by Jack Boyle
The State made a decision to put Mr McKevitt away due to his political views and in particular, his opposition to the Good Friday Agreement.
The recent article by I. Green1 was interesting, but I wasn’t overly surprised by the views expressed on the corrupt nature that appears to be ingrained within the upper echelons of the Gardai, it isn’t something new. In particular, the McKevitt case, which was briefly mentioned in the piece and I must say that one was never going to conclude with his freedom. The State made a decision to put Mr McKevitt away due to his political views and in particular, his opposition to the Good Friday Agreement. Apparently, the Gardai along with British intelligence and US intelligence services combined to construct a watertight case against Mr McKevitt and to remove him by whatever means necessary, which they did.
Throughout the trial in the Special Criminal Court it was apparent that it was politically charged from beginning to end. It was also evident that perjury was the main weapon used to ensure that a conviction was secured, as the hard evidence was scarce all the way through the case.
Recently I noted that Mr McKevitt attempted to reopen his case after it emerged that a s29 warrant was used against him on the morning of his arrest. It was discovered in 2012 that a section 29 warrant used in many Offences against the State cases were unconstitutional. However, the State refused to hear an appeal and ignored the fact that Mr McKevitt’s constitutional rights were breached. The court relied on the time span issue as a means to refuse him a hearing, which in itself was completely bizarre.
The issue of retrospect shouldn’t be an impediment for any Irish citizen when his/her constitutional rights have been breached, to ignore the constitutional issue and use time span as the vehicle to deny one their rights renders that document a worthless piece of paper. I was always of the view that the Courts were there to protect constitutional rights and as far as I’m aware a judge upon taking the oath of office swears to uphold citizens’ constitutional rights.
During Michael McKevitt’s trial, I remember reading an account where three Gardai gave evidence stating that they observed him in Oakland Park Dundalk on a winter’s night in the company of the prosecution witness. As I recall that particular piece of evidence was the main evidential prop to guarantee the conviction. I am familiar with the area around Oakland Park and I realised at the time that the evidence given by the three Gardai was highly questionable. It wasn’t long before I discovered that from the observation points mentioned it would have been impossible for them to make the observations, which they outlined to the court. In my opinion had Mr McKevitt’s legal team carried out a reconstruction in the area around the house in Oakland Park, they would have seen that the Garda evidence was inaccurate and factually incorrect. It was a major flaw in the defence case and I have no doubt that it would have turned the result in the case. On much of the other evidence, I couldn’t be sure on its accuracy but regarding the alleged Garda observations of the house in Oakland Park I am convinced that that particular evidence given by the three Gardai was definitely perjured.
Under those circumstances alone, I am not surprised by the allegations about the culture that exists within the Gardai, it has always been there. Unfortunately, they are all tarred with the one brush, which is a pity because some are decent hard working individuals.