“one of the probable defence arguments it considered was..”

The Irish Times has photos of sitting Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris meeting Pearse McAuley and Kevin Walsh – two of the men convicted of killing Detective Garda Jerry McCabe in 1996 – as they were released from jail this morning. As an Associated Press report in 2005 noted – “The IRA unit shot McCabe three times at point-blank range with an assault rifle and badly wounded his colleague, detective Ben O’Sullivan, during a botched ambush on a cash-filled van. The IRA denied involvement, then said the unit acted without authorization.” Meanwhile, the CPS has reportedly announced that it no longer intends to seek the extradition of McAuley and Nessan Quinlivan “for conspiracy to murder former brewery executive Sir Charles Tidbury and on explosives and firearms charges”, nor two other suspected IRA men, Andrew Martin and Anthony Duncan. According to the BBC report.

[The CPS] said it had considered evidence as well as the likely arguments which would be put forward by the defence, who would argue that an abuse of process had occurred so a trial could not go ahead. The CPS said one of the probable defence arguments it considered was “statements made by ministers in respect of terrorists on the run.” Having reviewed the cases, the CPS decided there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

Adds Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, where non-sitting Sinn Féin MP Gerry Adams had complained about a “sordid secret deal” which resulted in reduced charges and sentences for two of three teenagers accused of murder, the UK Attorney General has responded.

“No prosecuting authority has the luxury of being able to put cases before the courts because that is what the victim, the victim’s family or society generally wants.

“That would be easy but would be wrong. The prosecuting authority, whilst it takes into account the views of victims and families affected by crime, is not there simply to represent their interests.

“The prosecutor has to act in the wider interests of justice and that includes taking cognisance of the defendant’s rights – whatever views society may have formed in relation to the defendant and his conduct.

“The prosecuting authority has to weigh the evidence objectively and dispassionately and assess, using its own knowledge and experience, whether the test for prosecution is met.”

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  • Frank Sinistra

    CPS accepting likely ‘abuse of process’, wonder how many other did time before they started to be concerned over such things.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Gosh Martins been a busy boy..

    “I want to thank the Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris for sorting out his majesty’s visa papers for us,” he told the Irish Times”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8185052.stm

    Kinda gets the goat.

  • cynic

    My there is convenient

  • Fergananim

    They should never have been released in the first place. Life should mean life.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Yes but an extradition order was placed for “Billy”.

    Did they take in the animal rights to be forcibly removed from Fair Head?

    I think not…

  • abu nicola

    Ah yes, Fergan. Nobody can be rehabilitated.

  • George

    Fergananim,
    They should never have been released in the first place. Life should mean life.

    They weren’t sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • The Raven

    “He is a very nice goat, a beautiful goat. I have never seen one like him.”

    I am uncomfortable with the implications of such a statement in the “deep” South…shudder….

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Try to keep to the actual topic.

  • conor

    So Sinn Fein are hypocrites. What’s new? The people who shot dead the two britis soldiers are traitors, criminals and thugs. The men who shot dead mccabe during an armed robbery get a big hug. Hmmm. Very credible.

  • Archie Purple

    What a disgrace….’an abuse of process’, due to the ‘time elapsed’….this in the same week that a Belfast man has been charged with murdering a shopkeeper called Fusco. twenty six years ago, while we have an Historical Enquiries Team looking at murders over 30 years ago and who will charge people and in a country where 80+ year old former Nazi camp guards have been extradited for offences alleged to have happened over 60 years ago.
    Obviously the dirty paws of Sinn Fein/IRA are now reaching into the inner sanctums of the DPP….without doubt there is a whiff of political interference in due process??????
    Do everything to keep Sinn Fein in Government.
    BTW….what happened to the On the Runs?[the infamous OTRs….obviously they have silently returned to their ghettos in ‘the North’??

  • Frank Sinistra

    Nowdays for the SF/Provos killing Brits is ‘criminal’ but shooting a Gard is a historical offence that gets a TD welcome – hypo-feckin-crites.

