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Special Criminal Court must be closed

22 November, 2004


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for the immediate closure of the Special Criminal Court. He was speaking after two republicans were convicted of IRA membership on the word of a Garda Superintendent. Deputy Ó Snodaigh described the conviction as an unsafe judgement which mirrored the worst excesses of the Diplock Court system in the Six Counties.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"There is huge outrage and anger that once again we have seen people convicted of IRA membership, not on any evidence, but on the word of a Garda Superintendent. This case should never have gone before the Special Criminal Court in the first place and it is incredible that during the case secret evidence was given to the Judge, which was not disclosed to the defence. This is an unsafe judgement which mirrored the worst excesses of the Diplock Court system in the Six Counties.

"Sinn Féin has consistently raised the issue of emergency powers and indeed the abuse of emergency powers. It is worth noting that ten years into the peace process, we have seen at least some progress in the north on the issue of criminal justice but we have seen no progress in the south.

"The Special Criminal Court is entirely unacceptable and should be closed down."ENDS

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