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Order 'The Thimbleriggers' by James Kelly - The Dublin Arms Trials of 1970
Irish News report - Fri. 2004-02-20 by  Seamus McKinney

Taoisigh asked to help clear Kelly's name

A DERRY-based campaign group has contacted Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and two former taoisigh in its bid to clear the name of  former Irish army captain, James Kelly.

Captain Kelly was involved in the Irish Arms Trial in 1970 along with former taoiseach (then a minister) Charles Haughey, and his cabinet colleague, Neil T. Blaney.

The Irish army intelligence officer and politicians stood trial charged with importing a consignment of arms intended for use in Northern Ireland.

He told the trial that he had acted with the authority of the Irish government.

All three men were acquitted.

While the trial had little eventual impact on Mr. Haughey's career, it had a huge influence on both Mr. Blaney and Captain Kelly who died last year.

Captain Kelly left the Irish army and consistently argued that the issue has destroyed his life.

Now a new campaign to have the former officer's name cleared - which has the backing of his wife Sheila - is seeking the help of three taoisigh.

Mrs. Kelly said her husband held a hope throughout his life that his name would be cleared.

She said that even on his deathbed he hoped to receive an apology from the state.

Spokesman for the Derry-based campaign Fionnbarra Dochartaigh, said Mrs. Kelly intended to travel to the city to formally launch the campaign in the near future.

A date and venue for the campaign launch has yet to be fixed.

Books on the Arms Crisis

Order 'The Thimbleriggers' by James Kelly - The Dublin Arms Trials of 1970
The Arms Conspiracy Trial
The Arms Conspiracy Trial: Ireland 1970

Military Aspects Of Ireland's Arms Crisis Of 1969

August 1969: Ireland's Only Appeal To The United Nations
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