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Search author name words: W. Finnerty

Mary Kelly's Open Letter on Torture

category national | crime and justice | opinion/analysis author Monday January 09, 2006 16:46author by MK_LSG Report this post to the editors

Addressed to the People of Ireland, McDowell (Injustice) and various UN Hushpuppies

In this open letter and call to action, Ms. Kelly clearly outlines the criminal complicity of the Irish Government (i.e. McDowell & his Cohorts) in the matter of US warcriminals and torturers using Ireland for their obscene purposes.
It's OK to take off your hat now, McDowell, we know you!
It's OK to take off your hat now, McDowell, we know you!

To: ............... McDowell, Room 304
...................... Minister for Injustice
...................... Department of Injustice
...................... Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Copy to: ...... prisons_policy_INBOX@justice.ie
...................... UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
...................... UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (Professor Manfred Nowack)
...................... Permanent Members of UN Security Council in NY, USA
...................... Committee against Torture
...................... The People of Ireland

From: ........... Mary Kelly

Re: ............... 1st Report by Ireland on UN-Convention Against Torture compliance


your Department (Injustice) advertised in December 2005 for ‘submissions’ on the abovereferenced matter.

This is my response – not because you do not already know all this and worse, but so that you and the disgusting body (‘Government’) you are part of cannot publicly continue to PRETEND you do not know, to FAKE ignorance of Irish Law and Convention Obligations, and try to fool the UN and the People of Ireland with stupid excuses, palaver and whitewash – in a sincere effort to expose you band of Quislings for the rotten FRAUDSTERS, PUPPETS and CRIMINALS you so truly are.

I am a member of the MAMA group (Mid West Alliance Against War) which presented similar material to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs on 20th December 2005, and further material will be added at later dates.

I know that you, McDowell, have access to a considerable amount of additional information confirming that Shannon Airport, Baldonnell (Casement Aerodrome) and possibly other Irish airports (e.g. Knock) are used repeatedly and habitually by the US Government, Military and CIA not only for the purpose of perpetrating War Crimes of Aggression internationally (e.g. against Afghanistan and Iraq), but also for the purpose of kidnapping persons for torture to and from third countries (so-called ‘special renditions programme’), in contravention of the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, fundamental customary international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

I know that you, McDowell, are well aware that in addition to the use of Irish airports for the refuelling of US military and CIA aircraft used for the kidnapping of persons for torture, that such kidnapped persons were actually transported through and over Republic of Ireland on dates between September 2001 and the present. In particular, persons being transported to and from Guantánamo Bay prison in the US-occupied part of Cuba.

I know, and will make it known to the world, that you, McDowell, and your puppet colleagues have, in the service of your paymasters in Washington and London, approved of these crimes against humanity and have been complicit in the commission of them, that you have illegally used tax revenue of the Republic of Ireland to subsidise these criminal operations and, by incompetently attempting to perpetrate a cover-up of all the above, you have demonstrated that you are accessories both before and after the fact.

You, McDowell, with you puppet collegues, are individually and severally responsible for complicity in these war crimes and for violations of the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which has been authoritatively interpreted to prevent states from using their territory or allowing their territory to be used to aid or abet torture, cruel inhuman or degrading punishment.

I do not believe, McDowell, in setting a wolf to guard chickens. Therefore I do not petition you, or your mafia – the so-called An Garda Siochana (Irish Police) – to investigate this matter. Both you and they are completely complicit in and guilty of these crimes complained of.

I am aware that the Gardai at Shannon Town keeps logbooks detailing all US government and military aircraft, including chartered US troop carriers, that pass through Shannon airport.

This information should be secured immediately by the United Nations Committee against Torture and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and other international entities that are investigating the matters of international kidnapping of persons for torture.

I am also aware that much additional evidence is available within the records of Shannon Airport authorities, e.g. the Meteorological Service at Shannon, and in other Irish Government departments and agencies including the so-called Departments of Justice, Foreign Affairs, An Taoiseach, Transport, Defence, and the Irish Aviation Authority, all of which will demonstrate conclusively that Irish airports have been frequently used in support of the international kidnapping of persons for torture, with the full knowledge and approval of the Quisling Irish ‘authorities’.

