The Special Criminal Court – again! June 10, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
It’s that time of year for the Independent… well, it’s always that time of year for the Independent. Sinn Féin and x, x being what ever can be used to portray the former in a bad light.
It’s now emerged that Sinn Féin TDs are preparing to vote against the retention of the legislation that underpins the now two Special Criminal Courts in operation – despite the escalation of gangland crime across Dublin.
A Sinn Féin source confirmed the party will oppose the retention of the court, which are seen as being central to the jailing of several gangland figures in recent years. The issue will be seized upon by Government figures who have accused Sinn Féin of being soft on the issue of crime and justice.
The party came under fire over its opposition to the country’s anti-terror and gangland law during the General Election campaign.
Of the 42 people currently facing charges before the Special Criminal Court, none are charged in connection with offences related to the activities of crime gangs.
The vast majority of prosecutions that have taken place in the court since 1972 have related to the activities of the Provisional IRA, the Irish National Liberation Army and, since 1998, the various dissident republican factions: the Real IRA, the Continuity IRA and Óglaigh na hÉireann.
However, there have been exceptions. In the 1980s, Dublin criminals Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley and Stephen Rossi Walsh were put on trial at the court. Following the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996, several members of the drugs gang led by John Gilligan, including Gilligan himself, were tried in the Special Criminal Court.
In recent years, the court’s business has been almost entirely taken up with the activities of dissident republican terrorists. The only exceptions to this were members of the Dundon gang who were tried by the Special Criminal Court for the murder of Limerick businessman Roy Collins and other criminal activities in the city.