At 3 a.m. on the morning of May 6, 1970 the Irish Government Information Bureau announced the dismissal of two senior members of the Government, Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney. That night, the Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, told the Dail that he had received information connecting the dismissed Ministers with an attempt at gun- running. It was also learned that an army officer had been held for questioning. The crisis grew as accusation and counter-accusation held the headlines. Rumour fed on speculation. Had a coup d'etat been foiled? Would the Government fall? How many others were involved - and, more importantly, who were they?
Three weeks later, five men were arrested and charged with conspiring to import arms illegally. They were the two ex-Ministers; Captain James Kelly, an intelligence officer of the Irish Army; John Kelly, a leader of the Belfast Citizens Defence Committee and Albert Luykx, a Belgian-born businessman. During the subsequent trials and parliamentary debates there were many sensational revelations and gradually a picture of the most extraordinary complexity was unfolded involving political, military and civil personalities at all levels. All the accused were acquitted, but, in the atmosphere of the court, it did not clearly emerge that they should not have been charged in the first place - that the case against them was fabricated by the Government of the day; that lie borrowed lie and slanted half-truth superseded the whole truth as the prosecution put its case.
THE THIMBLERIGGERS is a straightforward account of the trials and the events surrounding them by one of the defendants, Captain James Kelly. Carefully documented and well-told, he describes in vivid detail the culture of chicanery that permeated the Fianna Fail Government of the day.
Thimbleriggers - The Dublin Arms Trials of 1970
- Product Code: James Kelly
- Availability: In Stock