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Vilification Once More

Des O’Malley, the Minister for Justice in 1970, continues to ignore the hard questions about the Arms Crisis. Instead, he persists in smearing anyone who dares to disagree with him. Some of his latest slurs question the integrity of those in RTÉ responsible for the ‘GunPlot’ series. It is now time to stop throwing the mud and answer the hard questions.

By Sean Brennan.

Today’s Sunday Independent.


I have just read in the Sunday independent Des O’Malley’s article about GunPlot, the RTE television documentary on the Arms Crisis 1970 and the RTE Radio Podcast Series. Des has a problem in accepting the truth, particularly when the truth contradicts Des’s preferred narrative. The big lie as propagated by Jack Lynch and Jim Gibbons about what happened during the Arms Crisis in 1970 has finally been definitively nailed and, unusually, history has been rewritten.

The purpose of the lie was to protect Jack Lynch’s position at all costs. Des O’Malley has given oxygen to this false narrative for the last 50 years. His article in today’s Sunday Independent is no surprise. O’Malley has made a career out of maligning decent men. He often does this in a cowardly way, waiting until the person to be maligned has died.

O’Malley’s article today is practically the same as the article which he wrote on 27 September 2020.

Both articles contain no evidence to support O’Malley’s assertions and are based purely on bluster and spoof. In contrast to O’Malley’s article, my article below contains incontrovertible documentary evidence from State papers that were hidden and suppressed by the State from the Arms Trials in 1970.

RTE did invite Des O’Malley to participate in GunPlot.

One of O’Malley’s claims in the Sunday Independent is that he was not asked to participate in GunPlot by RTE.

RTE have just issued a statement which reveals he was invited but declined, instead nominating his son Eoin to talk on his behalf. Perhaps if he been man enough to face the cameras, he would have featured heavily in the TV broadcast and podcasts. However, that would also have meant he would have had to answer all the hard questions.

According to the RTE statement: “The truth matters. And the truth is that RTÉ did make contact with Des O’Malley to ask him for an interview for the series. Des O’Malley declined to be interviewed by us and nominated his son Eoin to take part in the series in his place. The truth does matter.”

Complete silence about O’Malley’s secret meeting with Charles Haughey.

What might RTE have asked O’Malley?

I wrote an article for Village Magazine on 17 April 2021, titled “The ‘Last Man Alive’ is still saying nothing. Des O’Malley’s silence about his role in the Arms Trials and Arms Crisis 1970 has become thunderous”. The ‘Last Man Alive’ is still saying nothing. Des O’Malley’s silence about his role in the Arms Trials and Arms Crises of 1970 has become thunderous.

In my article I raised many very important questions for Des O’Malley to address but he has failed to reply. The most serious one concerns his secret meeting with Charlie Haughey just two weeks before Haughey stood trial for criminal conspiracy and sedition in the biggest criminal trial that this country has ever seen. Here we had the Minister for Justice meeting a man who stood accused of the most serious crimes surreptitiously, to discuss the evidence that a prosecution witness was to give at the forthcoming trial.

Charles Haughey and Peter Berry.

Until O’Malley addresses our concerns as to why he met Charlie and what they discussed and why he forwarded Charlie’s requests to the witness, Peter Berry, the Secretary of the Department of Justice, there will be questions over O’Malley’s character.

Haughey’s request was to ascertain whether Berry could be induced or intimidated or persuaded to change his evidence to suit Haughey’s case. There was also a subtle threat that Berry would be roasted while in the witness box by a particularly aggressive and brilliant lawyer, Seamus Sorohan.  The fact that Berry said that O’Malley was biting his knuckles when he was relaying Charlie’s request to Berry would suggest that O’Malley was nervous. The question is: why was he nervous?

Berry also said that he felt nauseated by the fact that O’Malley was pretending to Haughey that he was Haughey’s friend.

Berry also said that he felt nauseated by the fact that O’Malley was pretending to Haughey that he was Haughey’s friend.

What I cannot get over is the fact that O’Malley was prepared to meet Haughey behind Jack Lynch’s back. This was a disloyal and deceitful thing to do to someone who just four months earlier had promoted O’Malley to ministerial ranks. With friends like that who would need enemies?       

The arms importation operation was not ‘illegal’.

Des O’Malley says that RTE put a gloss on the crisis that the then-Taoiseach Jack Lynch was somehow involved, that he knew all about the plot to import arms “illegally”. The jury at the Arms Trial held that the plot was not illegal.

