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IRISHLAW  September 1995

IRISHLAW September 1995

Subject:

Irish Emigrant - Legal Extracts

From:

"Whelan Darius - Lect. Law" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Irish and N. Irish Law

Date:

Mon, 11 Sep 1995 11:23:00 PDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (398 lines)

Irish Emigrant Legal Extracts Summer Issues - Part Two
 
Topics:
=======
 
 - Divorce (continued)
 
 - Northern News
 
 - Clegg Case
 
 - Prisoners
 
 
 
Dear IrishLaw members,
 
As I was away over the summer, quite a backlog of Irish Emigrant issues has
built up.
Over the next week or so, I will distribute the backlog.
 
I have cut and paste the items so that they are grouped by subject.
 
Today's extracts concern divorce (continued), Northern News, Clegg case and
prisoners.
 
Darius
 
[log in to unmask]
 
 
INFORMATION ABOUT IRISH EMIGRANT (LEGAL EXTRACTS)
 
The Irish Emigrant is an e-mail news
service published by the Irish Emigrant Ltd. and edited by Liam Ferrie.
I have contacted the company and it has agreed to provide permission
for weekly extracts from the service to be distributed on the Irish
Law list.
Only extracts concerning law, the courts, and the Constitution will be
distributed.
We can use these extracts to spark off discussions about current
legal topics.
 
Subscription information concerning the full news service is provided
at the bottom of this message.
 
The full news service runs to approximately 1,000 lines per issue.
It includes topics such as: main news, bits and pieces, Northern
News, job advertisements, the courts, employment and industrial
relations, politics and politicians, The Irish Abroad, conservation
and the environment, education, music, the arts, deaths, business news,
exchange rates, weather and sport.
 
Some back issues of the Irish Emigrant are available by gopher at:
gopher://gopher.iol.ie:70/11s/emigrant
 
 
=======================================================================
 
                          THE IRISH EMIGRANT
_______________________________________________________________________
Editor: Liam Ferrie
=======================================================================
 
 +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
 |               Copyright 1995 The Irish Emigrant Ltd               |
 |                                                                   |
 |     This newsletter is currently delivered free of charge to      |
 | subscribers using non-commercial email accounts at universities.  |
 |                                                                   |
 +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
 
> > > > > > > > >   DIVORCE   (Continued) < < < < < < < <
 
Issue 449, 11 September 1995:
 
 - Within the past week Fianna Fail backbenchers Michael Noonan and Sean
  Doherty announced that they would not be supporting the removal of
  the ban on divorce.  Following this the party published its position
  paper on divorce, and seems to have found a method of accommodating
  all views.  Fianna Fail TD will be obliged to support the issue in
  the Dail.  With regard to the referendum itself, the TDs will be
  allowed to take whatever stance they wish.  The difference is that in
  the Dail they will be voting to have a referendum on the question,
  and not voting on the outcome.
 
Issue 449, 11 September 1995:
 
 - Taoiseach John Bruton appointed Minister for Health Michael Noonan as
  Fine Gael Director of Elections in the divorce referendum.
 
> > > > > > > > >   NORTHERN NEWS   < < < < < < < < <
 
Issue 442, 24 July 1995:
 
 - The British Government has said that it will bring the law on Sunday
  trading in the North into line with that in England and Wales.  This
  means that, with effect from next February, shops will be able to
  open on Sundays and professional sport may be played.  Horseracing is
  included in that, although betting will continue to be banned.  There
  has been little welcome for the news particularly from the churches.
 
Issue 446, 21 August 1995:
 
 - The Independent Commission for Police Complaints is to supervise the
  RUC investigation into the violence on the Lower Ormeau Road.  In
  addition to the man who was injured by a plastic bullet, a number of
  people were struck on the head by RUC officers wielding batons but
  only one lodged a formal complaint with the ICPC.  Initially it was
  reported that the ICPC would investigate that incident but was unable
  to consider any other aspects of last weekend's confrontations as it
  is prevented by statute from initiating investigations.  The RUC
  chief constable, the Police Authority and the Northern Secretary have
  the power to refer complaints to the ICPC but seldom do so.  This had
  changed by the weekend after what are believed to have been intensive
  negotiations.
 
