Statement from PortLaoise Republican Prisoners 14/11/14

Statement from PortLaoise Republican Prisoners 14/11/14

At this very moment new ground is being broken regarding how the Irish judicial system handles some cases presented at the non jury “Special Criminal Court”. We are not talking about abolishing this non jury court with its 97% conviction rate nor indeed the draconian laws which deny the right to silence or the fact that the mere word of a Garda Superintendent is enough to convict the accused.

The historical event which is being played out literally behind closed doors and which is being ignored by a media to afraid of rocking the boat is the use for the first time within the state of a Super grass.

Dave Cullen is to give evidence against three men who are charged with murder. Originally Cullen himself was charged with the same offence but has subsequently pleaded guilty and received a token sentence in return for turning state evidence. Cullen has also sought a financial reward for his co-operation. He has implicated members of his immediate family and has vowed to have no further contact with them including his own children.

His future as we know from previous cases most of which subsequently collapsed will not be a happy one. Whether the amount of money he has demanded is sufficient for him to begin a new life only time will tell and given that he has abandoned his own children, implicated his immediate family in alleged offences, cut his ties with his friends and his home there is every chance that the money will run out long before he thinks of what he lost.

Those who are happy now to use Cullen will have absolutely no compunction in hanging him out to dry once he has served his purpose. Time and time again this has proved to be the case with those who for one reason or another have given evidence against their co-accused. Cullen’s paymasters will only be his friends when he his earning his keep but as soon as this is no longer the case he will be left to his own devices.

Cullen was spirited out of Portlaoise Gaol and interviewed in depth by the Garda Special Branch not only about the case in which he himself was originally implicated in but any and all information he is alleged to have gathered from his time spent in Portlaoise Gaol. This led to an extensive search of E-Block which houses those accused of subverting the state, resulting in the alleged discovery of several mobile phones although it is widely believed the majority of these may have been historical.

The implications for the Irish Government and in particular the Justice Department are huge and yet they have put a virtual blanket ban on any media coverage bearing in mind of course that this is a media who rarely if ever challenge the status quo.
This case has the potential to expose years of unchecked dirty tricks within the Garda Special Branch but this very much depends on a fair and honest investigation by the press. As for the consequences for all those on trial before a non-jury court on the word of a paid informer; they may be huge and life changing.

Tony Carroll
PRO Officer
Portlaoise POWs

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