Irish Republican News · December 21, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Sean Garland wins extradition case
Sean Garland wins extradition case
seangarland.jpg

The extradition of veteran republican socialist Sean Garland to the United States has been rejected by an Irish court this afternoon.

Mr Garland, a former leader in the Official IRA, was sought on the basis of allegations that he conspired with the North Korean government in the late 1990s to produce fake $100 bills.

Mr Garland - who has battled cancer and suffers from advanced diabetes - had continuously denied the allegations.

His supporters, among them many elected representatives, believed that the case against the Dubliner emerged from a black propaganda campaign by the Bush administration against the government of North Korea.

Mr Justice John Edwards told the High Court in Dublin he would outline his reasons for dismissing the application on January 13.

A spokesman for Mr Garland, who was supported in court by his wife Mary, said: “He is extremely pleased and so is his wife.”

Garland had devoted his life to political activity. On New Year’s Day 1957, aged 22, he led a legendary, but ill-fated, IRA operation in which his young comrades Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon died.

Since 1962, Garland, along with the late Tomas Mac Giolla and Cathal Goulding, converted the official republican movement into a socialist political party that would ultimately become the Workers’ Party. A faction later formed Democratic Left, which went on to merge with the Irish Labour Party.

ARREST

On May 19 2005, a US grand jury court, based purely on information provided by the US intelligence services, issued a secret arrest warrant for Garland. The US intelligence services waited until Garland was visiting Belfast in October 2005 to activate their arrest warrant.

Allowed return to the 26 Counties for medical tests, Garland was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He remained at his Navan home for treatment, forfeiting 27,000 pounds in bail.

In the last days of the Bush government, the then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a new warrant, and on January 30 2009, 26-County Garda police arrested Garland outside the offices of the Workers’ Party.

Despite today’s news, campaigners said they believe US law enforcement agencies will attempt to pursue the extradition warrant if he leaves the 26-County jurisdiction.

The Rev Chris Hudson, chair of the Stop the Extradition of Sean Garland Campaign, said: “This has been a horrendous six-year ordeal for Sean, his family and friends and I am delighted with the progress we have made today.

“I have always believed that the US extradition demand was a vindictive act by the former Bush administration designed to punish and isolate North Korea and anyone who had connections with that country.”

Rev Hudson commended the thousands of people from all walks of life who supported their campaign, including more than 120 parliamentarians across Ireland as well as Westminster MPs, members of the House of Lords and members of the European Parliament.

“We must now redouble our efforts to have this extradition warrant withdrawn completely by the United States to allow Sean Garland and his family the right to travel at will outside of Ireland without fear of arrest and detention,” he added.

Among the many prominent people and organisations who supported Garland were members of Sinn Fein, the Labour Party, the Workers’ Party, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Siptu and Unite unions, as well as a number of local councils around Ireland.

© 2011 Irish Republican News