Irish Examiner View: Adams' internment ruling a sort of justice

Irish Examiner View: Adams' internment ruling a sort of justice
Gerry Adams speaking in Belfast, his convictions for attempting to escape from prison in the 1970s have been overturned by the UK's highest court after it ruled that his detention was unlawful. (PA)

THE decision by the UK’s Supreme Court to declare unlawful Gerry Adams' internment in the 1970s is obviously welcome to him and his family but neither is it a cause for celebration as it hinges on a technicality and does not categorise detention without trial as being in itself unlawful or recognise the denial of human rights inherent in the policy.

The court ruled that his detention was unlawful because the then Secretary of State had not signed the order for it. That is hardly a triumph of justice. The Supreme Court had it within its power to ruminate on the legality of locking people up without trial but failed to do so. The judges' attitude brings to mind the 1979 appeal by the Birmingham Six when Lord Denning denied that appeal because it would involve a finding that the police had lied, something which he described as an 'appalling vista' that could not be countenanced.

Internment was a brutal and coercive denial of human rights. The fact that the Supreme Court failed even to address that aspect of the issue reveals that little has changed in the mindset of those at the summit of British justice. 

More on this topic

Gerry Adams to appeal against prison escape convictions at UK Supreme CourtGerry Adams to appeal against prison escape convictions at UK Supreme Court

Gerry Adams among mourners at brother's funeral in Co DonegalGerry Adams among mourners at brother's funeral in Co Donegal

Gerry Adams to publish ‘cook book’ for negotiatorsGerry Adams to publish ‘cook book’ for negotiators

Second man held over Gerry Adams house attack freed on bailSecond man held over Gerry Adams house attack freed on bail

More in this Section

Irish Examiner View: Brendan BowyerIrish Examiner View: Brendan Bowyer

Irish Examiner View: America’s unresolved problems continueIrish Examiner View: America’s unresolved problems continue

Irish Examiner View: Home working can remake our worldIrish Examiner View: Home working can remake our world

Jess Casey: Reopening Irish schools will be anything but child’s playJess Casey: Reopening Irish schools will be anything but child’s play


Lifestyle

Fearless is a slick new documentary airing next Monday on RTÉ 1 which follows Cork native and editor-in-chief of US Glamour, Samantha Barry, in the run up to the 29th Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Ruth O’Connor speaks to Barry about her editorship of one of Condé Nast's most important media outlets.The fearless Samantha Barry: From Ballincollig in Cork to editor of Glamour

This time last year Whiddy Island in West Cork was bustling with people who had caught the ferry for the short trip from Bantry to ramble the island’s boreens as part of the Bantry Walking Festival. Not so this year.Islands of Ireland: Whiddy in the same boat

Gomera is always replete with stories to tell, and this week is no exception.Damien Enright: Merciless predation on the beaches of Gomera

Denis Summers-Smith, the sparrow expert, died on the 5th of May last at the age of 99.Richard Collins: Adaptable sparrow — the ultimate home bird

More From The Irish Examiner