Key republican player linked to US 'supernotes'
The letter, subsequently disclosed in this newspaper by Moscow correspondent Seamus Martin, requested “a grant of one million pounds (Irish)” over a five-year period, but this was refused.
The document was in the names of Garland and Proinsias De Rossa but the latter denied all knowledge of it and described it as a forgery which was not authorised by the WP.
In 1992, six of the WP’s seven Dáil deputies, including De Rossa, split off to set up Democratic Left, which eventually merged with the Labour Party.
At the end of the decade, Garland became the subject of allegations that he was part of a forgery scheme involving the Stalinist regime in North Korea whereby fake US dollars would be exchanged for genuine banknotes. A US court indictment in 2005 said seven men, including Garland, distributed the $100 “supernotes”. The US authorities sought the extradition of Garland, who denied the charge.
A press conference in July 2011 was attended by TDs from Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Technical Group, who opposed the extradition of Garland to the US over allegations that he had taken part in a counterfeiting operation involving North Korea and the Russian mafia.
Forgery and distribution
In an affidavit to the High Court, Brenda Johnson, assistant US attorney, said one of Garland’s alleged co-conspirators had told investigators he had purchased more than $250,000 of “supernotes” from “the Garland organisation”.
The Americans contended the forgery and distribution of the $100 notes was part of a Marxist bid to destabilise the dollar. The allegations against Mr Garland related mostly to 1999 and 2000.
The extradition application was rejected in December 2012 by the High Court which ruled that the alleged offence should be prosecuted in Ireland and referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The latest document to come to light from the archives of the Communist rulers of the former German Democratic Republic is similar in tone and content to the 1986 “Moscow Letter” except “illegal means” is used instead of “special activities”.
The WP remains in existence as a politically active formation on the left, although the lack of parliamentary representation means it gets limited public attention.