At a press conference in New York Taoiseach Jack Lynch gives his reaction to the Arms Trial verdict.
In a dramatic move, on 6 May 1970 An Taoiseach Jack Lynch sacked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Neil Blaney and the Minister for Finance Charles Haughey. The men were accused of being involved in an attempt to import arms from Europe. Kevin Boland the Minister for Social Welfare resigned over the dismissals.
In the subsequent Arms Trial, Charles Haughey, intelligence officer in the Irish army Captain James Kelly, Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader John Kelly and Belgian businessman Albert Luykx were acquitted of attempting to import arms illegally. Neil Blaney never stood trial as a district court judgement ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.
An Taoiseach Jack Lynch in New York for the United Nations 25th anniversary General Assembly session via satellite holds a press conference to address the Arms Trial verdict of 23 October 1970.
Despite the jury verdict acquitting those accused,
Nobody can deny that there was this attempt to import arms illegally.
All government members are aware that arms can only be imported on the issuing of a certificate by either the Minister for Defence of the Minister for Justice.
Charles Haughey failed to keep the Taoiseach informed of of a vital matter.
I think that a government must exist on complete mutual trust and confidence that was certainly absent on this occasion.
With regard to Neil Blaney,
He clearly knew of this attempt to import arms and for some period.
Jack Lynch says he is not interested in the securing a conviction of a conspiracy,
I had a certain evidence available to me, as I indicated publicly to the Dáil on the basis of that evidence I took the action that I did.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 October 1970.