Poll: Strong support for retention of Special Criminal Court
Even among Sinn Féin supporters, majority favours keeping the court
Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy leaves the Special Criminal Court earlier this month. Photograph: Alan Betson
There is strong public support for the retention of the Special Criminal Court to deal with terrorism and gangland crime, according to the latest Irish Times Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.
When asked if the three-judge court should be abolished or retained, 67 per cent of people said it should be retained with 21 per cent favouring abolition and 12 per cent having no opinion.
At the beginning of the election campaign Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams reiterated his party’s support for the abolition of the court in the wake of the conviction of Thomas “Slab” Murphy for tax evasion.
However, the poll shows that even among Sinn Féin supporters, a slight majority favours the retention of the court.
Sinn Féin voters are more evenly divided on the issue with 45 per cent of them in favour of keeping the court, 40 per cent for its abolition and 15 per cent of them having no opinion.
Across the social categories the strongest support for retention of the court comes from the best-off AB voters with 75 per cent in favour of retention; 72 per cent of farmers, 69 per cent of C1 voters, 67 per cent of C2 and 59 per cent of DE voters back the continuation of the court.
There are some differences across the age cohorts with weaker support for retaining the court among those aged under 34 and under by comparison with the older age groups.