War of Words Between RTÉ and O'Malley Family

RTÉ have defended their TV documentary and podcast series GunPlot following Des O'Malley's accusations that he had not been contacted by the producers of the series, saying that "RTÉ did make contact with Des O'Malley to ask him for an interview for the series. Des O'Malley declined to be interviewed by us and nominated his son, Eoin to take part in the series in his place. "However, on Twitter last night his son Eoin hit back saying "This is a lie. RTÉ never attempted to contact my father. He never declined. I made contact with RTÉ on 4 May on his behalf."

Des O'Malley wrote in the Sunday Independent: "producers of ‘Gun Plot’ documentary never contacted me despite my being a witness to government decisions taken at the time.... RTÉ is obsessed with the arms crisis, and in particular a spin on the crisis that then taoiseach Jack Lynch was somehow involved, that he knew all about the plot to import arms illegally, that he was regularly kept abreast of what was happening, and that when it was discovered he abandoned his colleagues. This “felon setter” allegation is not new. But it is now being aired without any attempt to question its veracity."

In responce RTÉ issued the following statement: “In today’s Sunday Independent (13/06/’21), former government minister, Des O’Malley, claims that the producers of the RTÉ ‘GunPlot’ series never attempted to contact him for interview. The truth matters. And the truth is that RTÉ did make contact with Des O’Malley to ask him for an interview for the series. Des O’Malley declined to be interviewed by us and nominated his son, Eoin to take part in the series in his place. The truth does matter.”

Who is Des O'Malley

Des O'Malley is a former Irish Government Minister. He was thrown out of Fianna Fail in the mid-1980s. He found the Progress Democrats, made up of the liberal wings of the Fianna Fail and Fine Geal parties. He lead them from 1985 until 1993, when he was replaced by Mary Harney. He served as TD for Limerick East from 1968 until 2002. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defense from 1969 until 1970 when he took the position of Minister of Justice. In a short lived minority government of 1982 he was minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism. As leader of the Progressive Democrats he served as Minister for Industry and Commerce in a coalition government with Fianna Fail, until 1992.

What is GunPlot

GunPlot is an RTÉ podcast and TV series chronicling the Arms Crisis.

What is the Arms Crisis?

In 1970 Ministers Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney were dismissed from there positions at cabinet, following their alleged involvement smuggling arms to the IRA. Following the 1969 riots in the six counties that make up Northern Ireland, the Irish government set up a cabinet subcommittee to organize emergency assistance and relief to nationalist families fleeing the north into the Republic. The sub-committee was made up of Haughey, Blaney, Padraig Faulkner and Joseph Brennan. Blaney proposed military intervention to protect nationalist in areas from loyalist mobs, the cabinet decided against intervention, by this time Operation Banner had been put in place by the British Army to protect Nationalist. Blaney through Captain Kelly promised £50,000 to buy weapons at a meeting of the Northern Citizen Defence Committees. In May 1970 both Blaney and Haughey went on trail in Dublin, long with Irish Army intelligence officer, Captain James Kelly, John Kelly and business man Albert Luykx. Charges against Blaney were dropped. Following the collapse of the trail, a second trial cleared all of the other defendants.