You are hereby cautioned, McDowell, to take immediate steps to secure all such evidence and make it available to the United Nations and other international agencies investigating these matters, and to ensure that your cohorts and minions do not destroy or doctor, expunge or erase any such record or evidence.

In other words, the detailed records of all aircraft, from whatever origin, including all normal civilian passenger aircraft, that passed through Shannon, Baldonnell and other Irish airports from September 2001 up to the present time, must be carefully preserved and made available to investigating authorities outside the Republic of Ireland.

A careful analysis of these records, combined with others from US, EU, Middle Eastern and North African sources, will reveal which particular flights passing through Irish airports were carrying persons en route for torture, and/or who were being tortured, as defined by the UN Convention against Torture, while in or over Irish territory.

I know, McDowell, that you are painfully aware just how flimsy your excuses have been – it is no defence to argue that you, and the Irish authorities were not specifically aware of each incident of torture, but that you had, and have, a duty to ensure that Irish facilities and Irish citizens do not in any way assist with the process of torture, either in Ireland or elsewhere. By failing to take the necessary precautions, even when specific complaints were made to your officials concerning the possibility that Shannon airport (among others) is being used for the kidnapping of persons for torture, you, your officials and Gardai ARE guilty of complicity in acts of torture. But rest assured your cover-up will not work.

It will be interesting to see how your complicity as outlined above, McDowell, has assisted in the related crimes recently brought to light in Eastern Europe – from where reports emanate that kidnapped persons are secretly held by the US and subject to torture in literally subterranean prisons (so-called 'Black Sites') in countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.

Following the failed visit of the US Envoy for War Propaganda (Rice) it is now reported that dozens of such torture victims were quickly removed from these European hell-holes to similar ‘facilities’ in North Africa and elsewhere, where the torture and unchecked abuse will continue with fresh vigour. Indeed it is highly probable that many such persons will then finally be murdered, simply in order to avoid embarrassment to the US government and its lackey European henchmen, including the Irish Quisling Stripeback variety, of which you, McDowell, are a glaring bloody example.

You, McDowell, together with your masters, cohorts and minions, have been and are guilty of (at least complicity in) kidnapping and torture, as opposed to fulfilling your formal legal obligations to prevent such crimes. While exoneration in your own personal case is impossible, it may have some mitigating effect if you would now at least desist from such odious practices and begin to uphold Irish law and Ireland’s Convention Obligations in respect of these crimes.

But then again, I would sooner expect that pigs will fly!

However, McDowell, regardless of what you now do, your record, while masquerading as ‘Minister for Justice’, of involvement in crimes including war of aggression, international kidnapping, torture and murder will be properly flagged up and pinned on you.

In connection with all the above, your perversion, McDowell, of the rule of law used at Shannon Airport to suppress exposure of your serious crimes does not go unnoticed. Over fifty peace activists have been arrested at Shannon over the past three years on trumped-up charges, many of which were later dropped or rejected by the courts. In such cases your Garda mafia minions have regularly seized and destroyed cameras and other evidence-gathering equipment and given demonstrably perjured evidence in court.

As an indication of the efforts by the Quisling ‘authorities’ of the Irish state to prevent exposure of their misuse of Shannon airport for the international kidnapping of persons for torture, and for war crimes and activities in breach of both Irish and international laws, including flagrant breaches of the Hague Convention V on Neutrality, I direct your attention to many reports published on Indymedia Ireland. For example, http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=73566 Dec 22nd 2005, “Ed Horgan arrested at Shannon this Morning”.

The viciousness with which such persecutions have been pursued under your stewardship as Minister for Injustice, McDowell, is in marked contrast with your complete failure to pursue any investigation into the blindingly-obvious fact that the US military forces, whom you have invited to use this country as a launching-pad and base, have and are committing the most serious crimes, including war of aggression and mass murder in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, you as Minister for Injustice have failed to carry out any investigation into the blindingly-obvious fact that the US military and CIA have been and are using Shannon and Baldonnell airports as refuelling hubs and support facilities for their programme of international kidnapping of persons for torture.

You, McDowell, have instead publicly stated that no investigations will be carried out until some member of the public POSITIVELY PROVES EVIDENCE of such crime. i.e. you insolently instruct your criminal co-conspirators that they are free to use these Airports for their crimes and that you will not investigate but rather cover for such crimes until irrefutable evidence is presented!

