Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Should it become law as intended on December 1 next , The Irish Extradition Act will adversely affect the rights of many Irish citizens in the future .
COLM KEENA examines the implications of proposed legislation .
From 'In Dublin' magazine , 1 October 1987 .

Ireland was one of two countries which did not sign the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism in 1977 , because the provisions for allowing extradition for political offences was then repugnant to the State Constitution : this changed with the State Supreme Court rulings in relation to the McGlinchey case , where the nature of a political offence was 'redefined' .

Now , says Professor Mary McAleese , this 'Act' " ....copperfastens a process that has been diluting the extradition arrangements in this country . Five years ago this Act would have been an immense step . Now it is not . '

The 'Act' also far exceeds anything which would have been required by our signing the Convention Against Terrorism Bill ; in fact , as the Anti-Extradition Committee point out , the 'Act' is perhaps the most extreme in all of Europe - ' is not at all unusual to demand that the foreign jurisdiction give prima facie evidence ; it would not have been outrageous for Ireland to do so . It might make the process of extradition a bit more difficult , but the highest possible rights should be given to the individual concerned . '

The 'Extradition Act' was drawn up by Garret FitzGerald's Fine Gael and Labour Coalition Government : now Fine Gael's Peter Barry was saying that there has not been enough progress in the North to justify the Act's coming into power .... !

" I have been prepared to die for long many a year . I don't wish to die , but at the end of the day no one will force their opinion down my throat . No one . "
On August 29 , 1996 , shortly before the 'Combined Loyalist Military Command's' death threat against him expired , EMER WOODFUL interviewed LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT in his Portadown home .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .

Emer Woodful : " What do you hope for your children ? "
Billy Wright : " That there would be peace and reconciliation , and that this country (sic) would flourish . "

Emer Woodful : " Are you prepared for any compromise to get to peace , because I cannot see any in there at all ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , that's because you don't know me , dear , you don't know me . I lived in South Armagh ; I lived among nationalist people , I grew up with them , I had no difficulty with them . If only the IRA and Sinn Fein would recognise our right to exist , ('1169...' Comment - the loyalist/unionist 'right to exist' was not then , nor is it now , the issue : the claim from Westminster over part of this isle was , and still is , the issue . Billy Wright and those like him put themselves 'out on a limb' by , in some cases , attempting to enforce that jurisdictional claim by the use of force) to be British , ('1169....' Comment : they have always been free to , as is their right , consider themselves 'British' if that is what they want - but they fail to recognise that they are 'British' people living in Ireland , not living in a part of the 'UK' ) then I believe the two communities could come together , and a new form of life within a British context could evolve . ('1169....' Comment - the minority of people living on this isle who consider themselves 'British' are , as stated , welcome to continue to describe themselves as such , if they want . And if that is what they consider a 'British context' , then so be it . But the jurisdictional claim must be removed by Westminster , as that is a "British context" which Republicans consider repulsive) I understand when you say how the unionist community feels under threat , but at the end of the day you have the democratic process , and there is no threat if the numbers democratically say 'no , we don't want this' . ('1169...' Comment - "the numbers" he means the majority of a minority) Now , please - don't insult us . We have the Framework Document , and we've had calls for it to be imposed , and indeed paragraph 47 states that it should be imposed . What's democratic about that ? Please don't tell us that nothing will be imposed . "

Emer Woodful : " You have told me that you are someone who could envisage compromise . Tell me where . "
Billy Wright : " Well , I recognise there are difficulties within Northern Ireland , (sic) and that if the constitutional issue was solved , that parade issue and similar things like that could be settled without the underlying threat of it being more devious than what it appears . "
(Tomorrow - 'ON THE TAKE' : from 1998.)

This is the bulk of a public lecture given at University College , Galway , by Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle member and Deputy General Secretary of the 'Local Government and Public Services Union' , Phil Flynn , on December 8th 1982 , the 60th Anniversary of the Free State's execution of Liam Mellows .
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .

" In our efforts now to win back public support to the Republic we are forced to recognise - whether we like it or not - that the commercial interest so-called : money and the gombeenman - are on the side of the Treaty , because the Treaty means imperialism and England . We are back to Tone - and it is just as well - relying on that great body , 'the men of no property' . The 'stake in the country' people were never with the Republic - they are not with it now and they will always be against it . Until it wins !

We should recognise that definitely now , and base our appeals upon the understanding and needs of those who have always borne Ireland's fight . Even though the decision of the election in 1918 stands ; even though the Declaration of Independence remains a fact ; even though the election of 1921 re-affirmed that Declaration ; even though the election of June 1922 was an 'agreed election' at which no issue was put or decided ; because of the interpretation put upon it by the Treatyites it is essential that the Republic be once again re-affirmed by the people , by vote , as soon as possible .

When that may be no one can tell , but we cannot look too far ahead . In the meantime the Provisional Republican Government should endeavour to carry-on . "