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Owen Rice arrested, held without bail in Castlerea Prison

category national | crime and justice | news report author Thursday August 17, 2006 14:38author by K.G. Report this post to the editors

was "planning to testify about garda corruption"

Pieces of information are coming out about the arrest Monday of Owen Rice.
We only heard about this an hour ago.
While attending Richmond District court as a witness in another case, said to involve Garda Corruption, Owen Rice was reportedly arrested by 8 Gardai and taken to Castlerea Prison in Roscommon, where he is being held without bail.

It is understood that the justification for arresting him, was said to be a bench warrant from
January 2004, from an incident in Galway city where Owen was arrested while lawfully protesting. [ see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/63038 ]
Following that arrest, Owen was brought to hospital for injuries to his head which he claims were inflicted by a a group of Gardai kicking and standing on him.

We haven't had any direct contact with Owen, but have heard that following this week's arrest, he requested to see the prison doctor.

You can write to Owen.

Owen Rice
Castlerea Prison
Co. Roscommon

Owen is expected to appear in court in Roscommon tomorrow, Friday. A few people have said that they will go to court to support, and take notes and keep the public informed as to how Owen is being treated.

author by Whenpublication date Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors



when
by anon Wed Aug 23, 2006 15:17
You provide nothing other than innuendo to buttress a very vague allegation. Why don't you just tell us straight out what YOU think happened here?

Non, Anon, no innuendo questions. Which you choose to ignore. Simple logical questions. See if you can answer them.
1. How is it that none of the cops in Clare noticed that Owen had a bench warrant outstanding any of the times he 'dangled himself' in front of them, AS DEFENDANT... and yet 8 Gardai in DUBLIN seem to become aware of it, in a case where he is not named (as he is acting as legal advisor) I think there's a very important question there. It would be normal to look at someone's file when they're coming up to defend themselves, but if they're not the defendant,

So why dont' YOU say what you think happened to 'Irritate' the Gardai?

"I have a feeling that you've had very little interaction with the gardai over the years"

You'd be quite wrong there...

" because, if you had, none of this would be a mystery to you. Eight guards, for instance, are not unusual when a bench warrant is being executed, especially near a courthouse containing gardai with fuck all else to do."

Eight guards are in fact unsual for a bench warrant at a courthouse. At a house of violent suspect or major criminal, yeah. But I've seen bench warrants executed on court house steps, usually with just two cops.

As for the conspiracy theory, the fact is that there WAS an outstanding bench warrant. They didn't concoct one for the occasion. I suppose you think that, if they hadn't a bench warrant, they would have run an articulated lorry over this very important fellow. The bench warrant EXISTED!

I've never argued that it didn't. and you articulated lorry suggestion is about as good as your replies get? I'm saying that there is and by the way, Court Houses tend not to have PULSE terminals, so how did these gardai check his record? (Richmond District Court Clerk would not normally have a copy of warrants issued by Galway District Court)
Or are you saying that all gardai in Dublin keep up to date with Owen's file just in case they happen to see him? If so, how come he wasn't arrested before this, as you say, he's not unknown, and he was in court for two weeks for another trial this summer.... Are you suggesting this scenario : -

A> Gardai recognises Owen, then runs out to PULSE Terminal in nearest Garda station, returns with paperwork to prove existence of warrant (hoping the case he's in court for hasn't been called in meantime) and executes the warrant along with 7 colleagues ?

or
B> All Gardai who know Owen in Dublin, despite having far more serious things to deal with, keep up to date with his record, and when they saw him in Court, ran out to PULSE Terminal in nearest Garda station, returns (hoping the case he's in court for hasn't been called) and executes the warrant along with 7 colleagues ?

or
C> A Garda who knows Owen in Dublin, ALWAYS keeps a copy of Owen's outstanding bench warrants on his/her person, just in case he should happen to be in court with Owen and can then wave the warrant in front of the judge...

Cos seriously that doesn't make sense... usually for an outstanding bench warrant, (for a crime that doesn't warrant an all points bulleting, closure of ports and mention on Garda Patrol / Crimeline whatever it's called these days) then the Gardai in Galway, who had been charged with executing the bench warrant make enquiries as to the location of the 'fugitive' and try track him down and execute the warrant. They do not ask every member of the force to keep an eye out for him and if necessary leave court (for what was more likely a more serious case) to execute it.

I'd be happy if this dude Owen was helping would clear up what his case was about, other than vague reports of Garda Harrassment.

A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF THE SAGA THUS FAR

1 Bench warrant outstanding against Owen.
I don't argue against that...

2 Owen is spotted by Gardai at courthouse. (And, err, Owen is not unknown to the guards in Dublin or anywhere else where he's been arrested.)

Sure thing he's not unknown. But there's a lot of people out there with bench warrants out for them, and apart from the area where the warrant is issued, the person could walk past a load of cops he knows without any sudden urge for them to check for warrants, unless they are questioning him for something else at the time. Does that point go over your head or do you just choose to ignore it. C'mon, if you had a bench warrant out in Dublin, and went to Shannon, dya think the cops there would all be aware of it, unless they had reason to pull your file?

3 Gardai muster their forces and move in for the arrest..

Not in dispute.

4 Owen is brought off to the clink.
5 Some people try to drum up solidarity.
6 Conspiracy theorists swing into action, ensuring that for several days nobody has a clear idea how the fuck Owen ended up in Castlerea.

Only the timing is being questioned here.

7 Clarity arrives - ding! T'were a bench warrant for an anti-war protest in Galway!

DING? POINT 7? the very FIRST POSTING Mentioned the bench warrant... it was not a late arrival to the story. Hello?

8 Conspiracy theorists fight a rearguard action in a determined effort to topple the government, senior gardai and judiciary.

Not likely, just pointing out that the case is not so straightforward. If this happened in Clare or Galway, I wouldn't have been one bit surprised... but the fact that it happened in Dublin, during a court case, is suspicious if you try to follow the logical steps involved in executing a bench warrant.

...and eventually

9 Owen faces his old charges in court, hopefully with plenty of friends by his side. Owen wins (fingers crossed).

I'm sure he'll do a great job, and I look forward to reading about it on Indymedia. This man has shown himself well able to go toe to toe with liars in blue, and on more than one occassion has been denied due process in an attempt to tilt the playing field against him (misinforming his lawyer about the time of court case, bail changed without reason or state application, evidence seized and interfered with etc, etc)

Beri Bua Mr. Rice!

author by TD - Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaignpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 23:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In Solidarity !
Today, Anti-war activists in Galway,
employing an image of Owen Rice protesting in a Guantanamo Bay boiler suit printed 300, A6 size, postcards to be posted to him, in solidarity, in Castlerea prison, Co Roscommon.

Please download and do likewise?.

Owen in Shop street shortly before Bush's visit at the end of Ireland's EU presidency.
Owen in Shop street shortly before Bush's visit at the end of Ireland's EU presidency.

author by Queen Jane - anti-war activistpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Only anon is making sense to me here.

It is very hard for rational people to operate in an anti-war movement where there are a minority of very vocal people intent on conspiracy theories.

Bench warrant = arrest. It's as simple as that. Fail to turn up in court, and you pay the price. We should support Eoin because it was an anti-war-related incident. But that doesn't mean we should blow this up into something it isn't - i.e., Eoin the persecuted martyr.

Although Eoin is intelligent, he is not one of the foremost legal minds in the country (as was stated in the original posting by conspiracy theorist Sean), and in legal terms, to say the guards are afraid of his possible impact is laughable. He is a well-meaning activist with an interest in the law. Let's not blow things out of proportion to suit the anoraks with the conspiracies. I know conspiracy theories make many activists feel they adn their friends are a lot more important than they actually are. But ultimately they damage the anti-war movement's credibility, especially when there is little or no evidence to back them up.

Let's support Eoin but keep things in perspective.

author by anonpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You provide nothing other than innuendo to buttress a very vague allegation. Why don't you just tell us straight out what YOU think happened here?

I have a feeling that you've had very little interaction with the gardai over the years because, if you had, none of this would be a mystery to you. Eight guards, for instance, are not unusual when a bench warrant is being executed, especially near a courthouse containing gardai with fuck all else to do.

As for the conspiracy theory, the fact is that there WAS an outstanding bench warrant. They didn't concoct one for the occasion. I suppose you think that, if they hadn't a bench warrant, they would have run an articulated lorry over this very important fellow. The bench warrant EXISTED!

