McDowell: Colombia three have implications for SF

Michael McDowell puts the blame for the escape and re-appearance of the Colombian Three on the Army Council of the IRA. He notes that in light of recent press reports this may have been known to includes high level members of Sinn Fein.

The minister added: “Their presence [the Colombia Three] raises very, very serious questions for the Provo movement and for the people who were in charge of that movement at the time that they were sent there using false identities.” On the men`s trip to Colombia, he said: “As far as I am concerned it can only have been done, because it was so fraught with difficulty and risk, with the collusion of the top management of the Provisional movement, and I am talking now about the Army Council.”

Mr McDowell said people should question the motives behind the men`s arrival during a crucial phase of the peace process. “The responsibility for that lies fairly and squarely with the Provo movement,” he said. “I have no doubt it lies fairly and squarely with the leadership of Sinn Fein, which was until recently personally mixed together with the other members of Army Council, who sent them to Colombia in the first place.”

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I disgree with his contention that it creates questions for the provos. They did it because they wanted to, because they could and ultimately because they don’t believe anyone is going to do anything about it. The questions created are for him.

  • an seabhac siulach

    This whole story is a red herring. Who in the this part of the world seriously cares what they were up to in Colombia. Perhaps they were there training guerrillas and perhaps not. If they were there for some nefarious reasons it was being done BEFORE the recent statement from the IRA ceasing all activity, and therefore is now quite clearly irrelevant.

    Irrelevant that is to everyone except those with a vested interest in preventing a stable settlement to take hold up here. Those who might wish, let us say, to keep certain army units in employment and certain police barracks open. It is, in any case, a matter solely for the DPP in the 26 counties and politicians (North or South) really should not be trying to subvert the judiciary with biased commentary in advance of any judgement.

    McDowell frequently sails close to the wind in this regard. Why is it that suddenly the west brits in the south and the unionists in the North are so concerned with upholding the rule of law in Colombia.

    Colombia of all places…if there is a point to be scored against Sinn Fein suddenly the whole ‘establishment’ wishes to see justice upheld, even in that most corrupt and ridiculous place. So, the Colombia 3 has implications for SF…yes, probably an increase in votes for them in handling this case so well and for getting these men back to Ireland and away from a possible death in a Colombian gaol. Where was the bladderer McDowell when these men were festering in a Colombian gaol…silent…strange that…

    These men are Irish citizens and deserved (guilty or innocent) to be brought home from the farce of justice that was being played out in Colombia. No matter their crime they did not deserve to die in
    some sordid Colombian gaol…or was their crime really worthy of a capital sentence…which is what it would be if they are sent back.
    In any case, when the Provos surely decommision next month all of this will be quickly forgotten…it is cheap point scoring…

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “Who in the this part of the world seriously cares”

    Just as well people in other parts of the world don’t count then isn’t it?

  • cladycowboy

    ‘Just as well people in other parts of the world don’t count then isn’t it?’

    A lot of countries would be thrilled to hear that they don’t count or care to the West because when we do think they count and deserve our care like the Iraqis then tens of thousands of them end up killed in our ’embrace’

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “like the Iraqis”

    Or, in this case, the Colombians.

  • Mick

    Guys, is there any chance of actually discussing the topic in hand?

    It’s natural enough for thread drift to occur over time, but there seems to be some heavy doses of increasingly abstract whataboutery going on here right from the word go (the post in question was removed on the grounds of irrelevance).

    I understand an unwillingness to fight your opponent on ground he has chosen, and the consequent instinct to sweep aside anything that’s gone before and start again afresh.

    However, that does not constitute dialogue. In fact it becomes a series of disconnected monologues – a bit like a Chekov piece with all the characters apparently in the same play but somehow not living in the same world.

    As I’ve said before there’s nothing wrong with or in the least bit offensive about Whataboutery as such. But it is dull and, worse, it leads to a general intellectual incontinence that does little to enhance the reputation of the site.

  • antonio

    Mcdowell is trying to make some political capital out of this. Is he going to take the USA to task for harbouring Pat Robertson? And also the Terrorist who bombed a Cuban plane in 1976, killing over 90 innocent civilians. He cannot even be extradited to either Cuba or Venezula.
    So much for the war on terror.

