Covid, the Law, and the Drums of War!
Three years ago today, Ireland, following a US lead and in lockstep with the entire democratic West, took down its Constitution, which remains, in effect, suspended, as though the world is at war.
Since the day of my mother’s funeral, in the middle of September 2012, I have been involved in what has seemed a continuous political battle. At first this battle appeared to be loosely related to issues concerning family and children, albeit invariably converging on the Irish Constitution. First there was the so-called ‘Children Referendum’ of November 2012 — really designed to transfer rights from parents to the State; then there was the ‘Marriage Referendum’ of 2015, which inserted in the Constitution a wording that permitted same-sex couples to be married, thereby redefining constitutionally not just the word ‘marriage’ but also the words ‘parent’ and ‘family’; in 2018, came the attack on the right to life of the most vulnerable human person of all: the child in the womb, which ‘broke the duck’ on the Constitution’s capacity to protect human life, with possible consequences into the future that we can now merely shudder at. All three amendments were passed, the 2012 referendum being the closest contest. In that referendum, just half a dozen activists fought the combined forces of the State and corrupt media, and ended up getting 42 per cent of the vote. The other votes were lost by approximately two to one.
My resistance to these onslaughts on the bedrock of Irish freedoms has had a consistent basis sometimes mistaken for Catholic zealotry, though in fact less a matter of Catholic doctrine than a determination to preserve particular fundamental understandings of law, having their roots in the givenness of everything, now under terminal sentence in Ireland and elsewhere. Of course, many of these understandings are part of Christian teaching also, but I make the distinction because I find that, nowadays, people have become oblivious to the fact that they would be necessary and true even if Christ had never come.
In my ‘campaign folder’ for the first two referendums — the plastic envelope I carried around from studio to campus to parish hall — were the remnants of an ancient, yellowing booklet, a copy of the Dreacht Bhunreacht, the draft constitution sent out to households prior to the plebiscite of July 1st 1937, in which the text of the Constitution was passed by the electorate, by 56.5 per cent to 43.5 per cent. It has the draft text in Irish and English — the Irish in the old Gaelic script, complete with those fondly-remembered overdots or buailtes, and those exquisite capitals that as schoolchildren we learned to etch on blue and red-lined paper with nib and ink. This copy had been my father’s and bore the signs of being carried in his pocket for many months, even years. The cover was missing and the back page all but detached. The pages were dog-eared, fraying and as though singed in the fires of history.
In more recent times, escalatingly since the third referendum in May 2018, I have come to see that I was, in fighting these amendments, failing to see the wood for the trees. The ‘trees’ were, respectively, the instant issues of each referendum: the interference with parental rights; the redefinition of marriage, parenthood and family; and the right to life. The ‘wood’ was the Constitution itself, and in particular what is sometimes called the ‘Irish Bill of Rights’, the enumeration of Fundamental Rights and Personal Rights in Articles 40 to 44 inclusive. The purpose of each of the referendums had been to fell or at least destabilise some of the most critical of these rights, with special attention to those pertaining to families, probably with a view to disabling or removing this institution as a rival source of authority to the State, and ultimately to total global power.
This is the true terrain of these recent battles. In the referendums of 2012 and 2015, a few of us divined a plundering of the fundamental rights of families in a manner that was actually illegal, unconstitutional, and profoundly dangerous. In effect, the Irish government performed two sleights-of-hand, both times convincing the public that it had a right to vote on matters that were actually beyond the remit of Government and People. The targeted articles in 2015 and 2018 made clear that the rights set out in their texts were not extended or generated by the State, but were ‘antecedent’ and simply ‘recognised’ within the constitutional texts. The rights inherent in Article 40-44 include the right to life, to equality before the law, to reputation, property, to the inviolability of one’s home, to practice one’s religion, to habeas corpus procedures, to freedom of expression, public assembly, to form associations and unions, to the protection of family life, to education, and also a number of unenumerated rights, including the right to bodily integrity and recognition for the dignity of the person, the rights to earn a livelihood, to privacy, to communicate, to have access to justice and fair procedures, to travel within and beyond the State, and many others, some as yet unidentified. All these rights were ostensibly suspended in 2020, but in reality confiscated, for by granting themselves the entitlement to suspend them, the relevant authorities were already acting ultra vires the Constitution, and so could not be trusted to restore the natural order or forswear to disturb it again.
