The President grants a posthumous pardon to Maolra Seoighe - a Constitutional Pandora's Box?

Catalpast

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The President has granted a posthumous pardon to Maolra Seoighe - a Constitutional Pandora's Box?



President Michael D Higgins has signed a warrant granting a posthumous pardon to a man wrongfully convicted and hanged over the murder of five people on the Galway-Mayo border in 1882.

Myles Joyce, or Maolra Seoighe, was convicted and executed over the infamous Mám Trasna Murders.

In August 1882, Joyce was one of ten men from the local area who were arrested and charged with the murders of five members of the same family in Mám Trasna, on the Galway/Mayo border.

The trial was held in English, despite the fact that Joyce was an Irish speaker who did not understand English.

He was one of three men hanged for the crimes.

Shortly before their executions two of the men admitted separately that they themselves were guilty but that Joyce was innocent.

This was deemed insufficient to postpone or revoke the execution and in December 1882, Joyce was hanged along with two others for the murders.

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2018/0404/952165-mam-trasna/


While this is to be welcomed that an Irishman long known to be innocent of what he was charged with has now his good name restored it does IMO open a Pandora's Box re all those other Irishmen and Women who suffered under British Injustice

Surely there should be a general pardon issued that would at least give those who gave their lives for Irish Freedom and were executed the right to have the charge of 'criminal' withdrawn?

The Manchester Martyrs in particular spring to mind

Henry Joy McCracken and Robert Emmet are others

Because once we start to dabble in the injustices of the Past

- we open up the prospect that those executed are divided into two Classes

The Guilty and the Innocent...

So in what class now are our Patriot Dead?
 
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12 bens

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Maamtrasna had a profound effect on James Joyce and he wrote passionately about the miscarriage of justice in Il Piccollo della Sera in 1907.

Indeed, the Irish question is still unresolved today, after six centuries of armed occupation and over a hundred years of legislation that reduced the population of the unhappy island from eight to four million, quadrupled the taxes, and further entangled the agrarian problem with many extra knots. ('L'Irlanda alla sbarra'/'Ireland at the Bar')


On this day…16 September | The James Joyce Centre


http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~ehrlich/382/IRE_BAR
 

automaticforthepeople

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I think pardons are issued where the individual convicted is found not to have carried out the crime and is innocent of the charges. It is based on evidence offered subsequent to the conviction.
Lets not confuse that with a personal opinion of the motives behind an individual carrying out an offence. I always thought that rebels were guilty and proud of it and not
innocent and wanting to disassociate themselves from their actions.

That's the difference.
.
 

GDPR

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OP, why dont you look at Article 13.6 of the Constitution and then decide which method would apply to whoever you have in mind?
 

Dearghoul

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I think pardons are issued where the individual convicted is found not to have carried out the crime and is innocent of the charges. It is based on evidence offered subsequent to the conviction.
Lets not confuse that with a personal opinion of the motives behind an individual carrying out an offence. I always thought that rebels were guilty and proud of it and not
innocent and wanting to disassociate themselves from their actions.

That's the difference.
.
Absolutely. A general pardon deligitimizes all actions that were instrumental to the founding of the state doesn't it?
 

storybud1

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Mickey D Spoofer has just entered the race to be elected,, no doubt his mates in the radical left media will be there to help with their fake news tweets etc yet again,

oh, wait, they just helped him again,,
 

Roberto Jordan

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I think pardons are issued where the individual convicted is found not to have carried out the crime and is innocent of the charges. It is based on evidence offered subsequent to the conviction.
Lets not confuse that with a personal opinion of the motives behind an individual carrying out an offence. I always thought that rebels were guilty and proud of it and not
innocent and wanting to disassociate themselves from their actions.

That's the difference.
.
That is a fair point.
And for that reason Shatter's decision on those who deserted ( and had been fairly lightly treated) during WW-2/ the emergency is more relevant to the OP. And could prompt the the question as to why, if the president of Ireland has the power to issue a meaningful pardon to those convicted under british administration and if personal acceptance of guilt is irrelevant ( no one who wandered away from the curragh in 1940 could have been unaware of their guilt and still dont see how they were not guilty of desertion ), this has not been done for those convicted in relation to patriotic acts.....of course the most logical reason is that this is all nonsense and a modern habit
 

Sync

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This isn’t actually a constitutional issue at all is it?
 

Catalpast

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This isn’t actually a constitutional issue at all is it?
The actions of the President are governed by Bunreacht na hÉireann are they not?