Issue 446, 21 August 1995:
 
 - As might be expected, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of
  arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in the North.  In the
  six months to the end of June there were 221 such arrests.  This
  compared with 1,600 in the full year 1993 and 1,500 in 1994.
 
Issue 447, 28 August 1995:
 
 - The British Army killing of 10-year-old Stephen Geddis in
  controversial circumstances in 1975 is again being investigated by
  the RUC.  Stephen died after being hit in the face by a plastic
  bullet.  At the time a British Army statement said that soldiers
  responded to the throwing of stones and bottles while trying to
  remove a burning barricade.  Locals in the Lower Falls area of
  Belfast claimed that he had been shot in the face at point blank
  range at a time when there was no rioting.  The case has been
  reopened after a former soldier entered a police station in England
  and said that statements made by soldiers at the time had been
  incorrect.
 
Issue 449, 11 September 1995:
 
 - In its latest report on human rights in the United Kingdom, Amnesty
  International expressed concern at the failure to fully investigate
  the deaths of many people killed by the security forces in the North.
  The organisation noted that, in the 25 years of violence, about half
  the 358 people killed by the army and RUC were unarmed, and accused
  the authorities of failing "to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial
  enquiries".
 
> > > > > > > > >   CLEGG CASE   < < < < < < < < <
 
Issue 443, 31 July 1995:
 
 - The news that convicted murderer Private Lee Clegg is to be allowed
  to remain in the British Army was criticised by both the SDLP and
  Sinn Fein.
 
 
> > > > >   PRISONERS   < < < < <
 
Issue 442, 24 July 1995:
 
                         PRISONERS IN THE NEWS
 
 - The two Irish prisoners who refused to co-operate with the prison
  authorities in England, and who started a dirty protest, were named
  as Felim O hAdhmaill and Patrick Kelly.  Both were recently
  transferred to Whitemoor high security prison although O hAdhmaill
  had been told in April that he would be returning to the North.
 
 - The Dublin Government is said to be urging movement on the prisoners
  issue in the belief that the current policies will lead to "an
  unnecessary and potentially disruptive campaign of protest".
 
 - The Bill which will allow the repatriation of Irish prisoners has
  been signed into law by President Robinson.  The Government can now
  ratify a Council of Europe Convention which will take effect on
  November 1.  It is expected that this will allow about twenty
  republican prisoners in England to be returned to the South before
  the end of the year.
 
 - For a time there was some confusion as to how many prisoners were
  involved in the protest.  Six were usually mentioned before it was
  confirmed that only two were involved.  That soon changed when Martin
  McMonagle and Liam Heffernan also joined the protest.  Like O
  hAdhmaill they had been told that they would return to the North.
  The main cause of complaint, however, is that all had been asked to
  sign agreements that they would wear prison uniform and carry out
  work.  They refused as this was the first time in twenty years that
  republican prisoners were denied such concessions.  The refusal led
  to them being placed in solitary confinement.  A fifth prisoner had
  joined the protest by the weekend.
 
 - Sinn Fein sought access to the protesting prisoners but was refused.
  This was hardly surprising as the Irish Embassy in London also failed
  to be allowed an "open" consular visit with the prisoners.
 
 - On Tuesday four republican prisoners started a hunger-strike in
  Portlaoise prison but called it off again at midnight on Friday.  The
  four were initially said to be members of the INLA but were later
  described by the prison authorities as "non-aligned republicans".
  They were protesting against what they saw as preferential treatment
  being given to IRA members.  When the decided to abandon the hunger-
  strike it was in the interests of "establishing a constructive
  dialogue with the authorities".
 
 - The Alliance Party accused the British Government of being either
  vindictive or incompetent in its handling of the prison issue.  A
  spokesman said that Irish prisoners in England should have been
  repatriated following the ceasefires.
 
 - On Thursday three prisoners were transferred from England to
  Maghaberry prison, near Belfast.  This news was generally welcomed
  although without a great deal of enthusiasm from Sinn Fein.  A
  spokesman pointed out that the three were told twelve weeks ago that
  they would be "transferred immediately".
 