The Irish Constitution and most of our laws are rooted in natural law and English common law concepts of freedom: We are free people under God unless, for exceptional and proportionate reasons, our Government is compelled to curtail those freedoms in the interests of the common good, and such interventions are bound by an ethic of minimalist proportionalism. We, the people, grant the government any powers it may have. The idea, therefore, of the people being imprisoned in their own homes on the basis of a crisis that had already begun to reveal itself as grossly exaggerated by spurious and discredited projection models was deeply repugnant to the sovereign status of the Irish people.
On March 19th 2020, three years ago today, the Irish Parliament (Dáil) enacted a set of laws ostensibly related to Covid, reversing 800 years of Irish struggle for freedom and independence. The laws remain. It is now clear, in the wake of that assault, that the purpose went much further than combatting a ‘pandemic’ now widely understood as, at best, a hoax, to facilitate the stripping of every fundamental right, under multiple categories, from future generations of human beings in Ireland and elsewhere. These events occurred more or less in perfect lockstep. In this the respective ‘authorities’ of sundry onetime democracies appeared to feel assured of the collusion of virtually the entirety of their political systems, significant elements of their judiciaries, as well as the implicit collusion, or at least obedience, of the vast majority of State operatives, plus corrupt media.
On the Wednesday after Easter, April 15th 2020, my friend Gemma O’Doherty and I launched a constitutional challenge to the Covid-19-related lockdown measures introduced by the Irish government three weeks before, seeking a judicial review of the enabling legislation and regulations and an injunction or declaration to bring it all to an end.
We submitted our initial papers, therefore, midway through Easter Week, the most potent week in Irish history, the occasion of the Easter Rising of 1916, when Easter had fallen approximately a fortnight later.
It was already striking how similar were the legislative packages introduced around the world. For the first time in history, and contrary to all existing laws, an infectious disease was combatted not by quarantining the infected, but by radically restricting the freedoms of the healthy and unaffected. People were ordered to remain at home other than for ‘essential’ journeys and daily exercise, which was restricted with specific limits and not permitted to include periods of rest. The police force, An Garda Siochána (Guardians of the Peace!), was given sweeping new powers to question, fine, or detain those who do not comply when given orders to return home. Citizens were summarily denied the right to mix freely, go to pubs, cafes, and restaurants, hold or attend sporting events, travel to earn their daily bread, enter beauty spots and wilderness areas to be alone with themselves and their maker, even pause mid-stroll on a park bench to read a book or gaze at the sea. Garda officers even stopped people just walking or cycling down a street, quizzing them concerning their most routine and unexceptionable movements, in some instances people resulting in people having their shopping trolleys searched for ‘non-essential’ items.
In the manner the tyranny evolved — without meaningful debate or noticeable dissent, with a widespread instantaneous decline into levels of spying and snitching that had taken the GDR Stasi many years to perfect — it became one in which the population was invited to become complicit, and many were happy to fall in. Ireland, in lockstep with other Western countries, experienced a multiple organ failure on the part of its major institutions, the great pillars — estates — of Irish democracy. The Oireachtas (parliament) failed to debate these momentous impositions; the President failed to exercise his prerogative to refer them to the Supreme Court. The media failed to ask even the most rudimentary questions. No significant member of the legal profession emerged to warn against the implications — no former Minister for Justice or Attorney General, no Senior Counsel or academic lawyer. It fell to two laypersons — who had worked many years in journalism while it was still a decent and honourable profession — to raise these most fundamental matters relating to freedom and the rule of law, to have the Covid laws scrutinised by the courts so that the people might be reassured that at least some of the organs of State were still functioning and that there existed some means of protection to ensure that such a calamity as this could not routinely be repeated.
It has for some time been established that Covid was an economic and military operation, not a health-related one. What the World Bank subsequently called the ‘Covid project’ flowed directly from an alert issued to the G20 and several supranational bodies, on August 15th 2019, by BlackRock, the world biggest asset-management agency, warning that the world’s economies and currencies were on the brink, and that an extreme intervention would be required to deal with the coming downturn by placing the world’s economy on life-support.