  • an seabhac siulach

    Jimmy Sands…

    What happens in other parts of the world is clearly important and counts a great deal to me…what is not acceptable and should not count is blatant political hypocrisy. My point is that I do not hear McDowell or the usual unionist suspects bleating on about human rights abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe or elsewhere…no, the only interest they suddenly have in places overseas is when some issue (in this case, coincidentally, Colombia) can be used to put the boot into Sinn Fein…very socially aware…very caring…brings a…a tear…to my eye thinking of big Ian’s and Empey’s heartfelt concern for good old catholic Colombia and its long suffering people, cruelly abused by those three Irish ‘rubios’…

  • martin

    moderator,

    why was my post regarding mc do-do not taking his tablets removed.

    Also I don’t see why my comment about Eddie Hobbs making an ejit out of Mc Dowell was taken off– 51 % of all Irish tv viewers see it every Monday night at 21.30 on RTE 1.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    SS,

    I’m not aware of any situation concerning those countries crossing his desk.

  • TAFKABO

    “why was my post regarding mc do-do not taking his tablets removed.”

    I would hazard a guess that the answer is in the question.

  • an seabhac siulach

    Technically McDowell is not, as Minister for Justice, responsible for anything relating to this case. As Minister for Justice his job is simply to regulate the gardai and pass laws relating to crime prevention. So no situation concerning ANY country will cross his desk…he is not the minister for foreign affairs. He should really keep his mouth shut, for a blessed change, and let the DPP come up with whatever charges (if any) they are going to bring against these men. He is, as usual, involved in political granstanding…it is pathetic to see but there is apparently an audience for this stuff down in Dun Laoghaire and amongst the west brit PD constituency in general…
    Of course, it could be that is he is giving his views as a private citizen in the Dail and not as the minister…is that it?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Well I may be member of the audience you describe (season ticket, dress circle) but I would have thought the IRA came under his department. As would extradtion.

  • Fanny

    Anyone using the term ‘West Brit’ marks themselves out as a complete fool, at best.

  • West Brit

    In my opinion anyone using the term “British” marks themselves out as a complete fool ;-P

  • martin

    Why doesnt Mc Dowell just do the job he is supposed to do -Irish Streets are overrun with thugs day and night while the Gardai are no where to be found–a mini riot among under age drinkers took place outside his own house for goodness sake doesnt that show contempt for law and order or what, instead of slabbering on about republicans why doesnt he just go and do his job–get some drug dealers behind bars-clean up the streets-and for goodness sake do something about those useless and corrupt cops.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    You think his job is breaking up pub fights?

    I suppose, in a sense…

  • an seabhac siulach

    “Anyone using the term ‘West Brit’ marks themselves out as a complete fool, at best.”

    So, Fanny, if that is your only long thought out and studiously composed comment on my post you must agree with everything else I’ve written…
    How about some cogent political thought (for a change) and less of the petty and cheap comments you seem so fond of.
    Or is it that you have nothing to offer on this or any other topic?

    Moderator, are these comments of Fanny & ‘West Brit’ not the ‘whataboutery’ you were mentioning?

    “I would have thought the IRA came under his department. As would extradtion.”
    No, it is the (high) courts that approve extradition requests, they do not go through his office…only if the courts approve the extradition is it then passed to his office for his consent (rubber stamp). That is the limit of his role in the matter.
    The IRA comes under his department only in so much as he can send laws combating them through the Dail, nothing more. He can also interview the Garda commissioner on the performance of the Gardai. It is not a dictatorship/police state.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    SS,

    Of course any decision on extradition is a matter ultimately for the courts. Has he suggested otherwise?

  • Graham Donegan

    I note that some people think that all this is in the past and that we should forget at least if not also forgive. May we now forget the Bloody Sunday enquiry? If not then those of us who have been wholly opposed to the IRA’s methods can also say no to forgetting. The Colombia 3 signify the IRA’s continual activity. It should not be allowed to pass.

  • pacart

    SF’s committment to the strict interpretation of Irish jurisprudence in this case is commendable, given that they don’t even recognise the state, that their members have murdered Guards in the process of robberies and that they normally sneer at the rule of law.I’m intrigued at the level of hypocrisy the average member of SF can live with. Have there been any psychological studies into this phenomenon? Are they aware of it, and don’t give a shit, or is there something more odd going on, some sort of disassociative state?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Doublethink, pacart, doublethink.

