Wednesday, September 09, 2009

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.

Harry Kirkpatrick could remember none of the details regarding the UDA member William 'Bucky' McCullough incident during his court 'trial' of the 27 colleagues that he had named to the RUC ; in fact , Kirkpatrick said he could remember nothing of what happened to himself between March 1982 and January 1983 !

British Judge Carswell stated- " This lack of recall is in striking contrast with the precision of Kirkpatrick's recollection , as retailed in his evidence , of the events in which the various defendants have been implicated by him. It leads one to the conclusion , as defence counsel argued, that either his memory for those events cannot be as good as he professes or his evidence about his lack of recollection of 1982-1983 is untrue."

Carswell went on to say that Kirkpatrick was " deliberately false evidence.." and that in not admitting he had asked for immunity , he may have thought or was advised that to admit it "...would discredit him in the eyes of the court.." . Carswell considered that Kirkpatrick's decision to give 'evidence' contained ('perhaps') "...a substantial element.." of self-interest , in the hope of early release , and that this still constituted a significant part of his motivation. He concluded that Kirkpatrick had tried to conceal his motivation from the court and had "...been prepared to lie to do so.." and stated that Kirkpatrick had been "...extremely wary and defensive.." in cross examination , that he had had "...a great reluctance to admit anything.." , that he had tried to "...avoid being tripped up.." and that he had avoided "...admissions which he thought would
be damaging.."
. And finally , Carswell stated - " I could not accept that he is now motivated by an overwhelming desire for the trurth."

A Dublin District Justice was accused by American embassy intelligence personnel of encouraging left wing agitators and tolerating hostile acts against the United States.......
From 'MAGILL' magazine, 'Christmas Special' 1980.

On the afternoon of 28th September 1976 , Mairin de Burca addressed a meeting of about 60 people in Room 1002 , Sonoma State College , California: the meeting was advertised under the title 'Irish Women's Rights' and was one of a series of meetings being organised by feminists at the college. Mairin de Burca was addressing a number of meetings organised across the state of California , by 'Republican Clubs' and other like-minded groups.

At each stop on the itinerary , from New York to Los Angeles , the FBI had their agents pumping vast amounts of paper , most of it routine and irrelevant , into the de Burca file . This consisted for the most part in reports of meetings and speeches but , at Sonoma , the US Justice Department decided to go further - they wanted to 'put a spoke into the de Burca wheel' . Two FBI agents were sent to Room 1002 to serve forms demanding that de Burca register as " agent of a foreign power.." . This is where the whole farce began.

As the Sonoma meeting was about to start , one of the students , Kathy Parker , rose and addressed the gathering - " If there are any law enforcement officers present will you please make yourselves known and tell us your business here." The students were suspicious that their meeting was under surveillance ; one man spoke up - he was Tom Blavett , campus security officer . And why was he here , he was aked ? Well , Blavett explained, it was raining outside , you see, and he had come in out of the rain . No other reason , he said . That was all . Honest , he said. But the two FBI agents in the room said nothing.

They simply noted Blavett's admission and carefully noted his name for their files. But they spelled it 'Thomas Bovet' . But there was a twist - at the end of the meeting , Tom Blavett approached Kathy Parker and admitted that he had lied about coming in out of the rain for shelter . Actually , he said , he had been sent to the meeting to keep an eye on the two FBI agents ! The meeting proceeded and the students and de Burca discussed Irish women's liberation , or lack of it . THE FBI agents listened carefully to de Burca and noted what they considered to be the relevant points . " Observation of those in attendance," they wrote , " disclosed the audience to range in age from elderly grandmother-grandfather types to very young college age types..." They then entered a note marked ' Confidential' into their files.......

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.

There can be no doubt that the State Drug Squad has had some success : three years ago 4.4 million pounds worth of cannabis was seized in one sweep at Dublin's docks , and in February 1983 300,000 pounds worth of heroin was netted in a raid in Ballymun.

Overall , the number of drug seizures made by the State Drug Squad more than doubled from 813 to 1,873 between 1980 and 1982 , while the number of people charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act(1977) tripled between 1979 and 1982 from 594 to 1,593.

However, as well as illustrating the massive explosion in drug usage over the past few years , the numbers charged suggest another disturbing trend - the tendency to concentrate gardai attentions on individual addicts , and their apparent reticence to tackle the big pushers , most of whom operated with impunity until the local community began to take action. The most glaring display of this reluctance was shown by the case of the Dunne family, members of which were widely known to be key figures in the Dublin drugs circuit for a very long time before charges were laid against them.......
('1169...' Comment :then , as now , both addict and pusher were used by State forces as their low-level 'eyes and ears' on the ground. They were allowed use and sell drugs provided they gave regular tip-offs (on the comings and goings of local Republicans , for instance) to local gardai 'minders' , who tried to use the information they received to promote their career prospects within the garda organisation.)