In recent times, persuasive evidence has emerged to indicate that the Covid ‘project’ was controlled from the outset by the US Department of Defense (DOD) and everything we were told was political theatre to cover up the fact that it was constructed not as a health initiative but as a military operation. In January this year, documents confirming this were obtained by the independent researcher/journalist Alexandria (Sasha) Latypova, an artist and former executive of a pharmaceutical Contract Research Organization.
Latypova’s research articles on this and related subjects can be found at Due Diligence and Art, Substack: https://substack.com/profile/50868935-sasha-latypova
Other research into this murky area has been conducted by Katherine Watt, an American paralegal and journalist, and extensively reported in recent months by Patrick Delaney on LifeSiteNews, and by Redacted and other ‘alternative’ platforms. According to Watt, many of the preparatory laws and measures were rolled out during the second Obama administration, 2014-2017, when a number of emergency measures were introduced, including Executive Order 13674 (2014), which authorised the US Health and Human Services (HHS) to exercise control of civilian apprehension and indefinite detention power, on the basis of suspected asymptomatic SARS-like respiratory illness.
(Katherine Watt’s work can be found on Substack, at Bailiwick News (bailiwicknews.substack.com).
In January 2022, Sasha Latypova’s researches uncovered enormous variability among batches or lots of biological injections marketed as ‘COVID vaccines’. While 70 to 80 per cent of these batches had shown just one or two reported serious adverse reactions on public reporting websites such as VAERS, 4 to 5 per cent revealed thousands of injuries. Latypova told LifeSiteNews that ‘we have a chaotic mess of everything from sham injections that may be mostly just saline all the way to extremely dangerous/deadly shots, all of which are being distributed under the same product brands and labels.’ In email correspondence with LifeSite, she wrote that the US government owned the (‘vaccines’) product through each step of its production ‘until it is injected into a person,’ which means any American who obtained the vials in order to study the contents could be prosecuted for stealing government property. It also remained a contractual violation for governments outside the US to test these products.
‘So, there is no tracing of any of the ingredients, their real origin, etc. and the product is wide open to adulteration (accidental or intentional) and falsification,’ she wrote. Therefore, ‘if the U.S. Government wanted to insert anything that has been on the shelves and unused from the strategic stockpile of biological agents, they can do that and [there is] no way to check. Or any foreign governments can do this in their countries. The possibilities are endless.’
Latypova also claims that, in early 2020, when President Donald Trump declared a Public Health Emergency under the authority of the Stafford Act, this meant that ‘medical countermeasures’ (mRNA ‘vaccines’) would not be regulated or safeguarded as normal pharmaceutical products. They were fully produced, controlled, and distributed by the DOD, which classified them not as medicines or pharmaceuticals, but as ‘COVID countermeasures' under the authority of the military. She also claims that supposed health regulators, like the FDA and CDC, orchestrated a ‘fake theatrical’ public relations performance to give the impression to an unsuspecting population that standard safeguards were in place.
The Stafford Act was disaster preparedness legislation introduced in 1988 to enable an orderly and systematic means of providing federal natural disaster assistance for state and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to aid citizens, being an amended version of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974.
Latypova has put forward the hypothesis that the ‘pandemic’ was the doing of a cabal of central bank private owners — not, she stressed, the same as banks themselves. This aspect remains ‘fuzzy’, she says, whereas the structure of the Covid crime itself ‘is not fuzzy at all’.
She described the ‘crime scene’ as follows:
We have a mass murder/mass injury event ongoing and bodies are piling up. The deaths and injury are the result of the forced injections of ‘health products’ that do not comply with any regulations for pharmaceuticals nor the lists of ingredients or advertised chemical composition. Thus they should be deemed de facto poison. Even if the manufacturers managed to produce these substances with fidelity to the label and the law, the products would be still extremely dangerous to administer on a mass scale due to numerous toxicities built into their design, which is perfectly well known to the regulators and manufacturers. Albeit, the latter got rid of employees with expertise and conscience to know this in the years immediately preceding ‘covid success’, and replaced them with diversity hires and software. The needles are in the hands of ‘nice people from healthcare’ who are doing their jobs as commanded by their superiors. I am tracing this organization back, starting from the weapon of murder and assault — the needle.