The wilful failure of your Garda mafia to search CIA and other US military aircraft and collect the abundant evidence of their crimes, and their failure to act on information received must be explained and rectified as a matter of urgency.

I demand that you, McDowell, explain to the People of Ireland and the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, in the report that you are now obliged to submit, why you and your cohorts in the puppet Irish Government have blatantly violated the International Convention against Torture, Irish law and Treaty obligations, and that you then immediately resign and hand yourself over for trial.

I await, McDowell, with no particular anticipation, your gutless reply and remain sincerely,

Mary Kelly

And to The People of Ireland –- let us put a stop to this disgrace on our Country!

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Jan 09, 2006 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The first article of our constitution, in my opinion, is made a mockery of by the likes of muppet McDowell. By muppet, I do not just mean to offer insult, I believe McDowell to be a glove puppet, with the big controlling hand of Bush, rammed up his large colluding arse. The first article of our misrepresented and misused Constitution makes two assertions that strike me as being important here. The first being that we are a sovereign nation, and the second being that we have a right to determine the course of our life as a country in accordance with our own genius and traditions. When one looks at both these assertations side by side and examines the reality of our situation, I believe that any rational and truthful person will admit that we do not live in a society where those assertations can be shown to be anything other than cheap fiction. If this were not bad enough, it is easily demonstrated that the current administration, and each and every previous administration have defiled the spirit of our constitution, its preamble. (I've argued this point many times on Indy, so I'll not go into it here and take from what for me is undoubtedly the best article I've ever had the pleasure to read on here, and the pleasures have been abundant.)

Whilst it may be argued that our "neutrality" is a tradition, I believe it to be patently obvious that this tradition has never reflected the genuis of the Irish people. The support we give in perpetration, of crimes against humanity, living and the dead (Remember the millions that died in a war to end all wars), has finally become so obvious that it begs every person of conscience, to reflect on whether what's happening, is a product of their will.

I believe, and I believe mostly because it strikes me as being obvious, that the vast majority of people in this country do not express that which is misrepresented by our government as the will of the people.

Nobody protested the Government's current and evolved (mutated?) position, anywhere in Ireland at any time since the start of our collusion other than those in power or those who were paid to enforce the sole will, of those in power. Our reputation as a nation that traditionally (this tradition predates our constitution itself, unlike some recent traditions) supported those who are and who were oppressed, was slandered and then eventually assasinated by the actions of our government. Our reputation - is a litmus test that certifies as to whether our nation is a reflection of the genius of our people, it is my belief that this nation no longer needs to look abroad to see if our reputation is sullied, we can see it plainly in each others eyes.

Anyway, well said Mary!

I admire your directness and appreciate your non apologetic approach. And I'd more than dare to suggest that people of your quality (women, mostly by tradition too), constitute the most ancient tradition that this country possesses.

Here's the first Article and promise we made to ourselves, for those who wish to reflect or refute, or ignore:

Article 1
The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable,
indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form
of Government, to determine its relations with other
nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and
cultural, in accordance with its own genius and



author by Joe Sheehan - MAMA, Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 09:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i agree completely with the above two articles both well written and spot on. Could not manage to put it better.

author by macker the lawpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See you at the elections. You know, those things where the people give you authority to speak on their behalf.

author by Michael R.publication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(The first paragraph is in response to "Irish"):-

You say you find "Ms Kelly's letter obnoxious and sickening." Do you refer to the content of the letter or the way it is put?

I totally agree with the content but agree with "Irish" that I think the way it is put shows as much disrespect to the person in question as the disrespect so many of the people in the world whom we are trying to topple/change show disrespect to people.

It also, I believe, shows disrespect to the thousands who voted Minister Michael McDowell to be their representative and further to all those who vote Progressive Democrat and even futher to those who voted for the coallision govermnent. I do not think all these people are "bad" people. Misled by the media, yes maybe, but not all bad.

I also believe that Minister McDowell, and the government in general, will even futher entrench his viewpoints in the face of such hostility/abuse.

Saying all that bar the way it is put I totally agree with what Mary Kelly is saying and stand in awe at her courage, conviction and continuous "ferocious" work in the name of humanity.

No doubt the government are on the run on this issue and the pressure is really on them now. We are helping to achieve real success and ease, to some degree anyhow, real suffering. The Irish Times, not for the first time, had another front cover article on the issue on Saturday outlining the pressure the EU was putting on the government over their legal obligations on human rights regarding Shannon.

