Archive for ‘Law’

04/07/2014

Oh look at that assault rifle, his dick must be fuckin’ tiny girl!

I had a chat with a now former friend in Georgia (US) the other day. He was all enthused about being able to openly carry his guns anywhere he wanted. So I decided to see just how far down the rabbit hole of nuttiness he actually was, and asked “So if I go there can I wear my replica xiphos (an early Macedonian cavalry sword.) in a shoulder scabbard.”

You know, for my own protection. In case someone random went nuts and decided that I, and all the people around me needed to die for some random reason. Like I don’t know, he didn’t like my hair colour (blue), or my sexuality (lesbian), or Mondays (The Boom Town Rats.)

He went (appropriately enough) ballistic, because apparently that would be carrying a weapon, a dangerous weapon which he would be uncomfortable having his daughter around…seriously, he said this before adding this doozy to the mix, “a gun’s just a tool. A sword is a barely controllable weapon. You’re making a mockery of my country.”

Yeeeeeeeeah. Look I like guns as much as the next tomboy. They’re, much like swords, longbows etc, interesting pieces of engineering and materials use. They can be used to teach/learn physical and emotional control, responsibility, yadda yadda. But if you’re penis is so small you need to carry an assault rifle to the local store in compensation, dude you have big problems that you should probably see someone about.

But let’s break this down. To hurt someone with a sword, not even kill them, you have to be physically close to them, willing to look at them as you harm them, see the damage, gory, horrifying damage your weapon causes, and quite literally get their blood on your own hands. If it’s in a scabbard it’s not much more than a very clumsy club.

To hurt someone with a gun you don’t even have to be able to really see them. You can shoot them from across the room, street, hell with the right rifle across the whole fucking town. But it’s in a holster I hear you cry, are you 100% sure that the numbnut over there trying to fill his petrol car with diesel remembered to put the safety on? Are you certain he remembered to even uncock the damned thing before he holstered it? I ask because those things happen.

I would have to be built like Hulk Hogan to get a sword through even a plasterboard wall and still be able to get it to do much more than tickle the person on the other side. Seriously try it someday if you get the chance. On the other hand an accidentally discharged gun will make mincemeat of the wall, and anyone behind it, or a car door, or pretty much anything Hollywood has taught us is bulletproof.

Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t swords vs guns. And I am not anti-firearms. Have a gun for home defence, have a gun for hunting (and fucking eat what you kill.) Hell, have a gun just for target shooting. But don’t act as if you have this god given right to carry a fucking assault rifle in a crowded shop, where there are children who will learn from your bad example. Yup I’m making this about the kids.

I am left wondering though, how long after the first rifle is snatched from an utterly incompetent carrier and then used to mow down half the shoppers around him, will this law be reversed. I can see this coming. In fact I would say (Coming from a nation that was essentially in a civil war only a decade ago, where the combatants on both sides would have fucking LOVED this sort of law for all the opportunities for mayhem it would have supplied.) that now domestic terrorist groups in the States must be positively drooling with the possibilities this law has created for them.

All those easy to reach weapons, just slung over a shoulder by someone not really paying attention to what’s going on around them because lil Brittany is demanding a new dress. No need to carry a weapon in themselves, just window shop ’til you find the one you want, then boom, boom, BOOM!

(I’m writing this because some of the people I love most are in the States, and I’d really like for them not to get shot by some dipshit having a bad day.)

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10/09/2013

So I had this idea over the weekend.

In Ireland we have a big problem. We have all these “experts” who advise our political masters. Nothing unusual about that, every democratic nation has those. And there’s also nothing unusual about those advisers having their own political axe to grind.

No one half of the big problem we have is that not so long ago (5-ish years) a group of financial leaders knowingly lied through their teeth about how deep the financial hole they’d just walked in to actually was. We now know they knew precisely how bad it was, and that they played the government of the time like a cheap fiddle. Though that’s not to say that the government of the time weren’t just as bad in their own ways.

The other half of the big problem is that those fraudsters are most likely going to get away scot-free from this. They’ve stolen the futures of probably the next two generations of Irish people, and then in some cases walked away to a very comfortable early retirement and lovingly provided with nice golden parachutes to help keep them in their dotage. The poor dears. After all there’s nothing will make you more tired than knowingly defrauding an entire nation of dozens of billions of Euro’s of taxpayers money.

So my idea. Well, there I sat on the toilet, noisily evacuating my bowels when it suddenly hit me. Maybe it was the proximity to a large quantity of shite, maybe it was the rank smell of that same shite wafting gently on the breeze. I don’t really know. But one second I was thinking about how nice it would be to not have to spend most of every day on the toilet, the next second one word went running through my mind, screaming at the top of it’s lungs, while waving sparklers. That word?

Perjury.

Now this won’t work for falsehoods spoken in the past, but in the future it could maybe, just maybe, make our own shower of self-serving, lying scum-bags (certain political advisers, politicians, civic leaders of various stripes, senior bankers) think twice before they lie with utter blatancy. Lying knowing full-well that those lies will never come back to haunt them, beyond a little embarrassment here or there.

How about laying out a law that requires an oath of truthfulness of any adviser to any member of the government who is Cabinet level or higher? The same would go for anyone, anyone at all, speaking before either of the House of the Dáil.

That way if it is later proven that they have knowingly misled the State, or officers of the State well we can immediately put them somewhere secure. Where we can always find them if we need to ask them any probing questions while the reason for those lies are investigated by the police, NOT the government itself.

Sure it’ll mean having someone in Dáil Éireann, pretty much all the time, who can actually legally witness and record an Oath to the State. But hey, surely some civil servant in there has enough free-time to add that to their résumé.

Who knows maybe “National Officer of Oaths to the State.” could be a nice little feather in the cap in the future.

19/02/2013

Living in a golden age.

(This was written at 4am this morning in a fog of insomnia fueled exhaustion. So if it rambles a little please be patient.)

Recently a wonderful and horrifying thought struck me, that we are all in the western world, and almost certainly in other parts of the world also, living in a golden age. Now please do not take me up wrong on this. I’m not saying that we’re living in a perfect age, I fully acknowledge that there are still inequalities, wrongs, discrimination, hatred, and all the other seething pus that humanity always seems to spend a lot of it’s time floating on. But right now life, even in this second Great Depression, is for most people in the West blessed beyond the dreams or imaginations of even our grandparents at our ages.

Information is there for the taking, piped directly in to our homes, and on to our laps by the internet. Why I just spent the past few hours taking a very basic crash course in film-set lighting, something that even in my memory would have before required at minimum a very understanding librarian and a lot of patience.

Medical care is widely available. Now it’s far from perfect, and the right care may not always be readily available for the right person all the time, but for the vast majority of people (in Ireland, and the UK, America…WTF Dudes?!)  it is achievable.

The much maligned welfare state exists in many western countries, and through national conscience helps to keep those in trouble from finding themselves on the street. It’s not for nothing that it is sometimes referred to as a safety net.

Education is up until 3rd level guaranteed. Admittedly it is still up to the student to apply themselves, and make the most of that opportunity, but at least they get the chance.

Those last remaining ill-regarded, and unprotected minorities are finally gradually being cared for by states laws. Roll on the day some of the cutest lesbian and gay couples I know can throw simply fabulous weddings.

Compare a world where the “Emigrants Wake”, a sort of combined going-away party and funeral for the still living which was even in the 80’s a major part of Irish emigration, is not really needed anymore. Now we have Skype, email, telephones (mobile or good old-fashioned landline) in every home. Our loves who are a world away have never been so close. Where as even 30 years ago a family member leaving for the States meant at worst good chance of never seeing them again, and at best rarely hearing from them.

