APART from the issues that were in play, the costs ruling in the Ian Bailey case confirms that our justice system and all its quirks and formalities, and its spectacular time scales, is either for the very rich or — just possibly — for the very poor. The figure involved — anything between €2m and €5m — means that only the bravest and most determined citizen can contemplate a challenge that might expose them to a bill on this life-defining scale.
Even though the extraordinary length of the 64-day case contributed to the bill, that still does not put it in a frame that any rational person might regard as a tolerable risk. Though there has been considerable reform in our courts and justice system, it seems there is a long way to go to make it meaningful to ordinary people.
Just yesterday, football star Anthony Stokes was told to come back next year so he can face an assault charge. The Celtic and Ireland striker was due for trial this week in Dublin’s but the hearing was deferred because there were no judges available. A lot done but a lot more to do.
In the Irish Examiner of 21 October 2014 we published two articles entitled ‘Maíria Cahill affair: A vile attempt at distraction’ and ‘SF young guns spin a past that’s not theirs’. In those articles we stated that Pearse Doherty TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD had falsely claimed that the man accused of raping Maíria Cahill had been tried in Court and acquitted and further, that they had falsely claimed that there had been an investigation, Court prosecution and acquittal of those involved in a ‘kangaroo court’.
The articles wrongly accused Mr Doherty and Ms McDonald of both a vile attempt at distraction and dishonesty in making these claims.
The Irish Examiner is now satisfied that Mr Doherty and Ms McDonald were entirely correct and acknowledges that our accusations were without any foundation and should never had been made.
The Irish Examiner deeply regrets the errors and the charges of dishonesty, and apologises without reservation to both Mr Doherty and Ms McDonald for the damage and distress caused to them by our publication.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved