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Eoin Rice in High Court: 2pm Wednesday 25th. Feb

category national | crime and justice | feature author Tuesday February 24, 2004 20:39author by Edward Horgan - Peace and Neutrality Allianceauthor email edward_horgan at hotmail dot comauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-2380911 Report this post to the editors

Solidarity Protest at Court for Hunger Striker for Justice

From The Newswire: "Eoin Rice will have been on hunger strike for thirteen days when he appears in the High Court on a writ of Habeus Corpus seeking his release from Limerick Prison. He was jailed by Judge Mangan on 12 Feb for refusing to accept the Banner Judge's decision to ban Eoin from entering Co. Clare.

Eoin was initially arrested for alleged dangerous driving of a stationary car while asleep, and while the car was parked in a lay-by near Shannon airport on Dec 6th 2003, and other alleged offences. He has been before the courts for mention and remand in the meantime on 18 Dec, 8 Jan, 12 Feb and 18 Feb. On 12 Feb Judge Mangan on his own volition and without a request from the Gardai imposed the additional bail condition of banning Eoin Rice from entering Co Clare. This condition has already been imposed on most peace activists who come before Judge Mangan, and in addition, Aer Rianta have attempted to impose a similar ban on 22 of the original Shannon Peace Camp members, from entering Shannon airport.

While the Aer Rianta attempted ban is a civil matter, the Gardai have also attempted to intervene to enforce it and this matter is the subject of a separate complaint to the Garda Complaints Commission. We urge all peace activists to come to the High Court at 2 pm on Wed 25 Feb in solidarity with Eoin Rice.

By appalling coincidence on Sunday 22 Feb, Donald Rumsfeld appeared at Shannon addressing US on their way to Iraq. Some of these troops were believed to have been armed while in the terminal building, and all were believed to have been carrying weapons and munitions with them on the aircraft. At least one of the US troops may have been guilty of stealing a roll of Aer Rianta toilet paper, which act appears to have been caught on camera by a Reuters photographer. While this is not a serious crime, killing up to 30,000 innocent people in Iraq is a crime against humanity as well of course as a crime of murder against each of these victims. The crime of complicity for these crimes now rests with all Irish people because we failed to prevent our government for allowing these troops and munitions through Shannon airport.

Eoin Rice, and other peace activists at least tried in their own small but significant ways to bring these crimes to the attention of the proper authorities. Like many just whistle-blowers, he was victimised and jailed. Ireland's neutrality and sovereignty has been violated and abused by the passage of a massive US army through our airport and territory. Of more importance of course is the violation of the lives and limbs of all those innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan. There has been no protest by the Irish Government about Rumsfeld's abuse of Shannon Airport on Sunday last. Even the opposition have been silent. They are more concerned with agreeing with McDowell on preventing new members of the EU from coming to Ireland. Shame on all who have remained silent for whatever reason and who continue to remain silent.

Eoin Rice, Fintan Lane, Mary Kelly, Nuria Dunne, the Catholic Workers, The Shannon Peace Camp activists, and a few others, too few, will continue to speak out regardless of threats and difficulties imposed on us. Shame on those in the media who fail to provide balanced reporting on Ireland's complicity in the Iraq war. Please make your voice heard in the cause of peace and justice, tomorrow and always."

Edward Horgan

Statement from Eoin in Limerick Prison:
Shannon Warport Update:

author by pcpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

somebody was it eoin wrote that you couldn' t internally exile some (for political reasons did he say)
or just flat out you couldn't internally exile someone,
ya thnink you should tell the boy who it is reported in today indo is being banned from the city centre cos he getting in trouble to often....

it often seems pointless quoting these international human rights laws when things like our neutrality in so well inforced aswell

the inndo reported on eoin, but unfortunately ( i think this was bad reporting not deliberate) they said he was arrested for public order nad dangerous driving following a blockade at shannon....
which sorta makes ya think he did this supposed dangerous driving during the blockade not the night before....

author by Chekov - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There were about 30 supporters at the four courts for Eoin's hearing. Most of them crammed into the benches of court 6 to hear the proceedings themselves, while a couple of brave and hardy souls stayed outside in the biting cold to hand out leaflets and tend to the large collection of homemade placards.

