Garda to appear in court on assault charges this month. By Liz Walsh, from ‘Magill’ magazine, October 1998.

Another internal garda inquiry is still ongoing into the handling of a murder investigation in which a Dublin man confessed to two murders he did not commit. Dean Lyons, a 24-year-old heroin addict and drifter, originally from Tallaght in Dublin, was arrested for questioning about the murder of two psychiatric patients, Mary Callinan and Sylvia Shields, in Grangegorman in Dublin in 1997. During questioning in the Bridewell garda barracks in Dublin, Dean Lyons told detectives , on video, that he killed the two women but, within a month , another man admitted to the murders.

The internal inquiry, led by Assistant Commissioner Jim McHugh, subsequently exonerated Dean Lyons and he was released from custody last March. However, the separate question of how the confession of an unreliable and vulnerable character such as Lyons led to him being charged with murder has not yet been resolved.

A European human rights organisation recently visited six garda stations and three prisons during its 10-day Irish visit – the ‘European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment’ (CPT) visited six of the eight garda stations suggested by the ‘ICCL’, which was concerned that the Pearse Street, Fitzgibbon Street and Finglas stations in Dublin and the Immigration Service and garda station both in Shannon and Henry Street in Limerick are not equipped to hold prisoners detained for extended periods under anti-terrorist or drugs legislation. (MORE LATER).




At 9.30 on the morning of Saturday 19th April this year a car containing five armed and masked men drew up outside the home of a farmer not far from the South Armagh village of Crossmaglen. The men got out of the car and went into the house where the farmer and his family were just finishing breakfast. They demanded and got the keys to his tipper lorry parked outside and while two of the men stayed with the farmer’s family the other three men drove the lorry back, where they had come from, across the border.

Two miles across the southern side of the border along the windy roads of county Monaghan the lorry drove into a farmyard and stopped. The men got out and were joined by several others who had been waiting nervously for them in a number of outbuildings. Over the next two hours the farmyard was a scene of intense activity as the men screwed into position on the back of the lorry ten long mortar tubes, which were then loaded with home made mortar bombs, each containing five lbs of commercial explosives packed into beer gas cylinders.

The mortars were improvised IRA devices, called Mark 10’s by British Army technical experts who had learned to fear them since exactly a year before when a shower of Mark 10’s had devastated Newtownhamilton RUC barracks , killing a British soldier in the process. After the complicated firing mechanism for the mortars had been set, the lorry was driven to Caulfielf Place in Newry, about 100 yards from the town’s RUC station, and parked. Five minutes later the first of the mortars went off……


On this date (10th December) 94 years ago, Westminster declared martial law in four Irish counties : Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.

In May 1920 the British Foreign Secretary, ‘Lord’ Curzon, proposed vigorous ‘Indian measures’ to suppress the rebellion in Ireland and he and other British imperialist ‘gentlemen’ formulated a policy with that objective in mind. On the 9th August 1920, the British ‘Lords Commissioners’ announced that ‘Royal Assent’ had been granted for the following 14 items –

1. Overseas Trade (Credit and Insurance) Act, 1920.

2. Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920.