O’Malley has questioned the integrity of RTE in a confusing, contradictory and evasive article in the Sunday Independent.

What is undeniable is that Lynch knew of the plan to import arms legally as follows: Berry told Lynch in Mount Carmel in October 1969 about the meeting in Bailieboro which was attended by Captain Jim Kelly and citizens from the North, and during which the plan to import guns was first discussed. Lynch confirmed the fact that Berry told him of this meeting to Jim Gibbons who was the Minister for Defence. Gibbons informed Colonel Hefferon of what Lynch told him.

Casting doubts over Ben Briscoe

While David Burke was carrying out research for his book on the arms crisis, ‘Deception and Lies, The Hidden History of the Arms Crisis 1970’,  he spoke to Ben Briscoe, who was a friend of Jim Gibbons and George Colley.

Briscoe told Burke, and later confirmed to the RTE Gunplot Podcast team, that he knew about the arms-importation operation months before the Arms Crisis erupted and that when the attempt to import the arms was uncovered, Lynch checked with Gibbons to see if Gibbons could remember telling Lynch about the plan to import the arms; and Gibbons said that he told Lynch twice.

O’Malley refers in his new article to a source who was responsible for the assertion that Gibbons informed Lynch of the arms-importation plan but merely as a ‘backbencher’. He is obviously referring to Ben Briscoe. The fact that he dismisses Briscoe’s testimony when it is most likely to be true, is another example of O’Malley discarding anyone who does not support his narrative. Remember also that Briscoe was a long- time colleague of O’Malley and supported O’Malley over Charlie Haughey during the 1982-1983 period when O’ Malley made unsuccessful heaves against Haughey. This is the reward that O’Malley dishes out to those who were loyal to him.

Burke and RTE clearly believed what Briscoe told them.

O’Malley dismissed it on the basis that there was no gossip about it in the Dáil bar.

Ben Briscoe: O’Malley attacks his former colleague, but without having the courage to name him, in his Sunday Independent article.

Concealing the files

The former Minister for Justice, the late Michael O’ Móráin, revealed that he had told Lynch about the arms-importation operation and requested access to his files in the Department of Justice to verify the dates when he told Lynch but that he was denied access to his files by Des O’Malley. The decision to deny O’Móráin access to his files to verify the accuracy of certain relevant dates was completely in contravention of the well-known legal principle of “Best Evidence”. Des O’Malley was a solicitor and would have been familiar with this legal principle.

Michael O Móráin.

Having a go at Miriam O’Callaghan

Des O’Malley bases his criticism of the RTÉ Documentary and the RTÉ GunPlot Podcasts squarely on the shoulders of Michael Heney, a former employee of RTÉ, who wrote a brilliant book on the arms trials which was published in 2020.

Miriam O’Callaghan

It is ironic that Heney was willing to do several radio interviews about the Arms Trials while Des has not been so keen to face up to an interview but prefers to snipe from the safety of his living room.

Ignoring the evidence

Based on O’ Malley’s article you would think that Michael Heney was the odd man out and was the only person who has called oit Des O’ Malley’s fantasy and untrue version of the arms trials. He fails to mention two other experts who have extensively researched the arms crisis and written books on the subject. Both of these writers have arrived at the same conclusion as Heney that O’Malley’s narrative of the Arms Crisis is untrue and not based on the evidence which was hidden from the Arms Trials. Some other evidence was doctored by someone in the Gardai, the Department of Justice or the Attorney General’s Office. These two experts are Angela Clifford who wrote ‘The Arms Conspiracy Trial Ireland 1970’ and David Burke who wrote ‘Deception and Lies – The Hidden History of the Arms Crisis 1970.’

Heney, Clifford and Burke arrive at the inescapable conclusion that Blaney, Haughey and Gibbons with the knowledge and consent of Jack Lynch were involved in a covert but legal arms-importation plan. However, when the plan was uncovered and discovered by Liam Cosgrave, Jack Lynch panicked and set in train a conspiracy to lie and to falsely incriminate innocent people of criminal conspiracy.

These people were found not guilty purely because there was one honest man who refused to perjure himself despite the pressure that the state prosecutor was exerting on him. That was the chief state witness, Colonel Michael Hefferon.

These people were found not guilty purely because there was one honest man who refused to perjure himself despite the pressure that the state prosecutor was exerting on him. That was the chief state witness, Colonel Michael Hefferon.

