Hiding behind the courts
IN 1981, Charles Haughey was happy to meet with Owen Carron, the newly-elected MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone. Nine years later, Carron sits as a political prisoner in one of Haughey's jails, facing extradition to a corrupt judicial system. Haughey could have freed him and any of the other political prisoners held for extradition at any time, but he is hiding behind the Dublin judiciary.
The judgement of the Supreme Court which freed Jim Clarke and Dermot Finucane has highlighted how the Dublin government has hidden behind the courts on the extradition issue.
The Supreme Court ruling was an indictment of that government's extradition policy. It showed that it has been prepared to hand over people to a system the Supreme Court regards as corrupt. All eyes are now on the decision of the same court in the appeal of Owen Carron, which is due to be announced soon.
Carron has been threatened with death for representing a republican viewpoint by members of the crown forces. If he is extradited, that threat may well be carried out. Other republicans representatives have died in this way.
Charles Haughey's government has full powers to free Carron under the 1965 Extradition Act. He has a moral duty to do so, if only to protect Carron's life. The Supreme Court may, notwithstanding its decision in the Finucane and Clarke case, still order that Carron is handed over to those who have threatened him with death.
Phoblacht, Thursday 22 March 1990