‘Internment’ of the Special Criminal Court
‘Internment’ of the Special Criminal Court

Republicans have called for international sanction against the Dublin government over the use of “internment” in the 26 Counties.

A representative of the Irish Republican Prisoner’s Welfare Association, Martin Mulholland, spoke out after another republican was charged with IRA membership at the juryless Special Criminal Court in Dublin solely on the word of a senior member of the Garda police.

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Mulholland said: “These laws and practices would be the envy of any South American right wing tin pot dictatorship, and it is time the Irish people acted and spoke out.”

He urged anyone who has been charged or convicted of membership without any additional charge to look at the possibility of taking further legal advice with a view to having their cases re-examined.

“It is getting ridiculous now the amount of men getting effectively interned in the south on the word of a politically motivated, anti-Republican police force.

“Many men have been charged and convicted on the strength of associations and on what gardai ‘believe to be true’.”

He said the evidence recently presented by the Gardai to bolster their assertions were “laughable”, such the possession of commonly available Irish-themed merchandise.

“The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association believe that if the so called ‘proof’ that has put many anti-agreement Republicans in [Portlaoise jail] in the last few years were to be independently and objectively examined at an international court (such as the European court of Human rights) or their cases referred to somewhere like the UN Human Rights Commission then the international community could see what passes for justice in this banana Republic of theirs.

“It is noted by various Human Rights organizations that under the so-called ‘offences against the State Act’ literally anyone can be sent by the Director of Public Prosecutions to trial at the Dublin Special Criminal Court, and they do not have to give any reason whatsoever.

“At a time when America and Britain are coming under criticism for jailing anyone they deem politically undesirable, it seems those in the political establishment here are loathe to pick up on the injustices occuring on their own doorstep.”

* A County Cork chef arrested during a garda investigation into the 2004 Northern Bank robbery in Belfast has been convicted of IRA membership by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Gardai said Don Bullman, a father of two, was found to be in possession of some 94,000 Euros cash. However, Bullman was not charged in relation to possession of the money and there was no evidence was presented of the money’s origin or of any robbery.

Bullman had admitted being a member of Sinn Féin in the past but said he was now merely a supporter. He said he was well known within Sinn Féin and would have met people with a past in the IRA.

Mr Justice Butler said the court accepted the opinion evidence of Assistant Commissioner Ray McAndrew that Bullman was a member of the IRA. Bullman was remanded on continuing bail for sentence on March 14 next.

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© 2007 Irish Republican News