Friday, January 12, 2007

There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

The most senior Garda officer involved in the Sallins mail train robbery , Chief Superintendent John Joy , said in evidence that he did not institute any enquiries into allegations of ill-treatment even after the Osgur Breathnach Habeas Corpus hearing , but he did ask Superintendent Casey , who was also involved in the case , to make informal enquiries after the (State) District Court hearing on Thursday , April 8 , 1976 , when Michael Plunkett (one of those arrested) , speaking on behalf of all four accused , said that they had been beaten up .

Garda Superintendent Casey made informal enquiries of two Gardai , both of whom were the subject of very serious allegations in the case and on hearing from these that there was nothing to the allegations he reported back to Chief Superintendent John Joy that there was nothing to be worried about. And that was the extent of the Garda enquiries into the affair from that day to now .

At any time Chief Superintendent John Joy or any of his superiors in the Garda Siochana could have instituted a sworn enquiry on their own initiative into the allegations but that was never done : were it the position that only in this particular case was it alleged that the Gardai ill-treated persons in detention then the allegations might be treated with greater reserve . But that is not the case......

A look at the political origins of the GAA .
By 'Celt' .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

Over the next twenty years the fortunes of the GAA were closely to follow the political events in the country : the 'Parnell Split' saw the GAA lining up on both sides , with active and well-known leaders of the association openly in confrontation at the meeting of the Irish Party in 1890 which met to decide Charles Stewart Parnell's fate as its leader . But as Parnell's fortunes declined , the GAA as a body threw its weight behind him .

At his funeral in 1891 it is reported that over 2,000 GAA members carrying hurling sticks draped with back flags followed the cortege . The same year was to see an even more public demonstration of the GAA's political involvement when the entire central council followed the funeral cortege of Patrick Nally , who had died under peculiar circumstances in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin after serving a ten-year sentence for treason . Thus , by its avowed aims and ideals of consolidating an Irish identity in the field of games , language and culture , the GAA was distinctly and undeniably separatist in its philosophy . ('1169...' Comment - ......then , perhaps , but not now ,unfortunately.)

And so , in the early 1900's , with the growth of the new Sinn Fein movement , the GAA was again to find itself caught up in a new era of the struggle for national independence : Sinn Fein members had gained important positions on many county boards of the GAA - Austin Stack in Kerry , Harry Boland in Dublin and Chris Holland in Limerick . It was quite apparent that James Nowlan , then President of the GAA , was himself an ardent supporter of Sinn Fein . If then , political alignment had become the reality for the GAA from its earliest origins , what of the attitudes towards that sort of alignment on the part of those whose contribution was central to the association's development...... ?

By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

It is a two-horse race for the nationalist vote : the other parties are irrelevant . Gerry Fitt's political career ended the day he denounced the hunger strikers in the British House of Commons - he is likely to get between 3,000 and 4,000 votes in West Belfast , well behind the SDLP . The Alliance Party and The Workers Party will get a maximum of 2,000 - 3,000 in their best areas .

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein are very wary of predicting how many seats they will get because of the vagaries of the straight vote and the fact that they are faced with a single Unionist candidate in three of the five key constituencies . The SDLP are confident that they will win Foyle and Martin McGuinness would have to increase his vote dramatically to even put John Hume in danger from the Unionist candidate . The SDLP claim confidence in Armagh-Newry as well but if Jim McAllister holds his vote , never mind increasing it , Seamus Mallon (SDLP) will be hard put to win against a single Unionist candidate .

Sinn Fein is fairly confident in West Belfast especially since there are two Unionist candidates in the field , Gerry Adams should have little difficulty increasing his vote and taking the seat there . The SDLP privately concede they have no chance in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and they will come a poor third there but the nationalist majority against a single Unionist candidate is so small that the SDLP intervention is almost certain to cost Owen Carron his seat.......