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  1. #31
    FutureTaoiseach FutureTaoiseach is offline
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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    I wish politicians would just cop on and stop sending these kinds of letters to judges. If a rapist comes from 'a good family' that is irrelevant to the severity with which the rapist is sentenced. It is nonsensical to suggest otherwise.
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  2. #32
    Rebel CNC Rebel CNC is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureTaoiseach
    I wish politicians would just cop on and stop sending these kinds of letters to judges. If a rapist comes from 'a good family' that is irrelevant to the severity with which the rapist is sentenced. It is nonsensical to suggest otherwise.

    Exactly - in fact a defendant would be more deserving of a letter if he came from a bad and abusive family - this ****************************** was brought up well by all accounts so can't blame horrendous childhood, lack of opportunities, etc.

    Surprised by Lynch. This won't go down well with her constituents. What was the purpose of the letter ffs?
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  3. #33
    Schuhart Schuhart is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel CNC
    Exactly - in fact a defendant would be more deserving of a letter if he came from a bad and abusive family - this ****************************** was brought up well by all accounts so can't blame horrendous childhood, lack of opportunities, etc.

    Surprised by Lynch. This won't go down well with her constituents. What was the purpose of the letter ffs?
    I had the same thought. But, in any event, the 'good family' stuff seems out of place from the outlook you'd expect from a Labour TD. It belongs to that 'we're respectable folk, we don't commit crimes, we make mistakes" kind of view.

    I'm not sure her apology quite overcomes the issue.
    Ms Lynch said she now accepted that it was inappropriate for a TD to get involved in any way in a case of such seriousness, and that she deeply regretted it if her action had added to the victims' ordeal.
    I mean, did she really need a whole load of public vilification to reach this conclusion? Was it not pretty obvious? Maybe its hard to face the guys parents and tell them you will not write a letter for them, but in fairness it can be done politely and humouring them only delays their coming to terms with the fact that their flesh and blood has done something awful.

    I'm not suggesting she has to decry the parents from the pulpit. But I think we know that dialogue in our country has suffered from people not stating the rude truth. I've had no particular thoughts one way or the other about Kathleen Lynch. But I think this episode makes me very sceptical of the extent to which she has a contribution to make to change in Irish society.

    Get the phrase it was inappropriate for a TD to get involved in any way in a case of such seriousness. Does this mean she's leaving the door open to getting involved in less serious cases? My parents are very decent people, regular Church attenders and the kind of people who I've no doubt would get the Kathleen Lynch seal of approval. Does this mean I should expect to be let off if I park on a double yellow line? Can I expect if the son of a drug addict survives his poor family circumstances, gets a job and a car and parks behind me on the on the double yellow that the bould Kathleen will write to the Judge and say 'that guy's parents are scum, disqualify him from driving for a decade'?

    This case is worth reflecting on. On one level, its just a TD sending a meaningless letter that costs nothing more than a stamp (or is it covered by free Oireachtas postage? OK, it just collectively cost us a stamp.) But it really tells us quite a lot about whats dysfunctional about Irish politics, and how the political system fails to represent and articulate real concerns that actually impact on people's lives. What's the chance of Kathleen Lynch engaging with other TDs in something meaningful and useful to promote health service reform? Much easier to twaddle out all kinds of meaningless letters.
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  4. #34
    corkscribe corkscribe is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    For anyone interested, Kathleen Lynch issued a statement this evening.
    --------------



    STATEMENT BY KATHLEEN LYNCH TD
    Labour Party TD for Cork North Central
    Sunday, 20 April, 2008


    STATEMENT BY DEPUTY KATHLEEN LYNCH RE CORK COURT CASE

    I refer to a letter I wrote, which was mentioned by Mr. Justice Patrick
    McCarthy, last Friday when he was imposing a sentence of 13 years on Trevor
    Casey for a number of extremely serious sexual offences.

    The letter was written in good faith by me, testifying to the good
    character of Mr. Casey’s parents and was presented to the judge by his
    defending counsel.

    Having heard an interview with one of the victims in the case, who was
    clearly distressed by my letter and having considered the matter and
    discussed it with colleagues I now accept that it was inappropriate for a
    TD to have become involved in any way in a case of such seriousness.

    If my action has in any way added to the ordeal of the two victims in this
    case, then I deeply regret that and offer them my apologies.

    I want to reiterate that I have no issue with court process or the sentence
    imposed in this case. I have long been an advocate of proper supports for
    victims of sexual offences and I believe that serious offenders should
    receive and serve appropriate sentences.

