Independent Media Centre Ireland

Mary Kelly conviction overturned after Six years struggle

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Friday February 25, 2011 14:10author by Justin morahan

Mary's disabling of a plane at Shannon preceded a similar action by the Pitstop Ploughshares

The Court of Criminal Appeal overturned Mary Kelly's conviction this morning

The war in Iraq and Ireland's participation in it prompted may protests from outraged Irish citizens. Mary Kelly entered Shannon airport on a cold night in January 2003, not to protest, but to disable a war plane that was bound for the war in Iraq.

At her trial she pleaded lawful excuse, namely she hoped to save lives in Iraq.

The first jury was hung. A second jury found her guilty after the presiding judge had stopped her defence of lawful excuse being considered by its members. Judge Carrol Moran imposed a sentence of two years imprisonment - suspended.

It took four years of tortuous court appearances and the mountain of work associated with such appearances before Mary succeeded in having her appeal against the judgement heard by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The appeal was eventually heard in July 2008. And the three judges pronounced their judgement this morning.

The judgement is welcome but the delay gives rise to many questions about the fairness of the Irish judicial system.

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