Living in a fantasy world.

The conclusion as to what really happened during the Arm’s Crisis contrasts with Des O’Malley’s make-believe story that places Des and his mentor Jack Lynch as the heroes who uncovered a devious and cunning plan by bad and dangerous people (Blaney, Haughey and Captain Jim Kelly) who were conspiring to import arms illegally, behind Jack Lynch’s back.

According to Des O’Malley these guns were going to be given to the IRA (which hardly existed at this time). The IRA which probably numbered somewhere less than 50 men would then take on the British Army and drive them out of the six counties, once and for all. In return, the IRA would then arrange a Coup d’État and install Blaney and Haughey to head up a government. Des O’Malley’s narrative is so silly that you would wonder how it ever gained traction. The reason it prevailed up until recently is because the evidence about what happened in 1969 and 1970 was hidden, suppressed, forged and doctored. However,the real evidence was uncovered with the release of papers under the 30- year rule, in 2001.

The hidden evidence

The following is a summary of the evidence that was hidden and suppressed from the arms trials and from the public until after 2001:

The Army Directive

This was a directive which was issued by the Minister for Defence Jim Gibbons on 6 February 1970 to the Chief of Staff of the Irish Army, General Sean MacEoin in the presence of the Head of Military Intelligence, Colonel Michael Hefferon. The directive ordered the Chief of Staff to prepare the army for incursions into Northern Ireland and to make surplus arms available. Being surplus arms, meant that they were surplus to army requirements and therefore were for civilians in Northern Ireland.

The Addendum dated 10 February 1970

This document stated that the ‘Taoiseach and other Ministers’ met delegations from Northern Ireland who requested arms, ammunition and respiratory masks. The Taoiseach and ministers agreed to supply these items. The army was ordered to load rifles, ammunition and respiratory masks on to lorries to be in readiness to be despatched in a matter of hours.

Colonel Hefferon’s Doctored Statement

Colonel Michael Hefferon was the head of Irish Military Intelligence and was Captain Jim Kelly’s boss. Hefferon made a witness statement to the Gardai at his home in Rathfarnham on 30 May 1970. This statement proved beyond any doubt that the Minister for Defence Jim Gibbons was involved in the arms importation plan and was kept informed at every step as to how the plan was progressing. Gibbons approved of the plan and therefore because he was the Minister for Defence, the plan to import was a legal plan. However, Hefferon’s witness statement never made it into the Book of Evidence. Instead of this statement which was the true statement from Hefferon, an alternate false statement was surreptitiously used for the purpose of insertion into the Book of Evidence. The false version of Hefferon’s statement suggested that Gibbons had no involvement and did not know anything about the arms importation plan. This was one big lie which was fabricated by the prosecution in order to cover up for Lynch’s lies and deceit.   This was the big lie that Lynch hoped would protect his cover-up. It nearly succeeded.

Colonel Michael Hefferon of G2: resisted the pressure to commit perjury.

Hefferon’s witness statement was taken by the Garda on 30 May 1970. It was read and indicated as having been read by Peter Berry, the Secretary of the Department of Justice on 31 May 1970. Then, on the next day, 1 June 1970 the statement was read by Des O’ Malley, the Minister for Justice. Des O’ Malley says that he doesn’t remember reading it despite the fact that it is probably the most important and critical legal document that he has ever read either before or since.

Moreover, Des O’Malley’s memory of other events that happened at that time is impeccable. For example he remembers that Jack Lynch phoned his home in Limerick at 9.00am on the morning of 4 May 1970 and that Des was in the bath when the phone rang. He can also remember the exact time that it took him to drive from Limerick to Dublin that morning. Another reason why it is very strange that he does not remember this document is because Peter Berry had written notes in the margins suggesting or directing certain amendments to be made. I wouldn’t think it would be every day that you read a witness statement for a criminal conspiracy trial that was in the process of being doctored. Anyway, despite O’Malley’s amnesia it turns out that the document which O’ Malley claims not to remember reading is actually initialled by him as having been read. So now we know, and presumably Des O’ Malley accepts that he must have read Hefferon’s original witness statement.

Peter Berry.

