Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan
13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips
Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony
Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young
Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
That list of UK groups infiltrated by the police? 17:25 Mon Oct 15, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Internment during the Troubles? 12:56 Mon Oct 15, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Ivan Rogers speech on Brexit 10:59 Mon Oct 15, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Irish Left Archive: Leveller ? The Paper of Organise! Issue 2, August/October 2009 04:07 Mon Oct 15, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Even alleged spies keep their receipts? 12:22 Sun Oct 14, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
Release of Garda exposes Corrupt Two - Tier 'Justice' System
Convicted garda walking free after leaving man he brutally assaulted for dead exposes corrupt two-tier nature of what passes for 'justice' in this state
Last Thursday (May 26), Dean Foley was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, with 12 months suspended, for assault. Foley, a serving Garda at the time of the attack, was convicted for a brutal unprovoked attack on Stephen Murphy in Cork. Foley knocked Murphy unconscious and inflicted a series of horrific injuries on him. As a result, Murphy suffered bleeding to the brain, broken teeth and broken bones to his face.
However, the next day, despite the savage nature of the attack, the judge that sentenced him reconsidered that sentence and suspended all of it ensuring Foley's immediate release. In an extraordinary decision, the judge decided to keep Foley out of prison because as a Garda he would have a 'harder time' serving his sentence than an ordinary prisoner would.
If the situation had been reversed and Garda Foley had suffered this attack and injuries at the hands of a member of the public, the attacker would not be treated so leniently. The reality is that the perpetrator would be in a prison cell for the best part of a decade.
Coincidentally a young man who carried out an assault resulting in similar injuries was recently convicted at a court in County Clare and sentenced to 6 years in prison. So while this young man goes to jail for six years, Foley walks free despite the savage brutality of his crime solely because he was a member of the Gardai.
We have regularly seen Gardai act with impunity in breaking the law and in attacking peaceful protesters. For the past ten years at anti-Shell protests in Mayo Gardai have attacked peaceful protesters causing serious injuries and hospitalisation in many instances. (click here for article on policing in north Mayo)
Such brutality are not isolated incidents. Gardai have been involved in attacking protesters on many other occasions including the 'Reclaim the Streets' demo a number of years back, éirígí's Anglo Irish Bank protest in May of last year (click here) and the student anti-cuts protest in Dublin last November (click here).
We have seen the litany of other crimes committed by Gardai, including the planting of drugs as well as weapons and explosives, the manufacturing of false confessions and the deliberate framing of individuals as exposed by the Morris Tribunal in Donegal.
All of the above are just the tip of the iceberg, yet how many Gardai have gone to jail for any of these offences? None.
On the other hand, those engaged in peaceful protest have regularly been imprisoned.
Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington has been imprisoned on five separate occasions for her role in protesting against Shell's planned pipeline in north Mayo.
Fellow campaigner Pat 'the chief' O'Donnell served five months out of a seven month sentence in Castlerea prison last year for public order offences relating to a cavalcade in support of Ms Harrington who was on hunger-strike at the time.
Many people who are unable to pay their debts or fines are regularly jailed despite the hardship inflicted on them and their families. In the first 10 months of 2010, 3,200 people were jailed in the twenty six counties for non-payment of debt. No leniency or consideration is given by the courts and the so-called justice system as they despatch working class men and women to jail for extremely minor offences and inability to pay.
Yet here we have the extraordinary situation of a judge coming back into court the day after sending a brutal attacker to prison, to change his mind and let him go free solely because he was a Garda and might have a 'hard time' in prison.
Describing the decision as “shocking but not surprising” éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey said it exposed the “corrupt and two-tier nature” at the heart of the twenty six county state's so-called 'justice' system.
Casey said: “This is a shocking decision to allow this criminal escape justice solely on the basis of him being a Garda. It gives Gardai and others in positions of authority within this state a green light to to abuse their positions and commit horrific crimes safe in the knowledge that they will not serve time.”
“While shocking, this judgement is not surprising considering the corrupt and two—tier nature of what passes for a 'justice system' in this state. It is extremely rare for a Garda to ever have to answer for his/her crimes before the courts. It is even rarer that justice is done on the seldom occasion that they do.”
"The Gardai, the courts and the 'justice system' are not there to provide justice for working people. It is there for one reason and one reason only - to serve and protect the interests of this state's elites."
Pat O'Donnell after Garda Assault
Victim of Garda Assault at student anti-cuts demo