Elaine Moore Case


A chara, - While the oxymoron of British justice again appears with reports that photographs of Michael Collins and an Irish flag in an Irishwoman's London flat are deemed "evidence" in support of explosives charges, the case of Elaine Moore is also striking in its comparisons with another similar recent case - that of Roisin McAliskey.

While I fully sympathise with Elaine Moore's unfortunate predicament - placed in an all-male maximum security prison, away from family and friends, in a totally alien environment - I am struck by the amount of concern and coverage she has attracted compared with Roisin Mc Aliskey, when she was first detained in November 1996 when three months' pregnant. I remember that it took quite a number of months, many many protests, pleas to politicians and the public before there was a glimmer of interest from the media, let alone a suggestion that she too may be innocent.

One can only conclude that prejudice is at the heart of this contrast in attitudes. Roisin McAliskey - coming from the North and the daughter of the well-known civil rights activist, Bernadette - was, it would seem, guilty until proven innocent and had to endure the remainder of her pregnancy and give birth as a prisoner, only being released when her daughter was a year old. Her eventual release was brought about because of fears for her health, both physical and mental.

I hope that Elaine Moore's family connections will ensure that she does not have to endure the same fate at the hands of the British judiciary. I also hope her case will remind people here, including politicians, that any Irish man or woman detained under such circumstances in England should be treated as innocent until proven guilty and that political connections or character references should not be necessary before concern is shown for a person's civil liberties. - Is mise, Claire Prenderville,

Sraid Abairdin, Baile Atha Cliath 7.