The Irish Times has a short report noting that Irish government Minister of State in the Dept of Foreign Affairs Noel Treacy told the Dáil that Irish Workers’ Party President Sean Garland, currently on bail in Northern Ireland pending extradition proceedings to the US on counterfeit charges, had contacted Irish officials in the intergovernmental secretariat in Belfast since his arrest.As reported by Michael O’Regan in the Irish Times –
Mr Treacy was replying, on the adjournment, to Dublin South East deputies John Gormley (Green Party), Ruairí Quinn (Labour) and to Pat Carey (FF), Dublin North West.
He said the upholding of the rights of Irish citizens, arrested outside the jurisdiction, was an ongoing part of the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs. “Our officials work to ensure that Irish citizens are in no way treated in a discriminatory manner and that they are provided with appropriate legal assistance at all times.”
But for a flavour of the tone of debate in the Dáil the comments of Green Party TD, John Gormley, are worth noting –
Mr Gormley said the US had little time for civil liberties unless, of course, it involved one of their own citizens, which was why, he presumed, they had not signed up to the international criminal court. “The presumption of innocence, until proven guilty, is the cornerstone of our legal system. Mr Garland may have political views that the US does not approve of; he may have political views that I, or indeed Deputy Quinn and Deputy Carey, do not approve of…
“The issue here is justice and we, as Irish parliamentarians and Europeans, cannot afford to abandon those hard-fought principles of justice for a legal system that has been devised by George W. Bush.”
A legal system devised by George W Bush?!! Shome mishtake there.. shurely?