Add to this the fact that the European continent has never been at peace for so long. (Yes, I know there was a war in Serbia and Bosnia not all that long ago, it was terrible, and I can only imagine the pain that people from there still feel to this day. I’m speaking here of the larger European powers not being at each others throats for once, and Europe as a larger whole.)

Nuclear war has shrunk from an ever present worry, to a pale shadow of its past self. And while that particular genie is still out of his bottle, and will forever more haunt our species to some degree, at least for now we only have to worry about the U.S.A., North Korea, and China starting something, at least until the next time Russia decides that Empire is a good idea.

When I think about the world I live in today, and compare it to the world I lived in as a child, or even a teen I find myself filled with wonder, relief, and not a little fear.

Wonder because the world has become wonderful in ways I never imagined. The internet, somewhat affordable air travel (for now at least), the freedom to publicly love whoever I wish regardless of their gender, HIV becoming to some degree a chronic illness rather than a death sentence. Hell even the small things like my entire music collection fitting in one pocket, while 1,200 books fit in the other is something beyond my own imagination as a child, but most days I walk around with a small library music and literature in my pockets.

Relief because the older ways of thinking are gradually, painfully being erased, and I for one don’t worry about the pain, a little pain isn’t a bad thing, it helps you to appreciate the joy that follows. In my own life I’ve seen Europe become a (somewhat fractious) whole, the power of corrupt religions called in to question, and the voices of the abused, tortured and raped finally heard. Of course those with the power doing something about it…well that will take some more time, and possibly a liberal application of cattle-prods. But I have genuinely seen life get better in my own lifetime. I’ve experienced it get better for me personally.

But I’m also experiencing fear at what I’ve called a Golden Age, perhaps I should have said “start of a Golden Age”. You’ve heard it said I’m sure, that to all things there is a time, and the sort of progress we’ve only just really started making is fragile. The wrong person in the wrong position of authority, and it could all come crashing down. The wrong act by the wrong well-meaning madman and we find ourselves at each others throats yet again. The very human tendency to say “that’s good enough”, when we should be saying “That’s a good start”, could lead us in to stagnation, and then in to decay.

Humans are still just a blip in history. Our whole history as a species is microscopic compared to our worlds story. And nanoscopic compared to the universe as a whole. But even in that short blip so many human societies have experienced their Golden Ages, lived without noticing, without seizing the potential that was offered. I truly fear that this chance to achieve greatness might be lost too.

But for this moment, right now, I’m going to concentrate on being happy that I live in a time of wonders. So those memories will sustain me if the time of collapse comes while I still live.

23/06/2012

I hate inheritance stuff.

Recently my mom wrote her will. I should actually say that she finally wrote her will after almost 5 years of my chasing her to do so. I wanted to have some legal certainty in what her wishes were in case of her death, and for there not to be a massive family shitstorm.

So during the phone conversation where she told me what it contained she mentioned that I’m to have all her jewelery. You’d think I’d be overjoyed. And I am, though not for the reasons you might expect.

I am of course delighted that my grand-aunts wedding ring will come to me, and not end up dropping into the familial aether. She was more  my grandmother than anyone else, and her husband is in many ways who I compare all men to (if you knew him you’d understand why so few ever match up), and I love the idea of having a solid piece of that part of her life in my possession to remember them both by. It also turns out that my mom is delighted that I want it, she’d worried that I wouldn’t want it at all. Silly Mom!

It also of course clears up her wishes about the family home, the disposal of her corpse, and all the rest.

But even though I was the one chasing her to do this, I hate it. I hate that she has a will because it makes me acknowledge that one of these days my mom will die. Mom is 60 now, almost 61. And she’s a very young 60. My Partner in Crime’s granddaughter actually refuses to believe that she is my mom because she’s too young. But like the rest of us she’s not getting any younger, and I don’t have to like that.

During the early years of our time together, I helped my PiC to get over the loss of both of her parents. I saw what it did to her. I’ve buried a lot of friends, and a lot of family over the years. I have a pretty good idea of what losing my mom will do to me. And the knowledge that she has her Will made out only drives that I won’t always have her more forcefully home to me.

