Monday 23 October 2017

Wallace jailed for two hours over €2,000 fine

By Esther Hayden

Deputy Mick Wallace getting into an unmarked garda car at Clontarf Garda Station before being driven to Limerick Prison.
Deputy Mick Wallace getting into an unmarked garda car at Clontarf Garda Station before being driven to Limerick Prison.
Deputy Mick Wallace.

Deputy Mick Wallace spent two hours in Limerick Prison on Wednesday having been arrested for the non-payment of a €2,000 fine.

The Wexford TD was arrested by appointment on Wednesday morning and driven by gardai to Limerick Prison arriving at around 2pm. He was processed at the prison and released shortly after 4pm that same day. His Dail colleague, Deputy Claire Daly, who was arrested later the same day for the non-payment of her fine, was also released that night.

Deputy Wallace is unrepentant about refusing to pay the €2,000 fine and said that 'as long as US bombs continue to rain down and tear innocent children and their families limb from limb in the Middle East I will continue to oppose the US military's use of Shannon Airport and challenge the Irish Government over our nation's very open and extremely dirty little secret',

Deputy Wallace said that in his five years in Government, he 'had sought on every occasion to have the Irish Government carry out their legal responsibilities and search these aircraft. At every turn they have refused. Already this year over 43,000 US soldiers, over 550 US civilian aircraft with munitions, 46 mid air refuellers, and an average of two US military aircraft per day have passed through Shannon on the way to the Middle East.

Read more here: Wallace and Daly had received €2,000 fine after airport breach

'It's unlikely they're going there to play golf,' he said.

When asked about his arrest and release after being held for two hours at Limerick prison Wallace said he had fully expected to serve the full 30 days of his sentence.

Wallace said while he is thankful that he won't have to spend Christmas in prison, 'the difficulty of doing so would be nothing in comparison to the fear felt by a child in Raqqa, Syria or Northern Iraq who are left to curl up under their beds and pray that a shell doesn't land on their roof.'

On the cost of his arrest to the taxpayer, Wallace said: 'I've seen figures that our arrests cost €8,000. I've been accused of a lot of things and blamed for a lot more, but I'm not sure how I'm accountable for a dysfunctional justice system. I can only image that this figure was released by someone with an interest in deflecting from the real issue - that Ireland is complicit in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It's not a conspiracy theory to say that the US bombardment of the Middle East has directly led to the destabilisation of these regions.

'That destabilisation has directly led to the creation of heinous terrorist groups such as ISIS, that in turn has led to the refugee crisis, and that has lead to the bodies of more innocent children and their families washing up on the coastline of Europe. Ireland allows the US military use Shannon airport on their way to that warfront and that makes us as a nation complicit in these deaths. That's the truth, it may be an inconvenient truth that many don't want to acknowledge, including some who voted for me, but it's an issue I'll continue to highlight.'

Wexford People

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