The High Court in Dublin this morning dismissed the United States Government application for the extradition of Seán Garland after an epic legal battle covering the past six years.
Seán was first arrested in 2005 as he attended a Workers’ Party conference in Belfast. Since then he has had to contend with a prolonged legal battle while being subjected to draconian and unprecedented bail conditions.
Today’s decision removes some of that pressure from Seán and his family but does not see the end of the US government’s attempts to extradite him. US law enforcement agencies will attempt to pursue the extradition warrant should Seán leave the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland.
Delighted and Relieved
The Reverend Chris Hudson MBE, chair of the Stop the Extradition of Seán Garland campaign, said he was delighted and relieved at the judgement.
“This has been a horrendous six year ordeal for Seán, his family and friends”, said Rev. Hudson, “and I am delighted with the progress we have made today”.
“I have always believed that the US extradition demand was a vindictive act by the former Bush administration designed to punish and isolate North Korea and anyone who had connections with that country”.
“On behalf of the Stop the Extradition of Sean Garland committee, I would like to thank Seán’s legal team, the many thousands of people from all walks of life who supported the campaign, including more than 120 parliamentarians from the Dáil, Seanad, NI Assembly, councils and councillors from throughout the country, as well as Westminster MPs, members of the British House of Lords and members of the European Parliament”.
“We have also greatly appreciated the support and endorsement of our campaign by the trade union movement and especially by Jack O’Connor, SIPTU General President, Jimmy Kelly, Regional Secretary of UNITE, and Eamon Devoy, TEEU General Secretary”, Rev. Hudson said.
“Although this morning’s decision is to be welcomed, it does not mark the end of this campaign”, warned Rev. Hudson. “We must now redouble our efforts to have this extradition warrant withdrawn completely by the United States to allow Sean Garland and his family the right to travel at will outside of Ireland without fear of arrest and detention,” he said.