high stakes in co-ordinated raids

One paper paying particular attention to the aftermath of the co-ordinated raids on Thursday is the Sunday Times. Today’s edition carries a lengthy article – including details from Murphy’s failed libel case – in which they note, “This game is being played for high stakes. Noel Conroy, the garda commissioner, and Sir Hugh Orde, the PSNI chief constable, the next day promoted the raid as a showcase for a coming era of cross-border co-operation.” and the Sunday Times points out, in the accompanying editorial, that “A show of strength on a border farm plays well in the media for a day, but the real proof must come from the recovery of assets and from the prosecution of those involved. The move to shut down “Slab” Murphy has been too long coming, and the delays have cost lives. This must not be a false dawn.”
At the end of the article is a reminder of one of the reasons for their interest.. the still out-standing legal bill for the Sunday Times defense in Murphy’s failed libel case –

Murphy: for the record

Thomas “Slab” Murphy owes The Sunday Times more than £600,000 (€870,000) for legal fees as a result of a disastrous 12-year libel battle he pursued. He lost and was branded by an Irish jury as a man of worthless reputation who plotted murder. The newspaper will hope to recover some of its costs from assets seized by the British or Irish authorities.

On June 30, 1985 The Sunday Times published an article entitled “Portrait of a check-in terrorist” in which Murphy was identified as head of the IRA’s northern command. The piece said that he had helped to select terrorists for a bombing campaign against 12 British seaside resorts.

Two years later Murphy sued for libel in Dublin. In 1990 the trial was abandoned on technical grounds. When it was reheard later that year, Murphy lost. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which in 1996 ordered a retrial. The retrial, in May 1998, lasted nine days. It took the jury less than one hour to conclude that the newspaper had established that Murphy was a terrorist who had directed bombings and murder. He appealed for a retrial but dropped his case in 1999.

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  • heck

    This supports my belief that this action is more about payback than about the 20000 cigarettes.

    Even Mr Murphy’s detractors describe him as a teetotaler who lives a frugal lifestyle. This is not about some rich master criminal.

    The belfast bellylaugh last night expressed exasperation that the locals seemed to support Mr Murphy’s activities.

    If the allegations are true it would seem that a farmer from south armagh, without any education beyond 15, ran a war for 30 years that held of one of the most powerfull armies in the world and ran a massive criminal empire. (Even Ingram admits the Brits could’nt infiltrate the South Armagh IRA.) This must be some sort of “super slab”.

    I think the times article supports the point I made on another thread. he tweeked the british establishment, and peace process or no peace process they want payback.


  • heck its only a pity Ol Slaphead didn’t have a lawyer like you, he may have won his libel case.

  • heck

    I don’t know the details of what happened in south armagh but I am suspicious-very suspicious of the establishment line. From what I read the police found

    20000 cigarettes
    cash (anyone who knows NI farmers knows the keep money in cash-not banks)
    2 shotguns–on a farm-i’m shocked
    two people arrested and released.
    the person named does not exactly live the high life.

    can you blame me for being suspicious and seeing this as not the big deal it is made out to be.

    Can someone like chris gaskin, from the area, give us the facts, so people like me don’t have to rely on British hacks with their own agenda, and the unionist blogger’s assumption that because Murphy is a republican he must be guilty?



  • slug



  • aquifer

    He’d have had a job stuffing hundreds of thousands of pounds under his mattress, or ploughing those fields with those fuel tankers.

    Perhaps he was on a personal crusade to undermine the heating oil dealers who have been systematically overcharging householders from Galway to Donegal?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Slug, touche 🙂

    heck, don’t forget that a barman from Belfast presently heads one of the most efficient and well-organized parties in Western Europe with substantial ties across the world particularly in the USA.

    But aside from the substance of this raid, I am wondering where Nigel Dodds is. The other week when the Alexandra Bar was raided he made two rather specific allegations :

    – that the police treat republicans with kid gloves. This raid is direct evidence to the contrary;

    – that heavy handed police raids where wrong. I don’t seem to hear him complaining about this one?

  • Paul

    Heck, what an awful snob you are. What type of education would Slab have to have before you lend any credence to these allegations?
    From what I’ve read the raid uncovered more than some fags “for personal use”, and a few thousand stuffed under the mattress, wise up please.
    “No border, no smuggling”? Are you stupid or just trying to wind people up? Duty avoidance is not reliant on borders. Organised crime is heavy into it all over Europe, not just in Ireland.

  • You’d have thought the shinners would be happy that the Gardai and the PSNI are co-operating. Isn’t this a good example of cross-border bodies working together.
    This line about anti-peace process securocrats is hecktors-house type lies.
    Everyone bar the DUP is bending over backwards to get SF into gov’t.
    There are two ways to enter a house.
    One is through the front door, the other is through the back door.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Saw Phil Flynn on TV3 giving an interview to ursulla Halligan. Very publicly called the campaign against him political and described the allegations against him as lies. The important point is that he very publicly accused Michael Mc Dowell of being behind this campaign.
    Will Michael now sue?

  • ingrammartin

    It is very sad that people on this forum are not able to be objective about Mr Murphy. I doubt whether even Pat would say that Slab is not a major IRA figure and a major criminal all in one mix.

