THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY.......
Twenty-six men were convicted on the word of Harry Kirkpatrick. On their appeal against those convictions could well rest the future of the 'Anglo-Irish Agreement'
('The Hillsborough Treaty') . Based on a full transcript of the Kirkpatrick trials , the story of how these convictions were obtained shows why the 'Supergrass System' is a pale shadow of justice.
By Derek Dunne. From 'MAGILL' magazine, February 1986.
At 11.40am on the first day of proceedings , Harry Kirkpatrick turns around and identifies Seán Tumelty: (and here) he claims that Tumelty was involved in criminal acts and , pointing at him , declares - " He is sitting facing me , third row , and second from my left hand side beside the prison officer." Kirkpatrick does the same for the other twenty-six men.
Seán Tumelty has a steel plate in his head and , several times during the hearing, he lets out a scream and collapses from the pain , at which point the court adjourns and resumes again when Tumelty has recovered. He was hit by a plastic bullet at point blank range in 1981 and was in a coma and on a life support machine . He takes a lot of sedatives nowadays , but refuses assistance when dressing etc , preferring to do it himself . Kirkpatrick is saying that Tumelty was involved in making up a bomb .
Barbara (nee-Tumelty ?) , wife of one of the accused, Hugh Torney, is sitting in the public gallery . Harry Kirkpatrick calmly explains that she was a courier for the INLA. It's the first time her name has been mentioned by Kirkpatrick and she is visibly shocked - she may now be arrested on his 'word' . Day after day , the 'evidence' goes on like this . Harry Kirkpatrick's father cries in the public gallery , sitting alone.......
THE HOWARD MARKS AFFAIR.......
Customs Officers in England have arrested a man who could blow the lid off an embarrassing British Intelligence operation against the Provisional IRA , when he answers drug smuggling charges in London later this year.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, July 1980.
By James Curtis.
In February 1974 , the Dutch Justice Minister ordered a stop to the surveillance , then British newspapers alleged that James McCann was smuggling drugs to buy arms for the IRA ; McCann denied any involvement and , whilst in Dublin , gave an interview to the 'Sunday Independent' newspaper in which he detailed several British intelligence operations .
He described a special joint unit of police , MI6 , special branch and customs officers , set up to combat arms smuggling and named the building , Tintagel House by the River Thames , where it was based and named the senior customs officer posted there . He also named a West German diplomat co-ordinating intelligence against the IRA in Dublin and also said British intelligence was using 'front' companies for arms deals to see who used them.
British Customs were appalled at those disclosures . The named officer was sent immediately on 'special leave' to get him out of the way . The intriguing possibility is that Howard Marks gave James McCann that information.......
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST HEROIN IN DUBLIN....... The drugs crisis is one of the major problems facing young people in Dublin today. In large areas of the city it has now reached massive proportions , while in the inner city there is estimated to be a higher percentage of drug addicts and drug abusers than in Harlem in New York . But it has been only recently - 5 years after this epidemic began in earnest - that any notice has been paid to the problem. And even now the Free State government has failed to confront the crisis in a meaningful way . Tony Barry of Na Fianna Eireann has been looking at the issues for 'IRIS' magazine.
From 'IRIS' magazine, December 1984.
What reaction has there been from Leinster House to this spiralling drug addiction and despair ? Where has its elected members been , its agencies , the State gardai , RTE , the various Youth Councils ? The straightforward answer is that until very recently there was no reaction whatever from the State and its institutions .
Even so , when the Free State administration's 'Task Force on Drug Abuse', which was established in 1983 , issued its report in September 1983 , it was universally condemned by all those involved with young people and by those active in the campaign against drug pushers .
In essence , while it waffled on about setting up more committees , sponsoring a degree course in the study of drug abuse and other largely irrelevant and half-hearted gestures , it almost totally failed to recommend the allocation of extra money and resources needed to combat the symptoms of the crisis , let alone to tackle the underlying causes.......