Seanad debates

Thursday, 20 December 2018

11:20 am

Photo of Michael McDowellMichael McDowell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

If possession orders are made, they are, invariably, executed with the greatest courtesy and understanding afforded to the people affected by them. Multiple appointments are made and letters delivered but, in the end, the law must be upheld and nobody, whether possessing a baseball bat or a gun or anything else, is entitled to take the law into his or her own hands. There is only one law for all of us and nobody is above the law or beneath the law. Those people ambivalent about upholding the rule of law must take the blame when people go into judges' chambers, produce guns and take them captive.

We have to respect the Judiciary. We are surrounded here by gates, security, police etc. The Judiciary, in the main, are not. Judges operate with a presumption of respect from the people who come before them. There are not guards in every courtroom nor are massive security cordons thrown around them. Judges, men and women, stand up to administer the law under the Constitution. It is a sad day if we as a society dilute respect for the rule of law and leave people in circumstances where they are bludgeoned by baseball bats on the one hand or taken captive at gunpoint on the other. This is a sad day for our democracy.


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