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  • Garda Richard Fallon

    Leargas, RTE 1, Monday 21st January, 7.30pm.



    My 38-year search for the truth -- by the son of a slain garda hero

    By John Meagher
    Saturday January 19 2008

    Finian Fallon is a driven man. He is part of that small, but defiant band of people whose lives have been touched by tragedy and who strive for the truth against all odds.

    Every day, the Dublin accountant is haunted by unanswered questions surrounding the murder of his father, Garda Richard Fallon. The policeman was gunned down during an armed bank robbery at the Royal Bank of Ireland on Dublin's Arran Quay in April 1970, leaving behind a widow and five young children.
    Dick Fallon was the first garda to be murdered in 28 years. The killers -- allegedly members of the short-lived Republican paramilitary group, Saor Eire -- were never brought to justice.
    To this day, his son is convinced that they were given special treatment by a government that was about to become embroiled in the Arms Trial controversy.
    This theory forms the subject of the first programme in a four-part Leargas documentary series about gardai killed in the line of duty. Featuring contributions from Finian and his brother Richard, it gives a sense of a family's despair while also painting a picture of an Ireland in political turmoil. The documentary also portrays a largely inept, parochial police force whose attempts to bring three suspected culprits to trial ended in farce.
    Finian Fallon has been campaigning for years for a public inquiry into the incident. He believes there is evidence to show that there were links between the controversial Fianna Fail administration of the time and Saor Eire. He is convinced that his father's death was brushed under the carpet by Jack Lynch's government.
    "I have a right to know the full circumstances of my father's killing," he says. "Thirty-eight years have elapsed, but there should be a public inquiry. Similar enquiries have taken place in the North, but not here. It seems to be a part of our history that many people want to pretend that it never happened."
    His struggle to discover the truth received renewed impetus in July 2001 when Des O'Malley, while making a Dail statement regarding the Arms Trial, insisted that there was reason to believe Dick Fallon may have been murdered with a weapon which had been part of earlier illegal arms shipments into this State.
    The murder had a devastating impact on the Fallon family. Finian's mother, who was teetotal while her husband was alive, became an alcoholic and died 13 years ago. A brother, Joseph, also died in tragic circumstances. Finian blames both tragedies on the stress caused by his father's death.
    The murder, which happened when he was just three years old, would dominate his childhood. "It was talked about all the time, quite understandably. Yet I struggle to remember many details about my father. I was so young when he died."
    The memory of the funeral is etched on his mind. "I can remember walking up the pathway to Balbriggan cemetery with hundreds of people around and everyone in black coats and getting separated from my mother and looking up and thinking I was going to be crushed to death." He remembers standing by the side of the grave as the coffin was lowered into the ground. He almost fell in with the casket as he threw a daffodil into the open grave.
    "I remember a sense of him never coming back. I'm told I used to wait for him standing in my cot."
    When he reached adulthood, he started to look for answers, and his efforts have intensified since 2000, when State papers released under the 30-year rule turned out to be fruitless. "We had hoped that there would be sensitive material about the treatment of Saor Eire by that government," he says, "but nothing showed up. It made me even more convinced that trying to find answers was the correct thing to do."
    It's something that has consumed him. "I have the personal strength to keep this up. I'm even more resolved than ever to know the truth." He has received tenuous information, which suggests that a politician from the time may have helped the cover-up, but he can't prove it -- yet. "What I'm saying is a terribly serious allegation against the Irishgovernment and they haven't responded to it. If I'm wrong, let them prove I'm wrong.
    "The only really effective way I have of campaigning about this is either to get media coverage or to take a case against the government."
    He says he has no interest in vengeance. "We merely want the truth. Despite our efforts, we have received no official recognition of our case. There are other families of murdered gardai that also have serious, unanswered questions concerning the deaths of their parents and spouses."
    The 41-year-old is not married, has no children and can devote more time than most to pursing his beliefs. But he is aware of the dangers of allowing a campaign like this to subsume his life.
    "I know who I am. I know what I'm seeking. I have to do it for my family's sake, and that of my father."
    Leargas: Garda Ar Lar will be shown on RTE One on Monday at 7.30pm.
    - John Meagher

    Last edited by Groundhog; 19 January 2008, 11:52.
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  • #2
    I thought that "Saor Eire" were known to be a criminal organisation masquerading as a terrorist group to cover their tracks and to give them some "standing" amongst the community.??

    Despite all the protestations at being Irish Freedom Fighters the group were just members of the Irish Criminal Fraternity.

    Connaught Stranger.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
      I thought that "Saor Eire" were known to be a criminal organisation masquerading as a terrorist group to cover their tracks and to give them some "standing" amongst the community.??

      Despite all the protestations at being Irish Freedom Fighters the group were just members of the Irish Criminal Fraternity.

      Connaught Stranger.
      Isn't that the same as the other shower?


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Read 'Gun Runners ' by sean boyne ..gives a very good insight into the whole Saor Eire thing.
        Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

        Comment


        • #5
          Just watched the program.. the book I mentioned gives a better insight into the politcal backround at the time and shows how individuals seemed to forget through a sense of perverse nationalism that they were doing the right thing at the time.

          The lack of documentation as mentioned in one of the interviews stinks to high heaven of a cover up.

          It would imply that someone or persons were complicant in a cover up.

          The Gardai themselves were painted in a very poor light in the documentary and some interesting facts came to light.

          Makes one wonder how open the thirty year rule is given that any documentation was long gone ever before the thirty years were up.

          There seems to be a certain naivety at the time that armed criminals wouldn't use there weapons and this naivety probably led to a level of belief in invincibilty amongst gardai.

          It would seem that the management of the gardai at the time failed to belive that anyone would shoot at never mind murder a Garda and belived that the respect alone for the Gardai would either negate the potential of such a crime or even when it got to court the vulnerability of the individula guard would lead to a straight forward conviction.

          I suppose that naivety in Irish society as a whole at the time was prevalent that people in posts of responsibility within the state failed to differentiate between right and wrong and left memebers of the gardai etc open to acts of violence becuse of their own misgiuded nationalism.

          Bigger picture than just a Garda being murdered..the persons ultimately responsibile were just as guilty as those who fired the fatal shots ..and like the actual killers remain unknown.

          I would reckon the Gardas own actions were heroic but in light of subsequents he was a mere pawn in nationalsitic politices ..the results of which some events have never been uncovered fully.

          There must be some still alive today who have greater knoledge of all the events surrounding these events and it is the families right to know whta exactly went on.

          In light of the non prosections as regard tro the peace process etc..should it not be possible for some one to come forward even at this late stage and give Garda Fallons family some peace of mind?
          Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

          Comment


          • #6
            maybe this mooted cold case branch

            should view this as their first case

            where as we as a society need to know our Gardai support and protect us

            our Gardai also need to know that we as a society support and protect them
            Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
            Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
            The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
            The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
            The best lack all conviction, while the worst
            Are full of passionate intensity.

            Comment


            • #7
              There must be some still alive today who have greater knoledge of all the events surrounding these events and it is the families right to know whta exactly went on.

              In light of the non prosections as regard tro the peace process etc..should it not be possible for some one to come forward even at this late stage and give Garda Fallons family some peace of mind?
              As there is no statute of limitations on murder in the Irish Republic,

              I very much doubt if anyone will ever talk.

              Connaught Stranger.

              Comment

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