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.
Two months after Urlingford , a memorandum of understanding between Customs and the Garda was signed in a bid to ease tensions between the two organisations. Leinster House was told that the document “would ensure that there would be a co-ordinated approach to the fight against drugs and the criminals who are engaged in this evil trade.”
But the memorandum failed to lead to any real improvement in co-operation between the two agencies and, in October 2000, an operational protocol on drug law enforcement was signed by the Garda , Customs and the Naval Service to sort out the day-to-day issues which were still causing problems.
Customs officers throughout the State claim that the protocol is being ignored by the Garda ; a number of customs officers contacted by this magazine pointed to two recent seizures as evidence of the lack of co-operation between the two agencies. Gardai seized cannabis resin with a street value of €2.5 million frm a lorry in County Meath on June 17th . The lorry was stopped at Newtown Commons , outside Ashbourne, and 200 kilos of cannabis resin were found concealed inside a consignment of wine – customs officers say it was a controlled delivery in that the Garda had intelligence that the drugs were being brought in and kept them under surveillance until they reached Ashbourne . One man was arrested in connection with the seizure.
But Customs are supposed to be kept abreast of controlled deliveries , and they asked why the drugs were seized an hour from Dublin Port and why gardai failed to share information with their colleagues on the frontline…….
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.
” When I was under cross-examination by Mr Maguire , Counsel for Mr Haughey, he tried to attribute matters discussed between myself and Mr O Morain to a conversation between myself and Mr Haughey on Saturday 18th April. In fact , when Mr O Morain phoned me on Saturday I had immediately suggested to him that he should switch to the ‘scrambler line’ , so that we could talk freely.
Mr Maguire suggested that I had asked Mr Haughey if he had a scrambler which was an absurdity as I was aware of the persons who had ‘scramblers’ and that Mr Haughey was not one of them. The try-on must have been evident to State Counsel if they had read the documentation which I had supplied well in advance but they made no effort to re-examine me or to cross-examine Mr O Morain on many of his mis-statements some of which were repeated at the second trial.
At 6.30pm the phone rang in my bedroom. I was about to have a sauna and didn’t have a stitch of clothes on. I let it ring for a few moments in the hope that it would be answered on my breakfast room or sitting room phone by my wife or daughter : Mr Haughey was to say in evidence that a child answered the phone , but there was no child in the house. While Mr Haughey was speaking the pips for the 6.30pm news from RTE sounded on a transistor radio on my bedside table and he mentioned those pips in his evidence at the arms trial…….”
…..AND IN RETURN YOU HAVE SACRIFICED THE GREATER GOOD AND PROSPERITY OF THE IRISH NATION (sic) FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FEW.
TRULY , A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL (sic) SABOTAGE.”
– a statement directed at Fianna Fáil by the then State Garda Representative Association president Michael O’ Boyce , last year.
Those words could have been and, indeed , should have been , directed at ALL of those in Leinster House , and not just at Fianna Fáil ; that institution in Kildare Street in Dublin City Centre and those who endorse it have brought only shame on that section of the Irish people that it claims to ‘govern’ on behalf of.
The members and supporters of that institution have now directed that seven of its own sort be placed before the electorate in this State for election to what they deem to be ‘the highest Office in the land’ – the State Presidency. We have written before about this waste-of-space position which is due to be voted on tomorrow (Thursday 27th October 2011) and would , even at this late stage , refer our readers to the statement issued by the Republican Movement in relation to this issue and again ask our readers , our colleagues and our comrades to ‘VOTE NOTA’ tomorrow. You will have a choice in the polling booth to favour one rich career politician (or wannabe) over another , or telling them all that you have had enough of keeping them in a style that they don’t deserve : use your vote as a protest – VOTE N.O.T.A. !