  • dunreavynomore

    Heard Adams complaining on bbc radio that the prosecutor did not place enough weight on the Holland family’s interests in the case of those convicted of his killing and had to compare Gerry’s concern with his description of IRA victim, Paul Quinn, as a criminal, without any concern for his family’s interests, or, for that matter any evidence>

  • Lord-bless-us-and-save-us, Archie Purple, but shouldn’t you try & not let the veil slip so easily with your… “…returned to their ghettos in ‘the North’?? ”

    I think, with respect to NI, the OTR’s have been thro the judicial process to a certian extent (many sentanced in absence etc) while the HET is seeking to find those who’ve managed to spend years since their crimes living the hypocritical life of normal respectable citizens.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/former-udr-man-faces-quiz-on-murder-215061.html

    Altho even still it’s not easy to get info from the HET…

    http://www.courtsni.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/9AE0DC07-095C-4DEE-BB32-335224A38224/0/j_j_KERC5130.htm

  • and as for the hypocrasy of the Irish Thames front-paging Ferris in Castlerea..!! In the Repubic it’s common for TDs to attempt to ‘de-criminalize’ those convicted. You’ll note that the Irish Thames doesn’t feature in any of the below as they don’t include any Shinners.

    http://www.galwaynews.ie/4256-td039s…tion-prisoners
    http://www.sligoweekender.ie/news/story/?trs=mhojsngbid
    http://www.independent.ie/national-n…s-1558888.html
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/an…rs-121313.html
    http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer…story61031.asp

  • Pete Baker

    Frank

    “Nowdays for the SF/Provos killing Brits is ‘criminal’ but shooting a Gard is a historical offence that gets a TD welcome – hypo-feckin-crites.”

    Indeed.

    We now know that both are criminal acts.

  • Ulick

    “They should never have been released in the first place. Life should mean life.”

    Eh? They never got ‘life’? In fact the High Court found that they should have been released years ago under the terms of the GFA but they declined to push the matter so as not to ‘rock the boat’. I guess there’s no chance of the tabloids ever recognising those extra years served?

  • Glensman

    Ulick’s right, the fact is that the prisoners in Castlerea could have pushed to have been released under GFA but didn’t want to endanger ‘the Process’ so they’ve basically sat and did ALL their time quietly…

    The tabloids can paint it whatever way they like but the lads were convicted of manslaughter, not murder…

  • George

    Glensman,
    Ulick’s right, the fact is that the prisoners in Castlerea could have pushed to have been released under GFA but didn’t want to endanger ‘the Process’ so they’ve basically sat and did ALL their time quietly…

    Quietly? They took a case to the Supreme Court looking to be released under the GFA and lost.

    As for the headline:

    “one of the probable defence arguments it considered was..”

    Rather than questioning the justice system, I think people should be asking why British ministers were deliberately undermining the administration of justice with their comments.

    It seems short-term political gain is more important.

  • Fergananim

    My point was that anyone who kills should get life.

    Pictures of Ferris welcoming such scum are one reason why SF will not become part of a government here in Ireland.

    McCabe’s family are serving a life sentence of having to live without him.

    Would you be as easy about any British solider getting out in this space of time for manslaughter of a republican? I don’t think so.

    SF have and continue to endorse people who commited criminal acts. No basis to let them be part of Ireland’s government.

  • dunreavynomore

    Glensman,
    Remember when it used to be the duty of ira prisoners to escape? Are you saying it is now their duty to ‘stay there’?

  • “The prosecuting authority has to weigh the evidence objectively and dispassionately and assess, using its own knowledge and experience, whether the test for prosecution is met.”

    Pete, is it not possible that the charges against the killers of Garda McCabe were reduced for political reasons rather than for objective and dispassionate ones?

    The AP ‘botched ambush’ tack would appear to be something of an understatement.

  • Seimi

    ‘Would you be as easy about any British solider getting out in this space of time for manslaughter of a republican? I don’t think so.’

    British soldiers wouldn’t have spent anywhere near as long in jail for shooting anyone, Republican or otherwise. The cases of Lee Clegg, and the two soldiers who shot the young man in North Belfast for carrying a jar of coffee (I think) spring to mind.

  • Kerry Remembers

    Martin Ferris probably knows these heroes from another life. I wonder will it affect his vote or that of his high hemmed daughter. Fat chance of his Aussie trailer trash wife being extradited I suppose.

    If FG cannot use this photo against this person, then there is no God.

  • Liam

    Welcome home men!

  • George

    Nevin,
    is it not possible that the charges against the killers of Garda McCabe were reduced for political reasons rather than for objective and dispassionate ones?

    I doubt it very much. I’m sure it’s more to do with the difficulty in getting a succussful capital murder conviction of a Garda(which is automatically commuted to life) when all the witnesses are too scared to testify.

  • J Kelly

    its great to see the two lads home with their families. long over due

  • Fergananim

    Semi – so there is a difference, depdending upon who murders who?

    Welcome home where? By rights, as citizens of Ireland, they should have been locked away for life for treason against the state.

