Des O'Malley has rejected allegations of government involvement in events which lead to the 1970 Arms Trial. In the first of a four part documentary shown on RTÉ One, the then Justice Minister, answered allegations that the Jack Lynch lead government was aware of the attempts to illegally import arms into the country.
In the documentary, "Des O'Malley: A Public Life", Mr O'Malley strenuously argued that the government at the time did not sanction the plan. As chief whip, Mr O'Malley sat at the cabinet table from July 1969. Mr O'Malley said, "Do you think that men like Patrick Hillery, Erskine Childers, Padraig Faulkner and George Colley would have stayed for one minute at the cabinet table if such a proposal was put forward and agreed to? They wouldn't". Mr O'Malley has called for a full inquiry into all aspects of the matter.
Questions over Mr O'Malley's role in the Arms Trial have been raised in recent weeks following the discovery of documents in the National Archive which show that he had signed a certificate directing that privilege be claimed over an Arms Trial file. The file contained the original statement of the former director of military intelligence, Colonel Michael Hefferon, which implicated the Minister for Defence, Mr Jim Gibbons, in the plan to import arms.