She believes that the mass injuries and deaths by the mRNA/DNA injections are intentional, and should be investigated as 'a crime of mass murder and attempted mass murder by poisoning’. She also says that the the lack of any enforcement action by the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on the injuries and deaths is also intentional, as demonstrated ‘by the now very obvious refusal of the officialdom to stop them or limit in any way, despite clear evidence of their harm’. She says HHS is following the orders of the National Security Council and the US Department of Defence (DOD) as the Chief Operating Officer of Operation Warp Speed — i.e. the HHS is operating under the military command structure. She says the command structure of the crime in the US context is as follows: POTUS=>NSC=>DOD=>HHS=>state and local health authorities => owners/administrators of health delivery settings=>local vaccinators.
Katherine Watt has documented the extensive ‘pseudo-legal’ structures put in place over decades which allowed the DOS to execute its ‘COVID-19 vaccine’ bioterrorism attack upon its own citizens, killing and maiming many thousands with complete impunity. She uses the term ‘pseudo-legal’, she says, ‘because you cannot legalise a crime.’ What has been effected is ‘legal’ on paper, but this legality is vitiated by virtue of the criminality involved.
Watt states without equivocation, based on her researches:
The interlocking corruption of federal emergency management, public health and drug safety laws, for the purpose of mounting a covert biological attack by the US Government on the American people under the fraudulent characterization of biological weapons as ‘Covid-19 vaccines,’ was deployed fully starting Jan. 27, 2020 and continues to be fully operational at the present time [three years later].
These and related HHS Secretary declarations, Presidential Executive Orders and Congressional appropriations, suspended ordinary federal product procurement contracting laws and ordinary federal drug safety regulation and informed consent laws, apparently authorizing pharmaceutical corporations, the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with several other federal agencies, to develop, produce, fraudulently market, and distribute biological weapon prototypes to American doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical students and other medical personnel.
These actors were apparently authorized to injure and murder patients with legal impunity using procedures and products (including withholding of effective non-EUA products as treatments; restraints, starvation, dehydration, isolation, sedatives, Remdesivir/Veklury, ventilators), to drive public panic and acceptance of the lethal injections colloquially known as ‘Covid-19 vaccines’.
The products are bioagents deployed by actors within the US Government and pharmaceutical/bioweapons industry manufacturing contractors, intended to injure and kill American people as targets, and exported to other countries' governments to injure and kill their people.
‘In a nutshell’, she says, ’the government's purpose is to commit mass murder/depopulate the world, without public knowledge and without legal consequence, and enslave survivors for wealth and power centralization through digitized “vaccine” passports and digital currencies, without public knowledge and without public resistance.’
‘The basic goal of the architects, which has been achieved,’ she writes, ‘was to set up legal conditions in which all governing power in the United States could be automatically transferred from the citizens and the three Constitutional branches into the two hands of the Health and Human Services Secretary, effective at the moment the HHS Secretary himself declared a public health emergency, legally transforming free citizens into enslaved subjects.’
Watt has compiled a detailed account of the legal history of the American domestic bioterrorism programme, which dates from 1969 and culminated in the Covid operation. In respect of Covid, she states that Jan. 27, 2020 was the effective date of US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar's Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists, signed Jan. 31, 2020, retroactive to Jan. 27, 2020. This has been extended continuously since, most recently on Oct. 13, 2022. Effective Feb. 04, 2020, HHS Secretary Azar issued Notice of Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID–19.
Arising from these instruments, she states: ’Investigators, researchers, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other individuals involved in product dispensing, use, or administration to human beings apparently have had, and today have no legal obligations to comply with laws and regulations that applied previously to use of experimental, investigational, unapproved or approved biological products or devices, including compliance with informed consent laws, medical monitoring of recipients during product use and post-administration monitoring and reporting of adverse effects.
Recipients of such products are not legally recognized as experimental subjects or patients receiving experimental, authorized or approved products, because ‘use’ of the products ‘shall not constitute clinical investigation.’ There is no stopping condition, because there is no legally-relevant ‘clinical investigation’ to be stopped.
