Monday, August 29, 2005

Last month PATRICK MAGUIRE was released from an English jail after serving 10 years for a 'terrorist' crime he insists he did not commit . A wide range of prominent people , from Cardinal O'Fiaich to Sir John Biggs-Davison , believe him .
DAVID McKITTRICK , London Editor of 'The Irish Times' newspaper , re-examines the evidence .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , May 1984 .

The defence called John Yallop OBE , an internationally-recognised authority on explosives ; he had spent thirty-two years as a (British) 'Home Office' explosives expert and was a former head of the British government's explosives laboratory .

He had written more than sixty scientific papers on explosives and related topics , and appeared in the courts as an expert witness on more than 400 occasions ; and he had actually invented the ' Thin Layer Chromtography ' (TLC) test !

The 'gist' of John Yallop's evidence was that the test , as conducted , had not conclusively proved the existence of nitroglycerine . He suggested that other substances could produce the same results in the test - household substances might do it .....

One of the defendants , Guiseppe Conlon , was a particularly pathetic figure ; aged fifty-two , he suffered from Chronic Tuberculosis and had not worked for eleven years .......


The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

'MAGILL' Magazine : " Is it still seen within the Republican Movement as a long war , another twenty years ? "

Danny Morrison : " There was some Republican criticism that the 1978 declaration of a long war actually led to some demoralisation and deterred people from joining the Republican Movement because they thought , " Gee , there's not going to be an amnesty for Christmas , if I go to jail I'm not getting out for Christmas , I'm going in for a long time . "

That's possibly true . The point is , I think , that the IRA has to say what it believes , it has to tell the truth of how it sees things . The fact is that the Brits are'nt going to get out tomorrow or next year . It is going to be a long struggle , and people who join the Republican Movement obviously are entitled to be acquainted with that belief .

It's only fair on them . I would say , yes - still in terms of five to ten years . "

(Tomorrow - 'Sinn Fein Alone' - from 1984 .)

On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued 'Ireland' and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .

Dr. Caraher examined Stephen Moore on three occasions while he was in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station ; on the first occasion , there were no abnormalities present in the patient , on the second occasion he appeared to be anxious and he had burns to the hair and he was complaining of pains . On the third occasion , the burns were still present and he had extensive bruising to the groin and thigh .

But this was not the first time that a detainee at Monaghan Garda Station had been awarded damages as a result of injuries sustained in garda custody -

- on 6 May 1978 , there was a Long Kesh protest march in Monaghan . As the protestors were dispersing , two squad cars loaded with gardai arrived on the scene and proceeded to make arrests under Section 30 of The Offences Against The State Act 1939 ; John Milne was amongst those arrested - he was taken to Monaghan Garda Station where he said that he was kicked , punched and beaten for about fifteen minutes by Detective Garda John McCoy and Garda Eamonn Flynn .

He said he was frightened and speechless ; his wife saw him in a cell and called for a doctor . A local Priest , Reverend Kevin Cassidy , said in court that he visited John Milne in the garda station but that he got no reply when he tried to speak to him . Doctor Michael Moloney saw John Milne on May 8 , 1978 , two days after his arrest , and he said that Milne was complaining of headaches and a sore neck .......