Racism is not the most obnoxious aspect of these child snatchings
Opinion: What happened to these two families in daylight has happened to others in secret
I heard two journalists on the radio on Wednesday morning self-righteously telling one another that of course they knew much more about the case that they were able to report, but were precluded from giving further details by the provisions of the Child Care Act.
This is typical of the spinelessness characterising media treatment of these issues. Since when do journalists bend the knee to State cruelty and inhumanity? How can editors feel entitled to preen themselves when they face down the State and its legal authorities in relation to piddling political dropsies, and yet tiptoe like novice Carmelites around a tabernacle when it comes to the legal underpinnings of a nascent fascism?
It’s worth remembering that this week’s outrages occurred under the pre-“Children’s Rights Amendment” dispensation which may yet, arising from the outcome of the referendum conducted last year, be altered to enable far worse things to happen.
Due to the challenge mounted to the result of the referendum by Joanna Jordan, the changes voted for by the electorate on November 10th have not yet been inserted into the Constitution. In rejecting Ms Jordan’s High Court petition last week, Judge Paul McDermott at first indicated unwillingness to grant a stay on the referendum certificate.
Had he persisted in this position, the amendment might have been signed that afternoon by President Michael D Higgins, which would have meant that the present article 42.5, with its purportedly excessive protections for families, would have been deleted and replaced by the new more State-friendly article 42A. Following consultations with lawyers on both sides, the judge changed his mind and allowed a two-week stay, to enable Ms Jordan to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Of course the actions of the authorities in the two cases this week were flagrantly in breach of the existing article 42.5. But if the Jordan appeal fails, we may look back on these events with a sense that these were the good old days when the Irish State had somewhat less than total impunity to abuse families and children.