On the basis of a self-declared ‘public health emergency’ and self-declared classification of products as ‘emergency use medical countermeasures,’ including an unreviewable determination as to the relative risks posed by a communicable pathogen as compared to ‘medical countermeasure’ products, the Secretary of Health and Human Services can suspend informed consent obligations and rights, on behalf of the entire American population.
There are some remarkable and strange resonances between this account of events and some of the subtexts of the early months of Covid in 2020 and into 2021. It is almost dreamlike to recall that many of the political leaders of Western countries became fond of referring then to the situation in wartime vocabulary, speaking about the 'war against the virus’ and the battle to ‘flatten the curve’. The then US President, Donald Trump, in one of his daily briefings from the White House, actually used the word ‘wartime’ to describe what was happening, but with what may have been an intentional hint of a double entendre. ‘I’m a wartime president,’ he said. ‘It’s a war, a different kind of war than we’ve ever had.’ About halfway through the second sentence, he appeared to become conscious of perhaps saying something he was not supposed to, resulting in a slight hesitation before his part-clarification or fudge at the end.
There may be quite a story to be told one day about Trump and the Covid ‘war’. In some respects, his behaviour has seemed erratic — pushing to begin and advance Operation Warp Speed, and then afterwards appearing to endorse and defend the ‘vaccines’ at what seemed every opportunity. Clif High, a man I am inclined to listen to very closely, says you have to listen carefully to Trump: He may not always be saying what he appears to be saying.
By Clif’s analysis, Trump pushed to launch the ’vaccines’ to forestall a Deep State/motherWEFfers plan to lock down the world for a decade until it succumbed to the plan for a global digital currency, with attendant bells and whistles. In this way, Trump may have saved up to half a billion lives — the kind of casualties to be expected from that kind of prolonged lockdown. If, on the other hand, he had done the predictable thing by opposing the vaccine, he would have been buried by the corrupt media, and probably abandoned by a fearful public. It’s a war, Clif says, and in wars it is often a question of pursuing the lesser among evils.
There is another odd resonance here with a theme that surfaced almost immediately on the ramping up of fear in March 2020. I wrote about this disturbing aspect at the time for the American magazine First Things, in an article titled COVID-19 and the New Death Calculus — published on March 18th 2020, just one day before the enactment in the Irish parliament of the Covid laws.
A central point of the article was to draw attention to comparisons being made with ‘military triage’ in wartime, then a common media trope. An article in the financial pages of the UK’s Daily Telegraph on March 3rd, 2020 had raised the possibility that, unlike the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which had ‘disproportionately affected’ younger ‘bread winners,’ the coronavirus crisis might have the benefit of primarily killing the elderly. ‘Not to put too fine a point on it,’ wrote Jeremy Warner, ‘from an entirely disinterested economic perspective, the COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.’
Warner was not an outlier. Many European authorities and medics were already speaking in rather blithe terms about triaging in favour of younger, more ‘productive’ virus victims. The context was usually the ‘hard choices’ that had to be made when resources and staff became overstretched. I wrote:
Those who talk blithely about ‘combat triage' appear to imply that the modern workplace is the equivalent of a combat zone and the primary issue is therefore prioritizing those who can be trussed up to get back into ‘battle.' What they appear to be saying is that, if someone has passed a particular number on the dial of chronological age — retirement age, more or less — that person should be left to die.
This ‘war triage’ logic has not gone away, and some observers have noticed a similar note in the response of authorities and media to the escalating damage and death arising from the ‘vaccines’, which we recall were treated as ‘countermeasures’ — i.e. a military response, with all laws concerning vaccination testing suspended. Dr Pierre Kory, a former critical-care specialist at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center, and one of the principals of Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, a nonprofit organisation founded by dissident doctors, has observed, most acutely: ‘If you look at a lot of the policies, it has military all over it — right down to ignoring the massive amounts of vaccine injuries and deaths. I think that’s a very militaristic view. It’s like sacrificing people for the greater good of this vaccine campaign. And it’s quite terrifying.’
And all this chimes with a response or feeling we had at the time we took our constitutional action, in April 2020. War was on our minds also, but in a different way: We were asking ourselves, albeit in a manner somewhat disbelieving of our own question: Are we at war?
