Category: Archive

Worker’s party boss Garland sought by US

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Sean Garland was unceremoniously arrested at his party’s annual conference in Belfast on Friday and appeared in court the next day to face the U.S. extradition warrants.
It appears the Police Service of Northern Ireland have had the warrants for some time and were waiting for Garland to cross the border to arrest him. He is now on bail but must remain at an address in County Down approved by the courts.
Garland was badly wounded during the 1950s IRA Border Campaign and later again in 1975 during the Official IRA’s feud with the INLA. A convert to Marxism who cultivated links with Eastern Bloc countries and North Korea, Garland helped guide the Official Sinn Fein’s transformation into the Workers’ Party. He was the leader of the rump that opposed modernization in the early 1990s and continued active political life under the Workers’ Party name. A majority of party members in the Republic, including six TDs, left to form Democratic Left in 1992. (Democratic Left voted to merge with the Irish Labor Party in 1999).
The alleged offences Garland faces date back to a time before the party split, when current leading members of the Irish Labor Party, including its parliamentary leader, Pat Rabbitte, and its president, Proinsias de Rossa, were party members. (The continued existence of the Official IRA and its involvement in criminal activity was the issue that precipitated the break led by De Rossa.)
The U.S. government alleges that, since the early 1990s, Garland, aged 71, and others have “engaged in buying, transporting and either passing as genuine or re-selling large quantities of high quality counterfeit $100 notes.”
These notes were printed by machinery acquired by the North Korean regime identical to that used by the U.S. government to print authentic U.S. dollar notes. The counterfeit appears genuine and is known by the FBI as “superdollars.”
The U.S. authorities further allege that Garland “arranged with North Korean agencies for the purchase of quantities of notes and enlisted other people to disseminate” the money in the UK. The arrest warrant for Garland’s arrest was dated May 19, 2005.
Opposing bail, a Crown lawyer said that if released there was a “substantial risk” that he would not return to face the extradition hearing. He told the court: “We say in simple terms that the defendant would have a strong incentive to flee back to the Republic of Ireland.” (Garland has an address in Navan, Co. Meath.)
However, Garland’s solicitor argued that he had a suitable address in County Down, where a “lifelong friend” and former election candidate lives. He added that his client “strenuously protests his innocence.”
The judge released Garland on bail provided that three sureties of

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