A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF THE SAGA THUS FAR

1 Bench warrant outstanding against Owen.
2 Owen is spotted by Gardai at courthouse. (And, err, Owen is not unknown to the guards in Dublin or anywhere else where he's been arrested.)
3 Gardai muster their forces and move in for the arrest..
4 Owen is brought off to the clink.
5 Some people try to drum up solidarity.
6 Conspiracy theorists swing into action, ensuring that for several days nobody has a clear idea how the fuck Owen ended up in Castlerea.
7 Clarity arrives - ding! T'were a bench warrant for an anti-war protest in Galway!
8 Conspiracy theorists fight a rearguard action in a determined effort to topple the government, senior gardai and judiciary.

...and eventually

9 Owen faces his old charges in court, hopefully with plenty of friends by his side. Owen wins (fingers crossed).

Solidarity, Owen! :-)

author by dontpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

who cares? i dont, the guy had warrants outstanding, choose to ignore them, he pays the price same as any other person

he chooses to annoy cops and then cries when they bite back, sums it up really
simple

author by Whenpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Think about it.
by When Wed Aug 23, 2006 13:38
Anon wrote:
It is very, very common for bench warrants to sit about the place for ages before they are executed. Now, Owen put himself under their noses (by appearing regularly in a courthouse) and they decided to execute the bench warrant. Do people think the gardai would decide to simply ignore the warrant? He was dangling himself in front of them, for God's sake.

1. Was he not also dangling himself in front of them when he was in court for the Ploughshares case? Or his own cases in Shannon? Why was he not arrested on foot of this bench warrant when he was in Clare?

2. If you are trying to argue that they 'just happened to spot him dangling' and then executed a bench warrent , tell me this :How would DUBLIN Gardai, suddenly realise that this man had an outstanding bench warrant from GALWAY?

3. If the bench warrant was gathering dust for so long, how come 8 Gardai in Dublin suddenly decide that they needed to arrest this man. Eight Gardai for an arrest of one man, with no history of violence?

"The conspiracy theory stuff is not helpful and is just confusing the issue. The timing? Yeah, who knows? Having dangled himself in front of them and having irritated them in court, they decided to execute the warrant. Big surprise. However, they were legally obliged to do this regardless of the circumstances! Bench warrants are enforced like this on a regular basis and people are often picked up at courthouses on old bench warrants - it simplifies things for the guards because it means they don't have to go chasing people."

If he was on his way into a court room to sit right in front of the Judge as a McKenzie friend he was hardly likely to run away past a line of cops. So why not arrest him AFTER the hearing?
If he's wanted for alleged minor public order offences, why take his files and computer? That's not normal behaviour.

"Now, if somebody has the bones of a state conspiracy against Owen that they want to reveal to us, please do so. Otherwise this stuff is just muddling issues unnecessarily."

It would seem that Owen has suffered for walking into the middle of systematic harrassment. The outstanding bench warrant just seems to have been the handiest thing to hit him with. It didn't seem to bother the Gardai too much until he started showing solidarity with this man who claims harrassment by Dublin Gardai. Then the Dublin Gardai decided to find out who Owen was, and hey presto , a bench warrant on his file, that'll do nicely as an opportunity. Means and method are already taken care of.

Of course, to argue that the cops would behave like this is mad? McBrearty case, Raphoe? D. Sgt John White? It happens.

other questions.
by When Wed Aug 23, 2006 13:43
"i have read the threads and only "anon" has made the most sense of why owen is in castlrea, he failed to turn up to answer his bail and a warrant was issued but i thought it was something to do with a dangerous driving case, has he a number of charges??"

Most of Owen's court cases are well document on Indymedia. The alleged dangerous driving (in an empty car park, blocked in by Gardai -entrapment) case has not been settled, and has been referred to the Supreme court because of the number of irregularities in the case.

Not too different from what I said in some ways
by anon Wed Aug 23, 2006 14:05
'When': "Then the Dublin Gardai decided to find out who Owen was, and hey presto , a bench warrant on his file, that'll do nicely as an opportunity. "

"Now that's a possibility, which I covered in my post! I said, if you check, that he was probably lifted because he both dangled himself and irritated the guards at the same time! "

In what way do you think he irritated them?

"It is possible that the gardai wondered who Mr Owen Rice was, checked their files, realised there was an outstanding warrant and decided to execute it. I'm sure this has happened to many people in the past - example: somebody is stopped by traffic police for weaving on the road, pulled over, licence looked at and they call in his name. Opps! There's a warrant out on him! Fair cop, guv."

In this case, Owen wasn't driving or acting suspiciously, he was walking into court (presumably with a briefcase or files), so it's not the same as your example. I don't think it's normal garda procedure to run from the court house and do checks on anyone acting as a legal advisor.

Furthermore, it is odd that it would be done by Dublin Gardai, in a case where Owen was not a named defendant, (so where did the opportunity or motivation come up to check for the warrant) rather than in Clare, where Owen has recently been in court AS DEFENDANT, and where it might be thought that Clare Gardai might have spotted it?

" I hope the conspiracy theory doesn't rest on such weak supports because, dogged as Owen is, he is not the "foremost legal mind in the country" as suggested in the original story. "

Certainly not. Owen is not a barrister, by any stretch. But in many cases, it's not a legal genius that one needs, rather someone thorough enough and brave enough to help and show you that you're not alone in fighting a group of bullies. Isolation is a favourite tactic.

"The Owen Rice arrest is fairly straightforward. A bench warrant for non-appearance in court was executed after he brought himself to the guards' attention by irritating them."

again, I ask... HOW did he "irritate" them? Merely by walking into a public building and taking a seat as he was entitled to do?
It's not straightforward at all. We don't know if or how the gardai in Dublin came to know that Owen would be in court, seeing as he was not the defendant / claimant. If they did know, HOW did they know?
If they didn't know in advance, why the rush to check his files and arrest him before the case was called? It is not unusual to arrest someone on court house steps, and then wait to take them away AFTER their business in court is done. Owen was accused of public order charges, not mass murder or drug dealing, so he hardly represented an immediate threat inside the courthouse. Certainly 8 arresting Gardai seems a misallocation of Garda resources don't you think?

Those are the key questions surrounding this arrest.

author by anonpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'When': "Then the Dublin Gardai decided to find out who Owen was, and hey presto , a bench warrant on his file, that'll do nicely as an opportunity. "

Now that's a possibility, which I covered in my post! I said, if you check, that he was probably lifted because he both dangled himself and irritated the guards at the same time! It is possible that the gardai wondered who Mr Owen Rice was, checked their files, realised there was an outstanding warrant and decided to execute it. I'm sure this has happened to many people in the past - example: somebody is stopped by traffic police for weaving on the road, pulled over, licence looked at and they call in his name. Opps! There's a warrant out on him! Fair cop, guv.

It's what is called 'coming to the attention of guards'. With an outstanding bench warrant, you can get away with it quite a bit - they don't go mad looking for people - but eventually your luck will run out.

I see no conspiracy here. The accusations and allegations that are being made are incredibly vague and speculative. Is the suggestion that the gardai thought Owen was so vital to the case that they acted to take him out? I hope the conspiracy theory doesn't rest on such weak supports because, dogged as Owen is, he is not the "foremost legal mind in the country" as suggested in the original story.

The Owen Rice arrest is fairly straightforward. A bench warrant for non-appearance in court was executed after he brought himself to the guards' attention by irritating them. It was going to happen some day; the warrant wasn't going to disappear.

Anyway, Owen deserves our support. The original charge relates to an anti-war demo and anybody arrested in such circumstances deserves the support of activists.

author by Whenpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"i have read the threads and only "anon" has made the most sense of why owen is in castlrea, he failed to turn up to answer his bail and a warrant was issued but i thought it was something to do with a dangerous driving case, has he a number of charges??"

Most of Owen's court cases are well document on Indymedia. The alleged dangerous driving (in an empty car park, blocked in by Gardai -entrapment) case has not been settled, and has been referred to the Supreme court because of the number of irregularities in the case.

author by Whenpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 14:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anon wrote:
It is very, very common for bench warrants to sit about the place for ages before they are executed. Now, Owen put himself under their noses (by appearing regularly in a courthouse) and they decided to execute the bench warrant. Do people think the gardai would decide to simply ignore the warrant? He was dangling himself in front of them, for God's sake.

1. Was he not also dangling himself in front of them when he was in court for the Ploughshares case? Or his own cases in Shannon? Why was he not arrested on foot of this bench warrant when he was in Clare?

2. If you are trying to argue that they 'just happened to spot him dangling' and then executed a bench warrent , tell me this :How would DUBLIN Gardai, suddenly realise that this man had an outstanding bench warrant from GALWAY?