So yeah, I’m very glad she has a Will. To me like voting, having an airtight Will is just common sense, and a duty to both yourself everyone around you. But I don’t have to like it, or what it means for one to exist.

16/07/2011

A few more thoughts on the clerical abuse of children in Ireland.

I’m worried that something fundamental has been missed in all the dust from both the Cloyne Report and all the previous reports into clerical abuse in Ireland.  These bishops, who took direction to pervert the course of Irish justice, did so on the orders of the ruling head of a foreign nation. Think about that, they ignored Irish law, the law of the nation they supposedly claim citizenship of.  Surely that is an act tantamount to being treasonous. A direct betrayal of the nation and people of Ireland, at the behest of a foreign power.

That being the case perhaps that, is the route to take with non-pedophile leaders within Ireland’s church. Simply strip them of their  Irish citizenship and expel them back to their master in the Vatican city. After seizing any, and all goods belonging to them personally for redistribution to those who their acts have directly harmed.

In addition why have we not officially rebuked the Vatican? Surely a just response to their interference with the internal affairs of another sovereign nation would be to cut all diplomatic ties for a set period of time.  Then if necessary forcibly remove them and their mouth pieces from all positions of authority in our nations system of education?

As for the pedophile priests themselves and in fact all pedophiles, life sentences, life meaning life.  Pedophilia is not a curable illness, they do not get cured. There are cases in the U.S. of convicted pedophiles who have been chemically castrated, self injecting with testosterone to get around their treatment.  That being so they should on conviction be held indefinitely, in a facility capable of keeping them separated from all children, for the rest of their natural lives.

There are those who would say this is an extreme and cruel punishment, well let me say as an abuse survivor, it is not.  Child abuse is murder.  Plain and simple.  The person that child was, the person they might have been is killed over the course of one abusive act.  They will never again be the same.  The person they become will never feel whole and will never be truly okay ever again.  It is the most heinous act that can be perpetrated upon a child.  Actual murder would be almost kind in comparison, at least their suffering is done, but the abuse survivor never stops hurting.  It will often be the first and the last thing they think of each day.  It will prey on their minds, fill them with fear and dread when they go to any location, where they might conceivably see their abuser.  Often they will never lead fulfilling adult lives, often the most normal and natural parts of life, will have been soured and destroyed for them.  And worse still their families will usually suffer the after effects with them.

Every time there is a new revelation about the clerical sex abuse of young children, there is talk about recompense, but little is done beyond a weakly worded letter to the Vatican.  A letter which the Vatican then promptly ignores.  If Ireland wants to be seen as a truly civilised, modern nation, then surely we should be seen to act to protect our children and where justified avenge those who have been failed in the past.  That is what a mature nation should do, protect the young.  While making it clear to the entire world, and any who would shelter those who abuse our children, that if you harm our youths, we won’t respond with a letter.  Instead we will as one united nation, respond in a legally defined way, that will amount to a complete disaster, brought down upon your representatives who perform or cover up any such act.

14/07/2011

The Cloyne report – a few thoughts.

I delayed writing todays post until some of the dust could settle after yesterdays release of the report into child sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese.  This report is one, which has a great impact on me personally.  You see I grew up in that diocese.  I can be absolutely certain that I knew at least one of the priests it refers directly to.  And I believe, strongly believe that it may have missed something crucially important in their investigation.

So to start at the beginning.  While I grew up in the Cloyne diocese and attended a Catholic run school, I of course had massive exposure to the local priesthood and occasional exposure to Bishop Magee.  While the priests by in large were a less than memorable casting call of insignificant men, Bishop Magee seemed, to me at least, to be precisely what a bishop should be.  He seemed to be well read, erudite, incredibly intelligent, charming, compassionate and above all a man with a real connection to his flock.  Well as it turns out  I was mostly right.  Though you would have to remove compassionate and connected, while adding the descriptions cowardly and lying, to that list after yesterdays revelations.

