Harte v Fanning

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Blayney
Judgment Date01 January 1988
CourtHigh Court
Docket NumberNo. 820 Sp./1986
Date01 January 1988

1987 WJSC-HC 1726

THE HIGH COURT

No. 820 Sp./1986
HARTE v. FANNING
IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTRADITION ACT 1965

BETWEEN

GERARD MAJELLA HARTE
Plaintiff

AND

STEPHEN FANNING
Defendant

Citations:

EXTRADITION ACT 1965 S50

EXTRADITION ACT 1965 S50(2)

QUINN V WREN 1985 IR 322, 1985 ILRM 410

BOURKE V AG 1972 IR 36, 107 ILTR 33

MCGLINCHEY V WREN 1982 IR 154, 1983 ILRM 169

SHANNON V FANNING 1985 ILRM 385

MCMAHON V LEAHY 1984 IR 525

Synopsis:

WORDS AND PHRASES

"Political offence"

Extradition - Foreign warrant - Northern Ireland - Warrant reciting charges involving setting fire to property and possession of firearms and ammunition - ~See~ Criminal Law, extradition - (1986/820 Sp - Blayney J. - 6/5/87) - [1988] ILRM 75

|Harte v. Fanning|

CRIMINAL LAW

Extradition

Exception - Political offence - Proof - Onus of proof - Foreign warrant - Northern Ireland - Warrant recited charges that applicant threw petrol bombs with intent to damage property, that he set fire to property without lawful excuse, that he stole a shotgun, and that he had in his possession a shotgun and ammunition in such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he did not have the same in his possession for a lawful object - In seeking his release from custody pursuant to s.50 of the Act of 1965, the applicant submitted that the offences involving damage to property were committed for the purpose of making the maintenance of the union between Northern Ireland and Great Britain prohibitively expensive for the British Government, and that the offences relating to shotguns and ammunition were political because their acquisition would be useful to Fianna Eireann - Held that the applicant had failed to establish that the activities involved in the offences recited in the warrant were such as could reasonably be regarded as political activity or as connected with political activity - Application for release refused - Extradition Act, 1965, s.50 - (1986/820 Sp - Blayney J. - 6/5/87) - [1988] ILRM 75

|Harte v. Fanning|

1

Judgment of Mr. Justice Blayney delivered the 6th day of May 1987.

2

By five separate Orders of the District Court made at Portlaoise on the 5th September 1986, it was Ordered that the Plaintiff be delivered into the custody of a member of the R.U.C. at Carrickarnon, County Louth, for conveyance to a Magistrate's Court of the County Court Division of Armagh, Northern Ireland.

3

The Orders in question were made on foot of five warrants, each dated the 28th August, 1986, the offences in respect of which the warrants were issued being as follows:-

4

1. That on the 1st day of December 1979 the Plaintiff, with intent to cause the destruction of or damage to Lurgan Railway Station, threw petrol bombs contrary to Section 3 of the Protection of the Person and Property Act (Northern Ireland) 1969.

5

2. That the Plaintiff between the 20th and 23rd day of November 1979 with intent to cause the destruction of or damage to certain premises belonging to H. Uprichard Limited, threw petrol bombs, contrary to Section 3 of the Protection of the Person and Property Act (Northern Ireland) 1969.

6

3. That on the 28th day of November 1979 the Plaintiff did unlawfully, maliciously and without lawful excuse cause damage to Brownlow House, Windsor Avenue, Lurgan by setting fire to the said property, contrary to Article 3 (1) and (3) of the Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977.

7

4. That the Plaintiff on a date unknown between the 2nd December 1979 and the 5th December 1979 did steal and carry away one double-barrelled breach loading shotgun and a number of cartridges to a total value of £63 Sterling contrary to Section 9 (1) (b) of the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969.

8

5. That the Plaintiff on a date unknown between the 2nd December 1979 and the 5th December 1979 at Lurgan in the County of Armagh had in his possession a double-barrelled breach loading shotgun and a quantity of shotgun cartridges under such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he did not have the same in his possession for a lawful object, contrary to Section 19A of the Firearms Act (Northern Ireland) 1969.

9

Within 15 days of the making of the said Orders, the Plaintiff instituted the present proceedings seeking an Order for his release pursuant to the provisions of Section 50 of the Extradition Act 1965. The Plaintiff's case is that the offences to which the warrants relate are political offences or offences connected with a political offence and that the Plaintiff is accordingly entitled to be released under subsection (2) of Section 50.

10

The facts on which the claim is based are set out in paragraphs 11 to 19 of the Plaintiff's affidavit and might be summarised as follows. At the time the offences were committed, the minority Catholic national community in Northern Ireland was being denied its cultural and religious rights by an aggressive Protestant Union majority which was supported by the R.U.C. There was discrimination against Roman Catholics in jobs, housing, the franchise and otherwise. In order to attempt to alter this imbalance of power, and the political situation, the Plaintiff, in 1979, joined Na Fianna Eireann which opposes the State in Northern Ireland. The objectives of this organisation in having recourse to crime was to render the maintenance of the Union prohibitively expensive due to the Government's obligation to pay compensation for malicious damage to property. There was also a campaign to destroy places and institutions which facilitated in any way the movement and security of the Police and Army. The Plaintiff believed that these methods would bring about the serverance of the Union and the ending of a Protestant Unionist ascendancy. The premises of H. Uprichard Limited had been attacked because that firm had been supplying materials to the British Army; Brownlow House was attacked because it was the meeting place for the Royal Black Preceptory, the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Orange Institution. The...

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    ...not avail him in order to avoid extradition under section 47 of the Act. He referred to the decision of Carroll J. in Harte v. Fanning (1988) ILRM. 70. At page 74 of her judgment, the learned judge stated: - "therefore in so far as the applicant's case rests on delay, both the delay alleged......
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