypt, Palestine, the Falklands, Hong Kong, Aden and the United States : civil and social unrest , street riots and looting etc except , on this occasion , the British are doing it to themselves , on their own ‘Mainland’.

One of the downfalls of having such a large and diverse ‘family unit’ (albeit , mostly, an enforced one) is that not every member ‘gets along’ – especially so when that ‘family’ is divided within itself , in this case , financially so : in London alone, there are 47,000 people with an average pre-tax income of £780,000 a year , and 420,000 people with a pre-tax income of between £100,000 and £350,000 :in 2006,London ‘boasted’ 19 billionaires-today (2011),there are 36 billionaires. Not one of those self-imposed ‘financially divided’ Captains of Industry , or any of their family members, have ever had to shed blood to ‘secure the Empire’ , yet it is they who benefit , financially, from that ‘Empire’. In contrast, the young men and women who are on the streets , lashing-out (at the wrong targets) , will hurridly and horribly be used, by those ‘Captains’, as shrapnel bags , to secure the wealth , privileges and life-styles of the ‘Elite’. Should they get ‘uppity’ , and demand a chance to have a decent standard of living, those that would ‘praise’ them should they return in a box from having ‘defended the Empire’ in Iraq , Ireland or Afghanistan will light another cigar and arrange for the State to give them their answer….

Finally – a little ditty that is doing the rounds in Irish Republican circles :
“For more than 800 Summers as they lay in their bed,
dragged from their sleep with a weapon to their head,
torn from their houses then burnt to a shell,
Belfast and beyond turned into Hell.
And still to this day the anger’s still churning
now you know why I smile as I watch Britain burning….”

Thanks for reading,

About 11sixtynine

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