3. Restoration of Order in Ireland Act, 1920.*

4. Aberdeen Corporation Order Confirmation Act, 1920.

5. Pilotage Orders Confirmation (No. 3) Act, 1920.

6. Local Government Board (Ireland) Provisional Orders Confirmation (No. 3) Act, 1920.

7. Ministry of Health Provisional Order Confirmation (Chesterfield Extension) Act, 1920.

8. Mid-Glamorgan Water Act, 1920.

9. Wallasey Corporation Act, 1920.

10. Life Association of Scotland Act, 1920.

11. Uxbridge and Wycombe District Gas Act, 1920.

12. Exmouth Urban District Council Act, 1920.

13. North British and Mercantile Insurance Company’s Act, 1920.

14. Lever Brothers, Limited (Wharves and Railway) Act, 1920.

On the 19th October, 1920, the British ‘Chief Secretary for Ireland’ , Lieutenant-Colonel ‘Sir’ Hamar Greenwood (who later threatened to resign his position if Westminster agreed to a ceasefire with Irish republicans before they had surrendered their weapons!) stated, re the British ‘law and order’ campaign in Ireland – “The outrages against the police and military forces since the 1st January last, which I regret to say include the loss of no less than 118 lives, are as follows: police killed -100, military killed -18, police wounded -160, military wounded -66.
There have been 667 attacks on police barracks, resulting in most cases in their complete destruction. There has been an organised attempt to boycott and intimidate the police, their wives and relations. The hon. Member will realise that I cannot publish the steps that are being taken to cope with the campaign of murder, outrage and intimidation, but I can assure him that the means available to the Government for protecting all servants of the Crown in the discharge of their duties, and for bringing to justice those who commit or connive at outrages, are steadily improving. The Royal Irish Constabulary is rapidly increasing in numbers owing mainly to the flow of recruits from ex-officers and ex-service men who served in the Army or Navy during the War. The effective strength of the Force is now higher than it has been for the last 15 years. In the last three weeks alone there have been 194 trials by Court Martial under the ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920’, and 159 convictions. The Forces of the Crown are now effectively grappling with the organised, paid and brutal campaign of murder in Ireland….”

*The ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act’ was a ‘legal’ item through which the British could authorise, in Ireland, ‘….the issue of Regulations under the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act, 1914, for effecting the restoration and maintenance of order in Ireland where it appears to His Majesty in Council that, owing to the existence of a state of disorder, the ordinary law is inadequate for the prevention and punishment of crime, or the maintenance of order.The Regulations have been rendered necessary by the abnormal conditions which at present prevail in certain parts of Ireland, where an organised campaign of violence and intimidation has resulted in the partial breakdown of the machinery of the ordinary law and in the non-performance by public bodies and officials of their statuary obligations. In particular it has been found that criminals are protected from arrest, that trial by jury cannot be obtained because of the intimidation of witnesses and jurors, and the Local Authorities and their officers stand in fear of injury to their persons or property if they carry out their statuary duties.

The Order in Council provides among other things – 1)For the putting into operation of many of the existing Defence of the Realm Regulations for the purpose of the restoration or maintenance of order. 2)For the trial of crimes by Courts Martial or by specially constituted Civil Courts, and for the investment of those Courts with the necessary powers. 3)For the withholding from Local Authorities who refuse to discharge the obligations imposed upon them by Statute of grants which otherwise would be payable to them from public funds and for the application of the grants so withheld to the discharge of the obligations which the Local Authority has failed to fulfil. 4)For the holding of Sittings of Courts elsewhere than in ordinary Courthouses, where these Courthouses have been destroyed or otherwise made unavailable. Although the Regulations are not, in terms, restricted to any particular part or parts of Ireland, it is the Government`s intention that they shall not be applied in substitution for the provisions of the ordinary law in places where the judicial and administrative machinery of the ordinary law are available, and are not obstructed in their operations by the methods of violence and intimidation above mentioned.

For instance, under the Regulations an ordinary crime can only be tried by a Courts Martial or by a specially constituted Civil Court, if the case is referred to the Competent Naval or Military Authority.
Instructions will be issued by the Irish Executive to ensure that such cases will not be referred to the Competent Naval or Military Authority except where the prevalence of actual threatened violence or intimidation has produced conditions rendering it impracticable for them to be dealt with by due process of ordinary law…’

Greenwood stated the above, as mentioned, on Tuesday, 19th October 1920 and, the following day, a young (19 years old) IRA Volunteer, from Fleet Street in Dublin, Kevin Barry, became the first person to be tried by court martial under the new ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920’ which,among its other trappings,allowed for the suspension of the courts system in Ireland (bad and all as that system was) and the establishment of military courts with powers to enforce the death penalty and internment without trial. On the 10th December 1920 martial law was proclaimed in Counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary and, in January 1921, this order was extended to include Clare and Waterford. The ‘ROIA’ was widely used by the British against Irish republicans and, indeed, was used as a ‘tool’ to impose censorship on the media of the day, an imposition which was challenged, sometimes succesfully so – ‘In 1921 a ROIA court-martial convicted the proprietors and editor of a Dublin newspaper for violating ROIA press regulations. At the end of the trial, a military detachment acting without a written order from the military court arrested the defendants and conveyed them to a civil
prison. The prisoners petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that a transfer from military to civil custody based merely on oral statements of anonymous soldiers was unlawful. The Crown argued that since the defendants were subject to military law, they could be moved from military to civil confinement without a written order. Finding this contention to be “quite untenable,” the King’s Bench put on record its desire “in the clearest way possible to
repudiate” the doctrine that a civil prison could detain a king’s subject without proper written authority: “To sanction such a course would be to strike a deadly blow at the doctrine of personal liberty, which is part of the first rudiments of the constitution.” Moreover, the court-martial’s failure to issue an order left the civil jailer
“without the protection of any written mandate” and therefore exposed to the risk of a lawsuit. Declaring that there was “no vinculum or bond of union between the military and the civil custody,” the King’s Bench issued the writ of habeas corpus. Ostensibly protecting the liberty of civilians against overreaching by the Army, the court equally protected a civil institution from subordination to military command….’
(from page 443, here.)

