News report - Fri. 2004-02-20 by Seamus
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
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
Spokesman for the Derry-based campaign Fionnbarra Ó 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.