Regular visitors to Organized Rage will know that since I first established the site there has been a flyer on the left hand side which demands that the extradition of Róisín McAliskey from the north of Ireland to Germany should not go ahead. I am therefor delighted to announce that Róisín is no longer under threat of extradition, as yesterday in Belfast County Court, Recorder Judge Tom Burgess delivered his written judgement on the German Governments application to have Róisín extradited to Germany. Extradition was refused and the Judge set out his reasons for his refusal.* [See full transcript at URL below]
In my opinion this was a humane and correct judgement and coming as it has at this time it cannot but be significant. For what Tom Burgess has done is shown that in his court at least, Irish Republicans can get a fair shake under the British Legal System. Whether this judgement was handed down due to political pressures I know not, but I would like to think not. For if you read the judgement in full it is clear that the Judge is confident that Róisín, having being born at the height of the troubles to politically prominent parents, was also a victims of the troubles like countless of other youngsters in the north, whether they be Catholics or Protestants; and had in 1969 the lid not blown off the north of Ireland due to the contradictions within the statelet, the overwhelming majority of these youngsters would never have found themselves at the wrong end of the law.
That Róisín as a young child, witnessed her mother Bernadette Devlin McAliskey being shot and seriously wounded in the family home by a loyalist assassination squad, which incidentally at the time was almost certainly colluding in criminality with elements of the British Security Services, must have had an impact on the woman she became and partially explains her health problems in later life.
The Judge also makes clear that in his opinion, after the UK Home Secretary Jack Straw refused to extradite her to Germany back in 1998, Róisín has taken the opportunity to rebuild her life both personally and health wise and the judge mentions that Róisín and her Partner’s decision to have another child played a role when he came to his conclusions. Whilst he does not go as far as saying so he hints clearly that he feels in the future Róisín McAliskey will be a productive member of society. To his credit Judge Tom Burgess has taken an enormous weight of worry off the shoulders of this young mother and her family and not before time. I wish them well.