GÁRDA WHISTLE BLOWERS -a 38 year-old warning

38 year-old warning

TODAY IS THE 38th anniversary of the Gárda Heavy Gang & Sallins Mail Train Robbery  Case. I know this because every year, on this date,  I wake up soaked in sweat at about 5am, by way of a subconscious reminder.

This is the time I was taken from my cell, in 1976, and brought down into the tunnel under Dublin’s Bridewell police station by the Gárda Heavy Gang to be tortured .


The Garda Heavy Gang- Sallins Mail Train Case followed a mail train robbery in Sallins, Co Kildare, Ireland, on March 31st, 1976. I was one of forty political, trade unionist, human rights and community activists (many who were members of the IRSP, a registered legal party) who were scooped up by Gárdaí ( Irish police)  in the biggest such action by the State since WW2.

In my case, I was kidnapped by Gárdaí (over six ’arrests’- five of them illegal), tortured and framed, hospitalised and eventually  jailed for twelve years in a juryless court during the longest running criminal case in Irish legal history.  I was released in 1980 after an international campaign for my release was successful.

 It took me seventeen years, in all, to 1993, to fully clear my name, have my sentence and conviction quashed and receive some compensation.

Amnesty International took up my case and Nelson Mandela’s right hand man, Kadar Asmalthen living and teaching law in Dublin, founded the Irish Council for Civil Liberties in response, along with Mary Robinson, later to become Irish President and, subsequently, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

However, recent revelations about the Gárda telephone bugging, the resignation of the Gárda Commissioner and the framing and intimidation of witnesses in the Ian Bailey case show that not much has changed in the intervening thirty eight years.


© Osgur Breatnach 

Good reads

A State Conspiracy by Osgur Breatnach.


 Related Blogs

Giblin, Gardaí,  Corruption, human rights (LINK)