Dáil debates

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Offences against the State (Amendment) Act 1998 and Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009: Motions


5:20 pm

Photo of Jim O'CallaghanJim O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay South, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

If Sinn Féin choose to go in with Fine Gael, one of the obstacles that it will have to overcome is the need to say that the Special Criminal Court is necessary. I will not be a part of the political game between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin.

One should look objectively at the matter, be aware of the nature of the trials that are held in the Special Criminal Court and consider this from a non-academic point of view. It can be easy for lobby groups or those with a particular agenda in respect of civil liberties to say that there should always be a jury trial. I am a civil libertarian and believe that there should always be a jury trial but I recognise there are occasions when a jury trial is not feasible. It may not be possible because of the threat posed to a jury. This is not an abstract threat. It is for that reason that I will support the motion as I have done in the past.


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