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Public Inquiry
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Garda leaks to sections of the print media

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Friday July 12, 2013 17:23author by Maura Doyle Report this post to the editors

A lot has been written about the Michael McKevitt case over the years since his incarceration in 2001. Whether his reputation as an unrepentant republican is palatable to many people or not, he has endured the wrath of a very vicious print media campaign throughout that time and even before. We overlook the fact that the media onslaught was also waged against his entire family without any justification whatsoever and the standards used against them fell well below anything that we could even attempt to describe as 'normal practice'.

I always felt that many of the sensationalist type articles printed in that case were baseless and lacked creditability. Because of the interesting article by I. Green (30 June 2013) it confirmed to me that a deliberate vilification campaign was used extensively against that family in an attempt to isolate them within their community.

Some months back I had a discussion with a source close to the McKevitt family, and afterwards details of the media onslaught against them were reignited in my mind. To my horror, I find that like many other high profile and questionable cases that has unfolded in recent times, the McKevitt case appears to have been the victim of deliberate propaganda leaks to sections of the print media from sources within the Gardai. During the conversation, the subject of Michael's incarceration came up. One aspect in particular caught my attention after been told of regular meetings, which took place in a south Drogheda hotel between a journalist and some senior members of the Gardai. It was pointed out to me that a few years back the family were approached by an employee of the hotel and told of frequent meetings that had taken place between two senior members of the Gardai and a journalist from a well-known daily tabloid. According to the source, the family was given the names of both Gardai as well as the journalist who works as a security correspondent with 'The Star' newspaper. Although the name of the journalist was revealed, they didn't divulge details of the Gardai involved, even though I believe that one held the rank of Superintendent based in the Louth Meath division at that time. The family was informed that the regular topic during those meetings was generally based around Michael McKevitt.

The revelation on the alleged hotel meetings appears to be in line with similar allegations mounting against the Gardai, some of which have emerged in the recent Garda Ombudsman's report into irregularities within the force over many decades which included unauthorised leaks to the media.

author by brionOcleirigh - AllVoicespublication date Sat Jul 13, 2013 19:28Report this post to the editors

Every dog on an Irish street, knows that Michael McKevitt was framed and they know why. A Peace Process without Due Process, that does not take care of all the volunteers who brought it to that point, is in reality a Surrender Process. I take no pleasure what so ever in writing that, there are few who want peace more in Ireland than I do, I daresay the same is true for the McKevitt family.

One does not have to be particularly bright to see the direct link between injustice and violence or justice and peace. It is difficult enough to try explaining to young people that there may be an alternative to violence to achieve justice but it is next to impossible in deprived areas of high unemployment.

What makes it impossible is a corrupt police force with fascist ideology. Yes there are many, good decent Gardai but unfortunately cases like Michael Mckevitt's destroy the good will to make community policing work. All good relationships are built on trust and trust is earned.

To undo the work of the corporate media, who demonized Michael will be very difficult. I suggest that some one with community status like Mairead Maguire, explain Michael's position or mediate with An Uachtarain Eireann.

Demonized and Framed
Demonized and Framed

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