Alison O’Connor: Why we should not allow justice to be outsourced
Published 24/12/2011 | 05:00
I don't get to travel home to west Cork as often as I'd like but it seems as if no trip is ever complete without me coming across one of the most recognisable men in Ireland.
Just two weeks ago I was standing on the street outside a coffee shop when he walked up alongside us and went inside. On other occasions it's when he is manning his market stall which sells bread in various country markets in the area. His presence, even for those who see him regularly, remains a cause for comment and nervous laughter. The nervousness is simply added to by the fact that he is so physically large, or so it seems.
But why wouldn't Ian Bailey be free to walk the streets of the area he now calls home? The next sentence should read that he hasn't been convicted of anything, but that is not actually true given that he has a criminal conviction for the assault of his partner Jules Thomas. He has beaten her up horribly on three occasions, including in 1996 where a witness recalled she was in a terribly distressed bloodied state, with serious injuries to her face and head, with a swollen eye, bite marks on her hand and arm, and clumps of hair pulled from her head.