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Whacker Humphries

  • (Christy Moore)

    One day as I was walking past the bridge in Dolphins Barn
    Down by the old canal I saw some children in a car
    In the back they were shooting up smack, and I had a bird's eye view
    When I dialled for help, told me there's nothing we can do

    On both sides of the river, clearly to be seen
    Down along O'Connell Street and up to Stephen's Green
    Heroin sold openly, there was no need to hide
    The drug squad were outnumbered, seems like their hands were tied

    John Whacker Humphries, he's a family man
    Him and his wife, they give their children everything they can
    Faced with the scourge of heroin they'd not accept defeat
    They joined the other Concerned Parents to put the dealers off the street

    They marched in dealers' houses and ordered them to quit
    Time and time again they warned, We've had enough of it
    Dirty needles in our doorways, junkies hanging all about
    Keep on dealing heroin and you're going to be moved out

    From St. Teresa's Gardens to the flats in Ballymun
    Concerned Parents' action had the dealers on the run
    They swore they'd stick together till the heroin was stopped
    Can anybody tell me why they got their knuckles rapped

    They were rounded up and charged with crimes against the State
    Brought down to the Green Street Court to decide their fate
    There wasn't any jury, and there was no bail
    The concerned parents were taken off to jail

    I was sitting in the gallery with families, fiends and wives
    I strained to hear who told the truth and who was telling lies
    Dealers, junkies and police on the prosecution side
    I swear to God that's what I saw before my very eyes

    Whacker Humphries took the dealers on and he fought them tooth and nail
    And a dozen well-armed soldiers drove him to the Portlaoise Jail
    He tried to protect his children, found guilty of a crime
    One man gets a pension and another man gets time

    This morning I was walking past the bridge in Dolphins Barn
    And I heard a small bird whisper, Mind you don't come to any harm

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • german [1991:] Ich ging vor ein paar Jahren mit meinen Kindern im Dolphin's Barn Gebiet von Dublin spazieren. Ich sah, wie fünf, sechs junge Typen so um die 14 in ein parkendes Auto stiegen und sich einer nach dem anderen einen Schuß setzten. Dieser Typ von ungefähr 20, total entmenschlicht durch Heroin und jemand, vor dem ich mich echt gefürchtet hätte, hat es ihnen gegeben. Mein erster Gedanke war: Hätte ich ein Gewehr gehabt, ich hätte ihn weggepustet. Aber das war eine blöde Reaktion. Also ging ich und rief die Polizei an, und die sagten: "Wir können da nichts tun, wahrscheinlich sind die weg, bis wir kommen." Aber das Lied blieb unvollständig, bis ich zwei Jahre später in einem Gerichtssaal saß und sah, wie die Polizei die Aussagen von Heroin-Dealern benutzte, um Mitglieder einer Anti- Drogen-Initiative von betroffenen Eltern hinter Gitter zu bringen. Eine Gesellschaft, die all das zuläßt, muß in Frage gestellt werden. Und obwohl ein Lied bestimmt nicht genug ist, ist es das Beste, was ich tun kann. Und es wird wenigstens die Augen derer öffnen, die nicht glauben, daß so etwas heute in Dublin passiert. (Christy Moore, irland journal 4/91)

  • english [1996:] The brutal murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, who was shot in her car last Wednesday, has provoked a wave of public outrage against the drug dealers suspected of the crime. [...] Like other big cities the world over, what has changed Dublin has been the emergence of a serious drugs problem. This first hit in the early 1980s, but was kept within bounds as major dealers were jailed. Since then a new and more ruthlessly organised generation of criminals has emerged. [...] The cost of winning plaudits as the 'celtic tiger' economy has been a level of unemployment which has ravaged many deprived areas of large cities. There are parts of Dublin's inner city where 80 per cent of the young men have no jobs and no hope of getting jobs. [...] 'They start dealing because it's a way of making a few bob and it's relatively risk free, as long as you don't offend one of the bigger fish. Prison doesn't frighten them [...].' It is noticeable that the big dealers about whom Veronica Guerin wrote so tenaciously, [...] all shared this kind of background. [...]

    Local people have fought back by forming groups to try and keep the pushers out. The police have an uneasy relationship with these groups, praising their commitment but often worried about their methods. There have been violent attacks on suspected pushers and allegations that the IRA is involved. In one particularly tragic case earlier this year, a terminally-ill Aids patient was beaten to death by men in balaclavas wielding clubs. (John Sweeney, Observer, 30 June)

  • english [1997:] Veronica Guerin's suspected killers have been hunted down by the Garda and will stand trial soon. The principal Mr Big is John Gilligan, named by the Observer last year. He admitted he was the chief suspect. He is on remand in England fighting extradition. [...]

    Shortly after Veronica was killed, Ireland passed a Civil Forfeiture Act - you could call it a Veronica law. This means that if a drugs baron has blatant wealth and cannot prove his money was acquired legally, it goes to the government. [...] It is easier to apply, too. A criminal case requires the highest evidential burden of proof. A Veronica law requires the civil standard of proof - evidence is judged upon the balance of probabilities. Isn't that marvellous? The result has been that many of Ireland's barons have fled the country.

    In Britain, no such law exists. (John Sweeney, Observer, 26 Oct)

  • english [1998:] When the 'Sunday Independent' reporter Veronica Guerin was shot dead two years ago, she was honoured by a shocked nation as a heroine who had bravely sought to expose a criminal fraternity so ruthless that they were prepared to kill her for her trouble. Emily O'Reilly suspected a murkier reality behind the martyrdom of Veronica, and set about investigating the methods she used and the milieu in which she operated. The result is a picture of an obsessive prepared to do almost anything to get a story - a reckless risk-taker who pitted Ireland's most dangerous criminals against each other, unrestrained by employers who cared only about the scoops brought in by their famous sleuth. O'Reilly, political editor of the rival 'Sunday Business Post', mounts a powerful critique of the 'Sunday Independent's' ethics, but the harsher her criticism, the more you suspect the truth lies somewhere between the myth and the picture she paints. (Review of Emily O'Reilly's 'Veronica Guerin: The Life and Death of a Crime Reporter', Observer, 21 June)

Quelle: Ireland

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