The reason for our asking this question of ourselves was not that we had tumbled to the scenarios subsequently revealed by Katherine Watt and Sasha Latypova, but because a war was the only thing that might have been used to ‘justify’ the measures that had been introduced in Ireland — which were more or less indistinguishable from those implemented in every former Western democracy.
I have more recently been told, on reliable authority, that a top-level meeting including politicians, judges and other key members of the Constitutional Government took place in Dublin in December 2019, at which it was ‘agreed’ to suspend the Constitution when the Covid ‘pandemic’ began to be rolled out. This, amounting to a State of Emergency, would have been illegal — unconstitutional — there being no lawful context in which authorities in Ireland — of any kind — could even begin such a discussion unless there was an imminent war or armed rebellion, a matter that would ordinarily have to be placed before the Oireachtas (parliament) in full public view.
This principle is set down in Article 28.3.3° of the Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, which insists that no declaration of any kind of emergency, and therefore no wholesale suspension of fundamental rights, is possible other than in circumstances described as ‘war or armed rebellion’. This was one of the initial factors influencing Gemma and me to take our case, as it seemed to us to be illegitimate for the government to introduce such a broad range of measures impinging on the most personal rights, freedoms and dignity of citizens when no context existed remotely equivalent to these conditions. When we placed the impediment represented by Article 28.3.3° at the centre of our submissions, the responding State authority, the Department of Health, claimed that it had not sought to use this article, had not declared a State of Emergency, and had not, in fact, suspended the Constitution. The State lawyers came up with a cock-and-bull story to the effect that the language of the Constitution had always permitted incursions on individual rights, and it had merely implemented a number of these, which together did not amount to a suspension. Unsurprisingly, this passed muster before the purchased judges in the lower courts, but we had some residual hopes — for reasons that will become clear — in the event that we could take our case to the Supreme Court.
In our submissions we said that Article 28.3.3° amounted to a definitive bar — a ‘backstop’ — on a government imposing what was in effect a State of Emergency (while asserting not to be availing of the provisions of Article 28.3.3°, and not having declared an emergency). We argued that the government did not have any right, given that it intended such a wide, indeed exhaustive and comprehensive range of incursions on the personal and fundamental freedoms of citizens, to ignore the existence of Article 28.3.3° in a manner such as might be appropriate in some narrower measure or set of minor measures, or in a context involving, say, an individual or family, a small portion of whose rights might conceivably be set aside in particular circumstances in pursuit of some greater good — this being subject to court challenge which would place a stop on the roll-out of the measures proposed. We submitted that the extent of the lockdown restrictions was such as to dictate that the terms of Article 28.3.3° made a referendum essential before such measures could be deemed constitutional.
The State, while continuing to claim in court that it had not sought to avail of the blanket capacity to suspend fundamental rights available via Article 28.3.3°, was less clear-cut as to what alternative option it imagined to be available. It would seem that it decided to employ a form of piecemeal abrogation of rights, relying upon the accumulation of these abrogations to provide it with an outcome similar or comparable to that which might have been achieved had the wording of Article 28.3.3° been better adapted to its purpose. We submitted that the reason this was not an option is that, when the Article was drafted, scenarios such as those being pursued by the government were expressly considered for inclusion in the amended article, but were comprehensively ruled out. The various historical texts of Article 28, together with the account of the circumstances surrounding the amendment of the Constitutional text in 1938, as comprehensively outlined in The Origins of the Irish Constitution, 1928 – 1941 (author G. Hogan, and mark that name), make it abundantly clear that the option of extending the provisions whereby a comprehensive State of Emergency, or anything equivalent to such, might be declared beyond the permitted context of ‘war or armed rebellion’ was deliberated upon at great length before that option was passed over. In that exercise, the Constitution was amended (by vote of the Oireachtas, the Constitution still being in its bedding-down period) in the most minimal fashion as to achieve the necessary clarity and cover considered to meet the exigencies of the international situation then manifesting — what the world nowadays refers to as “World War II’, but referred to in Ireland as ‘The Emergency’. Much discussion ensued about broadening the concept of ‘emergency’ to include other eventualities, but this was described by the then Taoiseach (prime minister), Eamon de Valera, at the end of the process, as ‘unnecessary’.
