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Michael McDowell told Tony Gregory Garda station phone calls are private

Story over at one of our other outposts.

Regulation not Prohibition

The interminable debate over proposals to criminalise purchasers of sex took another turn this week with the publication of the report by the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. Predictably it recommends the so-called “Swedish model” but it also includes draconian proposals to treat visitors to prostitution websites as sex offenders and ban the [...]

Keeping the lawyers busy

Denis O’Brien won his defamation case against the Irish Daily Mail’s Paul Drury yesterday because the Mail’s “honest opinion” defence of Drury’s column failed since they could not establish the truth of the facts which formed its basis. The honest opinion defence was introduced into Irish law by Michael McDowell in the Defamation Bill of [...]

No to (Adult) Prostitution Ban

Recent months have seen the issue of prostitution come to prominence as the Presidential election approaches. A disturbing parallel with the Lisbon debate is evident in the near unanimity of the political and intellectual ‘Establishment’ for a blind support of traditional policy approaches. How can someone simultaneously claims the mantle of liberalism while also attempting [...]

The cabinet is bare

Resignations from Mary Harney, followed by Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern, and Tony Killeen.  As Brian Cowen appears to have been sitting on at least one of these letters for over a week, we don’t know the timing.  But Mary Harney correctly pointed to the problem with TDs intending to retire from politics — and thus [...]

FG-Labour: Let asylum-seekers work

In a week when the use of forged documentation in the asylum-system was highlighted with the rejection by the Supreme Court of the appeal of Nigerian asylum-seeker Pamela Izevbekhai against her deportation, FG and Labour are proposing the allow asylum-seekers to work. Despite 13% unemployment and mass-emigration – Alan Shatter and Pat Rabbitte are now [...]

Protection Racket

There are days when Ireland is a dispiriting place.  Consider the following three seemingly separate issues.  The HSE report into the life and death of TF.  Niamh Brennan’s still under wraps report on the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.  And the latest delay in the Moriarty Tribunal.  They have something in common: legal sensitivities are being [...]

A sperm donation is for life, not just for Christmas

Look, I realise that The Irish Times only provides Breda O’Brien with a column to get its liberal readership riled up. Nobody wants to read opinions that conform rigidly to the mainstream the whole time (on which point, here‘s an insidiously good article on how climate change is grand). Well, I am liberal and I [...]

What’s on the horizon? Talking Crime and Justice

What exactly are the Government expecting in their Department of Justice budgeting:

Lisbon: Equal airtime abolished

Update: Official Press Release here. – In a decision sure to spark furious condemnation from “no” campaigners, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has announced new regulations on airtime set to grant the political-parties the vast majority of airtime during the campaign. Broadcasters are not required to allocate exactly the same amount of time to both [...]

McAleese Signs Criminal Justice and Blasphemy Bills into Law

President McAleese has signed the Criminal Justice Bill and Defamation Bill into law. Last night the Council of State discussed the bills in what many interpreted to be a symbolic, or tokenistic, meeting. This morning they were signed into law. Step in which direction? I know one or two regular participants on this website thought [...]

Blasphemy as a Surrogate Argument

By pushing through this Blasphemy provision, Dermot Ahern is advertising himself as the Leadership Candidate most likely to deliver on Abortion. When the time comes, that impression is likely to translate into a healthy dollop of organised and well-funded support being brought to bear on backbenchers.

The industrial school scandal will run and run

Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence this morning had a superb roundup of the Ryan commission report and the fallout from it, with a comprehensive panel discussion (segment begins 33 minutes in).  The panel discussion made news with an apparent nod from the hierarchy that the 2002 indemnity deal will have to be reopened.  A nod that [...]

Party-Political Funding Blown Wide Open

If there is one thing you should do today it’s buy The Irish Examiner. Go, g’wan, buy it. Even if you’re not from Cork. Even if you’re not from Munster. Feck it, go and buy it if you’ve never bought a paper or watched the news before. Please, for the good of the country, buy [...]

The State’s priorities

A short post about a dreadful juxtaposition: why did Louise O’Keeffe have to endure huge suspense about whether she was liable for the State’s legal costs in her failed child abuse liability case when on the same day that she finally gets off the hook (the Supreme Court showing sense), we learn that the Ombudsman [...]

Alcohol and Good Friday

I posted this 3 years ago (Apr 13, 2006) but as it is getting a comment or two I will bump it up.  Today is probably the biggest off licence purchasing day in Ireland. As tomorrow is good Friday and by law all the bars have to close. This law is one of the last vestiges [...]

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