I often think that most of the kids and teenagers in my hometown, had some idea that there was a lot of child abuse happening.  There were a lot of very, messed up young people around us.  But for myself I didn’t have some idea, I knew for certain.  After all I was being abused myself.

I’m not going to go into detail on what happened.  To be clear though, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me.  I changed me forever.  And despite my not being abused by a priest, it has cemented my thinking on this subject.  Why?  Well because one of my abusers was one of those specially chosen lay-people who are called on by the church in their locality to perform specific acts.  Acts such as presenting the Host to the faithful at Mass.

This is where I believe that the Cloyne report may well have missed something.  Not acts by priests but acts of abuse perpetrated by senior members of the laity covered up by abusive priests.

I’ll tell a little story to illustrate.

One of the men who abused me was a primary school teacher, a senior leader in what used to be the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland and as I said a layperson who at Mass would give the Host to the congregation.  The latter being an act typically performed by a priest.  He was immensely well-regarded and respected in the local community.  He had also been actively abusing young boys for decades.

One Summer while on camp in West Cork with the scouts, he took myself and five other scouts out to set up some event for later in the day.  On the way back we all dropped by a former senior priest from my home town.  I remember that priest very well, you see he had the most beautiful, gentle and affectionate pedigree Dalmatian.  The dog was adored by most of the children in the town, the priest was widely suspected of interfering with children by the adults.  Over the course of an hour I saw a very close friendship between the man who was abusing me, and a priest whose true identity I am certain, absolutely certain is shrouded under a pseudonym in the Cloyne Report.

In the end the man who was abusing me was eventually caught when he raped a young boy with Down Syndrome, on the grounds of the primary school my brother and I were educated in and went on to serve prison time as a result.   I was never psychologically able to bring forward a case, but we’ll get to that another time.  But the day he was finally imprisoned I cried for hours with relief, you see up until that day I was scared to leave my home most of the time.  In case I would see him.

He was found guilty and imprisoned, during and after the court case, it was widely known that after a police investigation there were dozens of complaints against him.  There was absolutely no doubt as to his guilt.  And yet, during the case, the principal of the primary school, a Christian Brother, and at least one priest of the parish would go on to give testimony applauding his character.

What I fear most from the Cloyne report is not what is now known, it’s what may have been missed in the investigators, completely understandable, tunnel vision.  You see that day in West Cork I learned something important about human beings in general and pedophiles in particular.

Human beings create communities, it’s our great strength as a species.  However, as we all know well from the numberous reports of pedophile rings, they also form communities.  And those communities will usually go to extreme lengths, to protect their own.  So I sit here sickened by the acts of these men, these would be leaders of their faithful, and terrified by that prospect that these abusers may well have hidden the heinous acts of others like themselves, who were not men of the cloth.

16/04/2011

A very Irish form of apartheid.

Ireland in many ways is a very odd country.  Mostly it manifests itself in harmless idiosyncrasies. But just occasionally it comes out in the form of certain “harmless” traditions.  The worst of these comes in the form of our tradition of forced indoctrination, otherwise known as baptism.

Yes I do realise that I am painting a big target on my back by posting this, but there are things that need to be said.  I was, like most people in the Irish state, given no choice in my faith as a child.  At a very tender age, when the highlight of any day was finding something new to chew and suck on, I was baptised into a cult which some people, myself included, now see as an illegal organisation, the Catholic church.  This act immediately opened up for me a vast panorama of opportunities for both education and abuse.

Now while this post, could so easily turn into just another church bashing exercise, that is not what I wish to speak about today.  Instead I want to call into question what I have already named “forced indoctrination”.  I also want to speak about how the integration of faith and state leads not to equality, but instead to some citizens being more equal than others.

Let us start then with the children.  An Irish child baptised into the Catholic faith is certain to receive a relatively good primary education. An education which their parents will most like approve of.  Mixed in with the lessons on maths, Irish, English and all the other essentials of a good Irish education will be catechism.  Half an hour per day of being taught how to be a good Catholic.  Leaving aside the fact that this, 2.5 hours of class time would probably be better spent making sure the child is actually literate, what does it say about Ireland?

