Adams seriously suggests putting jurors into a protection programme…

In the Times of London Irish edition he’s quoted thusly

“States throughout the world protect and value the basic right to a jury trial,” he said.

“Juries must of course be protected in carrying out their work and this can be achieved in a number of ways including having an anonymous jury, screening the jury from public view, protecting the jury during the trial, or locating the jury in a different place from where the trial is being held with communication by video link.

“Many states hear difficult cases without removing the right to a jury trial.”

Mr Adams does invoke a serious principle here. Ireland has been criticised for retaining non jury trials by Amnesty and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the UN Human Rights Committee.

The obvious self interest (the Murphy conviction has stirred up controversy north and south) aside, as one respondent on the Claire Byrne on Saturday show put it, who wants to be compelled as a juror against the organised crime syndicate behind the Regency Hotel shootings?

Or indeed, what remains of the active ingredients of the Provisional IRA: whether it’s a butterfly or no butterfly?

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