3. If the bench warrant was gathering dust for so long, how come 8 Gardai in Dublin suddenly decide that they needed to arrest this man. Eight Gardai for an arrest of one man, with no history of violence?

"The conspiracy theory stuff is not helpful and is just confusing the issue. The timing? Yeah, who knows? Having dangled himself in front of them and having irritated them in court, they decided to execute the warrant. Big surprise. However, they were legally obliged to do this regardless of the circumstances! Bench warrants are enforced like this on a regular basis and people are often picked up at courthouses on old bench warrants - it simplifies things for the guards because it means they don't have to go chasing people."

If he was on his way into a court room to sit right in front of the Judge as a McKenzie friend he was hardly likely to run away past a line of cops. So why not arrest him AFTER the hearing?
If he's wanted for alleged minor public order offences, why take his files and computer? That's not normal behaviour.

"Now, if somebody has the bones of a state conspiracy against Owen that they want to reveal to us, please do so. Otherwise this stuff is just muddling issues unnecessarily."

It would seem that Owen has suffered for walking into the middle of systematic harrassment. The outstanding bench warrant just seems to have been the handiest thing to hit him with. It didn't seem to bother the Gardai too much until he started showing solidarity with this man who claims harrassment by Dublin Gardai. Then the Dublin Gardai decided to find out who Owen was, and hey presto , a bench warrant on his file, that'll do nicely as an opportunity. Means and method are already taken care of.

Of course, to argue that the cops would behave like this is mad? McBrearty case, Raphoe? D. Sgt John White? It happens.

author by anonpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The bottom line is that Owen (for whatever reason - it doesn't matter) missed a court appearance and had a bench warrant issued to force him to appear before the courts. I don't care why he seemingly forgot about these charges (did he think they would just go away?), but the outcome was that there was an outstanding bench warrant.

It is very, very common for bench warrants to sit about the place for ages before they are executed. Now, Owen put himself under their noses (by appearing regularly in a courthouse) and they decided to execute the bench warrant. Do people think the gardai would decide to simply ignore the warrant? He was dangling himself in front of them, for God's sake.

As I've said before, the original 'offence' related to an anti-war protest in Galway and, hence, Owen must and should be supported by activists.

The conspiracy theory stuff is not helpful and is just confusing the issue. The timing? Yeah, who knows? Having dangled himself in front of them and having irritated them in court, they decided to execute the warrant. Big surprise. However, they were legally obliged to do this regardless of the circumstances! Bench warrants are enforced like this on a regular basis and people are often picked up at courthouses on old bench warrants - it simplifies things for the guards because it means they don't have to go chasing people.

Now, if somebody has the bones of a state conspiracy against Owen that they want to reveal to us, please do so. Otherwise this stuff is just muddling issues unnecessarily.

author by Whenpublication date Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So far the story seems to go like : Owen had a solicitor in Galway, for some reason there was a court date he didn't turn up for, and perhaps his solicitor went instead (not uncommon in pre-trial court dates). At some stage a bench warrant was issued, and perhaps his solicitor failed to mention it to him or something, or perhaps it slipped his mind, as he was facing charges in Clare, Dublin and Galway at the same time.

It has happened in other cases, including previous occassions for Owen, that they simply turn up the next day for court and explain that they hadn't been told about the court date. On the last occassion that this happened, Owen was not denied bail.

Focus on _when_ this bench warrant was served. Owen hasn't been hiding in a bush for the past 2 years since his arrest in Galway, why the delay in executing the bench warrant?
Why not lift him in 2004 or 2005? He's not difficult to locate is he?
Why did they wait until he was on his way into court to assist someone else's case? It seems they just picked up Owen to try damage the case he was working on, not for his anti-war stuff.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 21:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If senior public officials in the Republic of Ireland, such as judges, and senior members of the police for example, are Freemasons, is there any easy, open, and lawful way the general citizenship of the State can find out?

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/
author by judge judypublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i have read the threads and only "anon" has made the most sense of why owen is in castlrea, he failed to turn up to answer his bail and a warrant was issued but i thought it was something to do with a dangerous driving case, has he a number of charges??

i can't understand how if he has such a brilliant legal mind that he forgot to go to court for himself and was then stupid enough to go to another court with a warrant hanging over his head, who were his solicitors, did they not inform of his warrant, i hardly think he thought the charges had disappeared, and what is a surprise warrant?

concentrate on the real issues and less of the x-files stuff

author by Annpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"especially in view of the fact that not many other AW activists have faced such rigourous "attention" from the police"

How do you know this? I take it you are unaware of the day to day harassment political activists suffer at the hands of the Special Branch. Dont try and make Owen into a martyr. The LSG might consider themselves to be very special people but in reality they are just another activist group. Out side of your own circle very few people are aware of your existence. I dont think that senior Gardai stay awake at night worrying asbout what the LSG are up to.

Lets support Owen in a sane and rational manner.

author by John Murraypublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the light of hard information and given the context of Mr Rice's work for other people it is understandable that various theories circulate concerning this case. Your piece anon is persuasive, but I dont think you should dismiss as "bullshit" other points of view ,especially in view of the fact that not many other AW activists have faced such rigourous "attention" from the police. Moreover, in the context of what we know about the Garda and their activities, planting stuff, framing ,fitting up, blackmail, corruption, assault and battery etc, and we know about other cases Mr Rice is helping with, in a significant way, it is not unreasonable that speculations and deductions are drawn by many concerned citizens.

author by anonpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 15:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've picked my way through the various threads and many comments on this case, quite a few of which are barmy in the extreme. Anyways, the following by 'Court Reporter' explains WHY Owen Rice was dragged off to prison:

"Mr. Rice was arrested on Monday outside Richmond District Court in Dublin, on foot of an old bench warrant for alleged breaches of the Public Order Act s.6 and s.24 (that he behaved in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause a Breach of the Peace) in Galway City in January 2004."

Now, this was an anti-war protest. Owen then failed to turn up in court ('why' is his own business) and a bench warrant was issued. This is a common occurence. Happens everyday and people get brought off to prison for this very reason every single day of the week.

So, having failed to appear in court, a warrant is issued for his arrest and, having come under their noses, the gardai arrest him. No surprise there.

Bail is initially denied. Is this unusual in such a case where a bench warrant had to be issued? NO! Again, bail is commonly denied in such cases because the defendant has already displayed an unwillingness to turn up in court to face the charges.

Right, having stripped away all the hype, conspiracies and sheer annoying bullshit, we now see why Owen ended up in Castlerea.

It is partly his own doing for not appearing in court following the Galway charges, but, more relevant to us, the original 'offence' had to do with anti-war protesting.

It was a political action and Owen deserves our support.

Phew!!

author by Annpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 15:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What gives with your insufferable arrogance? I read Marys piece. Marys opinions are not laws of nature. I am allowed to disdagree with her analysis. If you continue with this murder/manslaughter/corruption/soliciotors/judge as a neighbour conspiracies then it will be difficult to build support for Owen. People will assume that you are a bit "funny" and wont be interested. If you want to restrict the campaign to a few true believers then so be it.

But if you want to build a big and broad campaign then raise the issue of Owens involvement in anti war activities. Ordinary people will understand this. If you go the other road then you will also alienate many anti war activists. Not very many people will be prepared to give out leaflets which claim there is a vast conspiracy going on which includes murder and corruption.

author by Tompublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors



Ann the lifting of Owen had nothing to do with anti war which is a known fact. So you have it seriously wrong. Until we get the full story of what the court case was about and Owens involvement in it will we know. You fail to understand that Owen is not just involved in anti war campaigns.

You did not read Mary Kellys comment - quite obviously.

author by anonpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 15:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The conspiracy theorists are muddling the issue here and, to be honest, it remains unclear what Owen was arrested for. A bit of clarity would be good. It sounds as if he was arrested for failing to turn up at a case at which he was then found guilty in absensia. Would that be correct?

Now, if that is the situation, there is nothing unusual about this arrest. If you ignore a summons to appear in court, are found guilty, and then ignore the penalty, then of course you will be dragged off to prison. Similarly, if you have breached bail conditions (is this what happened?), then you are guranteed to be arrested and brought to prison.

Why does anybody think that Owen would be treated any differently? That's what happens every day of the week!

Now, leaving all that aside, if the original 'offences' related to protest actions, then no matter how inadvisedly Owen has acted towards the court procedures, we should defend him and stand by him.

But, seriously, lay off the conspiracy stuff. It's not helpful.

author by Annpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Ann I'm afraid that you are adding to any confusion that exists. Only respond when you know what you are talking about. Thanks.'