  • Brit

    they are murderers who will never be able to expunge the moral stain on their character for what they did. In a just world their remaining lives would be troubled by overpowering guilt, but I suspect they think they are heros or soliders. As someone else has said the families of the dead will never get over their loss

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Potentially vote losing move by Ferris and potentially damaging to SF in the ROI where there is the capacity to view IRA actions in the North rather differntely to to those that spilled over into the South and perhaps interesting in the light of the recent (unfounded?) speculation reported here on Slugger that the Ferris political clan may be about to up sticks from SF.

    Ferris, presuming he wishes to retain his seat (although his daughter may replace him) has obviously decided that loyalty to his colleagues outweighs any political risk.

  • Fergananim

    Brit – “I suspect they think they are heros or soliders.” So did the Nazis, a crowd with whom the IRA were pefectly happy to collaborate during World War Two.

  • Seimi

    ‘Semi – so there is a difference, depdending upon who murders who?’

    I didn’t say that Ferganim. You asked –

    ‘Would you be as easy about any British solider getting out in this space of time for manslaughter of a republican? I don’t think so.’

    and I merely pointed out that the chances of any British soldier spending any substantial length of time in jail for shooting ANYONE, Republican or otherwise, was minimal. I then cited two cases which came to mind to show this.

    But in answer to your question – yes, there is a difference. If you are a British soldier, you will be ‘jailed’ for a short while, then released quickly, and in some cases, promoted. If you are a Republican, then in the eyes of some, you cannot be jailed for long enough.

    In my opinion, for what that is worth, ANYONE who takes another person’s life, when their own life, or those of their family’s or loved ones, is not under direct threat, should be jailed for life. And yes, life should mean life.

  • Seimi

    ‘Brit – “I suspect they think they are heros or soliders.” So did the Nazis, a crowd with whom the IRA were pefectly happy to collaborate during World War Two.’

    Jaysus, Godwin’s Law invoked already – that didn’t take long…

  • Fergananim

    Seimi – I fully agree with all you have said in the last paragraph. And for myself, I was outraged when Clegg got out, and that not a single British solider has served time for murdering people on Bloody Sunday.

    Godwin’s Law? What’s that?

  • Seimi

    Ferganim

    “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches”

  • fergananim

    Good one, never heard it before. Must keep it in mind.

    What’s your overall position and thoughts on these affairs?

  • Fergananim

    Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit – (done what?) It will lose him no votes back home as his voters support/ed the IRA.

    But yes, hardly likely to help SF make futher inroads here in Ireland. Unlike the north, they simply have no real relevance down here.

    If SF concentrated on the same issues they do in the north, none would get elected in the first place. Thus they have to change their methods for the political climate of Ireland.

    So essentially, they’d be as well off calling themselves Fianna Fail.

  • Seimi

    I find it strange that people are in any way surprised at this. You would think people here had never seen elected representatives mixing with freedom fighters/soldiers/paramilitaries/terrorists (delete as applicable), given some of the photo-ops we’ve witnessed over the years.

    It must be very difficult for Garda McCabe’s family, just as it must be for the families of every other victim from the Troubles, to see this type of thing.

  • Rory Carr

    Perhaps those who are loudly insisting that ‘life should mean life’ in the case of sentencing of those convicted of taking another’s life should themselves be aware that in fact, in England and Wales anyway and I strongly suspect in all of Ireland as well, a life sentence does indeed mean a life sentence.

    That is not to say that a convicted prisoner may not be released after a time on licence but this licence is always at the state’s pleasure and the convicted can be recalled to prison at any time during the remainder of his life should his behavior give cause for concern.

    The purpose of prison is certainly to punish but more importantly that the offender recognise their offending behaviour and the harm and hurt that it has caused and that he may be brought to a firm resolution not to reoffend.

    Unless we ourselves have warped our own souls to such a degree of lack of feeling as to insist upon incessant life-long punishment to be inflicted on a fellow human being without hope of redemption then we should welcome the hope for social rehabilitation that is offered to prisoners in return for their own moral rehabilitation while in prison.

  • Fergananim

    “its great to see the two lads home with their families. long over due.”

    While Jerry McCabe can never be with his family again. But of course its alright to kill if you are IRA …

  • Fergananim

    Rory Carr – I have yet to see any evidence that they, or indeed SF, have remorse for such killings.

    Remember Thresa Ferris refuses to condemm the murder because her party had not given her permission to do so.

    Among their own crowd, they will be treated as heros for life, and regard themselves as such.

    So why should we here in Ireland – as opposed to the north – vote for a party which supports such people?

