Friday, September 22, 2006

These files are now coming under the scrutiny of the 'authorities' . Heads will role . But whose ?
From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987 .

If an MI6 agent inside the Garda arranged for another MI6 agent , Captain Fred Holroyd , to meet the head of Garda security , it is a matter of more than academic interest , especially in view of Holroyd's other allegations . The failure to clear the matter up is being viewed with increasing disquiet in (Free State) Government Buildings .

The other part of the Wallace/Holroyd File - the claims of smear campaigns run by MI5 which have been made by Captain Colin Wallace - are not being viewed with the same urgency by the Haughey Government. Colin Wallace served as a civilian 'Information Officer' and later ' Head of Production Services ' , a cover-name for a 'black' propaganda unit at (British Army) Military HQ in Lisburn , County Antrim .

His statements back up much of what Fred Holroyd says , but such corroboration is unnecessary , so detailed are the former undercover man's notes . Neither of them have been contacted by Irish (sic - Free State) security officers in the four years that Holroyd has been making allegations , or since Wallace joined him last December , when he came out of jail after serving a sentence for a manslaughter he says he did not commit . It remains to be seen if the on-going investigation into the entire riddle ordered by Charlie Haughey will change that situation .
(Next - 'Lotteries and other hold-ups' : from 1987)

Allegations of Garda brutality only hit the headlines intermittently . But the problem may be much more widespread than most people imagine . Last year out-of-court settlements of cases involving members of the Garda cost the taxpayer over €1 million . What's going on ?
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 2003 .
By Mairead Carey.

Allegations of abuse while in Garda custody are nothing new to Fr Peter McVerry - " I get a substantial number of complaints . It goes in phases , but it is very consistent . The problem is that no one has any way of verifying each individual case ; they are always inconclusive because it is the garda's word against the word of a young person who , more than likely , has a criminal record . Most of the guys here don't complain anymore , because they are afraid they will get a worse hiding the next time , and they know from past experience and the experience of others that it won't go anywhere . "

Fr McVerry believes it is time for Garda management to adopt a "...holistic approach.." in order to see if the same names and stations crop up repeatedly in complaints . " I believe there is substance to most of the complaints I hear - they may be exaggerated , and I may only hear half the story . They may have given the gardai a load of lip , but there are so many complaints coming in , from so many young people , many of whom have no contact with one another , that it is impossible to believe that they are all inventing these stories with a view to blackening the names of the gardai . They have nothing to gain by telling me the story . There is nothing I can do about it . I can't make the complaint on their behalf . "

The same garda stations come up repeatedly , he says , listing off Store Street , Fitzgibbon Street and the Bridewell . They also feature prominently in the annual reports of the Garda Complaints Board . In 2001 , the latest year for which figures are available , there were 143 complaints against the Dublin North Central Division which is made up of Store Street , the Bridewell and Fitzgibbon Street , compared to 47 in the Limerick Division and just 14 in the Roscommon/Galway East Division.......

James Gogartys Tribunal reminiscences about the shooting dead of a Garda colleague have resurrected a long-lost story of justice miscarried .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .

Maurice O'Neill was a quiet man . The IRA had moved him up to Dublin that September . Once , when sent out on IRA business he didn't return till evening. When queried , O' Neill replied - " It is the custom , in our part , to call into every church that you have not been in before and to say a prayer ." The man had been in half the churches in Dublin !

In his last letter , Maurice O'Neill wrote to his father : " I am glad that I am not being reprieved as the thought of the torture I would have to endure in Portlaoise makes me shudder . The IRA prisoners there wear no clothes and have only two blankets to cover themselves . " A fellow Kerryman was in charge of the firing squad . There were only a handful of small and scattered protests .

Harry White had nine lives : on 30 September he had been with Paddy Dermody who was also on the run . Dermody had slipped home to attend his sister's wedding , taking Harry White with him . Armed Gardai stormed the wedding reception at a house near Mount Nugent in Cavan . A Garda inside the house stumbled in front of a window - a colleague of his outside shot him dead . Then Paddy Dermody was killed instantly by a bullet in the back . Harry White was on his own now , in a house which was surrounded by armed gardai , some of whom were coming in . He would have to shoot his way out.......