Barnes DPP Sallins Case


In 1982, the campaign to have Nicky Kelly released, was winning public sympathy. Others (Breatnach and McNally) wrongly convicted had won their appeals after an international campaign, and were released. Kelly, who returned from the USA to clear his name, was immediately arrested, refused leave to appeal and ordered to serve out a 12-year sentence of penal servitude. Exhausting all remaining legal remedies, he eventually went on a 30-day hunger strike.

At a press conference, the campaign produced one of those originally charged with the robbery, John Fitzpatrick. He swore an Affidavit he had been tortured and forced to sign an untrue statement and that he was not at the robbery. The case against him had been previously thrown out of court. Fitzpatrick dared Gardai to re-arrest him.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), immediately reviewed the case. He concluded he did not believe Fitzpatrick was guilty and as Nicky Kelly had stated that Fitzpatrick was at the robbery in his alleged statement, that, therefore, the entire case against Kelly case was flawed. He also said he had not been informed of the allegations of garda ill-treatment when presented with the garda file in 1976. In the totality of the information widely known now, if faced with the file now, in 1982, he would not have ordered any of the six men charged. The detailed contents of the review were widely known in government circles and within the Department of Justice.


Ten years after the first review, in 1993, the last man wrongly convicted, Nicky Kelly, was granted a Presidential Pardon and released from jail. Explaining the government’s decision to support the pardon, spokespersons, duplicitously, quoted from a new 1993 DPP Review. However, most of the contents were based on the earlier suppressed ’82 review. This ’82 Review was kept hidden during Nicky Kelly’s hunger strike and, illegally, during the subsequent negotiations for compensation with those wrongly convicted.


During the civil action for damages taken by John Fitzpatrick  some years later, the State failed to furnish the contents of this Suppressed Review to his legal team. Especially after the infamous judge Lynch (Kerry Babies notoriety) invited the jury to consider if Fitzpatrick had robbed the Sallins train

Thus, the fraudulent State case went to the jury. Fitzpatrick lost his case.

Two more reasons why an impartial public inquiry should be held.

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