  • pacart

    Spot on Jimmy. I think Gerry A. read 1984 and thought it was a manual.

  • Biffo

    “Their presence [the Colombia Three] raises very, very serious questions for the Provo movement and for the people who were in charge of that movement at the time..”

    Who gave Monaghan get the orange hair dye?

  • middle-class taig

    McDowell wouldn’t be slabbering about this were it not a foregone conclusion. The matter is either sub judice (don’t know the technicalities of when proceedings can be anticipated) or statements alluding to the guilt or innocence of the individuals by the (in)justice minister must be considered to (and be calculated to) deny the individuals any possibility of a fair trial in Ireland. He’s playing to the gallery, preaching to the choir. And from the looks of the above, the choir and the gallery are gazing on adoringly, tongues lolling, transfixed, begging for more.

    Honestly though fellas, you can’t whine to shinners about rule of law and then deny them it. It proves their point and does their job for them.

  • middle-class taig

    Biffo

    He’s reaching out to his fellow Irishmen in the loyal orders. He’s cherishing all the children of the nation follicly.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Honestly though fellas, you can’t whine to shinners about rule of law and then deny them it. “

    No-one here is suggesting otherwise. Sub judice is of no application in extradition cases. Their trial has already taken place.

  • middle-class taig

    hmmmm… and quite a trial it was … so you reckon unfair extradition proceedings are ok then?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Again, you are inventing straw men. I’ve no idea why you assume an extradition hearing in the Republic would be unfair, but if it were I would certainly disapprove.

  • Seán Mac Cann

    The North of Ireland, and Britain, is full of released/un-convicted killers from all sides – Loyalists, RA, Brits. This has never damaged the peace process.
    ======================================
    Yet McDowell reckons that the Colombia 3’s passport offences and recent return home somehow has “damaged the peace process”.
    =========================================
    Damage? Hardly. All it’s done is given the usual collection of embittered middle-class Shinner-bashers a few opportunities to manufacture a few “outraged” sound bites. That keeps them happy. Politically though, it’s a non-issue.
    =========================================
    The recent, predictable upsurge in Loyalist thuggery following the IRA’s “gone away” statement, coupled with the ineffectual, hand-wringing PSNI “response” to such thuggery, does have the potential to damage the “peace process”.
    =========================================
    As Tom McGurk points out:

    “What community cannot be scarred by the sight of a 15-year-old Catholic boy stabbed to death while buying crisps at a filling station in a mixed middle-class area?

    In the context of unionist demands over the years for all sorts of action against republican paramilitarism, it seems that unionist paramilitarism is regarded as of no consequence – or merely as a by-product of the wider “republican problem“. Had an IRA gang intimidated a group of Protestant families out of their homes in Antrim this week, can you imagine it would have got the type of political and press reaction this week’s loyalist attack received?

    In the last two years, there have been 38 murders associated with loyalist paramilitaries, and hundreds of sectarian attacks. Yet somehow this low-intensity war has barely received press notice, or even been categorised for what it is. Why is this?

    It is, of course, part of a wider consensus that has always regarded nationalist paramilitarism as infinitely more serious than unionist paramilitarism. It remains part of the deeper sectarian subtext of the political thinking of the Northern [and Southern] establishment.”
    ============================================
    Perhaps the most ridiculous of McDowell’s conceits is his assertion that the return of the Colombia 3 “had damaged the perception of this country as one bound by the rule of law”. As usual, McDowell fails to substantiate what he means by this lazy tabloid soundbite. There is no basis in law for returning the men. Even if there was, there isn’t even an extradition treaty. And anyway, why would a man like Michael want to have anything to do with another den of gangsters who are bankrolled by the US? Isn’t Fianna Fáil enough for him?
    ============================================
    Since Mr. McDowell is so concerned about the “peace process”, can we now expect another outrage-by-numbers verbal broadside against Loyalism and the PSNI?

    What’s that? McDowell has suddenly lost his voice? Is the tour cancelled? Do the plain people of Ireland get their money back?