 - Five IRA members who have served more than 20 years in prison in
  England won the right to go to the High Court to challenge the
  "irrational and unreasonable delays" in hearing their parole
  applications.
 
 - A Labour party delegation, three TDs and a Senator, travelled to
  England at the weekend, hoping to meet republican prisoners in three
  English jails.  At Full Sutton Prison in Yorkshire the four were
  allowed a meeting at which they and six prisoners sat around a table.
  Afterwards the prisoners were strip-searched while the politicians
  discussed the situation with the governor.  Difficulties are expected
  at the next two prisons.  The prisoners say that they will not meet
  the delegation if they are to kept behind perspex or glass.
 
Issue 443, 31 July 1995:
 
 
                         PRISONERS IN THE NEWS
 
A Labour party delegation of two TDs and a Senator completed their
two-day visit to England to meet a number of republican prisoners.
They were not allowed an open visit with prisoners in Belmarsh and
instead expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation to the
governor.  Two INLA inmates at Whitemoor high security prison ended
their protest on Monday so that they could meet the delegation.  After
that meeting Labour TD Joe Costello said conditions in the prison, as
described by the men, were appalling.  The IRSP claimed that the two
prisoners, Martin McMonagle and Liam Heffernan, would return to the
North within a few days and sure enough they arrived at Maghaberry
Prison on Wednesday.  They were accompanied by IRA member Feilim O
hAdhmail who was also taking part in the dirty protest at Whitemoor.
 
A further twelve IRA prisoners were released from Portlaoise on
Saturday morning.  All were due for release within the next three
years.  They had been convicted on a variety of offences, including
possession of firearms and armed robbery.  Among those freed were four
men involved in the 1990 armed robbery of the AIB branch in
Enniscorthy, including a cousin of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.
Former Garda Denis Kelly, who was convicted in 1992 of passing garda
information to the IRA, was also released.  The decision to release the
prisoners at this time was no doubt influenced by the fact that the
Cabinet was having its final meeting before ministers went off on
holiday.  Observers also believed that the Government wished to
reassure republicans that the peace process was bringing concrete
benefits and to apply pressure on the British to be more flexible in
its dealings with prisoners, both in the North and in Britain.
Unionist politicians were very critical of the move.
 
Issue 444, 7 August 1995:
 
 - Most of this week's attention on republican prisoners in England was
  very firmly focused on Patrick Kelly, one of two prisoners still on a
  dirty protest at Whitemoor Prison.  Kelly, who is 44 and from Co.
  Laois, was treated for cancer prior to his arrest in 1992 and,
  although the cancer has reappeared, the prison authorities refuse to
  allow him out for the necessary hospital treatment.  The Government,
  we are told, has been applying diplomatic pressure to have Kelly
  admitted to hospital and to have the other protesting prisoner moved
  back to the North.  Tanaiste Dick Spring expressed his concern over
  the failure to provide Kelly, "a very sick man", with the appropriate
  medical attention.  Fianna Fail leader Bertie Ahern considered it a
  very "grave matter" that the British did not appear to be listening
  to the Irish Government.  Mr Spring, in an RTE interview, was
  concerned that Irish prisoners in England were being treated more
  harshly than before the ceasefires and said that the Government was
  anxious that prisoners either be repatriated or reclassified because
  of the reduced risk since the ceasefires.  By the end of the week
  there were unconfirmed reports that Kelly was about to be transferred
  to Belfast where he would enter hospital.
 
Issue 444, 7 August 1995:
 
 - The treatment of Irish prisoners in England was also in the news when
  solicitor Gareth Pierce told a court in London that she was being
  denied proper access to her clients, four IRA members who are
  currently in Belmarsh Prison.  The magistrate appeared to agree that
  the prison authorities could be in contempt of court.  He adjourned
  the hearing until August 17 to allow solicitors to take instructions
  from their clients.  If there is no change in policy the British Home
  Secretary, Michael Howard, may be charged with contempt of court.
 
