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Judge Devins issues warrant for imprisoned protestor

category mayo | crime and justice | press release author Friday July 03, 2009 18:40author by S2S - Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

'Objection to bail was a pure waste of time and money' – Judge Geoffrey Browne

Yesterday in Westport District Court, Judge Mary Devins issued a bench warrant for a Shell to Sea protestor, who was appearing in the High Court, appealing his remanding in custody at the same time. While the Gardaí in Westport didn't seek to have the bench warrant issued and informed the court that protestor Eoin Lawless was appearing in the High Court at that time, Judge Devins insisted upon issuing a bench warrant.

Meanwhile, this morning in Harristown District Court three Shell to Sea protestors (including Mr. Lawless) appeared, who were released from custody yesterday following a High Court appeal to their remand. Upon entering the courtroom Mr. Lawless was again placed under arrest arising from the bench warrant issued by Judge Devins. However the siting Harristown District Court Judge Brown released Mr Lawless from custody on the same bail conditions as were granted in the High Court appeal yesterday [1].

In making his judgment, Judge Browne observed that the “original objection to bail was a pure waste of time and money”

Speaking on the release of Mr. Lawless, Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “Issuing a bench warrant for someone who is already in custody is surreal. It is telling indeed that now eight of Judge Devins' decisions have been overturned in the High Court in the last week. It is well past the time that a Judicial Ombudsman was established in this country that would deal with blatant abuses such as this”.

Mr Conway continued “To me it would seem that Judge Devins was unable to accept the fact that her decisions were being appealed and overturned in the High Court and decided to try to punish protestors as a result of this”.

For comment or verification:
Maura Harrington
Terence Conway

Notes for editors

[1] In two separate hearings in the High Court, on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, the remanding of seven was overturned. All seven were granted bail and the only condition is that they stay out of county Mayo for the duration of the court proceedings and give a bond of €100.

[2] Monday in Ballina Court, Judge Mary Devins remanded seven Shell to Sea protesters. None of the seven had any previous convictions and all were only facing minor public order charges. Monday evening four protestors were sent to Mountjoy prison in Dublin and three were sent to Castlerea prison, Roscommon. Two other defendants were released on bail and barred from County Mayo.

Three of the seven were facing Section 8 charges (not obeying the order of a Garda); they were arrested for crossing the road near a Shell to Sea protest. One faces section 6,8 and 9 charges for his part in a peaceful protest that blockaded the road to Shell’s compound with a tripod. Three others face the same charges for a peaceful “lock-on” blockade on the same road later in the day.

Last week, when Judge Devins tried to put Erris fisherman Jonathan O'Donnell on remand in custody, this decision was also overturned by the High Court

[3] Senator David Norris questions Judge Devins ruling against Maura Harrington – Irish Times 13th March 2009: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0313/1....html

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by FSB!publication date Fri Jul 03, 2009 19:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

She has exposed herself now as vindictive and a serial waster of resources, a blot on the judiciary's conscience (if they collectively could ever have one) and creatively incompetent to boot. She's the ultimate end of the practice by recent Fianna Fáil-led governments throwing around judicial appointments 'like smarties' to their solicitor hacks and hackettes. No training needed; just an eagerness to do Shell's dirty work in the courts, and then prate solemnly with what she imagines to be wit while dispensing 'justice'.

And before she starts flattering herself, she'd do well to remember that she's only a very small part of the overall problem.

Solidarity to Eoin, and our other defendants too! Shell to hell!

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