The obstruction of justice

In 2004 Ken Barrett was given the impressive-looking sentence of life imprisonment for the murder of my father, Pat Finucane, with a recommendation that he serve not less than 22 years. It was entirely predictable he would serve only a fraction of that sentence – as it happened, less than three years. But that is of no consequence to the larger issue involved in the murder of my father.

Majella Holohan has done the State some service in challenging the legal system

One can understand the grief and upset of the Holohan family at the seeming imponderables in how the case against the killer of their son, Wayne O'Donoghue, was conducted and the apparently meagre four-year sentence that was applied. Majella Holohan, in her moving impact statement, expressed wonderment at why certain seemingly obvious evidential facts were not highlighted in the case. Her husband, Mark, expressed disdain at the sentence.


McBrearty questions remain following huge settlement

The huge settlement in part of Frank McBrearty Junior's action against the State in no way concludes the McBrearty issue. In the first place there are numerous further claims on his and his family's behalf still outstanding. But there are two other serious issues as well.


Wicked prejudice now infects legal system

The acquittal of the Mayo farmer, Pádraig Nally, on the charge of the murder of John Ward, a Traveller, suggests there is not just a wicked and pervasive cultural prejudice against one of the most vulnerable groups in society generally, but that this prejudice has infected the legal system as well.

Brian Rossiter case: Climbdown by Michael McDowell

McDowell announces inquiry into the circumstances and arrest and detention at Clonmel Garda station of Brian Rossiter on 10/11 September 2002, having ignored pleas for an inquiry for 18 months. (Brian Rossiter, then aged 14, was found in a coma in Clonmel Garda station on the morning of 11 September 2002 and a life support machine which had kept him breathing for three subsequent days was turned off on 13 September 2002).

Supreme Court: enormous power, no accountability

Last Tuesday the Gvernment nominated one Supreme Court judge, four High Court judges and six other judges for appointment by the President. The appointments are a mere formality as the President has no discretion in the matter, irrespective of her opinion of the wisdom or appropriateness of these appointments (if she has any such opinions).


Public Inquiry Into Our Greatest Scandal

We return once more to the murder of John Corcoran in Kerry 13 years ago. The cover up of that murder and the obvious complicity of the Gardai in that murder remain by far the greatest scandal of our public life. And yet, apart from a brief intervention by Dick Spring and a broken promise by the now Justice Minister, John O'Donoghue, not a single public representative has sought as yet to make an issue of this.

Veronica: But the Heroin Problem

The ‘war on drugs' prompted by the murder of Veronica Guerin has had little effect on the availability of heroin. Despite enormous drug seizures and the biggest crackdown on organised crime in the history of the state, a Magill investigation has found that heroin continues to be widely available in most areas of Dublin. This is also despite the considerable successes of the the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and the Veronica Guerin investigation.