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(en) Ireland: Kinsale Garda Fiasco

From anarcho@geocities.com
Date Mon, 9 Dec 2002 09:25:01 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> From: "Kevin Doyle" <cduill@gofree.indigo.ie>

Kinsale Garda Fiasco
Old Head of Kinsale Prosecutions #1
[Garda Fiasco Has Courtroom In Stitches!]

At a sitting of the District Court in Kinsale town yesterday
(Dec 5th), local Gardai [Irish police - Ed.] made a laughing
stock of themselves when they sought to prosecute a Mr Jim Blake
for damage to a fence at the entrance area to the 'Old Head of
Kinsale' on last Easter weekend - the occasion of a mass protest
and trespass by the Free The Old Head Campaign.  But proceedings
had hardly got underway when the Gardai attempted a reverse
manouver and asked to have the matter of the prosecutions of Mr
Blake struck out due to the fact that 'it had come to their
attention that Mr Blake was not in Kinsale at the time'.  Jim
Blake, a member of the SWP and SIPTU, agreed and pointed out
that on the date and time in question he was working at his job
in St Finbarr's Hospital, and had his timesheet to prove this.
He had clocked in as normal on that Sunday and couldn't have
been in Kinsale.  He added that he supported the campaign and
regretted that he hadn't been there on day at the Old Head to
add his assistance but it was not to be... (A lot of laughting
in the courtroom!).

The judge, happy to forgive the Gardai their error, attempted to
strike the matter immediately, but Mr Blake insisted that he was
out of pocket due to having to give up a day's work and having
to consult a lawyer.  In fact only the day before, despite
acceptance by the Gardai that they had a case of MISTAKEN
IDENTITY on their hands, he was told that his case was going to
court and he had to be in attendance.  The judge refused to
accept Jim Blake's claim for compensation and suggested that Mr
Blake take his claim to the DPP.  It was, said the judge, a
matter (a mistake) that happens from time to time.

The case against another FTOHK Campaign activist, James
McBarron, a member of the Workers Solidarity Movement and the
IWU, was subsequnetly adjourned until early January pending an
application for free legal aid.  Furhter details then.



Since the very beginning of the Free The Old Head Campaign there
has been intense Garda surveillance of those in attendance at
the protests, as well as a high profile Garda presence at almost
every opportunity.  Indeed at one protest the Irish Examiner
reported that some 30-40 Garda were present - an unusual high
number for a remote area on a Sunday afternoon in an ordinary
summer period.  It is mostly likely that the Garda presence, and
these recent summons, are at the behest of the O'Connor
brothers, the owners of Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course, who
earlier this years launched a number of public attacks against
the Campaign using the pages of a number of national newspapers.
 The O'Connors are believe to be 'incensed' by the campaign
against the exclusive golf course and at the persistence of the
campaign which will be going into its third years soon.

Inf. and local news provided by 
Workers Solidarity Movement - Cork
Email: cork_wsm@yahoo.com
Visit our web site at http://struggle.ws/wsm/cork.html

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