Judge Mary Fahy : "to preserve the dignity of the court".
Today, at the commencement of the trial of Owen Rice in Court No. 2 Galway District Court, judge Mary Fahy had three anti-war activists and members of Owen's support group escorted from court by Gardai for excercising their democratic right to take notes in court.
This right was given short shrift by Fahy on the spurious basis that the note taking would impinge on the "dignity of the court" and further; "it was custom and practise" for the judiciary to proscribe any note taking as they saw fit.
The three ejected were Justin Morahan, Sean Ryan and Tommy Donnellan, the former two vociferously voiced their opposition to this draconian and anti democratic move to no avail.
Fahy's perspective is redolent of the stance of the Turkish government where currently, a writer is being prosecuted for not, in essence, "preserving the dignity of the Turkish nation" - Turkey's horrific slaughter of the Amnenians was this writers righteous bone of contention.
Owen is being prosecuted for "failing to provide his name to a Gardai" and "breach of the peace" or is that "behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace"?. following the denouement of the EU Social ministers meeting in Galway when some of them were on a walkabout "cultural tour" of the city.
A full report will follow.