The hearing itself was a non-event. The judge surveyed the warrant and quickly came to the conclusion that he could not make a ruling in this case for legal reasons. I'm no legal expert but my understanding of the argument is this: Eoin's brief had issued proceedings of habeus corpus against the governor of Limerick prison. The judge stated that , since the warrant was in order, he was actually being asked for a judicial review and in that case it was counsel for the state / gardai who should have been present rather than counsel for the prison governor. He then said that he couldn't hear the case since the other side was missing.

The judge then asked Eoin's barrister for his argument and was met with an embarressed silence. I have never seen a barrister struck dumb like that before. He reminded me of a schoolchild who had failed to learn his homework. Eventually he meekly agreed to the judge's finding.

The judge informed the court that since the warrant was in order, he would not make a ruling on the application to release Eoin and advised the barrister that he should follow the normal procedure and submit an application for judicial review to the court in Clover Hill on Monday. The whole thing took no more than 5 minutes.

Eoin, who was looking thin and jaundiced after a spell without food was then shackled in a type of extra-restricive handcuffs (where the hands are joined by a solid metal bar rather than a flexible chain). He was led out of the court by a garda and the crowd of supporters followed him.

As we left the courtroom the supporters spontaneously started clapping and followed him throught the corridors of the court intensifying the clapping as they went. By the time we got to the lobby of the building the noise levels were intense and the clapping was kept up until after Eoin was led up a stairway and out of our sight. There were a few cries of 'No Justice here" and "Anti-war activist on hunger strike" as the various gardai and security people looked on in amazement at the cheek, but there were too many people for them to even attempt to stop it. Once the clapping and shouts died down we all moved out on to the road for some photos and discussion.

There were a few rumours running around outside that he would be able to get his case heard tomorrow, but they are as yet just rumourts. All in all, it seems that this was a bit of a cock up on the part of the legal team, but it was still a good show of support by anti-war activists. There were people present from many of the anti-war groups around the country, many of whom had travelled to Dublin especially for this case.

author by Duinepublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 16:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Eoin,
T meas agam ort. Tuigim go bhfuil t in aghaidh cogaidh is maraithe.
Ach tuige go bhfuil t ag baint said as na beartanna channa .i. gorta a chur ort fin is t a chur ar shala do bhis?
Nr bhfearrde duit do shaol is do bheatha a chaitheamh ar son na beochta?

author by Joseph Manganpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the Black Pope


author by Anti-war Jimmypublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No SP/SWP/IAWM members were at the protest. Anti-war activists were able to travel from Galway, Limerick and other far flung places, but the 200m from Henrietta st and Thomas st was just too far. Meanwhile we have the SP/SWP giving out to the CAWC for splitting and damaging the unity of the movement.

author by paul cpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

at hte cours to support eoin
but as with the catholic workers courts appearance im in college at the time im sure there more their in support only for work etc

author by Anonymouspublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The judge then asked Eoin's barrister for his argument and was met with an embarressed silence. I have never seen a barrister struck dumb like that before. He reminded me of a schoolchild who had failed to learn his homework. Eventually he meekly agreed to the judge's finding."

What the hell is goin on here!!?? Has a cheap skate amateur barrister been hired for Eoin or what? He needs a much better defence than this if he is to stand any chance.

I hope pictures etc. are being sent to the papers.

He's gona have to get off this hunger strike soon.

author by Idiotpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ed Wrote: 'The crime of complicity for these crimes now rests with all Irish people because we failed to prevent our government for allowing these troops and munitions through Shannon airport.'

Bah humbug, this is the sort of pig headed tarring that you expect from the patriot act not from the 'thinking' left. Sorry to tell you but the world isn't so black and white and you blurring the meaning of 'complicity' and downgrading it to the status of a passive crime helps no-one except those who seek to score points against the left.

Try to think about things before you write, and 'Chekov' they always use those handcuffs when transporting to court, it wasn't a special punishment (but you already knew that you just had to sex it up).

author by slow handclapperpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Saw him represent Eoin Dubsky aeons ago down the country. It is Eoin's solicitor who would appear to be at fault or perhaps Eoin Himself. It is their job to brief the barrister as to what they want done.