Issue 446, 21 August 1995:
 
 - Fianna Fail TD Eamon O Cuiv visited IRA prisoner Patrick Kelly in
  hospital in England.  During the week Kelly underwent an operation
  for skin cancer on his back although his supporters say that he
  should have been treated six months ago when the cancer was
  diagnosed.  Mr O Cuiv told RTE that Kelly was chained to a prison
  warder while on his way to the operating theatre and was still
  chained to him when he recovered from the anaesthetic.  In addition
  to being permanently chained to the officer, two other warders and
  four armed policemen are in Kelly's bedroom 24 hours a day.  Mr O
  Cuiv has called on the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste to ensure that
  Kelly is returned to a prison in the North when he is released from
  hospital.
 
Issue 446, 21 August 1995:
 
 - Three INLA prisoners are on hunger strike at Portlaoise and are not
  being allowed visits from TDs.  Independent deputy Tony Gregory
  accused the Government of hypocrisy as the Labour party sent an
  official delegation to visit protesting republican prisoners in
  England.  On Saturday the three TDs and Senator, who made up the
  Labour party delegation which travelled to England, urged the
  Government to explore every avenue to bring an end to the hunger
  strike.
 
Issue 447, 28 August 1995:
 
             "TOO LITTLE TOO LATE" OR "MAJOR CONCESSIONS"?
 
On Friday, Northern Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew announced a widely
predicted change in the North's prison policy.  Paramilitary prisoners
are to be released after serving 50% of their sentences.  That was the
case until 1989 when the law changed to reduce the maximum period of
remission to 33%.  Sir Patrick was at pains to play down the
significance of the move for those of his critics who would consider
that he was being too lenient.  He also tried to stress its importance
for those who were demanding greater concessions.   No one is, of
course, going to be released in the immediate future.  The change has
to be backed up by legislation and the British Parliament does not
resume until November.  The 100 or so prisoners involved, almost
equally divided between both factions, might be freed by Christmas but
that isn't certain.
 
In what was clearly intended as a major speech to mark the first
anniversary of the IRA ceasefire, the Northern Secretary hinted at
further developments.  He said that the withdrawal of more troops from
the North was being considered.  The 50% remission is only available to
prisoners on fixed sentences, but Sir Patrick suggested that the Life
Sentence Review Board might start to look at things differently if they
thought there would be no return to violence.  He also spoke of a
possible reform of policing structures and then balanced all this by
repeating his Government's insistence on the decommissioning of arms
before Sinn Fein can participate in all-party talks.
 
Even before the expected announcement about the 50% remission, a Sinn
Fein representative had described it as "derisory and insulting".  A
spokesman for the SDLP described it as a "baby step" when what was
needed was a "giant leap forward".  The Dublin Government welcomed the
move but it was a rather muted welcome.  According to the Irish Times
the off-the-record reaction of senior Government figures was that it
was "too little too late".  For the DUP, Sammy  Wilson saw it as
"another surrender to IRA demands".
 
Issue 448, 4 September 1995:
 
 - Three INLA prisoners called off their hunger strike after the
  Government agreed to talks with the IRSP.  Fr Alex Reid of Clonard
  Monastery in Belfast acted as an intermediary in the negotiations
  which brought the protest to an end.  Michael McCartney, who had been
  without food for 26 days, was recently joined in the Curragh Military
  Hospital by Paddy Walls, who had been fasting for 19 days.  A few
  days before the hunger strike ended Independent TD Tony Gregory had
  been allowed to meet McCartney.  Early in the week a spokesman for
  the IRSP said that the organisation would take court action against
  the Government over the treatment of the INLA prisoners.  This was
  followed a day later by a statement which confirmed that the INLA
  would not be calling a permanent ceasefire although its suspension of
  violence would continue.  It went on to say that some day the IRSP
  would again resort to the use of arms.
 
 
 
 
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                IRISH EMIGRANT SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
                 For use by non-university subscribers
 
Contact:
  The Irish Emigrant Ltd,               | Liam Ferrie
  Cathedral Building, Middle Street,    | Tel: 353-91-569158
  Galway,                               | Fax: 353-91-569178
  Ireland                               | Email: [log in to unmask]
 
Or:
  Irish Emigrant Subscription Service,  | Connell Gallagher
  PO Box 940,                           | Tel: (617) 246-3945
  Boston, MA 02117                      | Email: [log in to unmask]
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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