In 1985 here in Ireland a book called ” Smack, was released it follows the then drug culture which was once in Ireland at the time as well as providing plenty of names of so called drug pushers. This book was then taken of the shelves due to the nature of its content.
Two Irish journalist wrote this book and they are Sean Flynn and Padraig Yeates, both of these journalists worked for various newspapers here in Dublin City, in the 1980’s and it was here working for these newspaper’s they covered crime.
Today almost 32 years later its nearly impossible to pick up a copy of that book, Smack. There is a couple of people selling this book on line in the UK and they are asking £60.00 for this book. Because the book was taken of the shelves after its first run no re- runs where printed so this alone has contributed to the lack of supply of these books. This book was printed by a Dublin Based publisher known as Gill and Macmillan. The book itself has 341 pages of reading in it as well as photographs from well known drug pushers and or their associates involving allegedly selling drugs.
Recently at a charity shop here in Dublin City I was looking through their book section and there waiting to be picked up and brought home was this book, Smack. I quickly picked it up along with four other books and paid the very fair price of €5.00 for the lot. I was just lucky that day and if you ever see this book in a charity shop or a car booth sale grab it, it may become very valuable in the future.
Prime Bling (PB) Is delighted to be welcoming Dubliner Dave John Brophy, who has kindly sent his personal story relating to himself when he first bought this book and the facts around this book back in the 1980’s Dublin City.
The other day I came across a long forgotten copy of a book called SMACK, The criminal drugs racket in Ireland, which was published in 1985 and written by Sean Flynn & Padraig Yeates, both of whom where journalists in Dublin. The book was banned within days of publication and all copies where whipped off shop shelves in stores. I recall because I had only bought a copy the day before the book was banned. I like a lot of people purchased a copy because we knew or knew of most of the characters named in the book.
Now the book is as rare as Hens teeth and almost impossible to get anywhere.
Back in the 1960 in Dublin there was very little in the news about drugs or the major crimes associated with it as is the case today. Back then a murder was a very rare event indeed and it was mostly a case of petty crime. Back in those days apart from Gangster Movies we had only heard rumors of gangs such as the Animal gang, Teddy Boy’s, and a bit later Skinheads but they of course where only small fry compared to what was to come later. There where always street gangs but for the most part the worse they got up to was theft and street fights certainly nothing like they do today.
I recall the “hard core” guy’s in local gangs getting pissed drunk every Friday on Cider or “Scrumpy” as it was called back then and smoking hash. These guy’s could be seen “throwing shapes” which was what would be described as bullying these days, as they staggered around the streets looking for “Mots” (Women) or trouble if they couldn’t find anything better to do. They walked around “full of rubber” as we use to say, thinking that blows would bounce off them or something, bulletproof.
There where gangs in Crumlin, Drimnagh, Dolphins Barn, Donore Avenue, here in Dublin City, you name the place they had a gang and if you where from one area you had to be careful going through another or you’d be “hopped on” and given a beaten. Which only happen to me once when a friend and I where “hopped on” by a gang of about twelve after leaving our girlfriends home. Worse still was the fact that it was a local gang near where we lived.
In the early 70’s we had the start of the “troubles” up in the North of Ireland. The first major crime I recall where Bank Robberies which where as far as my memory goes where committed by paramilitaries in order to raise funds to buy guns. Before then Bank robberies and robbery of workers wages didn’t happen much in Ireland but sadly around that time they became a regular feature of life in Ireland.
It wasn’t long before the criminal gangs latched on to this lucrative source of easy money before they graduated to buying and selling drugs. Chief among was the Dunne family, from St Teresa Gardens, here in Dublin 8 area which was the first time I heard the use of Dug Lord or Barron. The drugs at the time of the publication of the book SMACK had really caused havoc in working class communities across Dublin and appear to be more prominent in Dublin Corporation flat complex’s such as Dolphins House, Fatima Mansions and Donore Avenue among others, maybe because the where more concentrated in these areas than others.
Little did anyone realize at then time that despite the best efforts of all involved including local resident groups that the drugs problem and resulting gang wars where to get a lot worse than anyone could have imagined in their wildest dreams. Even the crimes outlined in the book now appear mild compared to today and what has happen since. To think we would see armed Garda patrol our streets was unthinkable in 1985 the year that book was published. I recall the public uproar at the time over the book and all the air time it was given which in hindsight all seems ridicules when one considers what has come to pass since.
I recall a quote at the time reported to have been made by one of the Dunne family which was to the effect,
If you think we’re bad, wait until you see what’s coming next. Little did we know how right he was.
Dave John Brophy
Image Sourced From Google Images.