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.
Jack Doyle had openly admitted to having a drink problem , but had been working in the force for 24 years without incident. He had never been the subject of a disciplinary inquiry and there was no psychiatric report to back-up the ‘diagnosis’ that he was “…..mentally infirm (and) so incapacitated by infirmity of mind that he was unable to perform his duties..” .
His own doctor had given him a sick note for three weeks because he was suffering from stress , but he later told RTE that it was a temporary sick note.
Former colleagues contacted by ‘Magill’ vouch for his honesty and integrity – ” It may seem incredible , but what Jack Doyle says is the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth…” , said one such colleague…….
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.
” The Minister arrived shortly before 11.00AM when he was due to be in Government Buildings for the meeting : I told him that the memorandum for the admission of Fallon had been sent to the Secretary of the Cabinet for circulation and I handed him the memorandum on the ‘native medal’ to be circulated by himself by hand.
I again urged him to go slow , that there was no prohibition on a posthumous medal and that the substitution of a ‘native medal’ (by this hour my colleagues were dubbing it cynically the ‘O Morain Medal’) might cause offence within the rank and file and to relatives of those who had got awards in the past. He made no comment.
At 12.30PM I had a phone call from the Secretary to the Cabinet to say that Martin Fallon had been admitted to the Garda Force and I phoned the Commissioner to tell Garda Fallon’s father – I released a statement to the press , through the Information Bureau, as approved by the Minister on the previous Saturday. At 3.30PM I was summoned , with two Assistant Secretaries, to a Ministerial conference. When we entered the Minister’s room I noticed his bloated countenance which was streaming with perspiration and that his eyes were wild…….”
There are about fifty men and women employed permanently , in full-time positions – 39 hours a week – in the (now ex-FÁS -operated) Clondalkin ‘Jobs Initiative’ programme. In March 2007 , FÁS appointed the ‘Clondalkin Partnership’ group as the ‘managing agent’ for JI workers in Clondalkin and a new entity was established – the ‘Clondalkin Employment Initiative’ – to oversee the running of the Programme.
As in any ‘new company’ , a few ‘teething problems’ developed (some of which , over four years later, remain unresolved) and meetings were held between CEI , the Clondalkin Partnership and SIPTU ; meanwhile , the JI workers carried-on in their jobs in community-based (and run) creches , community centres , local sporting organisations etc and were paid €457.40 cents a week for doing so.
That was the wage they were on in December 2009 as they broke for their Christmas holidays : when they returned to work in January 2010 they found themselves on a wage of €432.00 cents , a reduction of €25.40 cents a week. There had been no meetings , discussion or agreement etc in relation to that wage cut – just a blanket across-the-board imposition , with a letter announcing same sent from CEI on 4th January 2010 and received by those employees on the 5th and 6th of January : the first pay-day (of the ‘new rate’ wage) was 7th January.
To make a long story short : the JI workers in the State and their trade union , SIPTU , decided to challenge the wage reduction and their case was heard over a three-day period in March 2011 – four representatives from Clondalkin JI and two officials from SIPTU had their case heard by a ‘Rights Commissioner’ in the ‘Labour Relations Commission‘ on Monday 21st March 2011 and were told that a judgement re same would be issued “within six to eight weeks” ie by approximately the end of May or early June.
During June , July and August this year , various JI employees in Clondalkin contacted SIPTU seeking information re the judgement but were told by their trade union that they had heard nothing back from the LRC : then , on August 30th last , one such inquiry from a Clondalkin JI worker elicited the response from SIPTU that they had lost their case. Plans were being made by the Clondalkin workers to appeal the decision – as had always been the intention , should the need arise – when they were told by the LRC that they could not now do so as the six-week appeal period had expired. On inquiring re same , Clondalkin JI established that SIPTU had been notified on June 2nd 2011 , by registered post from the LRC, that the case had been lost.
Through either pure sloppiness or laziness , or worse – ‘brown envelopes’ have been mentioned in Clondalkin JI circles – SIPTU have added to the financial ‘hit’ taken by their members in that part of Dublin and have given succour to the notion that SIPTU are not really interested in or concerned about small groups of their low-paid members who have no industrial ‘muscle’.
At the time of writing this piece – and despite commitments to the contrary given by them to Clondalkin JI – SIPTU have not contacted any member in Clondalkin JI to explain their ‘negligence’ and appear to be hoping that this matter will disappear. It is to the credit of Clondalkin JI that they aren’t about to let that happen without a fight : they now find themselves fighting the politicians who want to ‘punish’ them for the greed of the bankers , fighting FÁS/CEI and having to fight their own trade union. If you are in a position to help those low-paid community workers , or publicise their case , please do so…..