The Report by Darinagh Boyle, DERRY NEWS, Thursday, February
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
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.
“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
And a number of prominent political figures have thrown their weight behind
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
the campaign website is at