Friday 22 March 2019

Jailing pensioner

•Mr Justice Daniel Herbert was in an unenviable position when he was forced to jail a 65-year-old woman for refusing permission to two monoliths of industrial Ireland wishing to enter her land to progress their intentions.

The judge was correct in what he did and in law. In acknowledging a certain admiration for the lady, the judge added that the citizen was setting herself against the Constitution of Ireland and the courts . . . if allowed "we may as well sink into anarchy".

The learned judge's words should be heeded because we are heading for anarchy. However, much of this anarchy rests with a State that pays little or no regard for the "common" people. A stroke of a pen and the pension rights of thousands of public servant retirees are changed for the worst.

On the other hand, the same law protects the gilded pensions of the elite that have broken the back of the nation.

The law protects the rights of developers, bankers and politicians who betrayed a nation. Okay, maybe it does not protect them, but it also is incapable or unwilling to prosecute them.

And yet, and this is no reflection on the learned judge, the State finds it easy to haul this lady and others like her before the courts.

Once there, the Mr Justice Herberts of the land are duty bound to act in accordance with the law.

Land and Irish people are very emotive things. We have seen the State make a pig's dinner of the Shell controversy in north Mayo. We see the predicament of the 65-year-old lady who does not want anybody on her land. Somewhere there has to be a happy medium, not simply throwing cash and compensation at people.

The good judge rightly alluded to anarchy as a future for the nation if people challenge the State and courts.

I would suggest that we are fast approaching a date when people will simply say enough is enough and damn the consequences.

Ireland should not be about the "Big Guy", Ireland should be about all its people not just the elite.

John Cuffe
Dunboyne, Meath

Irish Independent

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