Seanie FitzPatrick is innocent, OK?

It is over a month now since Seanie FitzPatrick was acquitted on all charges and, as far as the media is concerned its all forgottern . It should not be. When Seanie FitzPatrick walked free from the high court it expressed all that is rotten in Irish society, writes Brid Smith.

Socialist Worker

Seanie FitzPatrick is innocent, OK?

The fact that the dismissal of his case coincided with the ongoing determined attempt by the State to criminalise and jail the Water Charges protestors of Jobstown reinforced the point and rubbed  salt in the wound.
Let’s start with the official story. The official story was that the Judge ordered the jury to acquit FitzPatrick because of incompetence on the part of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).
Judge Aylmer said the investigation fell short of an ‘unbiased, impartial and balanced investigation’.
He said that the leader of the investigation was inexperienced and made fundamental mistakes, which included failing to seek out evidence of innocence as well as guilt and trying to build a case (unlike at Jobstown of course), coaching witnesses and failing to take statements properly and, astonishingly, the large scale shredding of relevant documents at the time of the first trial in May 2015.
Even if this were the whole story it would be shocking. First of all it makes no sense in its own terms because the shredding of documents probably aided the defence and damaged the prosecution. Secondly, why on earth was an inexperienced and unqualified investigator appointed to a case of such importance when the State would have known it would be up against the best lawyers money could buy?
Unless of course ‘they’ wanted the case to fail from the beginning – perish the thought!
But this is not the whole story. The ‘whole story’ is deeply hidden and will remain so till it’s far too late to do anything about it.
However, by pure chance, we know a little bit of this back story. My sister, Mary Smith was summoned for Jury Service and when she arrived at court found she was one of 200 or so scheduled to serve on the Seanie FitzPatrick trial.
Before the jury was selected they were told by the Judge that they were obliged to rule themselves out: if they had ‘strong opinions’ about bankers; if had been affected by austerity, if they had ever protested against bankers or austerity or even if they had ever made comments on social media about these things. And failure to disclose any of these things would incur a fine of €2000!
Since Mary is a well known campaigner she had no choice but to disclose and was duly ruled out by the Judge. But this shows that there, was from the outset an attempt to produce a jury favourable to the view that Seanie FitzPatrick was ‘innocent’.
And this process was paralleled in the Jobstown trial by the Prosecution trying to get a jury hostile to the protestors by barring anyone from Tallaght or anyone opposed to water charges. (In this case the defence team were able to partly stop this attempt at jury rigging). Because those that know Sean FitzPatrick is innocent are equally convinced that Paul Murphy is guilty.
But this is only a tiny bit of the whole picture most of which remains shrouded in secrecy, as it always does.  There is an established pattern here. A scandal emerges and there is a suggestion of corruption in the highest places. The government announces an inquiry to ‘establish the facts’.
The inquiry inquires – for years – at vast public expense and sometimes a few facts emerge BUT NOTHING IS DONE AND NO-ONE IS HELD TO ACCOUNT. Because, of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and somehow nothing can be proven.
So from Charlie Haughey to Bertie Aherne  to Denis O’Brien and Michael Lowry through to NAMA and Project Eagle and Noirín O’Sullivan and many others THEY GET AWAY WITH IT.
Naturally we can speculate. Did Seanie say to his mates in the golf club ‘I know where all the bodies are buried. If I go down I’ll be taking others down with me’? Did the establishment just decide amongst themselves that jailing Seanie would set a bad precedent? How many others would have to be jailed too?
We don’t know. The Irish establishment may be incompetent when it comes to running a health service or housing its people but one thing it is absolutely expert at – covering its tracks.
There is a golden rule that applies here: THOSE THAT HAVE THE GOLD MAKE THE RULES. That’s how it works and how it will go on working until we, the people, change the whole rotten system.

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