  • Ulick

    George:

    “Quietly? They took a case to the Supreme Court looking to be released under the GFA and lost.”

    No they didn’t. The High Court found they were qualifying prisoners but the decision to release had to come from McDowell.

  • Neil

    The purpose of prison is certainly to punish but more importantly that the offender recognise their offending behaviour and the harm and hurt that it has caused and that he may be brought to a firm resolution not to reoffend.

    I think those people are referring primarily to the killers of Harry Holland, one of whom should be back on the streets any time. It certainly must be soul destroying when you know that your father/husband/brother has been murdered in a collaborative attack by three people who went out armed and with the intent of wreaking havoc, and one of those people will be back after having served two years, probably (though I don’t know) in a nice cushty wee young offenders centre, being analysed, treated and educated.

    I live in WB and can say that in general terms anti social behaviour is on the up and up. It’s the most common grievance people have here in respect to being a victim of crime. When people say they preceive crime to be on the rise (on this site in the past there have been threads dedicated to why people incorrectly believed that they were safer in the troubles), we are told crime stats show we are safer now. However it turns out that anti social behaviour is not included in the stats, so people are experiencing greater crime levels than in the past, it’s simply that the government has decided that the majority of crime is not serious enough to be included in stats.

    Essentially the place is going down the shit pan. The hoods have no one to fear, the IRA has gone and that just leaves the cops/criminal justice system. When you talk to the hoods and ask if they’re worried about getting lifted by the cops for car theft or assault they laugh. Why would they fear that, they’ll not see the inside of a cell and the cops as a general rule won’t arbitrarily shoot them.

    People know that sentences are rarely handed out, and when they are they are usually ridiculously short. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the vacuum that’s created by the lack of an effective criminal justice system and the absence of the IRA will be filled. People will support dissident republicans if they can restore order to an area.

  • George

    Ulick,
    No they didn’t. The High Court found they were qualifying prisoners but the decision to release had to come from McDowell.

    There was a Supreme Court case in 2004:

    http://www.supremecourt.ie/Judgments.nsf/60f9f366f10958d1802572ba003d3f45/f851bd1f5873493c80256e2f0042930c?OpenDocument

    It’s under:
    O’Neill & anor -v- Governor of Castlerea Prison & ors

  • Seimi

    I also live in WB and it’s hard to disagree with what Neil said. Hoods have absolutely no-one to fear, least of all the PSNI.

    Arguments could be made about how the murder of Jerry McCabe is ‘different’ from the murder of Harry Holland, but try explaining that to the two families. Whether the killer has served 13 years, 20 years, or 2 years, the victim isn’t coming back ever.

  • YelloSmurf

    Pete Baker,

    According to some definitions, murdering Garda MaCabe was not a criminal act

  • YelloSmurf

    Perhaps that should have read

    According to some definitions, murdering Garda MaCabe was not a criminal act

  • Rory Carr

    Fergananim,

    I, nor indeed you for that matter, know what state of contrition or otherwise these men may have or not have. You simply speculate on the unknowable in a way that fits your own prejudice. But then again, don’t we all?

    Sinn Féin is a political party. A political party expressing remorse over a crime would be as false as most other statements expressed by mainstream politicians and would satisfy none. You can please yourself how you vote, I couldn’t care tuppence.

    It remains however that, as I said earlier, a life sentence does mean that whether all of it is served in prison or part thereof under supervised licence in the community subject always to recall. But in any case (or rather, in this case) that is a moot point as the sentence was not a life sentence but I don’t suppose you would want a little thing like reality to impinge upon your righteousness.

  • barnshee

    Its really up to the family of Mc Cabe —-I personally prefer the old eye for an eye routine -if the state will not do it then what about a civil action against the parties -maybe look at joining Ferris in the action -fairly put the shits up the alleged omaagh perpetrators?

  • Ian

    Regarding the two individuals from the Garda McCabe case that remain on-the-run in South America, surely it would be in the interests of justice for the Irish Government to admit that the perpetrators do qualify for early release under the GFA? That way, the McCabe family could at least see them serve two years – they would be much more likely to return to Ireland to face two years in prison than at present when there is no incentive to return as they potentially face 40 years?

  • A witness was subpoenaed by the defense in a criminal matter, the witness was an inmate that was brought to the court for testimony for the defense, he decided not to testify and later told us that the prosecutor spoke with him in the holding cell before the trial, before the defense could speak with him. Is this something that the prosecutor can do, it just doesn’t seem right, the witness stated that the prosecutor told him that the defense was looking to set him up, which was not true.