O’Malley tries to suggest that all of the doctoring of Hefferon’s statement was in order and there was nothing particularly significant in these changes. This is despite the fact that all references to Minister Gibbons knowledge of the arms plan were deleted. I think that Des O’Malley’s comments in relation to the deletions of Gibbon’s name from the witness statement are laughable and really are an insult to the intelligence of the Irish public. When Seamus McKenna , who was the chief prosecution lawyer and who was hugely regarded by his peers, heard about Hefferon’s statement being doctored he was absolutely livid and felt that he had been handed a tainted brief by the prosecution. He then went and sought permission from the Bar Council to issue a statement to say that he had no knowledge of the doctoring of Hefferon’s statement. This request to the Bar Council was an unprecedented request.

McKenna felt that his honour would be tarnished if he was associated with this disgraceful act of doctoring a witness’s evidence. McKenna was a very honourable man and was at one stage the Chairman of the Bar Council. McKenna’s attitude to the doctoring of Hefferon’s statement is in complete contrast with O’Malley’s very blasé attitude and idea that the deletions and editing of Hefferon’s statement did not bother him.

While O’Malley proclaims that there was nothing wrong with doctoring Hefferon’s statement he then goes to great lengths to distance himself from the act of carrying out the doctoring. O’Malley says in his article in the Sunday Independent that neither he nor any official in the Department of Justice made any changes to witness statements. He then says that the changes were made in the Attorney General’s Office.

This may be problematic as it is my belief that the Attorney General Colm Condon said that he never saw Hefferon’s original Witness Statement. Would this not suggest that Hefferon’s statement was doctored before it went to the Attorney’s Office? This would imply that that the doctoring was done some time after O’Malley read the original Hefferon statement on 1 June 1970 and before it was received in the Attorney General’s Office. The next question is: Where did the Hefferon’s statement go after O’ Malley read it on 1 June 1970. Surely Des must know the answer to that question?

He must also answer this question too: why if the deleted sections were ‘hearsay’ did Aindrias Ó Caoimh, the President of the High Court at the first arms trial, and Séamus Henchy, the High Court judge at the second one, both allow Hefferon to provide it to the two juries. Why did none of the State’s legal team object?

Judge Séamus Henchy, the fact he allowed Col. Hefferon describe the events deleted from his statement proves they were not ‘hearsay’.

He must also answer this question too: why if the deleted sections were ‘hearsay’ did Aindrias Ó Caoimh, the President of the High Court at the first arms trial, and Séamus Henchy, the High Court judge at the second one, both allow Hefferon to provide it to the two juries. Why did none of the State’s legal team object?

There is no one in the Law Library who believes that all of the deletions were based on ‘hearsay’.

Denying the jury the “best evidence” to save Fianna Fail embarrassment?

As a former solicitor O’Malley must have been aware that a court is entitled to what lawyers call “the best evidence”.

O’Malley states in his new article that his claims of privilege over a certain file was to protect President Eamon de Valera. I presume he is referring to Micheál O Móráin’s request to see his files a few weeks before the Arms trial began so that he could get “best evidence” but was refused by O’Malley. O Móráin had served as minister for justice before Lynch sacked him and installed O’Malley in his place.

Astonishingly, what O’Malley seems to be saying is that he denied the jury access to the “best evidence” via O Móráin’s testimony to save de Valera’s blushes. De Valera had been consulted by Peter Berry about the Arms Crisis in an indirect manner. As far as the President was concerned, Berry wanted to ask his views about circumventing O Móráin over an unspecified issue and go instead to Lynch. Berry has said that his real purpose was to prevent Lynch from covering up the arms importation attempt by letting the President know about it. Adding to the confusion here, Berry says he did not get to actually spell out to the President that he was concerned about a plot to import arms.

Put simply O’Malley’s excuse for denying the “best evidence” to the Court was to conceal the machinations of Berry which were an embarrassment to the founder of Fianna Fail, the ex-Taoiseach who was now President.

Put simply O’Malley’s excuse for denying the “best evidence” to the Court was to conceal the machinations of Berry which were an embarrassment to the founder of Fianna Fail, the ex-Taoiseach who was now President.

Is O’Malley saying that saving a senior Fianna Fail politician turned President from embarrassment justifies denying the jury the “best evidence” in a criminal trial?

Yet, how was any of this potentially embarrassing to de Valera? If Berry was telling the truth, de Valera merely received a query from Berry. Significantly, since O Móráin was not a party to any of this, it was “hearsay” as far as he was concerned and he could not have testified about it from the witness box.

The traditional interpretation of O’Malley’s refusal to let Móráin see the files was because they had details about Móráin’s attempts to talk to Lynch about the arms plot.

