Thursday 14 November 2019

TDs Daly and Wallace face jail after insisting they won't pay €2k fines

Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace at Ennis District Court
Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace at Ennis District Court

Gordon Deegan

Independent TDs, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly face the prospect of going to jail after both deputies declared today that they will not pay €1,000 fines imposed on them by a judge.

At Ennis District Court today, Judge Patrick Durcan found the two guilty of entering a restricted area at Shannon airport on July 22nd last and fined them each €2,000.

Judge Durcan has given the two three months to pay and 30 days in prison if the fines aren’t paid.

However, speaking outside court, Deputy Wallace said: “I wouldn’t pay that fine to save my life.”

Deputy Daly agreed, telling reporters “we have no intention of paying a financial contribution to a State which allows this behaviour to continue (at Shannon)”.

Sentencing the two today, Judge Durcan said that the court should not be used as the Skibbereen Eagle newspaper from the 19th century.

In the case, Gardai confiscated the rope ladder used to scale the perimeter last July and it remains in the possession of Shannon Gardai today. Asked was he seeking its return, Deputy Wallace said: “I’m working on that.”

In the case, Mr Wallace told the court: "We went to every measure possible not to put anyone else at risk. We wanted to search the planes. We didn’t want to break the peace. We wanted to keep it.”

He said: “I don’t believe that we broke the law by going over the fence and the Nuremberg principles support that. They state that citizens have an obligation to break domestic law in order to protect justice and humanity.

“We felt that it was our obligation to do our utmost to ensure that international law is upheld. The fact that we are legislators put an extra burden of responsibility on us. Even more so than ordinary citizens.

He said: "If Shannon airport was operated in a transparent and accountable manner, there would be no need to go over the fence. The common thread is secrecy and deception and there is a total lack of honesty in the way the Government deals with the issue.”

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