I hope Eoin quits the hunger strike now or at least at his next court appearance which should take place on Monday. He should be saving his energy for running rings around the Police in his many upcoming Court Appearances. It just suits Mangan and whoever gave him his instructions re Clareban to have Eoin wasting away while the whole affair inevitably drags itsself out over a long period of time.

he's going to have to sicken considerably before any word of his plight is likely to make it in a meaningful way to the general public and it is just not worth it. Jail - yes - making yourself sick to little avail to prove a point - no.

Courts are great venues for speaking out - but only if you have the energy . If you haven't they will sap your soul.

Nice Shannon reunion BTW - all the wranboys and girls present and correct.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And is doing a lot for the anti war cause. I find myself wondering why it is that if the "other side" failed to show up for the case Eoin is penalized by being kept longer in gaol?

Is it because his counsel failed to summon the wrong people or did the State fail to send the right people?

Why is Eoin in such restrictive shackles?

It is amazing that this isn't receiving more attention (actually it isn't: the media is boring, uninformative misinformation in general and they're not going to cover an interesting story like an Irish pacifist protesting against an illegal USAF presence in Ireland being jailed for refusing an improper bail condition over a case that involves an allegation of dangerous driving in a parked car. Watch instead for the cutting edge journalism about Cecilia Larkin's garbage or the colour of Bertie's new ties. Well done the press).

Thank Gob for Indymedia.ie

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I did not know that they always transfer prisoners in those special handcuffs (and still don't because shocking as it may seem I don't automatically believe the comments made by 'idiot' on indymedia). I included that detail as the scene of seeing a less than healthy Eoin being shackled in such a manner made an impression on me. If I did know that they always use these handcuffs I would still have included the detail. The account that I wrote was as factual as I could make it (I'm not a court reporter and couldn't understand every detail of the case). If you have any corrections to make, let's have them, that is the purpose of indymedia's comments. But I'd say that you aren't interested in any of that, you just want to throw a few snide insults my way.

author by as do many other lazy journospublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why is the press so sssscared? It's a fucked up country. The following boring compilation of facts could get IMC IRL Sued: My god mangan could sue any journo in the mainstream press for printing virtually anything factual about Eoin's case. 'Denis O'Brien would appear to be using his non resident status to avoid having to pay any tax in the country. They have been in contact with him on the subject of his gains from the Esat Fiasco. The Revenue never carry out any checks to determine how much time he spends in the country.'

author by redjadepublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you, Owen.

The Four Courts
The Four Courts

Related Link: http://redjade.alturl.com
author by redjadepublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you Owen.






Related Link: http://redjade.alturl.com
author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chekov: The "idiot" assumes that you, like himself, spends a lot of time around the courts and gardai as is necessitated by his job.

As do many other: probably you are correct, but you'd think there'd be some spark of courage and morality in these people. Why bother being a journalist otherwise. They must have had a dream of telling the truth at some stage?

author by davidpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

basically, the people who get to be journalists are those who have such an indoctrinated world view that they refuse to see the truth when it is shown to them (either that or they're deirdre tynan esq quivering wrecks tryin to pay off their student loans and prosituting themselves to put food on the table.

The judge said something like ' he couldnt see what the rush is gettin Eoin released, lets try another bail hearing on monday' (nowhere near a direct quote)
What kind of empathy does this man have? forcing a totally innocent man to spend another 5 days in jail or give up his deeply held principles (reminiscant of the protestant soup kitchens demanding the irish renounce their religion for crumbs to survive)

author by Frank Gallenpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 22:03author email gallenf at tcd dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why people should realise that the US has done the Iraqi people a favour, even if the way they went about doing it was questionable.
In reference to the above article,

Does the fact that Saddam Hussein murdered many many more than the 30,000 Iraqis that you claim the Americans killed, not constitute, to quote this ridiculously one sided article, "a crime against humanity as well of course as a crime of murder against each of these victims"?

I find it curious and yet typical of people like you that this is never mentioned in articles by so-called left-wing socialists.

If you are so genuinely concerned for the welfare of the Iraqi people, why were you not campaigning for them between the Gulf wars when Saddam killed thousands of Shia muslims in Basra, as well as thousands of others.

I am not saying that the way America went about deposing Hussein was correct, but I think that this should be overlooked for one second, and you should realise that the Americans and British have done the Iraqi people a massive favour?