    Or are we still living in la-la media land?
    ===========================================
    La la la
    La la la la la
    La la la
    La la la la la

    I just can’t get the Shinners out of my head
    Their 10% is all I think about
    I just can’t get Gerry out of my head
    Their 10% their 10% their 10%
    It’s more than I dare to think about

    La la la
    La la la la la

    Won’t you stay
    Way up there in Nordie-land
    Or over there in Bogota
    Stay forever and ever and ever and ever

    La la la
    La la la la la
    La la la
    La la la la la
    ============================================
    (With apologies to Ms. Minogue. You have one. Michael is one.)

  • heck

    A lot of posters on this site take it as a given that unionist complaints about republican violence/arms/spying/existing/speaking rights, are based on some genuine principle. They are not. It is a unionist excuse not to share power with nationalists and not to deal with them as equals.

    The problem in Northern Ireland is not the IRA but unionist bigotry. It explains the double standard with regard to violence. It explains the unionist objection to GFA. It explains why they brought down the GFA and the Sunningdale agreement. It explains why three amigos are a bigger issue than the murder of a 15 year old in north Belfast, it explains the DUP vote at the last election and it explains why the GFA is dead and joint authority is the only way forward.
    .

  • bootman

    Desperate McDowell must be really losing the plot if he thinks anybody cares

  • Ringo

    The problem all republican posters have is the tendency to look at things through 32-county glasses. And as there is no 32-county political entity outside of republican wet dreams, your view is fundamentally distorted. McDowell is in the service of the people of the Republic, not the north. McDowell’s job is to ensure that the judicial system in the Republic works – and most certainly nothing to do with the horrific rapes and murders of young people in Belfast, as suggested above by 32-county goggle-wearers.

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy

    “Again, you are inventing straw men.”

    Nonsense.

    “I’ve no idea why you assume an extradition hearing in the Republic would be unfair”

    McDowell’s already made it unfair by his prejudicial pre-hearing government comment. As a matter of interest, who appoints and promotes judges in the Republic?

    “… but if it were I would certainly disapprove.”

    I’m sure.

    Ringo

    It’s an objectively observable fact that SF are making the 32C context relevant in both 6 and 26.

  • Mick

    heck:

    “The problem in Northern Ireland is not the IRA but unionist bigotry”.

    In your view this axiomatic statement seems to explain a lot of things. But you don’t really explain what you mean by it, nor do you provide any means for the readers to judge whether it’s actually true or not.

    Didn’t Cardinal Tomas O’Fiaich once suggest that bigotry amongst Protestants against Catholics was predominantly religious in origin, whereas the countervaling bigotry amongst Catholics against Protestants was almost always secular and political?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “McDowell’s already made it unfair by his prejudicial pre-hearing government comment.”

    I’m sorry but that is simply hysterical nonsense. Out of curiosity, is there any judicial system whose decisions you would accept or does it depend on whether they get the “right” result?

  • Dandyman

    I posted this before, on two different threads, yet got absolutely no response from anyone, either from those who want to see the C3 extradited back to Colombia or from people who would like to see them carried shoulder-high through the streets of Dublin. Nevertheless, I’ll attempt to elicit someone – anyone -‘s point of view one more time on the following:

    How can people argue that the C3, having stood trial for the charges that were brought against them and subsequently acquitted of said charges, should be extradited back to Colombia when nobody when there is no similar call for the extradition of Margaret Thatcher’s son Mark back to Equatorial Guinea, where he is wanted on charges of conspiring to facilitate a military coup against the government, having been arrested there last year?

    And does anyone honestly – HONESTLY – believe that if it weren’t for the fact that his Mummy used to be Prime Minister, that he wouldn’t have been able to just walk away from that situation as easily as he did?

    Sorry if that sounds like ‘Whataboutery’. But it STINKS of hypocrisy.

  • martin

    “McDowell’s already made it unfair by his prejudicial pre-hearing government comment.”

    “I’m sorry but that is simply hysterical nonsense”

    If mc dowell made a statement before the trial of Brian Murphys killers to the effect that they would be subject to the full rigors of the legal system and that Ireland would not be seen internationally as a safe haven for street thugs–would you think they would get a fair hearing or would this be prejudicial interference.

  • Baluba

    Mc Dowell is an embarrassment to Irish people North and South of the border. People round about Ros Dumhach whose men are in gaol aren’t too ‘tuisceanach’ to him either.