What about the 150 rifles left behind in Dundalk?

O’Malley talks about Blaney saying to a citizen defence committee (CDC) delegation that they should not get their hopes up because he knew that Lynch would not agree to send arms up to North. Blaney may or may not have said that. However the Addendum dated 10 February 1970 specifies, in black and white in writing on official paper, that Lynch and other ministers met delegations from the North seeking guns, ammunition and respiratory masks and that the Taoiseach and other ministers agreed to these request.

What part of this sentence does O’Malley not understand?

This agreement to supply arms was followed up about seven weeks later when 500 rifles were sent to Dundalk because of fears for the safety of residents of Ballymurphy. I am a bit confused as to O’Malley’s comments in regard to this matter. He says that “no significant decision was made at the February 6 cabinet meeting”. I think Dessie was not paying attention. The relevant cabinet meeting in this particular instance is the meeting on 10th February 1970 which resulted in the Addendum which stated that the Taoiseach and other Ministers met delegations from the North seeking guns, ammunitions and respiratory masks and that the Taoiseach and Ministers agreed to supply these items. It went on to say that rifles and ammunition and gas masks were to be loaded on to lorries to be available for despatch within hours. This is the “significant decision” that was made and upon which Gibbons based his instruction to the army to send rifles to Dundalk on 2 April 1970. Remember there were 500 rifles sent to Dundalk and when it turned out that the situation in Ballymurphy had died down there were 350 rifles returned to Dublin. This is very significant. If there were 500 rifles sent to Dundalk from Dublin then why were there not 500 rifles returned to Dublin from Dundalk? The reason for keeping the 150 rifles in Dundalk was as a contingency plan to have arms available until such time that untraceable weapons were imported from the continent. Remember the arms importation plan was well progressed at this stage and they were due in Dublin in a few weeks.

A military intelligence reference to the 150 guns which were left in Dundalk.

Angela Clifford refers to the ultra-private cabinet meetings which were held before the official cabinet meetings and did not include any civil servants. It is at these meetings that political matters were discussed. These matters were of no concern to civil servants. It was also at these meetings that the sensitive issues concerning arming the North were discussed. O’Malley by virtue of the fact that he was not a minister but a mere Chief Whip may not have been allowed to attend these meetings and hence his lack of knowledge of the Army Directive of 6 February 1970 and the Addendum of 10 February 1970.

Relying on the fact others were fooled by Lynch.

Sean Lemass and Eamon de Valera both of whom were misled by Lynch.

O’Malley repeats his old bluster about Lynch being supported by all of the old guard, Aiken, Lemass, MacEntee, De Valera etc who he says would not have supported Lynch if they knew that Lynch was aware of the arms importation plan. The key in this instance is the word “knew”. These old guards did not know that Lynch knew. Lynch fooled them. It may also be the case that O’ Malley also continues to believe the Lynch line even though everyone else except the odd deluded Lynch sycophant knows full well that Lynch knew what was happening in terms of the guns being imported and by virtue of the fact that he did not step in and stop it, was therefore going along with the plan.

De Valera, O’Malley and Lynch.

The meeting between O’Malley and Berry.

O’ Malley continues to malign a very honourable and honest Irishman, Captain Jim Kelly. Des specialises in maligning dead people.

He even has had a cut at Gibbons in his latest article despite praising him upon his death.

There is nobody that Des would not sell out if it was to Des O’Malley’s benefit and this includes Jack Lynch.

I want to return now to the O’Malley-Haughey meeting for a moment. I could not believe how dishonourable a man could be when I first discovered that O’Malley met Haughey on 9th September 1970, behind Lynch’s back. He met Haughey and listened to Haughey’s requests and then immediately after this meeting he passed on Haughey’s request to Peter Berry the Secretary of the Department of Justice. Haughey had asked O’Malley if Berry could be induced, persuaded or intimidated into changing his evidence which he was due to give at the arms trials two weeks later. O’Malley also told Berry that Haughey said that Berry would be roasted by Seamus Sorohan who was the barrister for John Kelly. This last statement was obviously intended to scare or intimidate Berry. Berry said that he felt nauseated that O’Malley was trying to pretend to be Haughey’s friend. All of this emerged when Vincent Browne published Berry’s account of the Arms Crisis in Magill magazine in 1980. If it was untrue, why did O’Malley not sue?

Haughey does not emerge from this encounter in a good light either but his motive was to thwart a corrupt prosecution in circumstances where he knew he was being framed. He must have been desperate to have taken such a reckless gamble.

