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S2S man hospitalised, his prosecution case dismissed in his absence

category mayo | crime and justice | news report author Thursday March 12, 2009 18:52author by C Report this post to the editors

I just received a text from Niall Harnett saying that he just managed to walk and doctors are reasonably happy that no serious damage has be done to his back and neck. He has soft tissue trauma to the upper back and neck. He may be released tonight.

A hospitalised S2S man had his prosecution case thrown out today despite fax from hospital explaining that he was unable to attend court.
Niall Harnett being removed Belmullet courthouse
Niall Harnett being removed Belmullet courthouse

I attended court in Achill today which was due to hear the case in which Niall Harnett was attempting to prosecute 3 Belmullet Gardaí for assault. However due to injuries sustained in Belmullet courtroom yesterday, he was unable to attend as he is still being held in Castlebar Hospital and further examinations are being carried out.

In his absence Judge Devins dismissed the case against the 3 Gardaí even though she received a confirmation by fax from Castlebar Hospital that Niall Harnett was being kept in for further investigation and so couldn’t attend court. Judge Devins cited that fact that the fax (which was on headed notepaper and stamped with the date) wasn’t addressed to the Court Service specifically and instead was entitled “To whom it may concern”. Judge Devins had also wanted the fax to contain some details on the prognosis on Mr Harnett, however the Hospital refused to put the patient’s medical details in the fax.

It was also pointed out by a member of Rossport Solidarity Camp who was called to give evidence of Mr Harnett’s absence, that one of the Garda defendants had been involved in the incident that led to Mr Hartnett’s injury.

Judge Devins continued to show her bias and contempt for the public and S2S when she accused the camper, who had taken the stand to explain Niall’s absence, of being motivated to speak to Niall last night not to ascertain his condition and well being or to organise to cover for him at court but whether to get a bus load of supporters to court. He was questioned by Devins and defence solicitor Liam Guidera in detail about all his communications with Niall, his knowledge of the case etc. What relevance this had to Niall being unable to attend court because he had again been assaulted, this time inside the court in full view of the judge, by 1 of the same Gardai that Niall was prosecuting, is unclear. Liam Guidera is also a legal adviser to Fianna Fail.

This is another absolutely shocking decision against Shell to Sea and justice generally by Judge Devins.

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

Letter from Hospital to court
Letter from Hospital to court

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mary Devins The FIanna Fail judge refused to accept her compromised position as being unable to administer justice fairly in the ongoing debacle at rossport. All her judgements to date have been against the residents and Shell to Sea supporters. there has been plenty of evidence of police and Shell security violence but she will not allow this.
As she is the wife of sitting Fianna Fail minister a member of the party that instigated this crime against the civil rights of Irish citizens she should be removed from her position. Why will Fianna Fail not ratify the Aarus convention? we are the only one of 82 countries not to do so. This attack on Nial was deliberate and i believe intended to take him out so his case would not be heard.
It is time for the people to stop this blatent criminality by our politicians, Gardai and judiciary because if we don't our young people will eventually turn to violence just as they did in the north.
Start with the corrupt Fianna Fail party and harass them at every oportunity they don't respect democracy or the Irish people. They claim to be the republican party while they besmirch what real republicans died for. Shell is a Britsh and Dutch multinational and Fianna Fail is giving our land (site at Belanaboy) and our natural resources away to them for nothing. They would not accept monetary reward for doing so would they? of course not .

author by Edward Horgan - PANApublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 20:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I hope your injuries are not too serious. Please continue your struggle for peace and justice.
Solidarity from Shannonwatch.org

author by Gaelpublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 21:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think it might be really useful if Judge Mary Devins volunteered for a psychiatric assessment of herself.

A locked-ward and a straight-jacket is what would most likely be the eventual result I suspect.

author by Arm-a-Geddenpublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 21:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been following the tragic story of the S2S campaign, indeed I' am a solid supporter, however it disturbs me greatly to read and continues to read how the Gardai are getting away scot free with their thugery. I personally feel that the time has come that these cases and indeed the whole situation will have to be fought legally a good legal advisor will have to be consulted, any one any ideas how we can pursue this route of action.

Hope you are feeling better Niall.

author by Brianpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I believe you are definitely thinking along the right lines here.

However, there is a huge, huge problem with "Impunity" in the Republic of Ireland, which --- at the present time -- is preventing the kind of approach you are suggesting: and literally making it completely impossible (in practice) to successfully pursue.

"Impunity means 'exemption from punishment or loss'. In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such, itself constitutes a denial of the victims' right to justice and redress. Impunity is especially common in countries that lack a tradition of the rule of law, suffer from corruption or that have entrenched systems of patronage, or where the judiciary is weak or members of the security forces are protected by special jurisdictions or immunities." (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impunity )

Impunity, Republic of Ireland:

author by dunkpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 13:44author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

They may knock you and beat ya Niall, but more and more are "tuning in" to North Mayo and all those who struggle with the community there, more and more are learning, organising, struggling here and there with all of ye. And we have HOPE that indeed we will win!