    Soon as Bertie puts the boyo on a pension the better.

    Go raibh seal breá oinsin agat ar ball, a chara an díchéille

  • Baluba

    ‘…pinsin…’ chan ‘…oinsin…’

    Gabhaigí mo leithscéal.

  • Mick

    Isn’t Noel Dempsey the government’s point man on the Rossport case?

  • Dandyman

    But.. but..what about the Whataboutery..?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Dandyman,

    I was under the impression that the only charges against Thatcher were in SA and had been dealt with. I also understood he was not alleged to have committed any offence in EG. If EG are seeking him, other than on charges already dealt with in respect of offences allegedly committed there, then by all means send him along. And yes, it was whataboutery, as are the remarks by others about Cuban terrorists and Pat Robertson.

    Martin,

    McDowell may have been the only person not to have made such comments about the Murphy case. Such remarks before a jury trial may be considered prejudicial. Extradition is not a jury matter.

  • Dandyman

    But.. but..what about the Whataboutery..?

  • Dandyman

    Well check it out Jimmy

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4169557.stm

    – he pleaded guilty to a charge in SA and was fined and given a suspended sentence. But it was EG who were calling for his extradition so he could face the charges there. But even though he admitted his involvement, he was given a light slap on the wrist and allowed to skip back to his country while others were thrown in jail. But the point is, no-one is calling for his extradition and I repeat: the C3 were tried and acquitted. IN Colombia.

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy_Sands

    It’s not that I think it would be unfair. European law says it’s unfair. McDowell needs to learn to keep his trap shut. He’s effectively trying to direct the judges here.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Dandyman,

    The C3’s status in Colombia is that they are convicts. You may not like it but there it is.

    MCT,

    Did you have any particular European Law in mind?

  • martin

    Jimmy,

    Hows Mc Dowells efforts on getting the British soldiers who helped Loyalists bomb Dublin in 1974 ,extradited going—-

    what he didnt make any efforts???

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Martin,

    I suggest you pass your information on to the Gardai.

  • martin

    JIMMY,
    Why doesnt the oireachtas committee which carried out the inquiry do that–oh sorry they already have—besides the Gardai have already “lost”the original investigative reports—poor old Royston Brady–but no screaming and bellowing about extradition from Mc Dowell—-

    so lets get this straight he’s very concerned about bombs going off in Colombia but he’s not pushed about them going off and killing Irish citizens in his own capital city of Dublin

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Martin

    It’s possible to be concerned about both I assume.

    For the sake of argument however, let us assume that it turned out that British soldiers are responsible. They are tried and convicted, but escape back home where they claim they were unfairly treated and how everyone knows these paddies don’t have a decent justice system, and so they shouldn’t be sent back. You’d support them I assume?

  • martin

    Jimmy,

    but MC dougal has never been concerned about the Dublin Monaghan bombings and why—ah yes,there is no republican involvement and he cant score any political points—now should a Unionist or Loyalist political party ever start running candidates against his small party im sure the bellowing would start then–but then again the PDs might just merge with such a party.

  • Keith M

    Obviously SF/IRA are getting a little a hot under the collar about McDowell. “martin”‘s increasingly desperate attempts to move the thread away from the subject at hand is one clue, and tonight in Dublin the Provos have rounded up a handful of extremely badly dressed plackard holders for a protest outside the GPO. (You’d have thought they could have managed some decent clothes with €30m to spend).

    Let’s cut the crap here. These terrorists didn’t make their way home without some help, and is there anyone who doesn’t believe that SF/IRA provided at least some of that help? An interesting theory I heard is that Adams & co. were upset when Ahern took the release of the McCabe killers off the table and this was their way of giving the “two fingers” to the Irish government.

    Having said that, it does not let the government off the hook in the seemingly complete lack of foresight as to what to do when the C3 arrived in Ireland. There should have been proactive planning and (at a minimum) an extradition treaty signed with Colmbia.

  • martin

    “They are tried and convicted, but escape back home where they claim they were unfairly treated and how everyone knows these paddies don’t have a decent justice system, and so they shouldn’t be sent back. You’d support them I assume?”

    Matter of fact I would support them as we paddies dont have a decent justice system–when you have government minister already deciding guilty until proven guilty.

