During the week I happened to catch the last of a discussion on the radio about Margaretta D’Arcy, a 79 year old feminist, peace activist, and film maker who was jailed last week for three months in prison in relation to protests over the US military’s use of Shannon Airport. She finds herself in jail for refusing to sign a bond to keep the peace and to stay away from unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport.
Her case is notably for several reasons, notwithstanding her age; she is also undergoing treatment for cancer. However she has become the focus of media attention for the visit of one of her oldest friends who just happens to be the president’s wife Sabina Higgins. This I am sure, suits Margareta’s cause because the publicity of her incarceration and subsequent visit from her friend will highlight her protest no-end. I do not condone her or her co-protesters unauthorised use of Shannon Airport’s run-ways, simply because this action can or may cause harm to innocent people. I do on the other hand greatly admire her courage and determination in the pursuit of Truth and Justice; two words, so rare in our world to-day. Two simple words that have cost the lives of so many that have believed in the integrity of these two human principals.
The point I would like to make regarding this particular case is this; when Margaretta serves her time in prison which she intends to do, she will in the eyes of Judicial Law have a criminal record, therefore making her a criminal. To my of thinking she is no more a criminal than someone who finds themselves behind bars for non-payment of a Television Licence…all the more so because said man/women could not afford to do so. One law for those in power and one law for those who are not, it would seem.
I cannot for the life of me understand how those, who were responsible for Ireland’s economic collapse, have not even accounted for their irresponsible actions before the people of our country. No sign of expedient Law in motion here! We are entitled to the Truth, whatever about Justice, but then again that would be too much to expect. In the case against Margaretta D’Arcy the law has been carried out to the letter; when in all fairness; common sense should have prevailed. She is a 79 year old woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease who refuses to bow down to an autocratic system which espouses to be seen, to carry out justice.
People are justifiable outraged at this decision to jail her, and are organising a protest which is to take place at the Department of Justice. But I suspect that Margaretta will have the last laugh; she will treated with kid gloves and emerge from prison a heroine whether she serves the full term or not, unlike the Justice Department which has acted shamefully rather than with common sense or honour.