Soon we hope to have spanish subtitled versions of the plunder, in which you outline clearly the Rossport argument, and that will be going out to Peru, Venezuala, Bolivia, Cuba....

In years to come, in a healthier time then these sad bad mad years (the end of the "oil age"), we will look back and remember all the big and little steps in the journey that led to that sane, healthy, just, beautiful world we will live in. And when we are aul lads, Niall, again we will have cups of tea by the lake down in Dells woods in East Clare, by then there will probably be grandchildren living in the eco houses there, heading up to pipeline free Rossport...

Anyway, just to say, thanks Niall, for this, for that, for opening up the climate camp dialogues and network.... A lot of life lived since those initial days discussions on how to make a better world up in UCD at the irish social forum (2004?)

Solidarity from Barcelona

Rossport Abu!


What would it mean to win?

The Plunder (30 mins)

Caption: Embedded video Politube

author by dunkpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 13:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Niall begins talking 5 mins into film.

S2S man, Niall Harnett
S2S man, Niall Harnett

author by Arm-a-Geddenpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks Brian for your reply and input on this extremely important matter.

However, there is a huge, huge problem with "Impunity" in the Republic of Ireland, which --- at the present time -- is preventing the kind of approach you are suggesting: and literally making it completely impossible (in practice) to successfully pursue.

When I was compiling my previous comment that thought did cross my mind, as it appears to me we are living in a police state, commanded by a dictatorship that believes that it to is above the rule of law, just like the Bush regime when it was in power, they appear to have modelled themselves on that despicable regime.

However what about some International help is this possible do you think? as I'am willing to explore all avenues to ensure that justice is done.

Many Thanks.

author by Brianpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just as many a bad driver does whatever the driver in front is doing (regardless of speed limits etc), many political leaders -- including our own of course -- just did whatever the George W Bush administration did in the U.S.

The overall global outcome of all that was a huge boost during the past 10 years or so for what might be termed "global impunity" -- so that I personally doubt if there is much of a chance (at the present time) of receiving outside help for the now extremely severe impunity problems we have here in the Republic of Ireland: which of course includes the production and sustenance of unconstitutional law -- and which (in my view) would make a very good candidate for the title: "King of Crimes".

For "global impunity" to work well (in the interests of the perpetrators that is), the perpetrators have to corrupt just about everything in society: and anything they cannot corrupt they have to shut down. And they do both.

The result: corruption everywhere just about, and, most importantly, throughout the whole of the legal profession -- from head to toe!!

It is of course the legal profession that provides the "keystone" necessary for the successful sustenance of impunity; and, if the legal profession is totally corrupt regarding the matter of impunity (i.e. fiercely devoted towards sustaining it, as opposed to challenging it), then there is no lawful means available to anybody (that I know of) to remedy this awful social problem.

As far as I know, and although they would vigorously deny it no doubt, the legal profession (overall) in the Republic of Ireland really is very fiercely (and corruptly of course) devoted towards sustaining impunity.

The only bit of hope I have, and it's a very weak piece, is that one or more Republic of Ireland lawyers might decide to break ranks with the vast majority of their colleagues: and chance their luck (and their lives perhaps) on challenging the corruption that is directly related to impunity. There is no shortage of hard evidence of impunity; it's a shortage of lawyers in the Republic of Ireland who have what it takes to face the impunity problem, and to tackle it in an effective manner.

author by Arm-a-Geddenpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 20:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks Brian for your reply and thanks to Indymedia

I see your point on the impunity however I have to push on regardless, as I'am determined to see that justice is served upon those who feel that they are the law, and because of that little bit of power they are above the law, and I do believe that courage, determination,and common sense will always prevail.

Many Thanks.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Sat Mar 14, 2009 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another thing that should be kept in mind is that (in my experience) consultant psychiatrists are every bit as bad, and possibly even worse than lawyers, when it comes to corruptly supporting impunity.

That's why if I was in Maura Harrington's shoes, I'd be very, very cautious about consenting to any form of psychiatric assessment by a consultant psychiatrist.

I have a very strong feeling -- the product of lengthy personal experience and a "mountain" of hard evidence -- that in relation to the particular Republic of Ireland environmental issues in question, the consultant psychiatrists, and the judges, are "all swimming in the same tank" more or less: and, that (generally speaking) both of these groups of people are at the very forefront of the largely invisible (but totally overwhelming) set of grossly corrupt forces which are fiercely sustaining and reinforcing the "social curse of impunity".

