Letters

Monday 28 July 2014

Letters: Innocent lives destroyed in crime against humanity

Published 25/06/2014|02:30

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Gerry Conlon: innocent
Gerry Conlon: innocent

Gerry Conlon's death brought back memories that were becoming slightly hazy.

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When you think of the inhuman incarceration of the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six, the Maguire Seven, and describing their imprisonment as miscarriages of justice, those words do not seem strong enough to properly express the pain that could not be seen, the hurt that could not be felt, the day after day of mental anguish that culminated in countless lives of innocent prisoners and their wider families being destroyed.

A crime against humanity would be a more appropriate term, and the proper context within which to view these horrific events.

Justice was bent so far backwards that it barely featured in the courtrooms that handed multiple life sentences to innocent people, where being Irish was all the evidence needed for a conviction.

I attended many pickets outside No 10 Downing Street and took part in countless marches in Hyde Park, Kilburn and Holloway Road, calling for the release of innocent victims of so-called British justice and an end to terrorists in British army uniform prowling the six-county countryside.

Using Gerry Conlon as an example, imagine being imprisoned when you're a happy-go-lucky 21-year-old, and the key being thrown away?

Fast forward 15 years before the truth finally comes out that the evidence against you had been concocted and fabricated by so-called officers of the law.

Now you're a 35-year-old man, whose father Giuseppe has died in a British prison after being wrongly convicted by the same corrupt justice system.

RIP Gerry, an innocent man.

J WOODS

GORT AN CHOIRCE, DUN NA NGALL

 

JUSTICE IS HARD WON

It ill behoves the press to manipulate the grief of the families of those bombed in Guildford, and the friends and family of Gerry Conlon (Victim's family enraged over 'injustice' comments by Hill, Irish Independent, June 23).

What I do know as a professional working in the UK criminal justice system is that every institution has a mixed bag of abilities in the people it employs. The police put themselves on the line when they enter a house and prevent a woman being struck down by a rampant male, hell bent on serious injury to his partner, his children, the police and sometimes himself.

Different police picked on random Irish men and women rather than actually catching the real culprits in the Irish cases. I do not expect the families of those bombed to see beyond the huge loss they endured.

What I will say, as an impartial observer, is that the bombings were done by hoodlums, with no respect for life. I have no time for the IRA and never will. The Guildford Four were picked on by the state. That I do find difficult.

Different police acted like the discredited Stasi police and infiltrated campaigns such as that for Stephen Lawrence, the murdered black teenager, to discredit those campaigning for justice. I emailed the prosecutor who secured convictions in that racial crime in admiration of her focus. Have the same undercover cops spied on the Hillsborough campaigners in an effort to cover up ineptitude? One can see why justice is hard won.

Paul Hill is most likely railing at the ineptitude. Let the families of those killed in Guildford rail too. Personally, I would allow Paul Hill some slack. Everybody hurts, sometime.

GILLIAN TRAVERS

HARROW, MIDDLESEX

 

LITTER LOUTS

I refer to the article 'Don't let ignorance of litter cloud these sunny days' (Irish Independent, June 21).

I have been fortunate to travel, and every country has a bit of a litter problem. However, Ireland is something else. Advertising the necessity to clean up falls on deaf ears.

I have lived in Ireland for eight years, and every summer the same story about litter appears.

While most Irish find litter embarrassing, especially when tourists are around, they are hesitant to say anything to those who do litter out of fear. It seems people are afraid to say anything because they will likely start a fight. No litter warden or volunteer wants to be beaten up so it just gets ignored.

The other issue that needs to be addressed is how the rubbish is collected. After doing some of my own research, I asked the local council why bins are so few and far between with such a little hole to put rubbish. The response was so people won't dump their household rubbish.

Those bin tags are useless. There must be a better way the household rubbish can be collected so there can be more bins on the streets to cater for large amounts of rubbish.

I commend Graham Clifford on teaching his son to pick up rubbish, and not walking by. It might not be his, but it shows he has pride in his country and countryside.

T DOHERTY

ADDRESS WITH EDITOR

 

TESTING THE TROIKA

Has anyone noticed how the troika are great at looking over other people's books and stress testing. Who is stress testing the troika's books?

DERMOT RYAN

ATTYMON, ATHENRY, CO GALWAY

 

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful World Cup, and just when one thought it couldn't get any better, Ghana vs Germany happens. What a spectacle! And a lot more to come.

BRIAN MCDEVITT

GLENTIES, CO DONEGAL

 

WAITING FOR A CURE

Your letter writer in search of a cold cure on Monday is in luck. I have invented a cold cure. One dose, wait 10 days and the cold goes.

JOHN WILLIAMS

CLONMEL, CO TIPPERARY

 

QUESTIONS OF GENDER

While I welcome Dearbhail McDonald's acknowledgment that women also sexually abuse children and agree with her that Judge Hunt's sentencing of a female accused sends an important message that "perpetrators, regardless of their gender, will be held to account for their crimes" (Irish Independent, June 24), I query her perhaps unintended recourse to essentialism.

It may be "unconscionable to accept" that women commit such crimes, but surely it is just as unconscionable to accept that men do so particularly given their greater level of perpetration of such crimes.

The fact that men, unlike women, are not "society's traditional care-givers and nurturers" should not alter that unconscionablity or render the latter more culpable than the former.

DR CATHERINE O'SULLIVAN

CENTRE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS, DEPARTMENT AND FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK

 

LET WOMEN MANAGE CHURCH

Deliberately or otherwise, the media persistently refuse to make the crucial distinction between the church and the church management.

The Christian church is either Christ at work in the world, or it is just one more benevolent association. Church management is made up at present of celibate men, whose job it is to implement Christ's orders.

Why no women? The record shows this arrogant, lopsided management system is not fit for purpose, has consistently fallen down on the job, aloof, lagging behind the times.

The church should be managed by the best managers, the women.

SEAN MCELGUNN

ADDRESS WITH EDITOR

Irish Independent

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