Keep up the good work people.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Respect and disrespect are earned.

Manners are free, or were but don't work when one is dealing with somebody who thinks they are answerable to nobody.

Our "government" is answerable to us.

As a side note, we didn't elect a coalition government. Fine Fail had a clear majority, and only invited the PD's into government as a treaty, this treaty will enable Bertie's clique to stay in power irregardless as to what the vote says.

Proportional control and misrepresentation.


Seán Ryan

author by Responsepublication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See article by General Sir Michael Rose in Tuesday's Guardian P.28 calling for the impeachment of Blair and explaining why people in Britain have abandoned elections and the "electoral process" in reponse to this war.

author by Michael R.publication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to Sean:-

Hi Sean,

All the points you make below one can indeed make an argument for.

But I guess I disagree with your ideas on respect.

I believe ALL human beings must be respected. You either value ALL human life or you don't (though I know that sounds absolutist and indeed of course it is absolutist).

The moment you start disrespecting I believe you start going down a slippery slope and you also start disrespecting yourself. Once you start disrespecting where do you draw the line?? Who should we respect and who should we not respect? Whose opinions are valid? Is it just ours? Does that not make us some kind of dicators/totalitarians in waiting?
Is not one of the crux's of democracy to respect other people's viewpoints? Is not disrespecting, insulting, riduculing a persons whose opinions are different to you laughing in the face of democracy? One can argue that democracy means free speech, hence the free speech to ridicule. But I think the essence of free speech is to allow anyone hold any opinion they like. To slander this opinion, I think, is going against the "real" meaning of democracy and free speech. I note the contradiction in my argument here hence my emphasis on the word "real".

Disagree with other people's opinions, of course. Vehemently disagree. Shout from the roof tops. Bring the house down. Wield an "axe" in the air!! Lay down your life.

But with respect.

Focus on people's actions rather than on the person themselves. Otherwise it gets personal and clouds judgement. In order to change the world we must be clinical.

Best regards & respect,


author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By their actions.

Which action, in relation to our complicity in war crimes merits respect, from a self respecting individual?

Regards and respect,

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Tue Jan 10, 2006 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Somehow or another, ownership of the law needs to be taken off Minister for Justice McDowell and his corrupt cronies, and placed were it rightly belongs in a genuine democracy: which is in the hands of the People - who, in a real democracy, are the rightful holders of "supreme power", including that of the law.

The question is: "how can the law be taken off them?"

The "corruption monster" seems to have a very tight grip of all the lawyers (judges included) at the present time. Similarly with the so called "opposition parties".

Perhaps if more people got to know more about their personal legal rights, that might help? - especially if, as above, they started to publicly demand them (as individuals) directly from people such as Minister McDowell? - and to let him and his colleagues know, in no uncertain terms, that they are not fooling everyone.

A genuine democracy, and a heavily corrupted plutocracy pretending to be a democracy, are two very different things; and, there is no amount of sly and deceitful hoodwinking, window-dressing and spin from people such as Minister McDowell which can alter that basic fact.

In the hope that genuine and lasting peace, justice, and reconciliation, can eventually be found for everyone through the vast array of Human Rights Law already in place, but which almost nobody seems to know anything about at the present time (including Minister McDowell and all his legal and political colleagues in Dail Eireann, the United States and elsewhere), some sources of information which relate to the very basic, and very important personal legal rights of each and every individual human being on earth are provided below:

Constitution of Ireland:

and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (United Nations):


European Convention on Human Rights (Council of Europe):

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations):

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com/index.htm
author by observer2publication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 02:44author email observer.two at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Knowledge of the law is not enough on it's own T.Finnerty. Expertise in the methods and practice of the legal system is also required. Try finding a Barrister to take a case in the higher courts on any social justice issue. The problem of the Judiciary of the higher courts is that they are essentially political appointees. It is necessary that appointment of the Judicary lie with a body answerable directly to the people and seperate from the executive branch. The problem of the barrister is that all state work is given on an ad hoc basis at the states discretion. This only begins after they have worked for free for up to five years, therby precluding people on the basis of economic circumstances. It is in their power to bestow grace and favour on whichsoever barristers they wish.
At present the taking of such a case by any of the countries best barristers would be career suicide, that such is the case is clearly the fault of government which appoints on the basis of favour and privelege rather than merit and ability. Given that the best legal people aspire to sit on the Supreme court, which is not an unreasonable ambition if the person is among the best dozen legal experts, the problems here are blatantly obvious.