By way of I providing evidence of this particularly nasty brand of "mental health-service corruption" (of all things!!), please note the way that Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Anne Jeffers is refusing to read the letters I sent to her through the registered post: which contain irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing "at the hands of individuals and public officials and bodies that he has encountered in his struggles to try to correct environmental wrong doings" (as described by Dr Michael McCavert GP in his October 28th 2005 letter at http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...r.htm ). A copy of the February 25th 2009 letter in question from Dr Jeffers (sent to my half-sister Marjorie Dolan), can be viewed at the following address: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/DrAnneJeffers/25Febru...r.htm .

By way of some additional evidence, please further note that I have never received any reply to the letter titled "State Tyranny and the treatment of associated Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)" which I sent through the registered post on August 11th 2008 to Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Thomas Foster, a copy of which can be viewed at the following address: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/DrThomasFoster/11Augu...r.htm

Impunity, Judges, Psychiatrists, Maura Harrington:

Impunity, Judges, Psychiatrists, William Finnerty:

author by Dr. Nickpublication date Sat Mar 14, 2009 15:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They would easily find Maura's mental condition to be abnormal.
They define normality along a curve of doing what the majority of people would do.
Most people in Irish society would cry into their pints about what the crooks in government do, but wouldn't get off their butts to do anything about it. That would be considered 'normal'.
Maura prefers to do what's RIGHT rather than what's normal.

All the improvements we've had in society come from people going against what's normal.
And usually these people are the ones who endure the most flak.

author by Rubberduckypublication date Sat Mar 14, 2009 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is there some way we can campaign for Judge Devins to stand down?

author by Thickpublication date Sat Mar 14, 2009 21:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If she does not step down what about sitting in her garden in sligo till she does SHAME ON HER

author by Ethel and Tom Corduff - Shell to Seapublication date Sat Mar 14, 2009 22:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Niall, we were shocked to hear you were assulted in the courtroom by the garda, while Judge Mary, Mary Quite Contrary looked on and did nothing. We hope you make a good recovery. It is a disgrace that the very authentic letter from the hospital doctor was not accepted by her and as a result your assault case thrown out.
The difference when you are fit enough to bring charges this time is that Judge Mary could be called as a witness and another judge brought in to minister justice if there is any in a Shell jurisdiction.

author by Ainéislispublication date Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems to me that this pernicious assault on Niall Harnett (by the police, in a court room, and in the presence of a judge) should undoubtedly be dealt with under the terms Article 13 of the ECHR -- which very clearly states:

"Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity."

From: "The European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 (Republic of Ireland)", the text of which is available via:

Of course thanks to the unbelievably corrupt (and totally perverse) support that our legal profession continues to very vigorously provide for the insidious and extremely menacing social curse of IMPUNITY, I believe it is still highly unlikely that anybody would be able to find ANY lawyer in the Republic of Ireland who is willing to even touch this case with a 60 foot barge pole: and similarly with regard to the dozens (perhaps hundreds?) of other cases of the same kind, relating to other individuals and to other "small local communities", who are at present being bullied and otherwise abused "by persons acting in an official capacity" -- for trying, against all the odds, to LAWFULLY remedy the mountain of political, legal, and corporate corruption that our nation has now been saddled with.

It's interesting that Wikipedia seem to have picked up on this sick (and sickening) problem relating to the legal profession:

"Article 13 provides for the right for an effective remedy before national authorities for violations of rights under the Convention. The inability to obtain a remedy before a national court for an infringement of a Convention right is thus a free-standing and separately actionable infringement of the Convention." (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Hum...ights )

Best wishes to you Niall.

I hope you will be able to keep on with your extremely important resistance to what I very largely see as "Government (i.e. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) Tyranny", and I further hope it might help you to keep in mind the centuries-old tradition we have here in Ireland whereby: "the history of one generation becomes the poetry of the next".

Your courageous efforts on behalf of yourself and the people of Ireland are unlikely to be forgotten!!

Article 13, European Convention on Human Rights, Ireland:

author by Niall Harnett - Shell to Seapublication date Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks very much everyone for texts and emails etc. Just to clarify ... the circumstances were that a certain Garda, as usual, was throwing his weight around for no justifiable reason. Defending myself brought the attention of more Gardai and I sustained an injury to my back which disabled me for a while. Thankfully the damage is not serious and I'm back on my feet. I think I'm happy to leave it at that.

Much more important that people make time available this Spring and Summer to continue to stand up to Shell and the State who are determined to force this project through in spite of the solid arguments against it and all the harms, wrongs and injustices associated with it.

Maura Harrington is in jail, the victim of the selective and discriminatory application of the law, when we all know who the real criminals were that day at Pollathomas Pier ... An Garda Siochana, and not for the first time.

The State, with all it's resources, still likes to play a rigged game against the lesser resourced opponent, us. Judge Mary Devins is complicit in that also. Shame on you all.

author by Dunkpublication date Fri Jan 18, 2013 19:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Very sad news to all those working in and out of Ireland for a better world:

Niall died a little while ago after a short illness.

More news and tributes at

Niall Harnett - RIP
Niall Harnett - RIP

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