Sean Haughey defends claims made in Dáil about Arms Trial

Sean Haughey defends claims made in Dáil about Arms Trial

Fianna Fail's Sean Haughey. Picture: Sam Boal/

Fianna Fáil TD Sean Haughey has defended his controversial Dáil claims that Sean Mac Stiofan, a member of the IRA army council, was a Special Branch informer.

Mr Haughey, on Tuesday night, called for all files relating to the Arms Trial to be released.

Mr Haughey, son of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey, has asked that the Arms Trials Garda files be released after he suggested in the Dáil that Mr MacStiofain was the person who was behind the tip-off about a shipment of arms coming into Dublin Airport.

Charlie Haughey was sacked by then-Taoiseach Jack Lynch before being acquitted at a trial which began 50 years ago this week.

Garbled reports

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Sean Haughey said that on foot of two new books on the Arms Crisis in 1970, the established narrative is changing.

Justice minister Helen McEntee said she would review and release any relevant records where that may exist in her department, where appropriate.

She added: “It is difficult to see how different accounts can be validated, or adjudicated on at this remove, particularly for most of those who are involved, are no longer in a position to defend themselves”.

The minister said the Arms Trial "was one of the most significant political controversies in the history of the State, and it remains of abiding interest, despite the passage of 50 years".

She said that some records relating to the Arms Trial had been released to the National Archives in 2000. However, she said some of the records could not be released because they contain sensitive, garbled reports or potentially defamatory information.

Mr Haughey said the Dáil had previously been "misled" about how the State came to learn of the imminent arrival of the arms flight in the 1970s.

He said a new book, Deception and Lies: The Hidden History of the Arms Trial by David Burke, "reveals that Mac Stiofain exploited his position to create mischief for his archrival, Cathal Goulding”.


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