Tuigtear dom go bhfuil fiosrú nua Rialtais le bheith ann faoi chás an iar oifigigh in Oglaigh na hÉireann, Dónal de Róiste.
I 1968 cuireadh iachaill air Dhónal, ar dhriothar é le hAdi Roche, eirí as an Arm agus é 24 bliain d’aois. B’é Uachtarán na linne, Eamon De Valera, ar ordú ón Rialtas, a chuir iachaill air seo a dhéanamh.
Tá go leor liamhaintí ann faoin chás seo agus nuair a deineadh an cás a fhiosrú theana, d’eisigh Aire Cosanta na linne, Willie O’Dea,ráiteas ag tabhairt le fios gur léirigh taifead na nOglach go raibh an cinneadh ceart agus cóir.
De réir leabhar a scrígh an údar, Don Mullan, “Speaking Truth To Power’, tá an scéal níos casta ná sin.
Ag an am, i 1968, deineadh De Róiste a cheistiú ar feadh roinnt laethannta ag ceannaras na nOglach. Nior cuireadh ar a thriail é. Níor cúisíodh é. Is amhlaidh gur díbríodh as an Arm é, le leas na seirbhíse a dhéanamh.
Anois tá fiosrú eile le déanamh ar an gcás. Mar thoradh ar rún a mhol na Seanadóirí Eoghan Harris agus Joe O’Toole sa Seanad, tá an fiosrú seo orduithe agus seans, b’fhéidir, go nochtfar an fhírinne an uair seo.
Seo sliocht ó alt san Irish Examiner faoin chás agus na cosúilachtaí idir é agus cás Alfred Dreyfus, an oifigeach in Arm na Frainnce, atá mar chás ‘celebré’ i stair na tíre sin.
Having read Mullan’s book, I can’t help but draw parallels between de Róiste’s case and that of Alfred Dreyfus at the end of the 19th century.
Dreyfus was a Jewish officer in the French army, falsely accused of spying and treason and locked up for years on Devil’s Island.
The similarities arise from the fact that almost as soon as Dreyfus was convicted (by a secret court martial) everyone involved with the case came to know the identity of the real culprit. But rather than admit a mistake, cover-up after cover-up was perpetrated.
Eventually, the famous French writer, Émile Zola, became convinced of Dreyfus innocence.
He wrote and published a famous open letter to the president of France, highlighting the injustice involved. His letter was known as “J’Accuse” (I accuse) and in it he set out an entire list of people who were involved in the original injustice to Dreyfus, as well as others who knew and did nothing to prevent it.
He accused seven senior officers of being involved, three handwriting experts of contributing to the deceit, and he accused the French department of defence of using media manipulation — spin, we would call it nowadays — to cover up its own involvement in the destruction of Dreyfus.
Zola’s accusations were so outrageous that he was put on trial for slander and defamation. But, guess what? They all turned out to be true. The Dreyfus case was one more example of a system unable to admit an injustice, because to admit it would reflect badly on the system.
I have a funny feeling that sooner or later, Don Mullan will be seen as a modern Zola.
I DON’T think I’ve ever met de Róiste. He is the brother of Adi Roche, one of the people I admire most.
When Adi was running for the Presidency some years ago, some fairly vicious people resurrected the story of her brother’s “disgrace” (which would have happened when Adi was about 14) as part of the dirty campaign against her — a campaign that is now fairly widely acknowledged as being one of the dirtiest ever seen in Ireland.
I advised Adi throughout that campaign, and was foolish enough to believe the Irish media would not use the Dónal de Róiste story. But use it they did, and, to this day, some of them haven’t suffered a pang of shame.
Beidh le feiceáil cén toradh a bheidh ar an gcás seo. An bhfaighidh Dónal de Róiste cothrom na féinne faoi dheireadh?