Saturday, 25 October 2014



One of the problems about the police and the courts is that very often you get LAW but not JUSTICE!

When I was on the Falls Road as a priest from 1978 to 1983 justice and law were all over the place.

But let me tell you of one incident:

A very hardworking lady in her 50's was driving up the Falls Road one early evening in the early 1980's on her way home from work.

A local self employed business man who was famous for his ignorance and arrogance came out of a social club where he had been drinking all afternoon, got into his car and crashed into this lady - leaving her car a write off. Her car was worth £2,700. 

Unusually for the time she went to the police - the RUC - and reported the accident and that the man was drink driving. 

Because of the "Troubles" the police were not able to attend the scene of the accident or breathalyse the driver. But in fairness they did bring him to court and prosecute him. He was fined and told to pay the lady £2,700. He paid his small court fine but never gave the poor woman the £2,700 for her car.

In fact when he met the lady on the Falls Road he laughed into her face and told her she would never see her money. This lady needed her car to commute to work and to take her sick elderly mother to hospital appointments.

Someone, who shall remain nameless, was very upset about the injustice the lady had suffered and decided to have a word with another local man who was a very senior member of the IRA.

The IRA man told his visitor to leave the matter with him and that he would see to it that the lady received justice.

Two days later the ignorant, arrogant, drink driver called to the lady's house and apologised to her for his behaviour. He have her an envelope containing £3,200 in cash - £2,700 for her car and a further £500 for the trouble and distress he had caused her.

The lady was able to purchase another second hand car in which she was able to commute to work and take her sick mother to her hospital appointments.

And - as they say: "They all lived happily ever after".

The police and the Belfast court had done their best. They had given the lady "law" but they were not able to give her justice.

The senior IRA man certainly seemed to have delivered justice.

And the great thing about it was that no one was hurt. Obviously the offending business man had been paid a visit and and someone had made him an offer that he could not refuse.

Of course - in principle - we cannot condone anyone taking the law into their own hands.

When we have a problem like this lady had we should ideally be able to solve it through the police and the courts.

But sadly there are many situations where the law does not work or indeed where it is an ass.


Yesterday a young woman - Diana Harton (43) was killed on an Irish motorway by 5 thugs speeding in a stolen car. The youngest of the thugs was 12 years old!

The 5 thugs had stolen a car and had gone on a theft and burglary mission throught several counties in Ireland.

1. They stole Euro 1,500 worth of tools from a vehicle in Tipperary.

2. They then went into a service station and filled their car with Euro 65 of petrol and left without paying.

3. They then went into another service station and stole Euro 40 of good.

4. They drove through a motorway toll without paying and were followed by the Garda (police).

5. Finally they crashed into the back of Diana Hartons car thereby killing her.

The driver of the car has 20 convictions for car theft and burglary. 

Three of the young thugs in the car are out on bail for theft and burglary.

And what will happen to them:

They will be brought to court.

They may be given further bail.

When their cases come up they will be given short sentences.

While in prison they will have each other's company; they will have a nice warm en suite cell; they will have access to TV, games rooms etc.

And when they get back out they will be in a car that day or the next and the whole thing will start all over again.

Can I be forgiven for thinking that someone other than the police and the courts need to deal with them?

Is that me being very non PC?

At the very least should we not be considering properly run, controlled and supervised - but yet tough BOOT CAMPS?

+Pat Buckley


"Their day starts before 6:00 a.m. with the barking of a drill instructor and an exercise regimen that brings discipline and fitness to young men who may not have had any in their lives before now.

"They're in here to get a second chance fortunately enough for them, the judge did see something in them that they felt perhaps this sentence would better serve them in rehabilitating them, rather than sending them to a state penitentiary.
Only non-violent offenders can qualify for the program.
"This program is more geared towards people who are still within the range of folks that can be helped," Sheriff Tom Dart explains.
The sheriff's department says the 3-year recidivism rate for boot camp inmates is about 20 percent compared to the national average for regular inmates which is about 67 percent.

(Quote about Chicage boot camp)


1 comment:

  1. I'm sure I mentioned this on here before but I recall my mother telling me that as as a young girl she was refused absolution for eating a sausage on a Friday. A simple story but it shows the law of the R C Church to be an ass. Much has changed in almost a century. Now I believe the law of the church in Ireland is trusted with distain and swept under the carpet. People choose to do their own thing and life goes on. The result is an awkward silence that is stifling growth. The becollared mob appear to be lacking in communication skills while the faithful are mildly mirroring the cultural revolution of the 1960's. The Irish people are good and have allot going for them. However there is a strong need in Ireland to articulate and express the Sensus Fidei. Sean