Wednesday, January 17, 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 1977 Amnesty International report into alleged Garda mistreatment of 'suspects' meant that in no sense could the allegations of Osgur Breathnach , Brian McNally and Nicky Kelly be regarded as unique : there was a good deal of evidence that the Gardai were ill-treating 'suspects' almost as a matter of routine at the time .

In fact a delegation of senior Garda officers went to Garret FitzGerald in 1977 - he was then (State) Foreign Minister . They told him about their concern about what was happening and FitzGerald then raised the issue with the then (State) Taoiseach , Liam Cosgrave, but nothing more was done , although FitzGerald did threaten to resign .

The following has been established so far -
* That Osgur Breathnach suffered injuries and he could have come by those injuries only at the hands of the Gardai , for he was not in the company of anybody else during his period of detention in Garda custody , and his injuries could not have been self-inflicted .
* That Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally suffered injuries while in Garda custody but there was an opportunity for them to have inflicted injuries on themselves or have had them inflicted by colleagues as they were remanded into Garda custody , following their being charged in the (State) District Court on the evening of April 7 , 1976 .
* That there was independent evidence of there having been screaming in the Bridewell Garda station during the period in question.......

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

The funerals of the 'Young Ireland' leader , Gavan Duffy, and the Fenian leaders , James Stephens and John O' Leary, were well attended by GAA personnel marching in military formation , carrying hurling sticks as substitutes for rifles .

With the establishment of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 , the GAA was again to play an active role : typically , one of those at the inaugural meeting of this organisation - which , within three years , was to take the fight to the British crown forces - was the then Secretary-General of the GAA , Luke O' Toole. This political contribution , and the GAA's distinctly political separatist philosophy , is well reflected in the introductory remarks to the GAA's official rule book : " Those who play Gaelic games and organise its activities see in the GAA a means of consolidating our Irish identity . The games to them are more than games - they are part of the full national ideal which envisages the speaking of our own language , the buying of Irish goods and the promotion of native music and dances ."

The GAA - at that time , at least , if not now - held strong views on the issue of Irish unity , and was not afraid to voice those views.......

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

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein seem assured of one seat each - in Foyle and West Belfast . Both have a good chance of a second seat - in South Down and Mid-Ulster , and the SDLP has some chance of a third seat in Armagh-Newry . But one - or two - seats and a half share of the nationalist vote will satisfy Sinn Fein .

Sinn Fein have come a long way in the two years since Bobby Sands won a Westminster seat and died three weeks later, and they are making progress towards their objective of ousting the SDLP by 1985 .

Officials in London and Dublin will have to start thinking seriously about what they will do if , in two or three years time , they have to deal with Sinn Fein , rather than the SDLP , as the majority voice of the nationalist population in the North of Ireland .

(Next - ' Comrades , Brothers and Sisters' : from 1983)