June 28th, 1984
FROM THE ARCHIVES:The leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, Dominic McGlinchey, was captured in a gunbattle with gardaí in Co Clare and extradited to the North after a precedent-setting Supreme Court decision. His arrest was later described in court during the trial of two other men who were in the house with him.
Dominic McGlinchey stood on a rooftop with a machinegun and sprayed a large number of bullets in the direction of detectives who had surrounded a house to arrest him, the Special Criminal Court in Dublin was told yesterday.
During the gun battle at the Co Clare house early last St Patrick’s Day, shots were also fired from the roof through a perspex skylight at gardai in the house, the court heard . . .
[Detective] Sergeant [Joseph] Egan said he went with a party of 15 members of the SDU [Special Detective Unit] with a search warrant to the house. He and four other officers went in by the back door which had a key in it.
He spoke to [occupant] Mrs Lyons . She opened the kitchen and sittingroom doors downstairs and he saw there was nobody in them. There was noise of people moving round upstairs and he became aware there was a person on the roof overhead with a machinegun.
Sergeant Egan said that after he called on everybody upstairs to come down, a man replied he was coming down with his hands on his head and without any gun. The man asked the gardai not to shoot him. Ciaran Damery came down and was arrested.
There was then a burst of gunfire from upstairs and witness saw people crossing at the top with firearms . . . There followed a shout that two of the Lyons boys were in a room downstairs.
Almost immediately there was another burst of gunfire from upstairs. “I shouted to the Lyons boys and all other innocent people in the house to remain where they were,” Sergeant Egan added.
“Through the perspex skylight I saw a man on the roof with a gun pointed in our direction. I fired a burst of gunfire at him from my Uzi sub-machinegun. He disappeared from the vicinity of the skylight.”
Sergeant Egan said that during further gunfire, he fired a burst at another man upstairs.
During a pause one of the men said he was a spokesman for the group and wanted to negotiate terms to end the battle but that the men wouldn’t come down until a priest was called to the scene for fear they would be shot by the gardai. The men also asked that Mrs Bridget Makowski, IRSP [Irish Republican Socialist Party] Shannon town commissioner, be brought to the house. They were told this would not be allowed but that she would be brought to Ennis Garda Station.
They were assured that Damery was unhurt. Two men could then be seen dismantling arms before a voice said “we’re coming down now, no shooting.”
The first person to come down was Dominic McGlinchey. The next was [Seamus] McShane, and he was followed by [Damien] Bird. After they were arrested and taken out, two young boys came down.