The Irish Times informs us that “Ireland makes a rare appearance before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg today to face allegations of violating the rights of Maze escapee Brendan McFarlane.” The complaint followed the collapse of the trial of the prominent Provisional IRA member on charges relating to the kidnapping of businessman Don Tidey in 1983. From the Irish Times report
In this case, Mr McFarlane is asking the court for a ruling that the State deprived him of a fair trial in not charging him with offences related to the 1983 kidnapping until 1998, and to further delay in that this trial did not eventually take place until 2008.
He is making a separate complaint that his judicial review proceedings challenging the delay, which began in November 1999, were not concluded until March 2006, and that there were further delays while he litigated residual issues before the courts between November 2006 and March 2008.
Concerns about The Process are unlikely to be considered a valid defence…