Less of the male arrogance please. I am pointing out that if you drag murder/manslaughter, corruption, planning permission, Judges as neighbours into this them you are confusing people.

You might think there is a State plot against Owen involving loads of different issues. But the trouble is that the more things you bring in the more likely it is that people will scratch their heads and wonder what is going on.

Keep it simple and straight. Owen is being persecuted for being an anti war activist. You can convince people of that. But you have no proof that hes being persecuted because hes investigating murders and corruption. You have every right to believe that yourself but you are not going to build a broad campaign around it.

author by Hectorpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 14:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Owen Rice is a brilliant guy for exposing the truth and the state have jailed him because of this.

We need more people like Owen to expose all the wrongdoing in this corrupt state.

I wish Owen and his friends in the LSG the best of luck in exposing all the bad in this country.

Owen needs all the support we can give him.

author by Tompublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 14:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Ann it is obvious that you have not read Mary Kellys comment above. Owen is involved in the LSG and is a leading member of this organisation.

Ann I'm afraid that you are adding to any confusion that exists. Only respond when you know what you are talking about. Thanks.

author by Peterpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors


We know Owen Rice is an anti war activist but he is also involved in seeking the truth in other serious cases of corruption and abuse.

author by Annpublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please stop bringing in murder/manslaughter, planning corruption etc. You are only making it more difficult to get the case across to the public. If people see weird conspiracy theories then they will be put off,

Owen is an anti war activist. Hes being persecuted by the State bnecause of his activities. Leave it at that. Dont bring in complications.

author by Mary Kellypublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wish to correct an error in the main post which stated " Owen is working on two cases in particular, that involve murder and planning corruption"..

It is a case involving manslaughter, not murder.

In a post above I stated "Owen was assisting in a case that has its roots in a simple
planning objection". That is incorrect.

The person involved says;
"it is a matter stemming from an objection to a fully legally granted planning permit to build a house".

author by Avapublication date Tue Aug 22, 2006 00:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The man who Mr Rice was assisting in the district court is a very high profile academic and is well known. This man lives next door to a CCT Judge and people such as Frank McBrearty are familiar with his story of state corruption and garda abuse which is on going for some years. It is a very serious case of abuse and corruption that Mr Rice is fully committed to.

I have heard that this man will provide his full story soon to Indymedia.

author by number 6 - legalize freedom campaignpublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 22:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors



An Article 40 - 'unjust attack' must be entered

immediatly in the High Court.

This cuts the Bullshit.

author by toe-tapepublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 21:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors



In Ireland, people get arrested, picked on and abused regularly by the cops.

At the same time the media exposes the historical deficencies of a hierarchical
closed system of policing, while refusing to look at or cover this case.
The prisons are over-crowded. criminality is at an all-time high, people
known to the gardai shoot each other and peace-campaigners go to prison.

Welcome Ciaron- to Ireland in the noughties.

The issue of out-standing bench-warrant and chucking away the key on Owen
has to be juxtaposed with the issues of exposed Garda corruption and read
in that context. A campaigner gets a few weeks in jail because bail was refused by
the arresting officer- is that not a clear case of bias?

There is an issue also of what Owen was working on at the time he was incarcerated.
The minister for Justice has gone on media road-show bemoaning the 'Silver-bullet'
case of localised bullying and garda corruption against travellers, are we to divine
from this that he is not unaware that eight members of an Garda Siochana set
upon a man , removed his lap-top, denied bail and all of this because he is a
possible danger to society?

author by Mary Kellypublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 19:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

update. His application to appeal bail in High Court at Clover Hill will not be heard tomorrow, but most likely next Tuesday.

Owen was assisting in a case that has its roots in a simple
planning objection which developed into continued serious garda
harassment for the objectors. He was acting as Mc Kenzie friend. A
perjuring Garda was being roasted on the spit. During a break in
proceedings, Owen stepped outside and was pounced on by 8 of
them, led by the pig who had his arse well scorched in court.

This surprise warrant happened, partly, because a previous firm of Mayo
solicitors acted in very devious fashion, claiming they had dealt with it in May 04.

Owen was one of the founder memebrs of the Mary Kelly Legal Support
Group ( LSG ) that rallied around me when I was betrayed and let
down by an atrocious legal team. This LSG provided incredible moral,
and financial support , did mountains of research, and came up with a
brilliant Skeleton Defence that was used at my trials.
Unfortunately, I had heavyweight opposition with a dog of a judge, Carl Moran who would not
allow the jury to hear my defences, nor the exceptionally qualified experts
who had travelled to the court to testify. He ruled them all irrelevant, plus all reference to the war in Iraq and militarisation of Shannon. The jury found me guilty with skilful direction from this fiercely biased judge.

Owen Rice assisted me as MCK friend and helped present a really brilliant defence.

I am appealing the conviction in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The LSG work continues, and is now made up of a few people fighting their own cases.. Briefly, we
support each other in court give advice on dealing with
solicitors, we research, document and educate, and be court observers.
Owen's work contribution to all our cases has been trojan.
It is vital to have a group like this, which has shown a way forward for lay litigants fighting extremely difficult cases.

Thanks Sean for putting up this much needed appeal for funds for Owen 's situation. Anyone who can support financially will be contributing to make legal precedents that will benefit all who are in struggle against this corrupt state.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My good friend Sean,

Ann above says : "I am quite prepared to accept that Owen has been badly treated and is being persecuted for his anti war activities. However by bringing in murder and corruption investigations you are muddying the water and will just confuse ordinary people about the rights and wrongs of the case. I dont think Owen himself or any of his friends and comrades would describe him as a leading legal eagle".

She's talking sense...Owen has a long anti-war past and has been a thorn on the side of the (in)justice system and the Guards for a good while. He's being held without bail, no legal explanation on why that should be the case and, to the extent that I understand it, on a very questionable warrant.......that's enough for all anti-war activists to support him in any way we can.

A good friend of ours has called for a stall on Saturday in Dublin...another Anti War Network member has asked people to think about organising a Press Conference with the participation of the ICCL and the Human Rights groups. These are good initiatives - so lets work for them immediately. And I am sure he will need funds to get out of this hole. Ideas please.....

Ann, the 'McKenzie friend' is a term referring to a non-legal person, not a solicitor or a barrister, helping a defendant in his/her legal case, including, if need be, addressing the Court. It comes from a precedent in British common law where a man called McKenzie first tried and succeeded.....

author by Ann Asreypublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 18:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'In my personal opinion, Owen is one the foremost legal minds in this country and he’s the first person I’ll turn to, if and when I need legal assistance. '

Is he legally qualified? If not then be careful of using him to represent you. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

'Currently, Owen is working on two cases in particular, that involve murder and planning corruption. '

Is he defending people charged with murder and corruption or is he investigating the cases? How is this related to his arrest?

'On the day he was arrested he was to act as a McKenzie’s Friend in one of them. '

What in the name of God is a 'McKenzie’s Friend'?

If Owen is as you put it 'one the foremost legal minds in this country' then why does he need funds for legal defence? Surely he should be defending himself.

I am quite prepared to accept that Owen has been badly treated and is being persecuted for his anti war activities. However by bringing in murder and cotrruption investigations you are muddying the water and will just confuse ordinary people about the rights and wrongs of the case. I dont think Owen himself or any of his friends and comrades would describe him as a leading legal eagle.

Far from helping Owen your hyperbole is damaging to his case.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Ploughshares(personal caopactiy)publication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you don't learn from history you're bound to repeat it.

if you piss cops off like Owen has they are going to target you. if you take bail and then don't fulfil your bail conditions they are going to pick you up and put you in jail. If you fail to pay a fine they are going to pick you up and put you in jail. There seems to be an issue about the timing of the pick up is it politically motivated? etc etc. the denial of bail etc etc

In Queensland in the '70's we had a ballsy, bouyont movement. And yes things like what's happening to Owen happened to us a lot. The movement in Ireland against the war and Irish involvement in it has been the most timid I've experienced in 25 years of activism in OZ, NZ, England, Scotland & U.S. Given this timidity, sectarianism of the Irish left, the housebroken nature of youth culture people like Owen, Mary Kelly and the Ploughshares (for differnt reasons) ended up dangerously isolated.

Ploughshares were fortunate because we are located in a tradition and were supported primarily by the movement (financially and activist solidarity wise) in the U.S. , and then from England & Europe to a lesser extent . if we had been left solely to the irish scene, we would have sunk without a trace.

The panic nature of this initial post reflects broadly on where the movement is at in the middle of a war that escalates and expands, in which the British and U.S. are losing militarily, in which there is no popular support and YET little popular opposition with a strong NVDA wing. It raises issues of what styles of activism leave you most vunerable to isolation set up & unnecesaary incarceration.That part of the reflection is best left for when Owen gets out of jail and has the abilitya nd right of reply.

Maybe someone can post up a contact phone number for our last poster. Prison mail address has alraedy been posted....minimally post Owen a postcard. For prison addresses of other anti-war resisters go to the Prisno Address section of the following web site......

Related Link: http://www.jonahhouse.org
author by ya wha?publication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Coming here to look for news of Owen Rice, finding discussions about Queensland?
Why don't you guys just e-mail each other or something?

Any updates on Owen today? When is he appealing bail?

author by Ciaronpublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Terry Lewis....Queensland Police Commisioner (ex-rat Pack) sentenced to 14 years for corruption following the Fitzgerald Inquiry (from the Red hill catholic parish).

Special Branch Head Inspector Les Hogan....head of the Catholic Holy Name Society

Constable Dave......Juvenille Aid, "Stranger Danger" TV program avery afternoon....catholic access to youth groups and schools...convicted and jailed for child sexual abuse and child porn....who was covering up for him in Juvenile Aid allthose tears?????

St Vincent de Paul shelter (South Brisbane) converts top floor into work release program and sublets to Prison Department to fasttrack these guys (and 5 minsters jailed) out of jail.

Special Branch was very close to entirely Catholic in late '70's/early '80s.

Yep like other sections of the Queensland public sevice there was a battle between the micks and the masons. For what it's worth catholics won in ploice, railways and post office.

You had to be there mate!

author by shreewwthh matepublication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I grew up in a state (Queensland) where civil liberties were geneally denied

LOL, thats an exagaration if ever i heard one, also the composition of the force was not mostly**catholic** it was mostly**prods**, what you mean to say is that was mostly anglocised then i would agree

In the Queensland police force, there were the "Masons and the Micks". The Masons were officers, exclusively Protestant in their faith, who believed that membership of a masonic lodge was no barrier to promotion; the "Micks" were those officers, many from an Irish background, who professed their Catholicism, this ratio was 70/30 in prodestant favour, which is mainly down to labour govt as in the 50s and before the line was "Catholics need not apply"

queensland was/is a rascist state in general, the harshest receptients being the native population

the biggest reason that the govt there cowtowed to americans and japanese corporations was because of the mines in queensland, something you should mention as it puts it in a much more relevant context

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The more I learn about the legal system in the Republic of Ireland, the more it appears to me to be a cesspit of corruption, sitting on top of a mountain of corruption..

Though I know little about Mr Rice, and only heard of him for the first time through Indymedia Ireland some days ago, I nonetheless suspect he is on the right set of tracks - as far as challenging the mountain of corruption goes. Consequently, I hope he will get plenty of support, of all kinds, and from all directions - and that lots and lots of people will see and realise it is a MOUNTAIN of corruption that is in need of being successfully dealt with, and not just a molehill.

One pair of hands cannot possibly be enough to deal with a social curse of this size?

On August 4th last I sent a letter through the registered post to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Mr. Michael McDowell T.D., in which I attempted to politely provide him (and several of his legal and political colleagues in Dublin and Strasbourg) with a mini-tour of the "cesspit" in question, which appears to me to extend well beyond the shores of Ireland.

For anyone interested, a copy of the August 4th letter to Minister McDowell can be viewed at the following address:
http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...r.htm

According to the Post Office Internet tracking system, and as anyone can easily verify for themselves using the information at the above address, my letter of August 4th to Justice Minister McDowell was successfully delivered on August 8th 2006. To date, I have not received any reply.

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/
author by Mick Butlerpublication date Sun Aug 20, 2006 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done Sean for that information. This is a frontal attack on baseline civil rights. I will be writing to the ICCL and the Irish Human Rights Commission ( REGISTERED LETTERS) and I would strongly recommend that all those concerned with basic civil rights do likewise. The remit of these organisations is to campaign for and defend citizens who find themselves in such situations. In particular, the Human Rights Commission is mandated by statute, to investigate alleged violations of Constitutional rights and to assist people in court where such assistance is required and there exists prime facie evidence of such violations. It is long past the time that such action form these organisations was put in train.

The presumption of innocence, places a heavy onus on any court to deprive a person of their liberty. The refusal of bail, equally, must be grounded in an apprehension of the court that a "serious offence" is likely to be committed. By the way, we amended the Constitution in the mid nineties to allow for such a refusal of bail. The judge, according to the report on indymedia did not give any reason for refusing bail. Neither was it argued that it was likely that Owen would commit a serious offence if bail was granted. All of this represents a very serious attempt to railroad hard fought for and hard won rights and as someone said if you "go to sleep in a democracy you will wake up in a dictatorship".

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Aug 20, 2006 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In its latest unjust attack, the inJustice System has jailed Owen and is currently holding him without Bail at Castlerea Prison.
This is an urgent appeal for Donations.

Owen Rice
is currently in prison and has little or no finances. At a time when the costly Morris Tribunal has pointed at the corruption of the Gardaí, Owen has been in the fray itself. This is our Justice System’s latest attempt to silence Owen. He needs help now, financial help and actual help.

Owen has worked for years now, at great personal and financial sacrifice, to expose the sleaze in our system. For the last few years, Owen has pursued this through our Court System. Owen has been a good friend to many, and has supported the victims of our system, including many anti-war activists. Many of these victims have been ignored by the legal system and have even had solicitors screw them over. Some have even been unable to obtain the services of legal representation, including Free Legal Aid, even though they are and were entitled to Free Legal Aid.

In my personal opinion, Owen is one the foremost legal minds in this country and he’s the first person I’ll turn to, if and when I need legal assistance. Currently, Owen is working on two cases in particular, that involve murder and planning corruption. On the day he was arrested he was to act as a McKenzie’s Friend in one of them.

Funds are needed. As I’ve said, Owen has no money. Funds are needed to enable Owen to defend himself and others, against this latest unjust attack and slur. The Gardaí et al, have long acted the heavy against peaceful protesters; it’s time to bring the fight to them. This can be done, and it’s a peaceful way of doing it.

There will also be a demonstration/fundraiser in Dublin this coming Saturday. More details of this will be put on Indy when the minutia are worked out.

Edward Horgan has made a bank account available to receive funds. The Details follow:

Ulster Bank
Account Name:- E Horgan.
Account Address:- 95 O’Connell St., Limerick.
Account Number:- 50400007
Bank Sort Code:- 986020

Editorial clarification:

The author of this post has since contacted the editors to explain that the information he had at the time of writing was not accurate. Given that Owen Rice is unable to directly speak for himself, various misinformation about his situation has emerged. It appears that at the time, acquaintances of Owen Rice thought it would be a good idea to start raising money to assist his case but it has since been learned that Owen Rice is not asking people for donations.

The bank account above is an account set up by Edward Horgan for the purpose of defending any peace / anti-war campaigner and is not specifically for Owen's case. Check through the comments below for further and more detailed clarification(s) of information communicated in this post.

author by John Ahernepublication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 21:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having met Owen once, I found him to be very pleasant, I wouldn’t have classed him as an anarchist or to be left wing, but to be a realist, he was not of the view that all issues could be resolved via the courts or via demeaning left wing methods. Don’t get me wrong, he had a few; let’s just say “unusual ideas”.

I am by no means left wing, nor am I a capitalist, I am of the view that our government is corrupt; our polititions are lazy and have absolutely no concept of pure logic. Our next government will be; corrupt, our polititions will be lazy and have absolutely no concept of pure logic. As I see it, the left wing movement use propaganda to highlight certain issues, the right wing movement use propaganda to highlight issues and both give their own little twist to each tale, fair enough, but when you’re the man in the middle like myself who can only recall corruption within government and governments who land us in the shit, leave a big mess for the next bunch of idiots to try and clean up and because that bunch fails the voters of this rock decide to give the original bunch of troglodytes another chance. So majority rules, even though it’s the minority that votes.

I recall having a conversation with Owen regarding the up hill battle he faces, be it within the four walls of the court, or the harassment from the ground troops, as I saw it; he was fighting a system that was designed to work for the system, he agreed but I could see it didn’t faze him in the least and then he produced a mountain of paperwork in relation to a case he was working on. Even though I commend him for his dedication and for the passion he feels for what he is doing, I cannot even bring myself close to having the comprehension as to why he does so. For someone so intelligent, he could be making a mint but that seems to go against his beliefs” fuelling the machine with his hard earned tax dollars” well that’s how I saw it.
I can never come around to the left way of thinking, purely because of the lack of reality within their views, anarchists alike, there is no concept of the world we live in and some views border and move beyond psychotic.
To me life is like a game of chess, a few pawns have been moved into place at a strategically given time and have merely put Owen into check, no doubt it’s not mate.

