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.
Customs have primary responsibility for the detection of drugs being imported into the State , and the Garda are responsible for drug enforcement internally but , in recent years, the Garda have also developed a ‘Garda Coast Watch’.
A Customs officer sums it up like this – ” We’re now fishing from the same pool. Who do you report to now ? The result is that Joe Bloggs public says ‘Fuck the both of you , I won’t report it at all’. I’m not saying that our side is all white either , but sharing goes both ways and it’s one way only when it comes to the gardai. Information is being sent in but there’s nothing coming out….”
1996 also saw the introduction of the ‘Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act’ which made provision, for the first time, for the attendance of officers of Customs and Excise at , and the participation of such officers in , the questioning of persons detained on drug-trafficking offences. The measure was dependent on the Minister for Justice making regulations for its introduction , however , and the measure has never been brought in. Customs believe it has been blocked…….
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.
” Briefly , Chief Supt Malone told me that Mr Tony Fagan had telephoned his office a short while before and asked that Chief Supt Fleming should phone him or Mr Haughey at given numbers. I instructed Mr Malone that there should be no telephone contacts between the police and the others , and I told him that Mr Haughey had just phoned me about the cargo. It was as a result of that call that I came to realise the enormity of the attempts that were being made to suborn the security forces.
From my conversation with Mr Haughey it was obvious that my Minister did not have knowledge of the attempted importation from him and that , accordingly, it was not likely to be a Government sponsored effort. I had some lingering doubt that all this could not have gone on for several months without the knowledge of the Taoiseach unless he was wilfully turning the blind eye. But it now seemed evident that, at most , a caucus was involved and that Government qua Government were not behind the arms conspiracy.
In my dilemma I decided to ask the President , Mr de Valera , for advice : analysing my motives afterwards , in speaking to him , I could only suppose that sub-consciously I retained lingering doubts about the Taoiseach and that by consulting the President , and telling the Taoiseach that I had consulted the President , I would be pushing the Taoiseach towards an enforcement of the rule of law. I had not forgotten that the Taoiseach had taken no effective steps to curb the activities of Captain Kelly of Military Intelligence about whom I had given him very definite information on 17th October 1969 in Mount Carmel Hospital…….”
GIVE ME AMBIVALENCE…..
…..OR GIVE ME SOMETHING ELSE !
“There is no country in the world so much in need of unpractical people as this country of ours. With us, Thought is degraded by its constant association with practice. Who that moves in the stress and turmoil of actual existence, noisy politician, or brawling social reformer, or poor narrow-minded priest blinded by the sufferings of that unimportant section of the community among whom he has cast his lot, can seriously claim to be able to form a disinterested intellectual judgment about any one thing? Each of the professions means a prejudice. The necessity for a career forces every one to take sides. We live in the age of the overworked, and the under- educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid…..”
– Oscar Wilde.
towards the Gravy Train is what happens when you piggy-back on that gravy train but , as with all the political ‘elite’ in Leinster House – from Fine Gael to Provisional Sinn Féin , and all ‘shades’ in between – ambivalence of turns into protection of that gravy train , the further you get into it and the longer you stay on it :
Letty Cottin Pogrebin had this to say about ambivalence in her own country – “America is a nation fundamentally ambivalent about its children, often afraid of its children, and frequently punitive toward its children.”
Those in Leinster House who are now supposedly ‘in charge’ of this corrupt State and those who have ‘parked’ themselves in that lap of luxury in the past have repeatedly shown nothing but contempt for the ‘children’ and , to their shame – for the most part – those ‘children’ have accepted that treatment and, indeed , have come to accept such treatment as ‘normal’.
The exception to our “most part” comment is an organisation which , this coming weekend , will hold its 107TH Ard Fheis in a Dublin Hotel and which will be harassed over those two days by armed representatives of this State ; those attending the Ard Fheis , and the State harassment of the event , will be ignored by the ‘Establishment’ media in this State or will be dismissed as ‘dangerous elements’ or some such slur and , once again , the ‘children’ will believe that such treatment is ‘normal’ .
Only in this – an abnormal society – could such a thing happen.
Thanks for reading,