Haughey does not emerge from this encounter in a good light either but his motive was to thwart a corrupt prosecution in circumstances where he knew he was being framed. He must have been desperate to have taken such a reckless gamble.

Peter Berry, O’Malley refers to him as a man of integrity when it suits him and ‘odd’ when it doesn’t.

I think what Berry may have been alluding to was the fact that O’Malley as Minister for Justice was prepared to meet Haughey who was one of the chief defendants in the biggest criminal trial since independence, just two weeks before the trial was due to commence and then was prepared to pass on Haughey’s requests for Berry to change his evidence and thereby perjure himself, directly to Berry immediately after the meeting with Haughey. In Berry’s mind it may have occurred to him that O’Malley was pretending to be a friend of Haughey’s. This would benefit O’Malley if Haughey was acquitted and then challenged Lynch for leadership. If Haughey won then O’Malley was Haughey’s friend but if Haughey lost then O’Malley would still be Lynch’s friend. O’Malley likes to go horse racing so what he was doing by backing Haughey and Lynch was an each- way bet or backing two horses in the one race. What I find really nauseating is the fact that Des met Haughey behind Lynch’s back. Lynch was like a father figure to O’Malley and to think that he would betray his “father” it really is disgusting.

Does O’Malley think Berry was ‘odd’ or a man of great integrity?

In his most recent article, O’Malley also has a cut at Berry. He describes his relationship with him as ‘odd’ and says that ‘Lynch regarded Berry with suspicion .. and while no one doubted his sincerity, his judgment was questioned’. This is not so. Many people – including Burke, Clifford and Heney – have questioned his integrity and not without substantial cause which they describe in detail.

The attack on the character of Berry as being an “odd” man about whom some sort of “suspicion” hangs is perplexing. In an article written last September for the Sunday Independent, O’Malley relied upon Berry’s alleged integrity to support Jack Lynch. Back then O’Malley described Berry as a man “whose loyalty to the State and adherence to the law is unquestionable”. In truth Berry was one of the most deceitful of all of the witnesses at the Arms Trials. He swore on oath to tell the “whole truth” but proceeded to leave out the most important piece of information in his possession: that he had told Jack Lynch about the Baileboro meeting in October 1969 at which the citizen defence committees (CDCs) had asked Capt. Kelly for weapons from the Irish Government. When this event emerged ten years later in his ‘diaries’ in Magill magazine, it caused a political sensation.

While O’Malley was minister for justice he certainly did not give Berry the impression that he felt he was ‘odd’ or that suspicions hung over him as the letter reproduced below demonstrates:

Erskine Childers was not the man O’Malley holds him out to be.

Back in his September article for the Sunday Independent, O’Malley relied upon the good character of Erskine Childers to buttress the integrity of Jack Lynch. Unfortunately, Childers has a dubious record when it comes to the Arms Crisis. Declassified UK records show that after the acquittal of the defendants at the trial, he went to the British Embassy, where he told the British Ambassador, John Peck, that the jury had been intimidated. This was not so, as interviews with jury members broadcast on RTE prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Childers cannot be forgiven for relaying a rumour in good faith as he stated that he knew that the jury had been intimidated from his own knowledge. Sadly, there is no escaping the fact Childers lied on this occasion. He later became President of Ireland.

Tánaiste and later President Erskine Childers: he lied about the intimidation of the Arms Trial jury to the British ambassador.

UK records show Lynch was two-faced

Despite what O’Malley propounds, Jack Lynch was deceitful. In 1972 he told the British ambassador that he was in favour of secret intelligence co-operation between British Intelligence and Irish intelligence forces but only if was “deniable in the Dail”.

Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh

He also told the ambassador on another occasion that he had shunted Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, the Chief Justice of Ireland, to the European Court of Justice as he did not like the decisions that the Supreme Court was handing down. Some of them related to Garda special powers which were disliked by the UK. At the time of his appointment, Ó Dálaigh thought he was being honoured.

The appointment of Ó Dálaigh to Europe for such an underhand motive was perhaps the most significant improper interference with the judiciary by a taoiseach in the history of the State.

The appointment of Ó Dálaigh to Europe for such an underhand motive was perhaps the most significant improper interference with the judiciary by a taoiseach in the history of the State.

It also shows that Lynch saw the European Court of Justice as a dumping ground for unwanted judges, a body to be treated with contempt. Does O’Malley believe this was the act of a statesman, a man of integrity?

