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Order 'The Thimbleriggers' by James Kelly - The Dublin Arms Trials of 1970
The Report by Darinagh Boyle, DERRY NEWS, Thursday, February 3rd. 2005

New evidence in battle to ‘clear’ Kelly

Two prominent politicians from either side of the border have been approached by the Derry-based Captain Kelly Justice Campaign to press the Taoiseach for an apology.

In a further development, campaign manager Fionnbarra O ‘Dochartaigh revealed damning documentary evidence – soon to be released – has been unearthed in an extensive trawl of the Irish National Archive and British Home Office state papers.

And he claimed that as Tony Blair is about to make an apology to the family of Guiseppe Conlon – the victim of a British miscarriage of justice-it’s high time the Irish Taoiseach publicly cleared the ex-army captain who was smeared and scapegoated in the infamous arms trial.

The controversy around the trial and its devastating affect on Captain Kelly and his family are the subject of a new book by Dublin author Angela Clifford.

And the Kelly family and the Derry-based campaign staff are co-operating fully with its writing.

The search for the truth has been aided, Mr O’Dochartaigh claimed, by the British Freedom of Information Act introduced on January 1, 2005.

And he claimed researchers have discovered documentary evidence that official attempts were made to block publication of Captain’s Kelly’s book, “Orders for the Captain”.

But that’s just one example of the new information that has recently come to light in the captain’s defence”, he added.

All the accused, including Capt. Kelly, were dramatically acquitted. But Captain Kelly’s widow Sheila claims her husband’s career was ruined by the accusations and he was blacklisted from employment positions because he challenged the State.

Captain Kelly was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and he died in July 2003.

Mr. O’Dochartaigh insists the challenge to the campaign is to complete the work Capt. Kelly had begun but wasn’t well enough to finish.

“Capt. Kelly struggled all his life to clear his name but in the end he wasn’t physically strong enough to do the kind of exhaustive research work the campaign has undertaken”, he explained. “And we’re determined to finish the work he’s put so much effort into.

Ahern appeal

“Mrs. Kelly has been hospitalised twice since her visit to Derry last year and it’s vital that this matter is resolved in her lifetime. We’re calling on Bertie Ahern to meet and talk to the Kelly family”.

To date well over 1000 signatures have been added to the global petition calling for Capt. Kelly’s name to be cleared and a posthumous apology issued.

And a number of prominent political figures have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

In Australia a campaign pin has been struck in support and in the US a car bumper sticker in the colours of the Irish Tricolour is available.

The Irish National Congress, which boasts around 2000 members including many TDs, is to devote its next newsletter to the Captain Kelly campaign.

Created by Civil Rights veterans, whose e-mail is rights.civil@googlemail.com, the campaign website is at www.captainkelly.org
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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