Arms conspiracy charges against former Minister for Agriculture Neil Blaney are dropped on the grounds of a lack of evidence.
A Dublin District Justice has ruled that there is no evidence on which to send Mr. Neil Blaney for trial before a judge and jury on arms conspiracy charges. Four other men including former Minister for Finance Charles Haughey, retired army officer Capatain James Kelly, Belfast IRA member John Kelly, and Belgian businessman Albert Luykx, were sent to trial to the Circuit Criminal Court.
District Justice Kearney said that after having read the book of evidence and listened to counsel submissions, he concluded that there was no evidence to associate Mr. Blaney with any conspiracy.
When the hearing concluded Mr. Blaney left the court carried shoulder-high by supporters in jubilation. Outside court he was mobbed by well-wishers.
Neil Blaney and Charles Haughey had been sacked by Taoiseach Jack Lynch amid allegations of their involvement in the arms crisis. It was alleged that Haughey and Blaney had conspired to import weapons to supply to the IRA in Northern Ireland, where the troubles had erupted the previous year.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 April 1970.