On reading recent articles relating to Mr. McKevitt’s failure to have his conviction quashed in the Court of Criminal Appeal, I feel obliged to comment.
Realistically speaking Mr. McKevitt never had a chance of overturning any of his appeals for numerous reasons and careful scrutiny of the entire case would support my remarks. There is little doubt that his arrest and subsequent trial was unsavoury, particularly from a legal point of view. From the outset and even prior to his arrest (which we now know was unconstitutional) there was a calculated decision to remove Mr. McKevitt from the landscape of the then developing ‘new political scene’ on the island of Ireland.
The forces lined up against Mr. McKevitt included, British and U.S security service agencies (FBI and MI5) who assembled questionable evidence and supplied a paid police informer of dubious character to act as a prosecution witness. The witness, David Rupert, was supplied with specific details on what the charges against Mr. McKevitt would be, months before Rupert made his a statement to the Gardaí. Subsequently, the Irish policing authorities constructed a case which included evidence supplied by the external agencies and formally charged Mr. McKevitt with serious republican activity. A significant point, which should not be overlooked, was the influence used to assist in the arrest and conviction by McKevitt’s former (republican) comrades.
The part played by the print media in the vilification campaign against Mr. McKevitt and his entire family (including his young children) prior to and post his conviction is well documented. The media’s job was to ensure that few on the island of Ireland could say that they never heard the name Michael McKevitt in the lead up to his trial. However, the inclusion of young children in the vilification campaign was in itself a blatant human rights abuse against the children, yet few politicians uttered a word of condemnation, why?
It is difficult to ignore the fact that the McKevitt case was embroidered with multiple human rights breaches; some will say that it was deserved, but that is best described as mob rule mentality and should not be condoned by any right thinking person. The vilification campaign also ensured that McKevitt wouldn’t receive much sympathy let alone a fair trial, and on the face of it, it appears to have succeeded. The media campaign had him convicted in the eyes of the public long before the trial had even commenced.
One just has to look at the Leverson inquiry on the press regulation in England to see how the media preyed on vulnerable individuals and families, the Millie Dowler and Madelene McCann cases are two of the more familiar cases from the Leverson inquiry. This is just a small example of how the media operates and how they encroach, and in many cases destroy people’s lives with sensationalist and in many cases misleading, inaccurate reporting. Is the media in Ireland any different? There are numerous cases in Ireland to prove that they are no different.
For Mr. McKevitt to succeed with his appeals it would have caused great embarrassment to many people in high office and possibly would have exposed much of the crookedness used to vilify and subsequently convict him. That was never going to happen; those in high office would not allow it. Throughout my time taking an interest in Mr. McKevitt’s case, I uncovered some very distasteful information. The detail included that some of his former comrades had covertly assisted in the slanderous media campaign against him and the entire family including his wife Bernadette. The most prominent of those who gave assistance and misleading information was a former Sinn Fein publicity director, which shocked me greatly. Many creditable journalists will to this day verify my claim. Neither should it be overlooked that the McKevitts were singled out as the most prominent opponents of the Good Friday Agreement and for that very reason, perhaps those individuals felt justified in assisting in the vilification campaign against them
Interestingly, in the immediate aftermath of Michael McKevitt’s conviction at Dublin’s non-jury Special Criminal Court, Gerry Adams was asked by a BBC reporter for his views on the conviction, his reply was hollow rhetoric and brief, “everyone knows that Mickey was set up”. A strange reply, but he could say little else at the time because it was blatantly obvious what had just taken place. However, if Mr. Adams felt that the case was “a set-up,” and Mr. McKevitt now being a constituent of his, then why has he never made a comment since? It is the opinion of many that Mr. Adams could say very little due to the fact that he played his part in the ‘stitch-up” of Michael McKevitt.
by M. 0’ hAnluain
Posted on 09 May 2013