Michael Heney The Arms Crisis of 1970: The Plot that Never Was


Code 9781789545609
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The number one Irish Times bestseller In 1970, Taoiseach Jack Lynch accused two cabinet ministers, Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney, of smuggling arms to the IRA in Northern Ireland. The criminal prosecution that followed was a cause celebre at the time. All the accused were acquitted, but it generated a political crisis that would be one of the major events of modern Irish history.

In the fifty years since, myth and controversy has surrounded the trial and its aftermath. Michael Heney has unearthed astonishing new evidence, raising serious questions about Lynch and his relationship with Haughey. The Arms Crisis of 1970 is the first comprehensive investigation into the arms trial prosecution, and how the jury came to their verdict of acquittal.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Heney is a former award-winning journalist and producer with RTE Television, having previously worked with the Irish Times and with RTE Radio. A Fellow of the World Press Institute in Macalester College in Minneapolis St. Paul, his achievements include two Jacobs Television awards, Cross Broadcaster of the Year, and Liam Hourican European Journalist of the Year.

His television exposes on the criminal convictions of the Tallaght Two led to the verdicts in that case being overturned in the Irish Court of Criminal Appeal. Since retiring from journalism in 2010, Michael has conducted six years of full-time academic investigation into the 1970 Arms Crisis, for which he was awarded firstly an MA (2014), and later a Ph.D (2018) by University College Dublin. He lives in Dublin.

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'Finally, a path has been cleared through the dirty fog of the Arms Crisis. Michael Heney has provided us with an original and textured history of one of the most controversial and misunderstood episodes of modern Irish history. Driven by evidence and attention to detail, and with dynamism and doggedness, Heney strips away the lies, myths and speculation surrounding the events and personalities associated with the great Irish scandal of 1970 and uncovers the realities. His clarity and painstaking research have resulted in a ground-breaking book'
- Diarmaid Ferriter

'A brilliant, forensic investigation of the 1970 arms trial, with much new material'
- Vincent Browne

Packed with astonishing detail and absorbing observations, interpreted anew through study of the State Papers of 2001, The Arms Crisis of 1970 will leave you gasping with interest as you turn the pages ... I cannot recommend this book highly enough'
- Mary O'Rourke, * Sunday Independent *

'Heney's book is a reminder of how a version of the frictions that led to splits in Sinn Fein and the foundation of Fianna Fail in the 1920s surfaced again in the late 1960s and early 1970s'
- * RTE *


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