Second attempt to avoid trial launched by McFarlane

Following this year’s Irish Supreme Court overturning of a 2003 High Court ruling, a 3rd October 2006 date was set for the trial of the prominent Provisional IRA member Brendan McFarlane by the Special Criminal Court for the kidnapping of businessman Don Tidey in 1983, shortly after McFarlane’s escape from the Maze prison – he was initially charged in January 1998. Yesterday the High Court granted leave to McFarlane’s lawyers to bring a second set of judicial review proceedings aimed at securing an order prohibiting the trial[subs req]. RTÉ report here.From the Irish Times report –

In seeking leave, Mr Hartnett said this was his client’s second set of judicial review proceedings. He had initiated the first judicial review challenge to his prosecution in 1999 and it was only last March that a final decision on those proceedings was delivered.

The delay of some six years and four months in securing final judgment on McFarlane’s challenge was not due to any fault of his, but rather due to delays inherent in the court processes which have further prejudiced his right to a fair trial, Mr Hartnett contended.

In the intervening years, McFarlane married and has three young children and contends the family unit is dependent on him for their day-to-day care, as his wife is in full-time employment.