Friday, February 09, 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 allegations of Garda Brutality in connection with the Sallins mail train robbery came to prominence most at the time of the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis in February 1977 - Fianna Fail was then in opposition .

Speaking on the RTE radio programme , the 'News At One-Thirty' on February 18 , 1977 , Gerard Collins said - " The Minister for Justice has a very grave responsibility to immediately set up a judicial enquiry into the allegations made and have the machinery there in operation ready at the push of a button to deal with allegations as they arise.....if there is any truth whatsoever in these allegations those who might be responsible for ill-treatment of persons in custody.....(the Minister should ensure)......would be disciplined as they should be . "

Four-and-a-half months later Gerard ('Gerry') Collins was (State) Minister for Justice himself : he made no attempt to institute an enquiry of any kind into the allegations that he had spoken of in February 1977 ! He did however establish in October 1977 a commission under (State) Justice Barra O Briain to make recommendations for the safeguard of persons in custody and to 'protect the good name of the Gardai' by the same safeguards : the O Briain Committee made a total of 23 recommendations - of these , only one has been implemented and that was only following a (State) Supreme Court judgement.......

'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 would you assess women's contribution to the struggle generally ? "

MARY : " Fantastic , given that there's so much against them . In the North it was always women that were out banging bin-lids at four and five in the morning , warning of the Brits coming into the area . Women tend to have more patience and they have the fighting and staying power to see things through . No matter how small their involvement they understand its importance . Looking back through history you have Constance Markievicz and the whole involvement of Cumann na mBan Volunteers, and now you have the women in Armagh Jail. They have always been active in every phase of the struggle ."

ANNE : " Because of the image the Movement tends to be given , women are inclined to think that unless you are out using a gun you're not in the IRA proper . That's wrong . Everything you do is important , no matter how small the thing - it's a vital part of the struggle , and no-one should ever be made to feel they're playing an inferior role . Everyone , doing any job - providing a call house or billet , collecting for the prisoners, doing political work, driving a car - it's part and parcel of the struggle . "

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 : " You refer to 'the public' and to 'the peoople' . Do you have within the three-and-a-half million population strategic targets you are trying to reach ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " We have two objectives : the principle one is to secure a British withdrawal ('1169...' Comment - it was , for some of us , in 1983 [and , indeed , still is] . But , for others, mere 'civil rights' from Westminster was the hidden agenda) and bring about a situation where self-determination can be asserted . In that area , we address ourselves to everybody in the 26 Counties , saying that the Six County state is irreformable and that the policy of compromise with the Loyalists not only is not accepted by the Loyalists but has failed, as history has proven.

We also have a social objective and in terms of our social policies , we would be much more specific . We are aiming at the working class base and at the small farming base . We have in a strip along the Border and down through the west , a reasonable local government base in the real small farming community . That is likely to be sustained . Our main breakthrough , we believe , must be in Dublin and Cork . The middle class in the 26 Counties is affected by factionism and the professional middle class veers between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael depending on whether the national question is a major issue at the time . And we address ourselves to them on the national question , on civil liberties and on the general issue of economic sovereignty ......." (....will finish reply in next post..)