Friday, April 10, 2015

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Injustice Ignored: The Christy Walsh Case

Alfie Gallagher hits out at the injustice being meted out to Christy Walsh by the British state's Minister for Justice in the North. Alfie Gallagher is a Sligo blogger @ Left From The West.

Christy Walsh
Today, an Irish man will embark on the 26th day of a hunger strike in protest against his treatment by the British justice system in Northern Ireland. This man was framed by the British Army in 1991 and spent 7 years in prison. After several appeals, his conviction was finally overturned in 2010 after it emerged that one of the soldiers had retracted his testimony and that the prosecution service had suppressed evidence that would have undermined its case. Astonishingly though, the authorities in the North have refused to apologise, admit wrongdoing or pay compensation.

This man's name is Christy Walsh, but you will not hear about him on the radio nor read about him in the national newspapers. You certainly won't hear anyone from Sinn Féin railing against the injustice he has suffered. That is because Christy Walsh is an inconvenient reminder of the serious deficiencies in the supposedly reformed justice system in Northern Ireland. It is a system that continues to operate non-jury, Diplock-style courts like the one in which Walsh himself was wrongly convicted. It is a system in which the police threaten journalists and sabotage academic projects. It is a system that still prosecutes republicans for Troubles-related offences but refuses to properly investigate the Parachute Regiment's massacre of 11 civilians in Ballymurphy in 1971.

From this perspective then, it is no surprise that Martin McGuinness is trying to ignore Christy Walsh, for the manner in which Walsh has been treated exposes the malign elements in the justice system that McGuinness now endorses and upholds. Indeed, it shows just how daft it is for McGuinness and other Sinn Féin leaders to rebrand the Provos' futile campaign as a war for equality.

Though I think his hunger strike is unwise, I support Christy Walsh's campaign for justice. I would encourage everyone to write to Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness in support of Christy and in protest at the despicable way he has been treated.

For more information, visit Christy Walsh's website or the Pensive Quill.

7 comments :

diplockcourts said...

Alfie

Thank you for your support. Your article is well penned and balanced, bringing to the fore a number of value-laden residual issues of the past into perspective.

Christy

stefangillies said...

Alfie, may I ask why you think Christy is unwise in his actions?

A letter has gone off to the British Prime Minister today asking him to intervene in anyway he can.

Alfie Gallagher said...

Stefan,

Perhaps "unwise" was the wrong word. Christy Walsh strikes me as a very capable, very determined, very brave man. However, history shows that British prime ministers and Sinn Féin leaders care very little about the fate of Irish hunger strikers and don't think twice about sacrificing them if they can get away it.

I certainly did not mean any disrespect to Christy, and I am sorry if it seems that I did.

Alfie Gallagher said...

Christy,

I think you have shown not only great courage but also a keen intellect. In 2010, you out-fought and out-thought a malign judicial system. That was an extraordinarily impressive feat. I'm sure you can achieve a similar victory against David Ford and the other po-faced charlatans in Stormont.

I'm not a particularly strong person, and I cannot begin to imagine the physical and emotional toll of a hunger strike. I would be lying if I said that I was convinced it was the best strategy.

Nevertheless, I respect and admire your determination and dignity, and I wish you all the best in your struggle.

AM said...

Alfie,

as you can see from the response of Christy, he certainly did not view it as disrespect. Stefan seemed to ask more out of curiosity than to imply disrespect. I would much rather see Christy battle it another way. But it is impossible to dispute that he is making a damning ethical criticism of the North's justice system and the political arrangement that gives it cover.

diplockcourts said...

Alfie/Stefangilles

I think Anthony cleared up any misunderstandings. But to confirm, I took absolutely no offense and many people may not be convinced that I have no other options open to me and others might also think that it is an unwise move -there is no manual and so all opinions are valid.

I think many people were unaware of my case and all of a sudden they are now aware of it and it seemingly has come from nowhere to jump straight to the extreme. I have followed all the laws and rules and been meticulous to detail in observing the proper procedures, appealed, and re-appealed until the point of exhausting every avenue even remote ones.

In coming days I will disclose steps that I have taken and the response to my valid requests.

Christy

stefangillies said...

Having been led to this peculiar juncture in time curiosity stalks the avenues of others and I simply was thus Alfie. The most striking thing about this situation in comparison to others stands I have bore witness to is the lack of discussion surrounding it generally. Your coveridge of the case, Alfie, clearly shows a respect for Christy that demands honesty in analysis. As Christy rightly pointed out 'all opinions are valid' and indeed bear the fruit of deeper insight when thrown in the mix.