Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Ten years ago EDDIE GALLAGHER went to prison for his part in the kidnapping of TIEDE HERREMA . He is still there , even though he did a deal which promised him only four years in jail . His accomplice , MARION COYLE , has been released . DEREK DUNNE reports on GALLAGHER's maverick relationship with the IRA , on the negotiations which led to the release of TIEDE HERREMA and on the roots of GALLAGHER's involvement .

First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , January 1986 , pages 6 , 7 , 8, and 9 .

On December 20 last , Eddie Gallagher went on hunger strike in the Security Wing of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin in protest at the presence near-by of eight inmates who had anti-bodies to the AIDS virus in their blood . He then began to eat food but still refused anything that came from the prison kitchen .

Early in 1985 , Gallagher ended a 39-day fast in Portlaoise Prison after his condition became critical . At present , his sight is severely impaired .

Eddie Gallagher was sentenced to twenty years for his part in the Tiede Herrema kidnap in 1975 , and his accomplice Marion Coyle received fifteen years ; she was released last year (ie 1985) . A written undertaking given by the then Garda Commissioner , Edmund Garvey , that the two would serve no more than four and two years respectively , if Herrema was released unharmed , has not been honoured .

It was claimed that Gallagher and Coyle had broken the conditions of the agreement - that the agreement itself should not be disclosed except if it was not honoured , and that both prisoners should avoid " serious misconduct " in prison . Four successive (Free State) Ministers for Justice - Gerry Collins (FF) , Jim Mitchell (FG) , Sean Doherty (FF) and Michael Noonan (FG) - have refused to release Eddie Gallagher since 1979 . He has served six years more than he was originally promised .......


THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX ....... " We have now established a sort of Republican veto . ......" Michael Farrell interviews Gerry Adams MP , vice-president of Sinn Fein . From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 , pages 13 , 14 , and 17 .

MICHAEL FARRELL : " You devoted a large part of your recent Bodenstown speech to the need for Sinn Fein to develop new strategies in the South . There seemed to be a hint that you would contest Dail elections and that you might drop the traditional abstentionist policy . Is that so ? "

GERRY ADAMS MP : " We have not decided to stand for Leinster House . What I was saying at Bodenstown was that Republicans have to come up with a strategy which accepts the fact that most of the people in the 26 counties accept the Free State institution as legitimate . It is no use Republicans burying their heads in the sand and saying - although all these things are true - that it is a bastard State as a result of the Treaty and so on , if everyone else has a totally different view .

You can't develop a strategy without taking into account (1) the effects of the acceptance of the State institutions and (2) the effect an abstentionist policy by Republicans is going to have on that strategy . Sinn Fein does have a position , however , that we will not give recognition to Leinster House . I can't be pragmatic about that ; while that remains the position I will support it . ('1169....' Comment - it should be noted that Adams gave this interview in 1983 - three years later he was instrumental in leading a group out of the Republican Movement over this very issue . That group , Provisional Sinn Fein , is now a constitutional political party , and is similar in political outlook to the SDLP and Fianna Fail . Politically wealthy but morally bankrupt ... )

Essentially what I was trying to say was that you've got to take all these things into account and you can't proceed on the basis of what's happening in the North , on the basis of Sinn Fein being an IRA support group . You can't get support in Ballymun because of doors being kicked in by the Brits in Ballymurphy .

You've got to become a relevant political party with realistic policies which crystallise the disillusionment felt by people at the Thatcherite monetarist policies and the corruption by the Leinster House politicians ....... " ('1169...' Comment - What happens if you put what you believe to be 'good apples' in a barrel of bad apples ? Do the bad apples turn 'good' , or the 'good' apples turn bad ... ?)


SEPARATIST MOVEMENT GROWS IN STRENGTH : analysis of recent General Election in the 26-Counties .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 7.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.

In concluding this brief summary of the election results it is fitting that an expression of gratitude and sincere thanks be given to all those who assisted the Republican Movement during the election campaign . To all those who worked , who subscribed funds and who voted for the Republican candidates goes this simple expression of thanks for their generous support and willing co-operation .

Linked with this expression of thanks is an expression of hope for the future and confidence in the success of the Cause of Irish Freedom .

[END of ' SEPARATIST MOVEMENT GROWS IN STRENGTH : analysis of recent General Election in the 26-Counties'].
(Tomorrow : ' PAST , PRESENT AND FUTURE' - Thomas Davis , 'Essays').