Sinn Féin to abstain again from vote on Special Criminal Court

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said that the non-jury court was necessary
Sinn Féin to abstain again from vote on Special Criminal Court

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin O Broin said: “As with the last vote, we won’t be opposing or objecting to the renewal. File photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Sinn Féin will once again abstain from a vote on the Special Criminal Court when it comes to the floor of the Dáil.

The Government today approved a proposal by Justice Minister Helen McEntee to extend the provisions of the Offences Against the State and Criminal Justice Acts for another 12 months.

Ms McEntee said that the court, which has been criticised by human rights organisations, was necessary.

“The renewal of these laws is very important as they provide safeguards against those who would seek to undermine the democratic institutions of the State and are a key element of the State’s armoury in tackling terrorism and organised crime. They are used regularly and are considered essential by An Garda Síochána.

"I am conscious that there remains a real and persistent threat from terrorist activity, from so-called ‘dissident’ republican paramilitary groups and from international terrorism, which remains a stark reminder of the vulnerability of all open democracies.”

Sinn Féin last year dropped its opposition to the non-jury court which has been used to prosecute members of the Provisional IRA, passing a motion at its Ard Fheis.

Last year, High Court and Court of Appeal judge, Michael Peart, was asked to chair the review of the Special Criminal Court and his report is expected later this year.

Sinn Féin TDs last year left the Dáil chamber when the vote on this issue was called, a move called "peculiar" at the time. Speaking at Leinster House on Tuesday, housing spokesperson Eoin O Broin said that the party would abstain once again.

“As with the last vote, we won’t be opposing or objecting to the renewal. We’ve long argued for the review, which is currently underway, the report is going to be issued in the coming months.

“We do think there needs to be a comprehensive reform to ensure our criminal justice system and court system is fit to deal with the challenges of 21st-century crime.”

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

  • 1
  • 9
  • 17
  • 25
  • 30
  • 31
  • 39

Full Lotto draw results »