    To deny this, is to fool only those who want to be. I notice Gerry is playing to the audience on TV regarding “slab” , the poor sole looks silly talking to himself, trying to convince the public that poor old “slab” is not a member of the IRA. Silly boy.

    The move against him( Slab) is well overdue but to be applauded.


  • alfredo

    remember: NO ADAMS, NO LIES

  • Comrade Stalin

    Of course, the fuel smuggling business is little to do with the presence or absence of the border. It is about the laundering of fuel upon which no tax has been paid. That is a possible and indeed profitable criminal act irrespective of whether the border exists or not.

  • I am no supporter of Irish nationalism, and certainly not Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy – only Catholics in N. I. getting a fair shake, though not one myself – and am certainly not a supporter of Sein Finn. But the blind support of the media and the informed public of this gigantic fishing expedition is beyond belief.

    How can a country call itself civilized when it seizes everything it can get its hands on at one’s property, and takes whatever it wants from one’s solicitors on each side of the border? Have neither London nor Dublin heard of client-counsel privilege?

    This is simply an example of police states running wild!

  • sohnlein

    It seems strange that a man who for 30 years played the role of Mr Big Bad Wolf and Mr Untouchable, should have been give so much notice ahead of the raids; ie, the media leaks after Manchester.

    Further, how strange, that after Manchester he would have resorted to hiding a top secret computer under a hay bale.

    Was it this type of security that kept him running the war machine for all that time?

  • Mark

    “20000 cigarettes”

    As someone who smokes 40 fags a day, 20000 cigarettes would last me for 16 months. So, this vast business empire is capable of keeping one person in fags for 16 months.

    That’s some crinimal empire that was uncovered by the biggest search in history. Heh, I bet the police, the polticians and the media who claimed there was an empire now feel every bit as stupid as they look.

  • Snoopy

    I agree. This massive raid amounts to a clean bill of health for South Armagh. It’s been searched from top to bottom and, contrary to media hysteria, it has now been proven by both police forces that South Armagh is not the smugglers enclave it has been portrayed to be. Will we now see newspapers admitting that they lied to their readers? No, because such an admission requires the attribute of integrity and personal honour – attributes that this raid conclusively proves are as rare among journalists as smuggling is in South Armagh.

  • slob

    “Was it this type of security that kept him running the war machine for all that time?”

    The same security precautions he took when a false passport was found in his home during the 90s, a photo of which is in book Bandit Country I believe, I thinks his name then was Jim Faugh. Turns out his his travelling companion was none other than other local celeb and warlord Micky McKevitte whom he had been arrested with several times in the 80s and 90s. Oh on one occassion in the late 80s when Murphys car was stopped in Monaghan he had Mc Kevitte and former PIRA Chief Staff Kevin McKenna, Slab claims he picked up 2 hitch hikers on the side of the road. This guy should have recieved an oscar.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Trowbridge: ”This is simply an example of police states running wild!”

    Er yes. I’m assuming that you a resident of the US Mr.Ford? We’ve all had our eyes opened to how the yanks react to terrorism in their own back yard — witness Guantanemo, clampdowns on ‘aliens’ and wholesale invasion of countries deemed to be harbouring ‘terrorists.’
    If Mr.Slab had been running this sort of operation in say Kentucky, he’d have been lucky to get off with an airstrike, never mind a friendly bit of cross-border co-operation.
    By the sound of the Sunday Times report, they even took great care which part of the bloke’s farm they stepped in, in case they operated illegally in another jurisdiction!
    Pull the other one, this guy has had it coming for decades, and if both parts of this island are to have any chance of a peaceful future, this sort of nose-thumbing has to be stopped.
    The rest of us get clamped for parking 10 minutes over time and get threatened with the cavalry for not having a TV licence — why should this bloke make a mint from smuggling dodgy diesel and cancer sticks? Likewise if I had 300k in a plastic bag in my shed, I think people would have a right to know where I got it don’t you?

  • Heck5, you have obviously missed all the snide remarks and red herrings regarding me.

    I left the United States permanenently in 1989 because I could not take its mindless, individualism any more, only to belatedly discover that it tried to kill me while I was living as an exile in Portugal.

    For more on this, see my articles about being an American exile, and confessions regarding America’s attempt to kill me in the Trowbridge Archive at:


    If Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy had ever been an object of criminal justice wherever I lived, I would have been a firm proponent of his rights rather than let states, like Britain and Ireland, act as a collection agent for one of their biggest fascists, Rupert Murdoch. And still I am no supporter of Mr. Murphy, only suggesting that people keep matters in proportion.

    Perhaps, you better start thinking about who your real enemies are, and start doing something constructive about them rather than just looking for simple scapegoats.

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    This is a definate payback to South Armagh PIRA and how this unit was able to keep the army of a member of the UN security council from patrolling the streets (had to come in by helicopter). Also, payback for the South Armagh and the alleged linkage to Montbatten and Canary Wharf.

    Curious, though, the timing….about the same time as Mr. McFarland is told by the republic of Ireland’s courts that he will have to stand trial.

    Let’s see, republic of Ireland working with brits to get Mr. Murphy and Mr. Mc Farland. Gee -who does this help?

    posted by Kathy C

  • ingrammartin

    Kathy Luv,

    Quote”Let’s see, republic of Ireland working with brits to get Mr. Murphy and Mr. Mc Farland. Gee -who does this help?2Unquote

    Mr Justice.