It would be good to hear of barristers willing to take such cases.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't believe it is a matter of taking the law off them. They do not possess it. They are the stewards of it. We already own the law. It is the stewardship that needs to be withdrawn, due to their actions in violation of it.

The constitution is the primal law and is above any written or otherwise law.

The first article in my opinion is tied to the preamble, in that I believe the preamble very articulately describes "genius" and that which constitutes "tradition."

This again in my opinion, is a bridging point in the constitution, the first article is where the jurisdiction of the state and the powers of justice administration begin.

It is my belief that the preamble itself is not open to the interpretation of the courts any more than it is open to yours or my interpretation of it. It is prefaced by the term, "We the people of Éire." which means that it is common speech and that it should be understood without need for legal recourse (Remember article one has not begun yet).

I reckon it is within a citizen's right to fix this, our silent first citizen's right and duty that is.

Any legal heads out there with an opinion on this?

Seán Ryan

author by BPpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2006 19:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... i.e. handle with extreme care while loading the 'sleeper'-shot!

Dear Michael R.,

if the vet says "I'm sorry, but your Rottweiler has rabies and needs to be put down" - do you accuse him of disrespecting the owner?

Likewise and conversely, PD voters (and FF) have empowered McDowell to a ministerial position but this does not mean he has a licence to commit crimes. He is personally reponsible for his actions, as is every other criminal hiding behind burocratic office.

Mary Kelly's public words are 100% accurate and address only McDowell's actions in public office - they have absolutely nothing to do with his personality or him personally.

It is refreshing to see citizens calling out such ideological water-carriers for US/Brit imperialism by their true name.

I hope this will become a new tradition in Ireland, instead of just lazily adopting every euphemism in the jargon-bag of the Warlords.

You sound like you would respect the boot of a Yankee/Brit military tourist planted on your neck - and that is where you and I part company.

I do not respect your opinions on respect as expressed above - they are illogical and lead to convincing happy slaves to lick the boots of their oppressors. Perhaps you need to get out of Church a bit more?

Schalom, BP

author by Brendanpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 00:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well it is good to see that at least some torture has come to an end. I think we can all agree that it is great news that this type of mutilation and torture is no longer happening on a daily basis. Thankfully, it has been stopped. From today's BBC....

Saddam's ear amputees

There's a constant sadness in me," Khalid tells me when we first meet.

Khalid is an Iraqi torture victim from Basra. He and another victim, Adel, had been brutally punished for refusing to serve in Saddam Hussein's army.

For their defiance their ears were cut off.

Both men were deeply traumatised, shutting themselves off from the world and shunned by society.

All this happened 12 years ago when Saddam Hussein passed decree 115 - it stated that those refusing to join the army or who deserted the army would have their ears amputated.

They're not the only ones to suffer. There are about 450 other victims in Basra alone and there are likely to be thousands more who suffered the same fate across the rest of Iraq.

Usually the victims were in their late teens or early 20s, poor and uneducated.

Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/4603566.stm
author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 01:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's horrible.

I agree that being given an option where one choice condemns you to a life of mutilation and possibly silence, and the other to slavery, is an affront to the dignity and goals of man.

However what I find to be an even more henious crime, is to offer no choice. And then to butcher and maim with no regard to life whatsoever, and say that it is an anti terrorist tactic or about establishing peace and democracy, and sometimes adding that it is about removing a despot. (please dont blur this, when I refer to a choice, I mean that the Iraqi people never had any, at any point.) One must remember that the coalition of the genocidal's have left lasting gifts that will effect the peoples of Iraq and other places for generations, gifts like depleted uranium. The man without ears might have at least fathered children with some.

And again just to be very clear on this. What I find most disgusting of all, is that we facilitate and profit from it (we profit in financial terms only).

Peace and equality,

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In connection with the First Report by Ireland on the United Nations International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, an e-mail submission has been sent to The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Republic of Ireland) in response to their recent invitation.

