For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
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Justice In Erris , Mayo For Opponents Of The Proposed Gas Refinery
crime and justice |
Tuesday December 15, 2009 14:32 by damh - rossport solidarity camp
Maura Harrington in Jail for nine months
Justice in erris.
Is clean water and fresh air and a safe enironment to live in now considered a passionate belief ?
One would wonder how to interprate judge Haughton's concluding words in court on thurs, last before he sent Maura Harrington to jail for 9 months.
Justice in erris.
Last week saw significant numbers of local people taken to court by the establishment in connection with the corrib gas controversy.
Judge Haughton was in the dock.
I arrived at the courts in belmullet on thurs last, 9th dec , to see retired school principle maura harrington stepping down from the witness box, . There was a good covering of folk present and i had arrived it seemed in time for the judge's maura was on trial for obstructng with her car the gates of glengad , section 9 of the public order act. Whilst martin, her brother was being accused of assaulting a garda under section 2 of the public order act. Both were found quilty , the judge having satisfied himself that there was clear evidence of willfull abuse in Martin's particular use of language. Judge haughton went on to add that martin harrington was "economical with the truth". This left the judge with no doubt that martin very conciously used his cigarette to burn some part of garda " "'s hand.
Martins defence argued that as martin was being held in a choke-hold by the garda during the episode , that if the cigarette did burn the garda then it was involuntary.
Despite Maura's witness account to the contrary , judge haughton found martin guilty of willfully assaulting a garda and sentenced martin 5 months in prison , suspended if martin agreed to sign the bond of 500euro and keep the peace for 6 months.
Maura was then asked if she had anything to add to her evidence before the judge gave his ruling.
Maura did have something to add . She said " the reality in which we are living is not what we had been used to and had been noted that it was all in connection with the imposed project." She also said that she had been constrained from talking about climate change, political matters, economic climate in given her evidence and she summed up by arguing that in many occasions throughout the corrib gas project , that justice and law were mutual exclusive.
There was a loud applause as maura finished , and moments later her husband, Naoise O Mongain was drgged out of court to be held in custody for clapping. Judge hHughton said " take that man into custody , i will deal with him later". Ny10 garda then blocked the exit to any persons wishing to leave the court, whilst naoise was taken away.
The remainder of the court were warned if they misconducted themselves in court they too would be dragged away.
Judge Haughton went onto say that :
"no democratic society can operate properly when a group decide they are above the law and they can commit criminal offences because they are of a view that someone else is . .........if There is justification for a small breach of law then there is no stopping breaches from excalating..
No-one is entitled to take the law into their own hands......... "
He said that maura damaged the net whilst there was children present watching.
"a passionate belief does not give countenance to breaking the law".
He sentenced maura with 9 months jail to be suspended if maura agreed to sign the bond of 500 euro and keep the peace for 2 full years.
Sentence is not suspended beyond the length of the sentence in normal circumstances but on this occasion he made a special case as he argued "she has persistently broken the law ..."..
Maura was then taking out of court and is now in the duchas centre, Mountjoy Jail, north circular road, dublin , where she can receive much appreciated letters.
After lunch , Naoise was released from custody after a translator was obtained and the court proceedings heard "as gaelige".
There are more court proceedings against the local people of erris on the 16th of dec in castlebar.
News flash****on the 14th dec 2009 Maura Harrington was released form prison on appeal .