My regards to Owen and his family and I hope the issue gets dealt with on its own merits.

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 17:43author address Limerickauthor phone 087-9777703Report this post to the editors

If anyone is planning on visiting Owen, can they please ring Conor Cregan first on 087-6981831. Conor will be in regular contact with Owen's family, and has agreed to co-ordinate the visits, so that too many people do not travel on one day and none the next. Obviously, family gets priority. Visits are maximum three people, for approx 15 minutes. One visit per day, Tuesdays - Saturdays, between the hours of 10-12 and 2pm to 4pm.

The origins of the bench warrant are a bit murky and I don't wish to comment on it, as the details I got were third hand at least, so I'm sure Owen, or some one more directly connected can fill us in if they want, and when they get a chance.

You can write to Owen at :

Owen Rice
Castlerea Prison
Co. Roscommon.

As for Owen being "a tick on the arse", I don't want to get into a typing match with trolls or begrudgers, but I will say this, Owen is more a "Thorn in the side" of corrupt authority than a "tick on the arse" of society. Most of Owen's work is not the megaphone theatre seen at protests, but the countless hours of selfless, meticulous, and mostly anonymous work that he does in research and support of other people in trouble. It might be the fact that he might be such a valuable asset to other people investigating shady dealings that influenced the timing of his arrest.

author by anonpublication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Get real!!
If you become a tick on the arse of society then someone is going to get their tweasers and pluck the annoying little parasite.
Of course, having our government licking arse with the yanks is not helping matters in any way either.
Using Mr. Rice's incarrsaration to mobise the left wing troops(don't make me laugh)is propaganda at it's lowest levels but then again that seems to be the way of the left.
Seems to me like a lot of people have alot of time on their hands and nothing else to do with it.

author by John Kellypublication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Owen, among others, is fighting for people's rights, decent people who have been treated in a criminal manner by the police.He is using the legal sysyem and is wholly legitimate in what he is doing, very few people do it this way, He is utilising the methods of law to defend people and he is being targeted by the state for doing so. His LAWFUL activities as an anti war activist are being used as a cover to slam him in jail AND the prosecution is not even familiar with the case that it is prosecuting !!!

This is stasi stuff and needs a serious mobilsation of groups, NGOS, etc to expose this and demand his release.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Ploughshares(personal caopactiy)publication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 07:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Comment edited to remove discussion of editorial policy. Take it to the lists.

Some clarification....Ploughshares don't always turn up for court. In the '60's both Berrigans went underground before sentencing for the Cantonsville Draft Board raid......Phil was caught by the FBI hiding in the closet of (Village journo) Harry Browne's dad. Dan stayed underground for several months before being busted on Block Island. Photos of his arrest can be found on www.jonahhouse.org

Greg Boertje presently imprisoned for "WMDPlowshares Here!" went undergound while awaiting a fourth trial for the "Epiphany Plowshares" disarmament of helicopter gunships bound for El Salvador to surface in the do do the plwshares acion on the USS Iowa's cruise missile launchers. Photos and more detailed reports on www.plowsharesactions.org

The (primarialy catholic anarchist rooted n 3rd. World and work with the homeless experence) plowshares movement does not have an attitude of accountability to the law but responsibility and invitation. The British offshoot Trident Ploughshares 2000 had an initial emphasis on international law as it applied to the illegal Trident nuclear warfare system. TP2000 was more rooted in the CND experience and influenced by Ghandi (a lawyer) than the U.S. plowshares movement and may have had a theme of accountability to the jdicial system in relation to international law. This played itself out with the acquittal of the Loch Goil Ploughsharres (charged with throwing trident related computers into the loch) when the Judge directed the jury to find them not guilty as she ruled Trident to be an illegal weapon system.

The timing of this arrest looks sus!

I grew up in a state (Queensland) where civil liberties were geneally denied. Those of us who broke those undemocratic prohibitions on free expression (3,000 arrests in 3 years) were continually harrased by the law. Those of us who refused to pay fines as part of our nonviolent resistance, experienced sporadic incarceration. The timing of the executionof these warrants sometimes occured jsut before large demonstrations etc

I remember being picked up in the mid-90's at the court case of a friend who had trespassed at Cunungara Jungle & Land Warfare Training Base where the OZ army were training Indonesian granny killers in torture etc I was detained on an old warrant and taken to Beenleigh watchhouse. On the 6th. morning of my sensory deprived incarceration, the cops came to the cell and said your football team is outside they have paid the rest of your fine. we had the final that afternoon!

So yes what Owen is going through is an occupational hazard for the dissident, but it is also a sign of the health of a democracy. This place is getting t look a lot more like Queensland in the '70's when we had a corrupt Calvanaist "on the take from U.S. and Japanese transnationals" willing to turn a blind eye to the corruption (brothels, casinos, drug-dealing, extortion) of a corrupt Irish-catholic police force who in turn were willing to be used in numbers on the streets to silence any dissent. Ecumenical but a dangerous mix! In all came undone with the Fitzgerald Inquiry uinitiated after the revelation that child porn was being run from the Juvenille Aid Bureau of the Police Force, a bridge too far for most.

I don't think Owen was present on F15, you maybe confusing it with a later rally during the U.S. bombing campaign.

author by Elainepublication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 00:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's strange that I find myself posting two photos taken during the Ploughshares trial last month.
The first one is of Owen being interviewed outside the Four Courts, complete with Prison Services Van in the background. I remember that he was around the Courts many times during that trial and has been there on other business since. Yet the Guards chose the moment he was heading in to Court to support someone else, in the capacity of McKenzie's Friend, to arrest him. Highly dubious dealings indeed!

It makes me really curious about the other trial that we don't know about, yet. What is it about that case that they don't want Owen's able assistance in? There are honest, reliable people in the Gardai but until they are in the majority or are the ones in positions of power, the corruption will continue.

It's very easy to be 'done' on the old 'outstanding bench warrant' scam. Your Solicitor could forget to tell you that you have an appearance on a given day or you could get bad legal advice and not turn up. If the Judge has a hair up his ass and thinks you put it there, - bench warrant.

Re: The comment above by 'bewildered' ... "Despite the often vindictive behaviour of some gardai, they couldn't just whisk somebody off to prison to upset a case against them." I take it you are new in town. Did somebody say Morris Tribunal?

Judge Judy wrote...
"i am surpised if he didn't turn out for court as so many of you say he is an innocent man, if he new he was innocent why couldn't he face the court like the ploughshares"
I was up in front of Judge Mangan on November 18 2004 and remember Owen's name being called and a bench warrant issued for both himself and another activist who didn't show up. The reasons were as follows...

"Neither of the two men was in court today.
Mr. C, who was previously representing himself, sent his newly appointed solicitor to appear on his behalf.
Mr Rice told this reporter that his legal advice had been, as he was taking motions through higher courts (in relation to bail, and the provision of evidence) that the case would not be heard in the District Court until those matters were resolved.
Mr. C.'s solicitor, asked for an adjournment, but the judge, notably irritated, ignored the applications and ordered an arrest warrant to be issued for both men, (after asking Inspector Kennedy three times if the State wanted to ask for one)"
From indymedia story http://www.indymedia.ie/article/67543

The second photo is one of the few posters that was left up for any length of time during the Ploughshares trial. On a lamp post not too far away, it kept many a potential bus passenger busy as they queued at the stop nearby. I took it as a good omen for the Ploughshares, which it turned out to be.

Now, I don't usually do requests, but this one goes out to our man in Castlerea Prison. Hang in the Owen, and remember...

They say everything can be replaced,
They say every distance is not near,
So I remember every face,
Of every man who put me here.

I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

(everybody)

Owen Gets 'Indy'-ied Outside The Four Courts
Owen Gets 'Indy'-ied Outside The Four Courts

I Shall Be Released
I Shall Be Released

author by d'therpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 23:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Look - the vast majority of people that read this site are probably not privy to the history of this bloke in political activism.

I myself barely remember him from the F15 period on making a spectacle of himself through street theatre involving a pole and a megaphone. This then descended into routinely ordering protesters what to do and ranting through his aforementioned device in a highly authoritarian manner.

I understand he has faced political policing before, but unless you substantiate what is going on here then don't expect anything from people on this.

All I ask is that you articulate what exactly is going on here, the prior history of harrassment and how this arrest is related to it. Then when people are further enlightened you might find more people willing to highlight this arrest.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 23:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This seems to be pretty dubious work by the Judge. He has denied bail to Owen yet the Prosecutor has admitted that he is not familiar with the case. If the Prosecution hasn't been able to present evidence about Owen to the Judge, what is it that enables the Judge to decide that Owen is not entitled to bail?

Owen has been in front of the judiciary tens of times since this incident has occurred and his whereabouts have always been known by the Gardai. What was so important about the case that he is currently acting as a McKenzie's Friend in, that the Gardai must remove him from it?

I am annoyed that a fellow anarchist, who likes to use antiquated phrases and ideas, is ruling out the use of a weapon ie: the Constitution. What really irks me is that this is down to dogma. Bakunin and others would be most disgusted. Of course, whether Bakunin and others would be disgusted or not, is quite irrelevant. Free thinkers are the way to go.
BTW the preamble spells out what the 'common good' means.

If I were to use Article 40 in the courts my purpose would be to rub the Courts nose in its own filth.
If this could be done in front of a jury the chances for winning would be very good. If it were done in front of a Judge, the Court might give up for fear of what other filth I might present.
The object is not necessarily to win in Court, but to give witness, to the Court's villainy. Anarchists are very willing to confront the Gardai, but seem reluctant to confront the judiciary. This is a double standard and it's embarrassing.

I would like to urge all activists to get involved in this. I can not attend the anti war network meeting tomorrow but I am sure this will top the agenda.

author by RTSpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors


*Witness the RTS- Garda Riot.*

In fairness, given the appalling conditions in the prisons and the situation
in the gardai- exposed by Justice Morris yesterday, it indicates a failure
on the part of the Dept of Justice to actually deal with crime.
Eight Gardai arresting one man for an alleged crime and committing
him to an overcrowded prison, stinks of something corrupt.

Lobby the Td's and demand his release. The men who shot and killed
John Carthy, or abused traevllers, and the Mc Brearty's are walking the streets.

*******And Minister Mc Dowell has a home in Roscommon- Rooskey.******

Set up the picket there.

author by Court Reporterpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 21:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

DPP v Owen Rice

Venue : Harristown District Court, Castlerea Prison, Co. Roscommon
Date : Friday, 18 August 2006.

Defendant : Owen Rice (represented by Kieran Madigan solicitor)
Prosecutor : Inspector Paul Glynn
Presiding Judge : Conal Gibbons

Charges : Mr. Rice was arrested on Monday outside Richmond District Court in Dublin, on foot of an old bench warrant for alleged breaches of the Public Order Act s.6 and s.24 (that he behaved in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause a Breach of the Peace) in Galway City in January 2004. Mr. Rice denies the charges, and alleges that he was arrested during a peaceful protest, was assaulted by several members of the Garda Siochana at Mill Street Station, Galway, and following an examination in the Garda Station, was brought to hospital for treatment to head wounds and other injuries. He also says that he was not aware that a bench warrant was outstanding.

[for more, see links http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63038
and
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63056 ]

Mr. Rice’s case was called at 11:58. The defendant entered the court wearing prison issue clothes, grey jumper with bright green shirt. He appeared a bit pale and tired looking but acknowledged his supporters with a friendly nod of the head.

Mr. Madigan, defending, asked the judge to consider the bail application for Mr. Rice.
Judge Gibbons said that he had already refused bail to Mr. Rice earlier this week on the 15th, and that he would not change his ruling, although the defendant had the option to appeal to a higher court.

The solicitor told the court, that circumstances had now changed and that a person was now available to stand (surety) bail for Mr. Rice. The judge replied that a surety was not the issue. (He did not say what the issue was)

There then ensued a brief and repetitive exchange between the defending solicitor and the judge over the change in circumstances, that a surety was now present for a bail bond if necessary, and the judge replying that Mr. Rice had a court hearing on this already, and putting forth the options available through the high court to appeal the bail conditions.

The State applied to have Mr. Rice remanded in continuing custody until September 4th, to appear at Galway District Court.

Mr. Madigan asked for a Garry Doyle order (copy of statements) in relation to his client. The prosecutor said that he was unfamiliar with the details of the case, but had no objection to such an order and suggested that Mr. Madigan contact the superintendent at Galway to request the statements.

At this point, a man stood up in court, and identified himself as the man whose legal case Mr. Rice was assisting in Richmond District Court just prior to his arrest. He told the court that documents belonging to his court case were also taken, along with a computer when Mr. Rice was arrested.

The judge told him to be quiet, or be removed. The Gardai made some remarks to the man, some apparently in relation to a newspaper he was holding, (with a headline about the Morris Tribunal findings). When he replied to the Garda, the judge ordered him out of court.

Mr. Rice was returned to custody at 12:08,

Three supporters of Mr. Rice visited him later that afternoon.

Mr. Rice seems to be in reasonable health, although tired. He said that he is bored and asked for a few books to be sent in to alleviate the boredom.
He said that he was not being badly treated in the prison, and would apply to the High Court for bail at the earliest opportunity.

================== ENDS ==========================================

The whole thing seems a bit complicated and this reporter did not get a chance to find out why the police chose Monday to execute the warrant, why 8 gardai were considered necessary, or quite why bail was refused. No reason was quoted today as the judge merely had to refer that he had decided it on an earlier day.
We are expecting some more details from the man whose case Owen was helping.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What about traffic offences connected to political activity?
"Eoin was initially arrested for alleged dangerous driving of a stationary car while asleep, and while the car was parked in a lay-by near Shannon airport on Dec 6th 2003, and other alleged offences."

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63559
author by judge judypublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 19:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Update: Eoin Rice refused bail and back behind bars
by Allen Fri Aug 18, 2006 17:43
An update on the arrest of Eoin Rice and some background on his previous jailing as a peace campaigner:
Earlier today, in Castlerea District Court, Co. Roscommon, Eoin was refused bail and is back behind bars in Castlerea Prison

so he didn't bother turning up for court then on a previous occasion, that starts to make sense now, whats he charged with???, why was he refused bail ?? has he a history of bench warrants thats one of the few ways to be kept in custody???

i am surpised if he didn't turn out for court as so many of you say he is an innocent man, if he new he was innocent why couldn't he face the court like the ploughshares

author by anonpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure it'll be interesting, but the delay in highlighting the actual charge is very peculiar. Let's hope it's worth the wait and not some traffic offence unconnected to political activity.

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Even more bewildered": Allen has said that a court report is to follow. Court reports take a lot of time. My guess is that Owen's case may have been heard late in the day and that a hard-working Indymedia Court reporter is working right now to give us the news that we will get only here.

Meanwhile I have (only) heard on the grapevine that he is being held in prison until 4 September.

author by even more bewilderedpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 19:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Allen,

Gis a hint anyway. WHAT is Eoin being charged with? What's it all about? I don't care what he did a few years ago if it's not directly related to the current situation.

author by Allenpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An update on the arrest of Eoin Rice and some background on his previous jailing as a peace campaigner:
Earlier today, in Castlerea District Court, Co. Roscommon, Eoin was refused bail and is back behind bars in Castlerea Prison. A number of people went to visit him this afternoon in the prison. Court report to follow.
Two years ago, Eoin was held for many weeks in Limerick Prison after being arrested for peace campaigning at Shannon Airport (the charge was a traffic offence). His bail conditions then were so ridiculous (he was ordered out of Clare for the unproven traffic offence) that he protested by way of hunger strike.
He has made himself a pain in the State’s side when it comes to their insistence on turning Shannon Airport into a Military Airport and he has resisted all efforts to harass him as a peace campaigner and to silence peace campaigners.

author by reasonpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

maybe if you actually gave some information as to why he was arrested, the cops bad as they are dont just drag people away and throw them in prison for no reason

author by bewilderedpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please explain how and why this should top everybody's agenda? As yet, the details are sketchy in the extreme. Why exactly was he arrested? Despite the often vindictive behaviour of some gardai, they couldn't just whisk somebody off to prison to upset a case against them.

Either Owen didn't pay a fine (for what?) or there was an outstanding bench warrant for non-appearance in court (for what?) or he has been sentenced for something by the courts (for what?).

Please act sensibly and TELL US what precisely the case was about, when all of this occurred, and WHY Owen was lifted. This hyping up without information is not going to fly.

And lay off this loopy nonsense about Article 30.

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 17:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This case should be top of everyone's agenda. Owen was helping a man in a court case, a very serious case, involving alleged fabricated charges, laid against the man by the Gardai. Then as the case was to proceed Owen is arrested outside the court by eight police officers. The slogan "AN INJURY TO ONE IS THE CONCERN OF ALL" has an exact application for this case.

