Irish National Caucus

Working for justice and praying for peace in Ireland... WELCOME TO THE IRISH NATIONAL CAUCUS BLOG Ceade Mile Failte -- hundred thousand welcomes! We believe the U.S. has a vital role to play by applying a single -- not a double-standard in its foreign policies towards human rights in Ireland. In particular, we believe the U.S. must not subsidize anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland. That is why the Irish National Caucus in 1984 initiated the MacBride Principles.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mad Mullah in a BlueShirt

Alliance Against McDowell Plan Formed

Kitty Holland

A coalition of church, civil liberties and children's rights groups has been formed to fight the introduction of new "draconian" powers to deal with "anti-social" behaviour.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has confirmed his intention to introduce Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) before the end of the year, saying they had worked well in Britain.

In Britain, where they were introduced in 1998, ASBOs can be applied for by local authorities, police forces or registered social landlords, against any youth over the age of 10 allegedly involved in anti-social behaviour.

The young person is brought before the courts on a civil basis and an ASBO is made against them. If the order is breached the matter becomes a criminal matter, and the young person can be arrested.

Anti-social behaviour is defined as any "which causes harassment, alarm and distress".

The Coalition Against ASBOs - which includes the Children's Rights Alliance, the ISPCC, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and the Irish Youth Council - said yesterday ASBOs were not ! a means of dealing with the problem and would criminalise young people.

"The fact that the order is a civil order means that the burden of proof is on the balance of probabilities and not 'beyond reasonable doubt'," it said.

An order against a young person could be made on hearsay evidence, the coalition said, and ASBOs would be used disproportionately against young people from disadvantaged areas.

UCC law lecturer Ursula Kilkelly said that in Britain ASBOs had led to an increase in the number of young people in custody.

A third of young people against whom ASBOs had been made breached them and half of these ended up in custody, Ms Kilkelly said. The idea of introducing them here was "appalling" and they would have a "net-widening" effect. They would undermine the Children's Act which says custody should be the sanction of last resort.

The union representing probation and welfare officers has described Mr McDowell's plans as a "paper tiger". Impact probation spokesman Oliver Fallon said his members had not been consulted.

He expressed concern at the possible increasing criminalisation of young people, but doubted whether there would be an increase in the number of young people in custody.

"There aren't the places to put them," he said. There were 34 places in Oberstown and 26 in Trinity House which were almost always full.
There were real problems with anti-social behaviour and young people, Mr Fallon said.

"We have real concerns about juvenile justice and are currently trying to roll out the Children's Act, with limited resources," he added.

© The Irish Times

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849


At 2:52 AM, March 14, 2005, Blogger R. Delevan said...

GW Bush, Ted Kennedy, even Pete King. Are you starting to get the message yet, padre?

Still feel like warning the McCartney family about speaking ill of Sinn Fein/IRA when they come over? Still think it's failed? They haven't even landed yet and every other cockroach with enough sense has scurried away from the light, leaving you.

Still waiting for a retraction of your lies. And the name of your bishop.

At 6:59 PM, March 14, 2005, Anonymous Peter Nolan said...

'A coalition of church, civil liberties and children's rights groups has been formed to fight the introduction of new "draconian" powers to deal with "anti-social" behaviour.'

The most "draconian" powers on the island are those Sinn Fein arrogates to itself to kill and maim ("kneecap") as a crime-fighting measure.

At 12:21 PM, March 26, 2005, Anonymous Ted Riley said...

Ref,Peter Nolan comments.
No point in asking the Catholic Church about the civil rights of children.A large number of Priests dont believe children have any rights when they abuse and sodomize children in their care.


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