THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
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 CAREFUL PREPARATION OF EVIDENCE BY GARDAI :
There are copious examples of the Gardai having meticulously prepared their evidence for the Sallins mail train robbery trial ; these are in the book of evidence which contain the statements made by all the Gardai involved in the case , and the similarity of these statements is such as to suggest that there was a great deal of co-ordination of Garda evidence .
Take for instance the statements of several Gardai in relation to Michael Plunkett (one of those arrested) who was acquitted at an early stage during the trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin : take the statement of Garda A (we have been legally advised that we should not name the Gardai at this stage in our presentation) -
' As we moved away from Harcourt Terrace (Garda Station) , Michael Plunkett said "You fixed that nicely" , and (Garda B) said to him " Is it not true that you were free and you asked to go back to collect property " and Plunkett said "That's right" . (Garda D) then said " I don't know what you're talking about , but I can assure you one thing - we fixed nothing , what are you talking about anyway ? "
Plunkett replied - " A man in there has identified me as being one of the men in his home on the night of the robbery ." (Garda D) said " Is that so? " , and (Garda A) then said to Plunkett - " It was you who delayed leaving the station ." Plunkett replied - " That's right , it's my hard luck , I am finished after that ." They then had a general conversation after that ... ' That was Garda A's statement : three more Gardai gave statements and it is worth comparing the similarity of these.......
A PEOPLE'S ARMY .......
'IRIS' magazine talks to two active women Volunteers in the Irish Republican Army about their involvement , their political attitudes , and their observations on the role played by women in the liberation struggle. Both Volunteers are from the Free State , where they live , and are in their twenties . 'Mary' comes from a country area and has been in the IRA for six years ; 'Anne' comes from the city and joined the IRA about a year ago .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982.
'IRIS' magazine : " How has your IRA involvement changed your personal outlook ? "
MARY : " It has made me more conscious of other struggles and oppressive regimes all over the world , and of the need to fight all forms of oppression . "
ANNE : " It's made me realise that you don't have to accept things as they are . For instance , I see how more a politically uninvolved friend of mine is inclined to say - ' Well , what can you do about it ? That's the way things are...' My attitude is : ' Here's what you can do..' It's just a matter of saying 'I am not going to put up with this ' . "
NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .
'GRALTON' magazine : " We have heard a lot about Sinn Fein's more serious involvement in constituency work in the North . Is there something similar happening in the 26 Counties ? Are you now planning for the local and European elections next year ? "
PADDY BOLGER : " There have been major developments in our political appreciation of the situation in the country over the last few years . The basis of this is the realisation that military action and political action purely in support of that were not sufficient , to build a base even for national liberation and the realisation that sloganising about socialism and relating it to a vision of a better future and to some magical formula which would work itself out when the British withdrew , were not a sound basis on which to build a conscious mass movement . ('1169...' Comment - can a [revolutionary] "mass movement" be built on actions such as joining and supporting the RUC/PSNI and all that such a move entails ?)
The developments that have taken place in the movement are general , and not confined to the North . A lot is due to the fact that the people who were young activists in the early 1970's , some of them in the late 1960's , have by a natural progression moved into more prominent positions . ('1169... ' Comment - .... and , obviously , developed a taste for "prominent positions" , regardless of where such positions are located!) For the first time in decades , republicans have had the opportunity through this long struggle , on a sound minimum basis , to develop our politics not abstractly but in experience . " ('1169...' Comment - 'republican politics' never included jettisoning core principles in order to make the organisation more politically 'attractive' to its opponents.)