Frank Gallen.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 23:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you have posted your message on the irish site of the international Indymedia movement.
If you check the archives of this site and the other sites in the network you will find ample evidence of the unassuaging protests mounted against Saddam Hussein's tyranny.
Ireland did not have a diplomatic mission in Iraq and accordingly there was no Iraqi consular or diplomatic mission in the state to "protest". However there was held every thursday a small but vocal demonstration held on whitehall opposite downing st in Westminster London. This weekly demonstration called consistently for several changes:-
1. the end to sanctions which were ineffectual in that they did not limit Saddam's tyranny and rather further fueled his power.
2. the end to the political isolation of Kurds and the opening of proper international tribunals on the chemical attack on the Kurdish peoples. Something that now the USA as custodian of Hussein must bear responsibility for.
3. the end to the Baath dictatorship.

I refer you Mr Gallen to the search facilities of indymedia uk and indymedia new york city for further confirmation of those campaigns and the support which we in the indymedia community gave them. If you feel that certain left-wing elements (in ireland) did not support those efforts you should specify which left-wing elements and address your concerns to those political entities and desist from perpetuating this fallacy that "we did not oppose Saddam".
From the end of september 2003, a banner was hung in central Barcelona (the city that percapita mobilised the most of it's citizens in democratic protest against the ilegal war on Iraq) next to the second most photographed architectural delight in that city which quite clearly said "ni Bush, ni Saddam, ni guerra", I think even non-catalan readers would recognise that message as "neither Bush nor Saddam nor War".
When you have checked the record, come back and argue "with facts" your case.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org
author by soundmigrationpublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 23:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

no one would suggest that saddam was not a brutal dictator. the question posed that iraq, or the people living in iraq of all persuasions are better off now is a hypothectical one, open to conjecture and alot more. what is not in question is the fact that the US and UK governments actively and covertly supported the dictator at the time of his most 'effective' murdering moments. US and UK firms armed hussien and traded chemical and biological information for cash, this knowledge was put to use murdering iraqis and iranians.
it is not just the 'method' used to dispose of hussien, but the absolute moral vacuum in which acts of mass murder are conducted under the auspices of creating peace, when the real consideration are ones of expanding commercial interests being threatened by the very monsters created at an earlier date for the exact same commercial/political reasons.

if i told the world i killed someone because they where a real threat and that person was a murderer, some section of society would quietly or not so quietly support my actions and may think the world is indeed a safer place....
if in reality my reasoning for murdering that same brutal person was for the continued growth of my own personal beliefs and gain, and i have shown that i was willing to act independantly, pre-emptively and without concern for the expressed desire of the rest of the population, how could it possible that the world would be a safer place as a result of my actions?

author by Deirdre Clancypublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 00:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They don't always use those handcuffs. Sometimes, they don't use handcuffs at all (speaking as someone who has been transported from prison to court on several occasions).

author by Fairview Against the Warpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 03:16author email fairviewantiwar at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dublin. Meet at the Halfpenny Bridge, from 1 - 4pm.

Limerick. Vigil at Limerick prison, 3pm onwards

Galway. Stall at Shop Street, 10am - 12am.

author by Anonpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 03:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What day is this 'national day of solidarity'?

author by Ciaronpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 09:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When I was transported on Con Air in the U.S. those handcuffs (black box) were used on high risk prisoners.

author by 3 blind micepublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors



Video and Song

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/media/2004/02/285985.wmv
author by IAWM supporterpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We must stand united in supporting Owen, as a strong character he is easy to malign and marginalise, a classic tactic of divide and concur. I have seen this work effectively and destroy movements before. united we stand divided we fall.

author by Non-believerpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can you see Owen remaining in the IAWM when he comes out?

author by -publication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 15:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

\Jaun"dice\ (?; 277), n. [OE. jaunis, F. jaunisse, fr.
jaune yellow, orig. jalne, fr. L. galbinus yellowish, fr.
galbus yellow.] (Med.)
A morbid condition, characterized by yellowness of the eyes, skin, and urine, whiteness of the f[ae]ces, constipation,
uneasiness in the region of the stomach, loss of appetite, nd general languor and lassitude. It is caused usually by by obstruction of the biliary passages and consequent damming up, in the liver, of the bile, which is then absorbed into the blood.