This story has to get as much publicity as possible, reaction loves the dark and always shuns the light. It is common sense to use whatever weapons are available in this type of situation and it is nonsense to argue that one should not invoke the Constitutional human rights articles enshrined in Article 40 where neccessary. The police and some business people do this all the time. Why should they get the best tunes while we are left swinging in the wind. Whatever it takes.

JUSTICE FOR OWEN.

author by Get Realpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"All your rights are enshrined and protected in the Constitution."

Read Article 40. You will see all rights are "subject to public order, morality and the common good". Who gets to determine these limitations? The courts and the Oireachtas.

"Don't trust any member of the Bourgeois Legal Fraternity to get them for you. One must do that themself , usually in open Court."

What does this mean? Are judges not part of the Bourgeois Legal Fraturnity? You clearly have illusions in the Irish Judiciary. Get Real. The Irish Courts are not there to be fair and impartial. They are yet another instrement of bourgeois rule. The Constitution is not there to protect anyone. It's there to prevent a Workers' Government coming to power. Why else is there a President, Presidential Commission and Seanad? Why is there an "independent" Judiciary? It's all there to make sure an elected socialist Government can have its decisions over-turned. Activists should not go around singing praises of Constitution.

author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 09:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From The Irish Times :- August 17th 06.

http://www.ireland.com

"Relentless cost-cutting takes a heavy toll on Prison Conditions"

Castlerea Prison: "Overcrowding continued to be a significant problem
The remand wing was designed to hold twenty offenders, but regularly held
thirty five. Inmates with psychiatric problems and suicidal tendencies
were being committed to the prison. This was problematic for
inmates and exposed staff to 'unacceptable risk and trauma'
There was no psychologist, access to probation officers was poor
limiting inmates chances of remaining crime free on release"

Source;latest annual reports from the state's 13 visiting committees
which are submitted to the Minister for Justice.

(appointed by the Dept of Justice- an assumption can be derived therein-
that these were probably slightly better days, when the inspections were
carried out)

The four assaults, one leading to the death of Gary Douch in Mountjoy
are currently being investigated by three separate sources.
The POA are balloting for strike action and the cut-backs have deprived prisoners
further of basic education and workshop facilities.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77657
author by number 6 - legalize freedom campaignpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 02:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I notice your non reference to a Totalitarian Ploice State new world order.
Are you a de-rail plant?

Anyway, I am a working Person not receiving any free handouts every week from the Bourgeois State and obviously not a Petit Bourgeois Moralist, (whatever that means).
Please do not tell me there are 'no extra rights'. All your rights are enshrined and protected in the Constitution. One just needs to invoke them.Don't trust any member of the Bourgeois Legal Fraternity to get them for you. One must do that themself , usually in open Court. You should familiar yourself with Article 40 get real.
Knowing little and understanding less is a bad place to be get real. The 'unjust attack' , does not refer to an attack as you seemingly perceive. It refers to absence of due process etc. Unjust attack covers a multitude in an Article 40. Enough Lessons tonight, I'm going to Bed.

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 02:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Owen is definitely in Castlerea tonight and is expected to be in court tomorrow morning.

author by Get Realpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Constitution is not there to Protect you. It's there to ensure capitalist rule is preserved. Read provisions on Private Property, Religion, Family, the President, the Presidential Commission, the Seanad. Now tell me it is just? Owen will Get no justice from the Capitalist State. Would you Petit Bourgeois moralists realise that carrting a copy of Constitution will not get you any extra rights. Stop glorifying Bourgeois Laws. I defend any protester from attack. I hope all charges against Owen are dropped. However Owen will have to realise it is not tactically correct for Political Activists at certain times to throw yourself in front of the State Forces to prove a point that the State are B****rds. Drop the Jesus/Martyr Complex please.

author by number 6 - legalize freedom campaignpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 23:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This latest news about Owen is very dangerous. It proves without doubt that we are living in a regime/Totalitarian Police State backed by the Prepuse lackeys of the new world order. Our Constitution needs to carried in person by all who seek truth and justice in our Country.

I implore all out there to carry a copy in your pocket or vehicle and invoke Article 40 when abused by the violaters of the Law, i.e. An Gardai , the Po-lice commissioner, Minister for just-us..i.e...'them'.....and let us not forget the members of British Accreditation Research....The Bar....especially Judges who do the real dirty work to hide the truth.

Take notes, write everything down, everything ..and register post it to yourself unopened and do copies. This keeps everything 'on the record'. ULTIMATLY IMPORTANT.
We must protect our Constitution at all costs and thereby protect ourselves.
Please, buy a copy of Bunreacht na h-Eireann at any half decient book shop or Govt.Publications Office Molesworth Street off Dawson Street Dublin.

I say again ,get a copy of our Constitution and invoke Art.40 (unjust attack) in Court and when being arrested unlawfully. The Judge is duty and Honour bound to enter 'upon' and into an inquiry on same. They take an Oath under Article 34-5 to uphold the Constitution and it's Laws. Do this ....'on the record' in open Court and in writing.This is the method of protection. Do it now. NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Enough wrong People have Copped on to this and abused our Constitution to get released. Will decent People out there do this for a change.

author by judge judypublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 21:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i can't understand this story it makes no sense at all, if he was arrested on foot of a bench warrant, he is legally to be brought before a judge of that area to answer the charge, he can't be brought directly to prison, so did he appear in any court? did he make a bail application?

then that begs the question if it is a bench warrant then he was obviously out of bail and failed to appear in court, did he do this?

the only warrant might have been a commital warrant with a sentence on it, from a previous court case that he was found guilty on or failed with an appeal, does anybody know about this?

lastly he mightn't have paid a fine and the judge ordered him to be detained, again does anybody really know

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 17:41author address Limerickauthor phone Report this post to the editors

I think it's supposed to be a witty pen name rather than actual initials.

I haven't been in touch with Owen Rice, but, Ed Horgan and Conor Cregan both spoke to me about this, we also spoke to the guy whose court case Owen was attending and he confirmed the basic details. A few folk from Limerick /Clare and Dublin will head to Roscommon tomorrow.
In relation to the doctor, what we heard initially is that it was Owen's request to see the doctor, rather than prison procedure. I'll try to confirm the accuracy of that tomorrow.

author by Septicpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The 'why' is kinda important before people going around demanding this and that."

Can anybody verify this story? Who is K.G.? This could all be balls.

author by mepublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 17:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prisoners are obliged to see a docter shortly after arrival. I think the reference in the posting is actually to the hiding the gardai gave him back in 2004. I don't there's any suggestion that he was battered while being arrested. I could be wrong, but I don't think that's what the story says.

More information is needed about this arrest. The 'why' is kinda important before people going around demanding this and that.

author by Owen watcherpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cautious wrote :
I think we need more details on why he was arrested before we start shouting 'state repression'. Owen has faced charges in the past for genuine protesting AND for dumb stuff, so details are required here

Regardless of whether he was arrested for protesting, assisting someone else's legal case or 'dumb stuff' , it is worrying to hear that yet again Mr. Rice has had to seek medical help following an arrest.

Mr. Rice has never been stupid enough to use force against anyone, and the fact that he needed to go to hospital following a previous arrest, shows that certain servants of the state see no problem in roughing him up.

Hopefully, we will get a clearer report tomorrow.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its Castlerea Prison. Castlereagh is in the Occupied Six counties. But get on to your TDs to complain. Contact the Garda Commissioner about it.

Contact the Garda Press Office:

The Office can be contacted as follows:

By telephone; 00353-16662032, 00353-16662034, 00353-16662035
By fax: 00353-16662033
By email: gpro@iol.ie

List of TDs here:

http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?house...p=mem

author by cautiouspublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. It's CASTLEREA prison in the 26 counties not Castlereagh, a detention centre in Belfast that is now closed.

2. I think we need more details on why he was arrested before we start shouting 'state repression'. Owen has faced charges in the past for genuine protesting AND for dumb stuff, so details are required here.

3. My heart goes out to him no matter what he's in for. Hard station.

author by Purplepublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given the historical implication of Castlereagh Prison and the human rights abuses
carried out in there - specifically in relation to the appalling internment of Roisin
Mc Aliskey as a result of the Onnsabruck debacle ( and Michael Howard's use of
deprivation and torture). It is really behoven on Irish citizens to oppose this
imprisonment and take it to Owen's TD.

Anti- War is targetted because it goes up against the perceived militaristic direction of
The FF government ( which is vacuous and pretentious).and Anti-War opposes
the complicity of Bertie's cabinet within the US/UK axis.

Lobby Owen's TD and your local TD.

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