The final paragraph of the submitted text reads as follows:

'It would be much appreciated if you could acknowledge receipt of this e-mail please so that I am not left wondering if you have received it or not; and, should you require any further information from me regarding this submission, and all of the associated "Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading Treatment and Punishment" I am being subjected to for several years now (with no sign whatsoever of it being brought to an end), do please let me know.'

The full text of the e-mail submission, which, as can be seen at the following address, was copied to Kofi Annan (Secretary-General of the United Nations):

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com/
author by Michael R.publication date Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two wrongs do not make a right.


author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

10 January 2006


A chara

In response to your request for submissions from interested parties for the First National Report by Ireland under Section 19 of the UN International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel inhuman or Degrading Treatment. I hereby submit:


"Article 3
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights."

1. I accuse the Irish Government of having violated Article 3 in having returned to Nigeria people who had fled from female genital mutilation.

The following appears in a 2004 report by Amnesty International

50% [of women affected]
Clitoridectomy, excision and, in the northwest, some infibulation
FGM is practised throughout the country and among all ethnic and religious groups. No law specifically prohibits FGM. The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has been active in the fight against FGM. Nurses and paediatricians have campaigned throughout the country, conducting educational activities at the state and community level. In 1984, a Nigerian National Committee, the National Chapter of the IAC, was set up. The Committee has had support from the Ministries of Health, Education and Information." http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/femgen/fgm9.htm

I was horrified to see the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell TD,, express the opinion on our National Television station, RTE, that he wished he could dispense with due process, meet the Nigerian asylum seekers at the airport on their arrival in Ireland and send them back immediately with what he judged to be their bogus asylum excuses without having to give them any hearing. The implications were that he was being forced by the UN Convention to grant them due process but that his own desire in the matter was otherwise - that he had already judged certain claims of fear of torture to be "Cock and bull stories" and that based on this judgement of his, he would like to deny them due process. Instead, he would have certain cases settled (without due process) by an "interview at the airport".

Here is what he said:

"If the Irish people had even the remotest idea of the nonsense that lies behind a huge amount of these bogus claims, the patience of a lot of people would be tried very hard. I would much prefer to have a system where I could have an interview at the airport, find out the cock-and-bull stories and [put them] on the next flight, but unfortunately the UN Convention requires me to go through due process in respect of all of these claims." Michael McDowell: RTE News 18th May 2005.

This statement shows an enormous lack of sensitivity certainly but it also reveals the mind of the Minister with regard to the ongoing night arrests and deportation of Nigerians (he was speaking in the context of the reasons being given by Nigerians asylum seekers in particular). It also reveals the disdain of the Minister for due process and for the UN convention. Note the words "unfortunately" and "requires me".

My submission is that a Minister who has revealed this mind-set with regard to any subset of immigrants should not have responsibility for immigration, no matter what other good qualities of intellect or administration he may exhibit in other areas. Indeed, the fact that he is so able and very intelligent makes this flawed mind-set concerning due process for asylum seekers more sinister and more dangerous.

I have been present at some large scale deportations of Nigerians and I am aware that the people deported were lied to, up to the very last minute, believing that they were entering the Immigration bureau for a reason other than deportation. Once inside they were grabbed, put into vans and brought out through a back door to the airport. Heavy handed tactics were used against protestors some of whom were flung to the ground by individual Gárdaí. A Garda in a car carrying away one deportee waved jeeringly to the man's partner and son who were by then bawling crying.

Who could really blame only Gárdaí for this when they too had seen and heard the Minister for Justice making his appalling comment.

Witnessing these scenes after seeing the Minister's statement made me fear that the Gárdaí felt they had carte blanche to treat those whom they had in their custody and protestors who opposed the deportations in whatever manner they wished.