{Blue jaundice}. See {Cyanopathy}.

At what stage will the prisoner on fast be transferred to hospital, if he appears juandiced now, is this not a sign of potential liver damage?

author by .publication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First off I did protest the war and US use of Shannon. I am not a member or the IAWM, SP or SWP and I definitely support well thought out, purposful direct action. But I do not think Eoin Rice is doing the right thing now and I am glad that for the most part the mainstream press is ignoring this issue as we would all come across a bunch of idiots.
Eoin was arrested for dangerous driving, not protesting. He wasn't asleep in his car when he was arrested. How it was told to me by people who have now developed selective amnesia on the incident is that eoin was asleep in his car when approached by Gardai. They asked him to get out of the car, he instead started the car and backed it up. Then he started driving forward, then backward, then forward etc., until he was eventually removed from the car and arrested. That is dangerous driving.
If I was arrested at Shannon for dangerous driving the morning before a protest I would do everything I could to get past it quickly and quietly so that no-one could use my behaviour as an example of the protest.
But Eoin despite being a really nice, well-intentioned guy is also a bit of a head-case. He can at times have a loose grasp on reality and this is not his first time on hunger strike in an Irish jail. It seems to be his signature move.
If his barrister, a man who has a history of intelligent work on similar cases was left looking like an idiot in court then that will be because he was given bad information. The thing that Eoin fails to grasp is that there is a huge difference between the way things should be and the way they are. It isnt nice but if you are going to push things and try to change the world and are planning to use the courts in order to achieve this you are playing by their rules and they are as far away from the way things should be as you can get.
I hope that Eoin is ok, I would like to think that he is being treated better than he probably is being and I hope this situation ends one way or another before he gets really sick. But I won't be adding myself to his supporters on this issue.
And try think about this, if I was someone on the fringe of this movement this would turn me away from it far more than constant requests to buy the socialist worker. It would make me question the sanity and intelligence of who I was allying with. We already have people who are committed to opposing this and any future US war, people who are sure of where they stand and why. The people we need to work on are the people who aren't so sure and committed, we need to convince them and keep them convinced. Not run around bouying ourselves up by the actions of a few hardcore, slapping ourselves on the back and condeming the establishment. Work on those on the middle ground, it isn't easy, it isnt glamorous but it makes more sense.

author by lishpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 18:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Eoin , like the Ploughshares 5, has been banned from Co. Clare and is being held only for refusing to accept the ban,
on the whim of a judge whose sanity appears highly questionable.
Is accepting this what you mean by playing by the rules?
We have a govt. that is completely unaccountable, has an utter disregard for the irish public and changes our laws at its own convenience and you're worried about Eoin's stand being extreme or driving people away?

We are dealing with incredible arrogance. Do you think polite pressure from "moderates" such as yourself & whoever these mythical middleground people are will make the government and archaic judicial system see reason?
Eoin has integrity. How he protests is entirely up to him and he needs and is worthy of our full support.

author by Apublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 19:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the persons point of view is not that they disagree with the right to protest but rather Eoin is being charged with dangerous driving, which is a charge he is most likely guilty of.

Defending Eoins right to drive like a lunactic is not something I feel really pushed about fighting for.

Eoin is questioning the legality of the ban, and is therefore beholden to enter the court and play by their rules.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He's not in gaol because of "dangerous driving". He's in gaol because Judge Mangan has attempted to keep him away from Shannon because he (the judge) dislikes protests at Shannon.

Eoin is on hunger strike to protest this abridgement of his right to protest the continued illegal use of Shannon by the USAF.

That, is what he and all the rest of us are protesting. So knock it off with the disinformation.

author by Davidpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2004 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What about the Gardai who smashed his window? who were threatening him, who were wrongfully imprisoning him in his car for hours. who were were guilty of "impeding traffic"
Were there any cops treated for any injuries as a result of any encounter with Eoin Rice? how was Eoin guilty of behavior likely to lead to a breach of the peace of there were only him and gardai in the area a dn Eoin was not in any way violent? because the cops were beginning to lose their temper is this Eoins fault?

