The recent imprisoning of an 86 year old man for 4 years is an act of torture and is an inhuman and degrading punishment which is expressly prohibited by Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights. No civilised country would tolerate or allow such a sentence.

Compare this horrible sentence with that handed down to a 47 year old woman in the Cork Circuit Court last November. For regularly sexually assaulting her only younger brother for 2 years when he was aged between 9 and 11 years and when she was 21 to 23 years old the judge gave her a paltry 6 months. The DPP has not appealed the under leniency of this sentence and hasn’t given any reasons why.

Some – and only some – of the brutalities which has been visited on this very elderly 86 year old man include:

  • Being transported in shackles in a dog box in a prison van, possibly for hours, depending on which ‘shit-hole’ he has been incarcerated in. This 86 year old man might be considered somewhat lucky that unlike an 82 year old he was not paraded in public by the Irish Prison Service so he could be photographed and further humiliated.
  • Being strip searched on arrival in the ‘shit-hole’ and being compelled to shower in full view of warders and other prisoners.
  • Having to share a cell with 2 other men because of the chronic overcrowding (which was recently highlighted on Virgin Media One). He might either be sleeping on the floor or having to climb onto a top bunk. He’ll have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the other 2 men pissing and shitting, possibly when he is eating.

Where are the howls of protests from the human rights organisations? Those who like to pontificate on wrongs elsewhere are of course silent in their own failings.

The political class have, uncharacteristically, found that silence is a virtue. Brendan Howlin couldn’t get to Egypt quick enough when it involved wrong doings abroad. Of course he went on humanitarian grounds and not to get a look at the Pyramids from the air. Perhaps he can tell us whether he saw an 86 year old man in Egyptian jails!!!

This 86 year old man has made legal history. He must be the oldest man to be imprisoned in the Irish State. The judge involved must be so proud!!!