    A system that contains a viewer of child pornography like Curtain

    A system where a 14 year old boy dies of injuries while in a Gardai station-like Brian Rossitor

    such soldiers could be given a fair trial in an international court-not in Ireland

  • martin

    “Obviously SF/IRA are getting a little a hot under the collar about McDowell. “martin”‘s increasingly desperate attempts to move the thread away from the subject at hand is one clue”

    sorry Keith M , Im not a member of Sinn Fein or the IRA-.

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy

    Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    M

    That says they have a right to a fair hearing. Your proposition is that any hearing they get will be unfair. There is no logical connection between these two statements.

  • MARTIN

    “That says they have a right to a fair hearing. Your proposition is that any hearing they get will be unfair.”

    please give details of where I say they will not get a fair hearing anywhere—note reference to international court please.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Martin,

    Sorry, I was addressing MCT, not you.

  • middle-class taig

    The Minister of Justice making prejudicial pre-trial comments can undermine the fairness of any subsequent hearing, especially given the government’s role in judicial appointments.

    Article 6’s application would be by analogy, as I believe it doesn’t technically extend to things like extradition or immigration hearings, but the principles under it will be persuasive to any court considering whether the fairness of proceedings before it has been compromised – justice needing to be seen to be done as well as done. Things happening prior to trial can prevent a fair trial being possible. Courts don’t operate in a vacuum.

  • Alan

    It is sad to see these attempts to hide the real story of the C3.

    They should never have been there. Someone in the Army Council clearly decided it was a good idea for them to go. They went. They were caught. The RM denied them thrice, suddenly anxious to divert attention from any suggestion of support for narco-terrorism. Their rank and file seem to have pointed out the hypocrisy of that position and the panjandrum trundled in the opposite direction.

    Obviously, they had worked out that the best of a bad job was to baffle the public with human rights and double speak and let them forget about it.

    As so often before, the actions of the militarists almost sank the whole project. As it is, there remains a rank mess of contradictions, foul evasions and dark hypocrisy. But that is where listening to the militarists always leads -no matter what side you are on.

    Of course, the fact that people forget doen’t make it right.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    Again, no trial is proposed so there is no trial to compromise. You argument I’m afraid is thin, but in the event of extradition proceedings (sadly unlikely in my view) they can always take the point. That’s what the Courts are for after all.

  • Reader

    Dandyman: Well check it out Jimmy

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4169557.stm

    But the article you referred to also said:
    “An advisor to Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that: “We are confident that justice has been done,” implying that they would no longer seek Sir Mark’s extradition.”

    Case closed – surely?

  • Dandyman

    Yeah I guess it is, if EG have given up the ghost and accepted that Mark Thatcher is just too important a person to extradite to face the punishment in the country where he committed the crime. So when all the din about the C3 begins to calm down over the next few weeks when the silly season finishes and the whole world goes back to work, will the bloggers of Slugger say ‘fair enough’, shrug their shoulders and just accept it? Or will they still be banging on about it, with cries of ‘INJUSTICE!!!’ six months from now?

  • Dandyman

    Incidentally, interesting NI connection in the Mark Thatcher case: one of his old schoolchums, Simon Mann, who is currently rotting in jail in Zimbabwe for his part in the plan, had a small part in that 2003 film about Bloody Sunday.

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy

    Your evasions are unseemly. If there’s proceedings, there will be a hearing. McDowell has compromised the ability of any court to give the three men a fair hearing. They will have to take the point, and I think they’d have to find themselves compromised.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    “McDowell has compromised the ability of any court to give the three men a fair hearing.”

    I’m not aware of any evasion. You understimate unfairly the abilities of the judiciary. I suspect that you are simply unable to accept any judicial decision unfavourable to the provisionals, in any jurisdiction.

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy

    How the hell can you say I can’t accept a judicial decision unfavourable to the IRA when we’re talking about proceedings which haven’t started, which may never start and which everyone who’s anyone believes will result in a decision favourable to the three republicans in question?

    Ludicrous!

    In fact, I, unlike you, believe that the protections afforded to all other Irish citizens shouldn’t be denied to these individuals just because they are republicans. Human rights shouldn’t stop at the water’s edge.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    Let me get this straight. You believe the three would win any extradition case but that this would nevertheless be unfair?

