Dearbhail McDonald: Deportation fight creates quagmire for State lawyers
Courts must now grapple with human rights issues in case of accused, writes Dearbhail McDonald
Ireland is, arguably, the best small country to deal with threats to national security. In a permanent State of emergency since 1939, care of the Offences Against the State Act, successive governments have perfected a suite of 'emergency' measures that lesser democracies or aspiring dictators could only dream of.
Since 1972, we have maintained, not without controversy, a non jury Special Criminal Court. With a strong (some might say undue) record of deference towards the State as well as its historic reliance on 'opinion evidence' by senior gardai, the Special Criminal Court is - because of ongoing threats to national security by dissident republicans, amongst others - sadly still with us.
All of which makes aspects of last week's sensational legal action involving the 'foremost recruiter' in Ireland for the Islamic State (Isil) - a purported consultant to violent Isil leaders overseas - somewhat puzzling.