author by .publication date Fri Feb 27, 2004 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Eoin was arrested for dangerous driving because he was driving dangerously. The gardai broke his window to get him out of the car. That is fairly standard procedure. They might have arrested him anyway, but he gave them bloody good reason. He made a bad decision, and he needs to keep that in mind. I never said the Gardai were without blame, but I would rather see more attention brought to the guard who hit a teenage girl accross the face with a baton than the guard who arrested someone for dangerous driving while they were driving dangerously.
When I said he needs to play within their rules I meant if he is going to be in court and fight a ruling he needs to do research, be backed up be solid facts, laws and precedent, not leave his barrister standing there like a fool and further empower smug judges.
Banning someone from a county is ridiculous and an overstepping of a judges power. But saying I won't eat until you change your mind is not enough.
And I never said I was a moderate, I'm not but I have a degree of common sense. I have worked on issues that have ended up in court and end up tying up years of peoples lives. It isn't a joke, and it isn't easy. It takes hard work, commitment, allowing yourself to have much in your life dictated by court dates, delays, new court dates, delays again until years go by. That's what changing things through the courts takes, some judge doesn't really care if one person gets sick, if they can't prepare a proper case then he doesn't care. Not eating won't change that.
Eoin was not arrested for being an activist, he was arrested for dangerous driving, we should be grateful that the mainstream press hasn't drawn attention to that fact and used it to condemn us all. Instead everyone has forgotten that and is spouting righteous indignation at a ban from Clare when Eoin could have received a jail sentence for the dangerous driving. If Eoin Dubsky, or the Catholic Workers had chosen to fight their ban that I would support. But you pick your battles and Eoin shouldn't be fighting this one.

author by barrypublication date Fri Feb 27, 2004 19:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

. (above) seems to believe that Owens case is not the best case on which to fight the use of banning orders from clare.
(S)He may be correct on this, however Owen is the first person to actually refuse to accept this bail condition so his is the case it will be fought on.

On the morning of the December 6th protest at Shannon, Owen was being harrassed by gardai (it now seems certain that they were gardai, at the time they refused to identify themselves), he was being arrested on a false charge (of stealing the car in which gardai have followed him around the mid-west for many months and which charge has not been metioned since the DD charge presented itself) and took advantage of their trademark slow-wittedness to lock himself in his car. For some time he drove his car around the carpark (always away from the gardai so as not to endanger them) before falling asleep whilst they figured out their next move. They smashed in the back window of his car, arrested him, held him for 12 hours and then took him before Tulla court half an hour before the time they had informed his solicitor that the case would be heard. He was subsequently released on E5 bail. (For the record, the gardai were also given instructions by radio on the day of the demonstration to prevent Ed Horgan and others from getting near Shannon Town.)

Over two months (and several court appearances later) Owen appeared again before Judge Mangan, on the same day as several other known anti-war activists, some of whom were facing charges directly relating to their opposition to the use of Shannon by the US military, others who were facing more ambiguous charges brought about owing to their public role in the anti-war movement at Shannon. All of these people were known to Judge Mangan as anti-war activists, as was Owen who has been previously acquited in Judge Mangans court of charges asrising out of his opposition to the war.

Judge Mangan imposed a ban from County Clare on each of the anti-war activists, postponed imposing a ban on one 'known activist' because his 'crime' actually took place some miles from the airport, and attempted to impose a similar ban on Owen for his dangerous driving charge.

This bail condition was imposed on Owen not because of the charge he was facing but rather because of his political beliefs and the actions he had previously taken to demonstrate those beliefs.

This bail condition, which was not requested by the gardai but imposed by a judge hoping to pre-empt further disruption to the status quo at Shannon and which could never be accepted by Owen is the reason he is on hunger strike in Limerick prison at this time. If these facts can be used to discredit the anti-war movement in the eyes of "moderate" Ireland, then this is a great shame for Ireland as a whole.

author by soawpublication date Fri Feb 27, 2004 22:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fr, Joe Mulligan SJ has begun an indefinite watrer only fast and a prison sentence in the U.S. for nonviolent resistance at the School of the Americas.

Joe was part of the Milwaulkee 16 Draft Board Raid during anti Vietnam War Resistance in the 1960's serving several years in jail. For most of the past two decades he has been statione in Nicaragua.

Check out the following website for more info on the School of the Americas


Related Link: http://www.soaw.org
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