Wednesday 22 January 2020

Rights body ICCL is not a 'quango'

Sean McGovern (Letters, January 29), charges the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) with "missing the point" on the Government's proposals for a public service identity card.

I hope he will be reassured to know that the ICCL is currently completing a report on private life in Ireland, which will highlight a range of threats to privacy, including the Government's recent public service/ID card proposals.

He also refers to the ICCL's position on home defence.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties fully accepts that people have the right to defend themselves and their families if they find themselves under attack in their homes. Our current law already provides for this level of legal protection for householders.

The ICCL's main concern about recent Law Reform Commission proposals is that they attempt to place the right to defend property above the right to life.

Leading householders to believe they can use lethal force against an intruder whatever the circumstances also exposes them to greater personal danger and to potential murder charges.

I should also clarify that the ICCL is an entirely independent human rights watchdog, which does not seek, and would not accept, government funding.

It is not a "quango", as Mr McGovern suggests, nor does political opportunism oblige it to adopt populist stances that fly in the face of the facts.

Mark Kelly
Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin 7

Irish Independent

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