  • middle-class taig

    In my view, no fair hearing could be held because of McDowell’s and other ministerial comments about the guilt of the three men and other matters relating to the case. The ultimate result is immaterial.

    This is an issue of principle, Jimmy.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    In what sense then would the hearing be rendered unfair?

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy

    I’m sorry, but I haven’t time for your nonsense.

    Let’s try to maintain some intellectual respect for one another.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Well I’ll try, but you’re not making it easy.

  • middle-class taig

    touché

  • Dandyman

    Everyone knows perfectly well the Colombian ‘appeals system’ is an insult. As I’ve already said the Govt in Colombia didn’t like the verdict of the original trial. It made them look weak in a country where the Govt cannot afford to be made to look weak (what Govt can?). The original trial, which was extremely thorough, went on for about 6 months, was held in public, and under the watchful eye of the world’s media. The judiciary were then ‘requested’ to go back and ‘re-consider’ the evidence. They came out after a short period and hey, presto, the decision is duly reversed..they went from being found innocent (of the main charges, i.e. training terrorists) to being found guilty and sentenced to 17 years.

    Crikey Mikey, that’s some turnaround! What the hell were all those judges and witnesses and lawyers in the first trial about? How did THEY get it so wrong, eh? Now some people are on here arguing that the Colombian ‘appeal’ system can be trusted. Are you serious??

    I’m no fan of SF or the C3, I just think this is a typical case of N.I. ‘us’uns & them’uns’ bullshit. That’s why I brought up the example of Mark Thatcher. And to be honest I feel genuine sympathy for that Simon Mann dude who’s now languishing in a prison cell in Zimbabwe,
    when he probably had less to do with organising the coup in EG than Thatcher had, but ended up paying the price because his mummy never held the post of prime minister. But at least Mann was/is a self-declared mercenary and knew what he was getting into. Is anyone in Britain apart from the families of the accused even interested in getting them sent Back to Britain to do their time at home?

    Yet the Colombia 3 case is SOOO important…yeah, right lads.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Dandyman,

    “at least Mann was/is a self-declared mercenary and knew what he was getting into”

    As opposed to the C3 who pretend that they weren’t. I’m puzzled by your account of the original trial as at the time I recall we were led to believe, by soi-disant “independent” observers that it was a mockery of justice, abuse which continued right up to the verdict. It is only in retrospect that we are to regard it as the judgment of Solomon. We are told (without evidence) that the the appeal court is a creature of the executive and must therefore be disregarded. We are simultaneously reminded that one of these lackeys had the temerity to issue a dissenting judgment. The apparent inconsistency between the two arguments is simply disregarded.

    It is true that the system whereby an acquittal may be overturned strikes us as odd. No less odd I suppose than the sight of Irish nationalists arguing that a judicial system which does not follow the precepts of the English Common Law should not be accorded respect. I don’t know if they got it wrong, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest the procedure is inherently unfair, merely because it differs from the Anglo-Saxon model. To suggest otherwise is merely offensive neo-colonialism. To those gringos who do believe that the laws and institutions of the Republic of Colombia are unfair, the obvious course is not to go there.

  • middle-class taig

    “I’ve seen nothing to suggest the procedure is inherently unfair, merely because it differs from the Anglo-Saxon model.”

    Quite right. There’s nothing unfair about an appeal court overturning a lower court’s decision.

    But lets get down to basics here, Jimmy. Are you seriously telling us you think they were fairly convicted in this case?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    The concept of being fairly convicted seems to me to conflate two separate concepts: the fairness of the trial and the correctness of the verdict. I’m not convinced that the trial was unfair. I’ve no idea whether the decision was correct. Trying to second guess any Court’s decision on the basis of press reports is a fool’s errand.

  • MARTIN

    John Deasey a Waterford TD–yes the one who broke the smoking ban in the Dail bar on the second day of its implimentation—is advocating citizens taking the law into their own hands if their houses are being broken into–on Waterford radio Deasy said he would not rule out the use of guns–is Fine Gael now going to campaign for the legalisation of punishment beatings in the south.