It certainly shows how deep the concept of faith is ingrained into our society.  When you consider that other countries, the USA being a prime example, consider the religious education of children to be the parents responsibility, it does shed light on an unsettling fact about Ireland.  Ireland is still a Catholic nation.

Of course this is rubbish.  Ireland has always had and always will have its atheists, protestants, muslims, jews and pagans.  But you only have to look at our laws and the constitution from which they spring to see the special position granted to Catholicism by our nation.  Many people in Ireland will say “So what?”

To those people I say this, think back to your days in school.  Did you even know one person who wasn’t a Catholic?  I know I didn’t.  In fact it wasn’t until my early teens, when I started to travel around Ireland that, I came into contact with fellow Irish citizens, people who believed in our shared  country as fervently as I do but who were of any other faith.  Even then, it was a year or so before I came to realise that many of them were by virtue of how Ireland is structured, second class citizens.  And that the separation which existed then between me and them was founded on my forced indoctrination to a faith which in all truth and honesty I had never believed in.

These days after my removal from the register of baptisms,  I am an odd sort of Pagan.  I believe in all the gods who have ever been spoken of.  It just happens that one specific god has better public relations these days than any of the others.  But while I have no problem with the existence of a Judo-Islamic-Christian god, I see the Torah, Koran and Bible as nothing more than extraordinarily long-lived works of fantastical fiction combined with half-baked philosophy. Something akin to The Lord of the Rings, but with added rules.  They are not holy texts to me, in my life no text is holy.  But if I someday am forced to give evidence in court, or am otherwise expected to give sworn testimony, I will by virtue of how Ireland is run be required to swear on some book that to me is nothing but fiction.

What is all this leading to?  A few questions actually, I don’t claim to have answers which would work for anyone else.

(The following questions are not intended just for use on the Catholic faith, insert the faith of your choice and the same questions should apply equally.)

How is it moral to drop a child, who can not consent, in to a faith not of their own choosing?

How is it moral to then while they are still too young to comprehend what they are undertaking, expect them to take part in further ceremonies intended to tie them for life to that same faith, again a faith not of their own choosing?

How can it be right for the vast majority of schooling in any country to be run by one faith, who insist on forcing over two hours of further indoctrination on their young impressionable students? (Admittedly this is finally changing, but it is a disgrace to our nation that the Catholic church has had this power for so long.)

Why isn’t the practice of an individuals faith something which is only undertaken in their own private life, period?

But most of all, how can we call ourselves a free nation, a nation built on the concept of universal equality, when one faith is enshrined in our laws?

How can I as someone who does not share that faith, feel that I have an equal voice in my own country, when the laws by which I must live  my life by, give voice to notions which belong to that church?

How can I not feel that I am somehow segregated from my fellow citizens, when if I swear to give good evidence I can not simply state, “On my honour as a citizen in good standing, I swear to answer all questions with truth to the very utmost of my ability.” and have my word of honour be my bond?  Doing this while understanding that my fate, if I should perjure myself will be the same as that of my fellow citizen who took their oath on a bible.

In modern Ireland we live as a segregated nation.  Some of the forms of separation are blatantly obvious, such as the different rights for heterosexual and same-sex couples.  However some of the ways in which we are held apart from our fellow country men are subtle and insidious. As subtle as an atheist/pagan swearing on what is to them a work of fiction, but having to hold a straight face while they do so, to save the sensitivities of people on the inside from being bruised, by those who live their lives on the outside.

09/04/2011

Corrib Gas Rape Comments.

