'Moynihan found that there was a system of Murray islanders owning plots of land and to run their gardens, they have quite a detailed system of land usage... most of that came from Eddie's evidence... [but Moynihan] found that whilst the Mabo's may have had that land, that Eddie wasn't a Mabo.
'But... there were two different systems of having children within your family who weren't you're natural children - one was an intended adoption with inheritance of land flowing from that, and the other was a temporary fostering.
'Basically he [Moynihan] found that because government records showed that Eddie went to Thursday island with his father Sambo at the age of 11, that it [the arrangement with Benny Mabo] was a fostering, and he seems to have come to the conclusion that he [Eddie] never returned to the Mabo family, which seemed to me to be contrary to all the evidence, but that was what he found.
'So it was really on that basis that he dismissed his claim, which is a pretty flimsy thing given that there was evidence from his [Eddie's] uncles and his neighbours and everybody else for him to inherit the land.
'I still find it unbelievable that he could reach that conclusion.'
Keywords: adoption, inheritance, land ownership, Mabo, Benny, Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Meriam culture, Moynihan, Justice Martin, Sambo, Robert, 1990
Greg McIntyre interviewed by Trevor Graham, 1996.
Author: Kenna, Jonathan
© Film Australia
Source: McIntyre, Greg