And today, more than ninty years after the introduction of the ‘ROIA’, the British and their political colleagues in Stormont and Leinster House, are still attempting to use ‘laws’ of that nature, and media censorship, to destroy Irish republicanism. But it didn’t work then and won’t work for them today, either – we are in this for the long haul!


It seems unbelievable that any political administration/department could introduce/enforce a writ whereby said body could seek to control, for tax purposes, how people might benefit from rainfall, yet that is precisely what is being instructed in the ‘Harvesting Rainwater’ notification from the ‘Irish Water’ company, below –

‘All rainwater harvesting systems must be approved in advance. If you would like to discuss your options for rainwater harvesting system(s) please contact Irish Water….’

With that in mind, there is an indication here of where exactly this ‘..must be approved in advance…’ edict will lead to because, despite the many differences between Oregon and this 26-county State, the political class are the same : self-serving careerists who are aware that they have a short ‘window of opportunity’ in which to financially secure their future and, even though they themselves are not fit to earn an honest living via an honest job, they find themselves – for a short time, anyway – in a position whereby they can ‘lawfully’ molest, financially, those that are not as powerful as they are. Rainwater falls the same no matter where you live and equally as predictable is the conduct of political establishments worldwide – get ‘caught out’ by either and your health will suffer.


Interesting figures came to light three days ago (in ‘The Sunday Times’ newspaper) in relation to how much some of the political parties in Leinster House are given by the State administrative system, from taxpayers money, to keep themselves in operation. The figures relate to the amount taken by each party in the last eight years, and show that Fine Gael paid itself, on average, €9234 a week over that period (and quoted that Party as stating that it employs 30 staff in its “national office”) , Fianna Fáil took €8296 a week from taxpayers in the same period (and employs a staff of 24) , the Labour Party granted itself €5169 a week (and has a staff of 34) and Provisional Sinn Féin raided the State coffers for €2567 a week, every week, for the last eight years (and has a staff of “more than 92” , none of whom “are paid more than €60,000” a year) !

You have to ask yourself why any of the above-mentioned political parties, each of which claim they want ‘to change the system’, would want to change a system which is so financially favourable to them?


As a mother of three, I know only too well how expensive and nerve-wrecking Christmas can be, but it always seems to sort itself out in the end, empty purse and frayed nerves notwithstanding! And, as much as I’d like to see it revert to a less commercial holiday (if indeed it ever was such!) I wouldn’t altogether (!) agree with the steps that the then communist political leadership took in Hungary on the 10th of December 1951 – they banned Santa Claus and associated images and attempted to propagate the idea (as far I can decipher, anyway) that farm workers/workers in general should celebrate that time of year, as a reward for their labour, to the extent that the sleigh was visually replaced by the image of a tractor!

And while there won’t be a sleigh or a tractor on site on the day, Santa himself will be present, as usual. And let’s not forget another republican steadfast gig that will have its last outing for 2014 this month : the 650-ticket raffle, which will be held this coming Sunday, 14th December, in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border and at which tickets for the first such 2015 gig will be distributed. And, it being East Kildare, a tractor or two could very well be in the vicinity, too!


The Dublin-based O’Connell Sands Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin are once again doing a collection this month for the homeless and have asked us to mention to our readers that they can make a donation of clothes or foodstuff etc to this worthy effort by getting in contact with an RSF/cumann rep on 018729747 or 0851457286. Arrangements will be made with each caller for the collection of whatever it is they can spare. ‘There but for the grace of God…’. Go raibh maith agat.


At the time of writing, it’s not looking like we’ll be able to post here next Wednesday, 17th, as time will not allow – our usual routine has been upset by raffle work usually carried out by two others that are on holidays, meaning that myself and another ‘1169…’ crew member will be out collecting ticket returns and cash on Thursday and Friday evenings and then most of Saturday is spoke for with associated paperwork and more stub collections, then the actual raffle itself on Sunday afternoon, then the usual Monday evening raffle meeting in Dublin city centre. And somewhere, in between that lot, will be a hangover from one too many pints of cider at the gig! We will get another post in before Wednesday the 24th , so do check back with us before then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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