On Tuesday I promised a post on what is being called by some the “Rape Tape”, which surfaced after two protesters were given back their video camera earlier this week, and here it is.  The facts are still very much unchanged.  Two women, one of them a foreign national, were arrested for public order offenses.  They had a video camera with them, this camera was seized and put into a different police car.  When they were later released the video camera was returned.  Later, when going through the recordings, they found a conversation between the two Garda had been accidentally recorded.  During the course of this conversation between the two men, “jokes”, about the foreign national being raped were made.  Since then the Garda Ombudsman and the Irish police force themselves, have both launched unconnected investigations.

So what is there to say about this sorry affair?

Well firstly let’s get one thing out-of-the-way.  Despite what many people seem to think, I don’t see how this can be seen as a criminal act.  The two police officers making the comments were in a different car to the two women, so there were no direct threats, nor would any rational person believe that these two foolish men actually intended to rape the woman in question.  There is however definitely, a view-point that this is ripe territory for a disciplinary case.

The simple fact that police officers were acting as guardians of the nations peace while making these comments would seem grounds enough for disciplinary actions to be taken.  After all being a police officer is not like any other job, when a police officer pulls on their uniform they take on a special responsibility to protect anyone inhabiting this small island, regardless of their nationality.  It is not out-of-order to then expect, Caesars wife to be above reproach.  Put simply if you choose to become a police officer, in any country, you should and indeed must be held to a higher standard. Otherwise how can the inhabitants of any nation trust, that when they go to the police for help they will actually receive help and not ridicule?

That being the case there is simply no allowing for the excuse that the two Garda were just being “a couple of lads messing around”.  Nor is there any allowance to be made that they are in a stressful job, while they wear a uniform that represents all the citizens of a nation their individual stress levels don’t come into it.   If they’re stressed then they should deal with it while off duty, not by making inappropriate jokes.

Though I have to point out that the idea of the police in Belmullet having a stressful job is rather comical to begin with.  I lived in that area for a few years and let me tell you something.  To call Belmullet a one horse town would be a profound insult to genuine one horse towns, seeing as in Belmullet they probably shot the poor horse out of boredom.  If there is one place in Ireland where policing would be low stress, west Mayo, so far west that the next parish is New York, is that place.

So yes the two men who acted like complete idiots, who brought the uniform they wear and the oaths they both took into disrepute absolutely should face a hearing.  They should be censured, they should face grade reductions, fines and if they are not removed from the Force, exile to somewhere even less desirable than Belmullet.  But the greatest effects of this affair should be felt within the structure of the Irish police.  Though what those effects should be I will leave to other greater minds to work out.

The other side of this issue is the fact that the two women who were arrested, must also face the consequences for their own actions.  They did breach the peace, they did trespass, they are most likely guilty of several public order offenses.  What those two officers said does not wipe that slate clean.  And while yes in this country you have the right to protest, you do not have the right to break the law while doing so.  This seems to be an issue which has escaped the notice of many commentators on this topic over the last few days.  Two wrongs do not cancel each other out, only justice, real justice not mob justice nor justice by whoever shouts the loudest, in each individual case leaves us with a correctly balanced outcome and fairness for all.

05/04/2011

Snippet Post – Gardai in Mayo joking about raping protester

Having just woken up, I read with absolute horror this story. If you haven’t heard the facts so far, two women were arrested for public order offences at a protest in connection with the Corrib gas project.  In the process of making the arrest, two male Gards seized a video camera.  The camera was apparently still recording when they placed it in the front of the patrol car with themselves.  During the ride from the protest back to the Belmullet police station, the two men were heard joking about deporting and raping one of the women.  This link leads to the video itself.  I am posting the link in this way so that those for whom it may be triggering do not have to be confronted by it.

With one side of my family being from Belmullet in west Mayo, the realisation that this may be representative of their police protection, has only made me feel worse about this story.  After all these are the people who are supposed to protect to the public.  They are not supposed to act in this way.

However, in order to be fair and as an independent investigation has only just started, with more details are sure to come out in the next few days, I will write about it in some detail either Thursday or Saturday.  I would rather write something about this once the dust has settled somewhat, so I will be able  to post a much more thoughtful and less knee-jerk reaction.

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