The nub of the issue is that if we accept that until now the hapless Myles Joyce was in fact 'Guilty' under the Laws of the Irish State

- then we also accept that anyone executed under British Rule for fighting for Irish Freedom

- is also 'Guilty' under the Laws of the Irish State.

Go Figure....:|
 

Roberto Jordan

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The actions of the President are governed by Bunreacht na hÉireann are they not?

The nub of the issue is that if we accept that until now the hapless Myles Joyce was in fact 'Guilty' under the Laws of the Irish State

- then we also accept that anyone executed under British Rule for fighting for Irish Freedom

- is also 'Guilty' under the Laws of the Irish State.

Go Figure....:|
Indeed
Better to draw a line at the foundation of the state or the de facto recongnized date of its decalaration ( as recognized by state commemorations and the full military honors given to re-interned combatants)
 

Sync

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The actions of the President are governed by Bunreacht na hÉireann are they not?

The nub of the issue is that if we accept that until now the hapless Myles Joyce was in fact 'Guilty' under the Laws of the Irish State

- then we also accept that anyone executed under British Rule for fighting for Irish Freedom

- is also 'Guilty' under the Laws of the Irish State.

Go Figure....:|
The structure of the Dail is set out under the constitution as well. Everything the Dáil does isn't a constitutional issue.

Which article of the constitution do you think is at play here?
 

CatullusV

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I think pardons are issued where the individual convicted is found not to have carried out the crime and is innocent of the charges. It is based on evidence offered subsequent to the conviction.
Lets not confuse that with a personal opinion of the motives behind an individual carrying out an offence. I always thought that rebels were guilty and proud of it and not
innocent and wanting to disassociate themselves from their actions.

That's the difference.
.
Pardons - certainly in the UK, at least - are also granted when there is no doubt of the guilt of the pardonee.

Alan Turing - and subsequently all people found guilty of homosexual acts at a time when they were illegal is a classic example.
 

Catalpast

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The structure of the Dail is set out under the constitution as well. Everything the Dáil does isn't a constitutional issue.

Which article of the constitution do you think is at play here?
See here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Ireland#Constitutional_functions

Power of pardon
The President, on the advice of the Government, has "the right of pardon and the power to commute or remit punishment".[7] Pardon, for miscarriages of justice, has applied rarely: Thomas Quinn in 1940, Brady in 1943, and Nicky Kelly in 1992.[8] The current procedure is specified by Section 7 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1993.[9] There were plans in 2005 for paramilitary "on the runs" to receive pardons as part of the Northern Ireland peace process, to supplement the 1998 early release of serving prisoners after the Good Friday Agreement.[10] This was controversial and was soon abandoned along with similar British proposals.[11][12][13] Power of commutation and remittance are not restricted to the President,[14] though this was the case for death sentences handed down prior to the abolition of capital punishment.[15]
 

Catalpast

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Pardons - certainly in the UK, at least - are also granted when there is no doubt of the guilt of the pardonee.

Alan Turing - and subsequently all people found guilty of homosexual acts at a time when they were illegal is a classic example.
Good Point!

At least Turing was a genuine Patriot who saved the lives of countless numbers of his fellow Countrymen and women...
 

CatullusV

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Good Point!

At least Turing was a genuine Patriot who saved the lives of countless numbers of his fellow Countrymen and women...
You still haven't demonstrated any potential constitutional issues. Higgins appears to be acting entirely within the limitations of his role.
 

Finbar10

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I don't see the issue with this. This is primarily a symbolic gesture. The President, when advised so by the government, can pardon.

There's little the President can actually do without the government's say-so anyway, though there are a few exceptions, e.g. address the nation, refer a bill to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality or call a session of the Oireachtas.

De Valera toyed with the notion of a more powerful French-style Presidency (with himself in the role obviously :) ) in his 1937 constitution, but eventually settled on a more symbolic role that would be a more stress-free retirement plan for himself. Like local government and the second chamber in this country, it's a pretend institution with little power. Power in this country is centred in the government/cabinet and the civil service (unusually, this hung Dáil is currently acting as something of a check).

The Presidency, Seanad and local government could in principle provide a counterbalance to all that (they do in other countries). However, they are hollowed-out, empty and hobbled institutions for the most part (suits the civil service and TDs I guess). The Seanad acts a nice safety net for TDs (a place for failed TDs to hang out and get paid until the next election). Local government (or local administration more accurately) has been reduced to supervising libraries and cutting the grass in local parks. The Presidency is a somewhat prestigious sought-after well-paid sinecure (nice for symbolic gestures like pardoning guys from the 19th century).
 

Jim Car

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Is a pardon done on advice of the government or is it one of the few areas he can do as he likes?
 


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