" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

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.......