"Article 1 For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

I accuse the Irish Government of wilful and culpable negligence in the supervision of Shannon airport. In spite of numerous reports, Dáil and Seanad questions, formal and detailed complaints by dedicated activists about sightings at Shannon of US planes that have been engaged in rendition of prisoners to countries where they have been tortured, the Government has failed to inspect the planes in question even once, pleading a special relationship with the US, assurances given by the US and also challenging complainants to provide factual evidence of torture on the planes in Shannon while at the same time making it extremely difficult for them to even approach the airport or take photos, and of course impossible for the complainants to board and examine the planes lawfully to inspect them

Among the planes observed and photographed at Shannon airport was N379P, (Later re-registered as N8068V and then as N44982), the infamously nicknamed "Guantanamo Bay Express" This plane was used in the rendition of Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed al-Zairi from Sweden to Egypt. It was spotted at Shannon airport on numerous occasions http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?id=26231, http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=66763, (cached) and it was used to transport two captives to Egypt where they were tortured http://www.tv4.se/visa/?fGUID=055E138C-8CB3-4B6E-AEC7-9...412F1

In spite of repeated requests from activists who have tried their best to monitor Shannon, no action has been taken by the Irish Government to carry out inspections on planes such as N379P that are landing there. The answers given by the Minister are inadequate, the replies of the local Gárdaí mirror the political replies - stonewalling. http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67865 .

The Government line has been, on the one hand, that they are against extraordinary rendition, that they would find the practice "disturbing and objectionable", acknowledge that it is "against international law", proclaim that they have not and will not "permit any flight engaged in extraordinary rendition to pass through an Irish airport or through Irish or Irish-controlled airspace", click:http://www.greenparty.ie/en/in_the_dail/speeches/14_dec...annon
However, this proclaimed steadfastness of intention is implemented only by looking for receiving clear and explicit assurances from the United States " that no prisoners have been transferred through Irish airports, nor would they be, without our permission", and stating that the assurances were confirmed by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice click:http://www.greenparty.ie/en/in_the_dail/speeches/14_dec...annon

In response to the expressed concerns that the US definition of torture has become elasticised enough to exclude what most people would regard as torture, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern made the extraordinary, but not unusual, Orwellian statement: "The assurances we have received have contained no reference to the purposes for which any prisoners might be transferred which could be used to limit the broad scope of those assurances". This latter statement is typical of the Government's use of civil service jargon to run away from the problem. The Minister immediately added that the assurances were (therefore) "in the wider European context, of particular clarity and completeness".click:http://www.greenparty.ie/en/in_the_dail/speeches/14_dec...annon
The numerous sightings, photographing and logging at Shannon of planes such as N379P that transported prisoners from Italy to Egypt where they were tortured is not regarded as "hard evidence" by the Minister. But he leaves it unclear whether he means "hard evidence" that torture planes (like the Guantanamo Express) have in fact landed several times at Shannon or "hard evidence" that Shannon has been used in the transfer of prisoners for torture, or "hard evidence" that Irish airspace has been used for the transfer of prisoners for torture, or "hard evidence" that prisoners were on board these planes while at Shannon or were even tortured on Irish soil. Lacking all of such hard evidence, the Minister, the Taoiseach and the Irish Government refuse to seek it except through "assurances" from the United States.
Peace activists such as Mr Tim Hourigan, Mr Ed Horgan, Ms Fiona Wheeler and Mr Conor Grehan who tried to monitor Shannon have been harassed, ordered out of the airport, prevented from taking pictures and arrested. One of the more recent incidents occurred at the end of December 2005.

The stated concerns of the Irish Government (through its various Ministers) re extraordinary rendition ring hollow in the light of the above. The wilful neglect in examining the facts at Shannon and now possibly at Baldonnel and Knock airports and the Government's prevention of others from doing so makes them (and by extension, me) culpable for whatever wrongdoing may be happening at these airports It also makes them share responsibility for the torture that may be visited on humans who have been transported on planes that have been, on numerous occasions, facilitated by Irish airports and that have passed through Irish airspace

Justin Morahan
Peace People (individual)
71 Scholarstown Park

author by W. Finnertypublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 08:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"As there is no doubt at all in my mind that the wholly avoidable mental torture I continue to be subjected to is nothing short of serious criminal abuse, which I am completely powerless over because I cannot find a lawyer to help me, I am copying this e-mail to Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy (Chief Commissioner of Police, Republic of Ireland)."

"Crime is crime, the law is the law is the law, and nobody is above the law - leaving aside of course the extremely negative and distorting social effects of the very large and obvious amounts of corruption in the legal professions of Ireland at the present time: particularly in regard to human-rights law, and to environmental law."

The above pieces of text are from "Sale of land at Lisnamult (Roscommon Town, Republic of Ireland)" e-mail dated March 2nd 2006. The full text can be seen at:

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com/
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