Vilifying the CDCs as Provos.

I am not sure if O’Malley is disingenuous or genuinely not tuned in when he questions why Albert Luykx and John Kelly were involved in an Irish Army arms import plan. Luykx was involved because he could speak German. If you are buying guns off a German it is helpful if you could understand the language. Many Irish companies use independent interpreters when dealing with foreign customers. It is not a great mystery.

Blaney, Capt. Kelly, John Kelly and Albert Luykx.

John Kelly’s role in the plan was because he was the coordinator of the CDCs in the 6 counties. O’Malley vilifies all CDC members as Provos, presumably because John Kelly later went on to join the Provos. Kelly, however, was in the minority. Despite O’Malley’s slurs, the CDCs were made up of very respectable people, legal, religious and respectable members of the community. One of them, Tom Conaty became an adviser to the first Secretary of State to NI, William Whitelaw. Conaty was the Chairman of the organisation. Another, Paddy Devlin MP, was Secretary of the CDC. He became a SDLP minister in the Sunningdale-inspired Power Sharing government of NI in 1974. There was another IRA man in the CDCs – Jim Sullivan – but he joined the Official IRA. Sullivan was the Chairman of the Central CDC in Belfast. The Officials were the sworn enemy of the Provos, even to the extent of assassinating each other in a feud in the mid-70s. The fact that I have to explain any of this to Des O’Malley might suggest that he was completely out of his depth in 1970 and never came to understand what was happening in NI.    

Tom Conaty who chaired the CDC. He was a critic of the Provos. Yet, O’Malley has vilified him as a Provo.

Des O’ Malley asks the question as to why would the government even need arms that were not traceable. I think that Des should take a few guesses as to why the Irish Government would not want to brag to the British that they were sending guns to people who were resident in a part of British territory.

The time for spoof, contradiction, vilification and fantasy is over. It is now time for O’Malley to answer the hard questions raised here and elsewhere.

Other stories about the Arms Crisis on this website.

The Official IRA planned the murders of journalists Ed Moloney and Vincent Browne.

Dick Walsh’s covert committee monitored OIRA media enemies. Future Irish Times Assistant editor put colleagues on lists.

Ducking all the hard questions. Des O’Malley has vilified an array of decent men and refuses to answer obvious questions about the Arms Crisis and the manner in which the Provisional IRA was let flourish while he was minister for justice.

The ‘Last Man Alive’ is still saying nothing. Des O’Malley’s silence about his role in the Arms Trials and Arms Crises of 1970 has become thunderous.

RTE’s ‘Gun Plot’: Why has it taken so long for the true narrative of the Arms Crisis 1970 to emerge?

Vilification Once More

British Secret Service Smear sheet: the document that proves Charles Haughey was the target of MI6 vilification after the Arms Trial.

[Expanded] British Intelligence must have known that Seán MacStíofáin was a Garda ‘informer’.

Vandalising history. How the truth about Ireland’s Arms Crisis was corrupted by a gang of NI paedophiles, a dissembling Taoiseach, Private Eye magazine in London, some British Intelligence black propagandists as well as an Irish Times reporter who was an ally of the Official IRA.

Captain James Kelly’s family phone was tapped

The long shadow of the Arms Crisis: more to Haughey’s question than meets the eye

Minister for Justice confirms existence of unreleased “sensitive” Garda files about Arms Crisis but fails to commit to their release after Seán Haughey TD describes Seán MacStíofáin of the IRA as mis-informer in Dáil Éireann.

‘Deception and Lies’: A thrilling history that confirms Lynch not Haughey as unprincipled and explains how a named IRA double agent deceived the nation and the record.

Paudge Brennan, the forgotten man of the Arms Crisis

The Forgotten Arms Crisis Scoop: how a London newspaper reported details of what became known as the Arms Crisis nearly seven months before it erupted in Ireland.

Government must release Des O’Malley, the former Minister for Justice, from the shackles of official State-imposed secrecy – for the sake of history. UPDATE: O’MALLEY IS GOING TO TALK TO THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT.

How the Irish Times got its biggest story of the last 50 years wrong.

Charles Haughey did not run guns to the IRA in 1970 but his father Seán did decades earlier. And on the orders of Michael Collins!

Dishonest Jack. A new book on the Arms Crisis of 1970 demolishes the reputation of a former Taoiseach