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Tag Archives: due process

When you’re reporting your source’s point of view, its PR, not journalism

There was a rumour you see. And as far as the Guards were concerned, it was a believable rumour, despite the complete absence of any forensic evidence. So the Guards mobilised, and swooped down on innocent families. Not this week in Tallaght and the Midlands, but 17 years ago, in Donegal. The case led to […]

Behind closed doors

All Ms O’Sullivan knew was the name of the witness. She had no idea what the witness statement contained, and so no idea if what the witness might say in evidence was relevant to her client. So could she please hear the evidence? Just in case something had to be challenged to defend her client’s […]

Naming names

So it turns out, Tom Connolly didn’t have the name of a new Garda mole. His announcement of “unease” in Dundalk Garda station came as a surprise to the Smithwick tribunal. Fair play demands that everyone has the chance to confront an accuser, so the tribunal didn’t purse the question at the time. They later […]

What they didn’t say

Sometimes, it’s the questions they don’t ask. Retired superintendent Tom Connolly told the Smithwick tribunal today about his time in Dundalk, and the day two RUC officers where killed in an IRA ambush returning from the station where he worked. Days later, press reports suggested a Garda “mole” fed information to the IRA. Tribunal barrister […]

Ink and the law

The Smithwick tribunal will not provide overnight transcripts to lawyers because it will cost too much, tribunal chairman Peter Smithwick ruled today. Last month, 200 Words reported Smithwick’s decision not to publish daily transcripts, and the protests that followed from several legal teams. Today, having considered their arguments, Smithwick confirmed his earlier decision. He said […]

Justice…shall be administered in public

Overnight transcripts from the Smithwick tribunal may not be made available to the public or to the various legal teams granted representation at the inquiry into alleged Garda collusion with the Provisional IRA. “The transcripts will not be put on the internet,” counsel for the tribunal said at today’s brief public hearing. They would also […]

Cementgate

Below is a video of the #cementgate incident, where a disgruntled builder blocked the entrance to Leinster House. Now here are some of the news reports: Galway Advertiser: According to reports one garda had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit … Build.ie: A man has been arrested after a bizarre incident […]

Cranberry sauce

Have a look around, and you’ll find plenty of calls to jail senior catholic churchmen for their roles in obstructing the course of justice. There’s even been a misreported story that Richard Dawkins wants to arrest the pope. In that light, it’s worth noting that it’s only this month that Vatican has said for the […]

Open the books

A Garda who investigated one of the most notorious clerical child abusers in Ireland has called on the Catholic church to “open its books” about child sexual abuse. Retired Garda Martin Ridge was a key player in the investigation which led to the conviction and jailing of Fr Eugene Greene for twelve years in April […]

The death of journalism

Earlier this week, I spent half a day sitting in a district court. The district courts can be worthwhile if you’re a freelance journalist, but they’re a bit of a lottery too. Get in well with some of the staff, and you’ll get a tip off if there’s something interesting coming up. On Monday, I […]