  • Brian

    McDowell will ironically lose his Dáil seat to Sinn Féin’s Dathai Doolan in dublin SE next time out. The Minister for Justice and ‘big wig’ in the pee-dee 3% party has been the worst Minister in the south since Conor Cruise O’Brien. I dunno how, but Unionist southern quislings somehow make (albeit temporary) appearances in powerful positions in the Irish government. The Irish electorate ought to be cogniscant of this every time an election is held.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Brian,

    That is shocking news. What percentage would you say this PD/SF swing vote represented?

  • Keith M

    Brian, care for a little wager on that?

  • martin

    Brian,

    The Irish public should also become aware that the PDs will try any stunt to maintain their vote which is now seriously under threat as a result of this disasterous PD/FF government.

    Last time the stunt they pulled was -dont trust a Fianna Fraud overall majority government even tough the PDs are mostly responsible for this governments failures.

    The PDs next stunt i believe will be to pull the plug on the coalition fairly close to when they believe it will be dissolved anyway—what they are looking for is a cause celebrie on which to stage their walk out—in the national interest of course–not to distance themselves from an ever increasingly unpopular Bertie Ahern at all–I think they will use the Colombia 3 for such a purpose but not just yet—they would have done so on the sneaky deal Bertie made on the release of Jerry mc Cabes killers but it just came too early.

    And by the way the man charged with the killing of the 23 year old girl in Kilrush CO clare-should have been in a mental home for the past 3 years–last year he tried to take his own life by
    attempting to jump off the spire of Ennis Cathedral, 6 months before he stabbed another youth and 18 months before that he went on an orgy of window breaking and car burning—-maybe if HARNEY in health AND MC dowell in justice paid more attention to the jobs they are paid tax payers hard earned funds to do rather than slabber about Sinn Feinn such things might not be an everyday occurrence.

  • middle-class taig

    “The concept of being fairly convicted seems to me to conflate two separate concepts: the fairness of the trial and the correctness of the verdict.”

    I’m only interested in whether the trial process as a whole was fair. You’re not convinced it wasn’t? Honestly? On an objective basis, I can’t see how anyone can say that the case for unfairness is not overwhelming. The problem is, we’re both partisans, so neither of us can seriously claim to say what is objective. Are there readers here who don’t have a dog in the fight (so to speak) and can give us an objective viewpoint (upon which, the one you disagree with will of course denigrate your objectivity :-))?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    I like to think I have an open mind. I was careful to state that I wasn’t convinced of its unfairness rather than convinced of its fairness. I don’t know enough about it. The arguments I’ve heard for unfairness haven’t convinced me.

  • MARTIN

    jIMMY,

    Suppose you were on a shopping trip to Belfast and the psni picked you up in connection with helping Loyalists to pipebomb Nationalist’s homes–yeah I know an arrest in such a case is highly unlikely -any way you have your day in court and numerous witnesses come forward including 2 loyalist informers who swear that on the day in question they definitely saw you throwing pipe bombs–it comes to pass that you produce several witnesses that state that on that day you were in the offices of the department of foreign affairs having tea with several diplomats—rightly the Belfast court releases you on this evedence and you say to yourself Im staying well out of site now,
    A while later Ian Paisley snr out of his concern for nationalist victims of Loyalists insists that there is a mistake and that there must be a retrial–and there is only this one consists of a pannel of 3 -made up of victims of Loyalist firebombings who want their pound of flesh -you are not allowed to call witnesses in your defence and you are sentenced to 17 years—but it is the law after all.
    you escape down south and Michael Mc dowell out of the great concern for a fellow Irish man who has been mistreated fights your case in a similar way that Sinn Fein does for Colombia 3—-because of you daring to return home and not respecting the law the Pds and Michael mc Dowell are torn apart by the suthern media—do you see anything wrong here.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Martin,

    Was that an episode of “the Prisoner”?

  • middle-class taig

    “The concept of being fairly convicted seems to me to conflate two separate concepts: the fairness of the trial and the correctness of the verdict.”

    I’m only interested in whether the trial process as a whole was fair. You’re not convinced it wasn’t? Honestly? On an objective basis, I can’t see how anyone can say that the case for unfairness is not overwhelming. The problem is, we’re both partisans, so neither of us can seriously claim to say what is objective. Are there readers here who don’t have a dog in the fight (so to speak) and can give us an objective viewpoint (upon which, the one you disagree with will of course denigrate your objectivity :-))?