Magill Diary - Oct 1983: Criminal Justice, Maurice Manning and James Delaney continued

  • 1 October 1983
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IN SEPTEMBER 1983 AN article appeared in Magill entitled "The Seeds of a Police State" in which commpelling evidence was put forward that Osgus Breathhnach, Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally were ill-treated by members of the gardai. Eviddence was put forward in the article that not alone did a significant number of gardai perjure themselves in the subb~equent trial but that there was a conspiracy among cerrtain gardai to commit perjury. 

The article pointed out that there was no investigaation of any kind into the evidence that the three aboveementioned were beaten up by the gardai, nor into the fact that there was evidence of conspiracy among the gardai to commit perjury. Also, no safeguards were introduced to ensure that nothing of this sort would happen again.

Since then the silence has been deafening. There was no comment on the article by the gardai, by the Governnment or by the Opposition. The serious allegations made and the evidence presented did not merit any comment on radio or television. A voice crying in the wilderness was Dr C.S. Andrews in his Irish Press column when he wondered why no one seemmed concerned by the allegaations and the evidence presennted in the article. Several readers have also contacted we magazine to urge us to raise the matter once more and attempt to draw attenntion to what is a most serious issue.

The issue becomes even more serious in the light of the proposed Criminal Justice Bill which gives more power to the gardai in the areas of detention and interrogation.

As a result of the cases of Osgur Breathnach, Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally it is difficult to believe that these increased powers will not be abused by gardai. It is also difficult to believe that any such abuse would be stopped in any serious way by the authorities.

It is thus hard to justify the extra powers given to the gardai in the Criminal Justice Bill until the abuse of already existing powers has been examined and investigated.

Crowds and Power

IT WAS A GREAT DAY for technology. First, all the delegates were shown Maurice Manning's movie about the history of the party on a big screen in front of the plattform. It was great stuff, Maurice Manning's movie and the crowd loved it.

It told of the great days of the party and the great men in the party: Paddy Hogan, Paddy McGilligan, James Dillon, Paddy Lindsay, all got a cheer. Michael Collins got a great cheer. This was the party which gave us the ESB and another cheer. W.T. Cosgrave got a really big cheer.

Maurice Manning's movie, which will be shown to brannches all over the country, went on to talk of the breakkdown in public order in 1932 when C na nG went out of power and the other shower came in. Seemingly, or at least according to the movie, some very rough Republicans were let out of Mountjoy and there was "a breakdown of public order".

This breakdown had to be dealt with, particularly since it was affecting free speech, and so a movement called the Blueshirts came into being. "Under O'Duffy the moveement spread to all parts of Ireland," said the movie.

There was a big cheer when O'Duffy came on the screen, nearly as big as that for W.T. Cosgrave.

But meanwhile, disaster.

Disaster for public order and disaster for free speech. The Blueshirts were banned while "the IRA were free to drill".

The movie went on. An inter-party government starrted and Fine Gael eradicated TB. Good old Fine Gael. Then more disaster. Long cold bitter disaster. Endless disaster as the party lannguished on the opposition benches.

Until 1973, that is, when Liam Cosgrave, applause, appplause, swept o'er the land like a mighty wave. Each member of his government was singled out in the movie and it was a pity that no one clapped for poor Dick Burke.

That government "tackled fearlessly violence and subbversion spilling over from the North".

Then it was Garret's turn for technology. The man in front of Peter Barry signalled that he had two minutes left and he should stop talking about foreign affairs and start talking about Garret.

Garret came on and the stop watch was turned on so that his speech would start on TV and end on TV. And his speech was typed out for him on a television screen so he had no notes to fumble over or drop on the floor. At the end of the speech someone had even scrawled END on the screen so he would know that now was the time to stop talking and start waving.

Who is James Delaney?

KERRY DOUGHERTY'S article in the last issue with the above title has provoked a strange response. She poinnted out that James Delaney was a Texas millionaire with an extraordinary interest in Ireland. So interested indeed that he bought the site of the Battle of the Boyne.

Since the article appeared there have been constant reequests for information about this man. Most people wanted his address, the name of his representative here or his teleephone number. One man wanted to sell him an old print of the Battle of the Boyne. A woman with right wing views wanted Mr Delaney to fund some campaign she was considering. And so on.'

Mr Delaney is due to arrive in Ireland on 26 October and will be here until Thursday 3 November. He is visiting Ireland for a series of "top level" meetings with Irish politicians, religious leaders, industrialists, bankers and business people. He will visit both sides of the border and he will announce "details of a. proposed major new Irish American trade initiative".

All this information comes from Kent Consultants, 4 Dartmouth Place Dublin 6. They are handling Mr Delaney's visit to Ireland. So anyone who wants to borrow money from Mr Delaney, or sell him something, or just get to know him should conntact Kent Consultants Telephone 961443 or 973625.