    ENDS
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  5. #35
    Schuhart Schuhart is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    Quote Originally Posted by corkscribe
    For anyone interested, Kathleen Lynch issued a statement this evening.
    It's helpful to see the full statement, so thanks for posting it. But her statement is deeply inadequate, and I'd double the feelings I've already expressed above. I mean, what does she mean when she says The letter was written in good faith by me. What does 'good faith' mean in this context? Take the dictionary definition.
    if you act in good faith, you believe that what you are doing is right and legal. His defence was that he had acted in good faith. He did not know when he bought the car that it had been stolen.
    So is she saying she didn't know this reference was to be used in the trial? Why then does she say she admits her action was inappropriate?
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  6. #36
    corkscribe corkscribe is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    While none of us have seen the letter, I take the reading of the KL statement to mean that she wrote to the judge about the character of the convicted mans PARENTS, and not his own character. We all know (if we are honest) know of thieves, sex offenders, even killers, who's parents were of good stock and standing, and who are devastated by the actions of an offspring. She acknowleges that it was poor judgement to write the letter, and indeed it was, but lets not have a thread that seeks to turn her error into a crime almost equivalent of that committed by Trevor Casey. I know and respect her. When I see her I will tell her she was an eejit, but I suspect she already knows.

    It's just a thought.
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  7. #37
    Laudenum Laudenum is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    <Mod> This post has been removed pending review by the moderators. </Mod>
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  8. #38
    Keith-M Keith-M is offline
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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    As a woman, Lynch should be doubly ashamed of heself and given the Molloy and Killeen incidents, it should really be "three strikes you're out" and she should have the decency to resign her seat.
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  9. #39
    baldur0300 baldur0300 is offline
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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    Quote Originally Posted by KingKane
    Part of the problem here is that we seem to try the person not the crime. He came from good stock / a troubled home / should have known better because of his educated background etc seems to have more bearing that the actual offense itself.

    Try the crime not matters to do with the people involved that have no bearing on the crime - being a good footballer, or helping the elderly. Christ we had all this 15 years ago with the young lady in Kilkenny.

    You can't go separating the crime from the person who commits the crime, the two are inherently linked. If due to the personal circumstances of the defendant, they are less or more culpable for the crime, it needs to be taken into account. Would you not take previous convictions into account? Or mental disability?

    On the point itself, character references are handy but unless the TD or elected rep actually knows the person involved and believes they are of good character, they should really run a mile away from this sort of stuff.
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  10. #40
    Schuhart Schuhart is offline

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    Re: TD and Cllrs letters re Rape Case

    Quote Originally Posted by corkscribe
    While none of us have seen the letter, I take the reading of the KL statement to mean that she wrote to the judge about the character of the convicted mans PARENTS, and not his own character.
    Indeed, and I think what’s everyone understands to be at issue. The point is why she would feel the character of the man’s parents has any bearing on the case at all. She does not seem to be contesting that the letter was written in the context of the case. I don’t want to repeat everything that’s been said before, but I take it you realise that the fact of this being a statement of the character of the parents, rather than the convicted man, is not what is at issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by corkscribe
    We all know (if we are honest) know of thieves, sex offenders, even killers, who's parents were of good stock and standing, and who are devastated by the actions of an offspring.
    Indeed, but I take it you’ll also know that we’re questioning the very concept of good stock and standing as something that belongs in bleak plays about Ireland in the 1950s. That the concept should apparently feature in the outlook of a Labour TD is something that certainly gives me pause for thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by corkscribe
    She acknowleges that it was poor judgement to write the letter, and indeed it was, but lets not have a thread that seeks to turn her error into a crime almost equivalent of that committed by Trevor Casey.
    No-one is doing that. But, equally, let’s address the issue as it stands. I’d go back to my point that this little episode illustrates why our political system fails to articulate matters of real consequence, as TDs spend their time engaging in meaningless and blind advocacy of any old thing that comes along.

    Yes, we could just dismiss this as ‘sure, all she did was write a letter for the parents’. But that seems to ignore the real significance of this case. There’s nothing out of the ordinary to be taken from a Labour TD assuring the Judge in a rape case that the perpetrator’s parents are of good standing. We should all just shrug a little and pass on by. And wonder why the HSE gets a squad of money and we don’t seem to see as much results as we’d expect. And not connect the two things.

    We shouldn't wonder why the political system fails to identify and articulate real concerns, but happily represents bogus concerns? I don't agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by corkscribe
    I know and respect her. When I see her I will tell her she was an eejit, but I suspect she already knows.
    Indeed, I just wonder (no, more than wonder) if she needs to travel even a little further in her response to this case. Bear in mind, I expect the Labour Party to be better than FF or FG. Otherwise, like the Greens, we might as well give up and accommodate ourselves to the political reality that nothing happens unless FF want it.
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