We achieved a preliminary hearing of the High Court to adjudicate on the question of whether a judicial review of the Covid legislation should be conducted on the basis of our submissions, which took place in May 2020. Our application was rejected, with extreme prejudice, by the judge. The following January, our appeal reached the Court of Appeal, where three judges again rejected our application. Then something extraordinary happened: While our appeal to the Supreme Court was being processed, a new appointment was made to that court: Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, then working in one of the European courts, who was to return to Ireland to join the highest court in the land. What was remarkable about this was that Hogan J. was the author of The Origins of the Irish Constitution, 1928 – 1941, which we had been citing inter alia in our submissions in support of our contention that what the government had done was unlawful because in blatant disregard of Article 28.3.3°.
When the date of our Supreme Court hearing came around in March 2022, though not optimistic — given the general condition of establishmentarianism permeating the Irish judiciary — we had at least a rather exciting point of interest with regard to what Mr Justice Hogan might have to say about an argument that was largely, though not entirely, based on his own legal text.
The outcome was even weirder than we could possibly have anticipated. Six of the seven judges on the Supreme Court panel followed the lead given by the lower courts, rejecting our application for judicial review. One judge dissented and found in our favour — Mr Justice Gerard Hogan; but he did so on a series of general points, while rejecting our argument in respect of Article 28.3.3°. This was not merely bizarre; it seemed legally impossible.
In his dissenting opinion, Hogan J. stated the general situation as follows: ‘The applicants contend, however, that there is no power to declare an emergency other than that specified in Article 28.3.3. I agree that the only circumstances in which the operation of the Constitution can be overridden in certain circumstances is where the legislation in question has been enacted under cover of Article 28.3.3. But this does not mean that there is no other power on the part of the Oireachtas to recognise the existence of an emergency, the only difference is that in the case of these other emergencies the legislation does not enjoy the immunity from constitutional challenge contemplated by Article 28.3.3°.’
Hogan J. went on to state that a government could declare anything to be an emergency if it is required ‘to act with great urgency’. The caveat, he said, is that such emergency legislation is open to challenge on account of falling outside the narrow definition in Article 28.3.3°. That is partly true, but there is another caveat: that any such restrictions, in such a notional ‘emergency’ — none of which had arisen in the 83-year life of the Constitution — can be imposed on only an extremely short-term basis.
The ‘existence of a wider emergency power is clear,’ Hogan J. insisted — something he had not alluded to in his book — ‘albeit indirectly — from the text of other articles, in particular Article 24, which makes a general provision for situations deemed to be “urgent” and “immediately necessary for the preservation of public peace and security, or by reason of a public emergency, whether domestic or international.” The language of Article 24.1,’ he elaborated, ‘which is clearly different from that of Article 28.3.3° — contemplates the existence of a public emergency (other than one prompted by war or armed rebellion) in which the Oireachtas may have to act with great urgency. There would seem to be no reason why the threat posed by an epidemic would not fall into this category.’
But such situations as Judge Hogan hypothesised about in these observations are nowhere specified or delineated within the Constitution, and the circumstances that arose at the time of the framing of Article 28.3.3° — as, again, set out in Mr Justice Hogan’s own book — would seem to make clear that the framers of the Constitution considered the possibility of providing for categories of emergency other than ‘war or armed rebellion’ — epidemics included — and decided not to. There can be little doubt that what occurred in March 2020 — when we experienced, in effect, a total suspension of constitutional rights — was many orders of magnitude more restrictive and severe than what had occurred during the ‘Emergency’ otherwise known as WWII, for which the original wording of Article 28.3.3° was amended by vote of the Oireachtas. In Ireland, as in the UK context he was referring to, the words of the former UK Supreme Court judge, Lord Jonathan Sumption, speaking in April 2020, could be applied without amendment: ‘This is the largest interference with personal liberty in our history. People sometimes say that this is the worst thing that’s happened, the largest scale interference with liberty since the war, but actually it’s worse than that — even in wartime we did not lock down large parts of the population. We did not assume the powers of direction that the government has assumed.’
There is a difference, perhaps paradoxically, between an infringement on the personal right of an individual and one bearing down on the aggregate of the personal rights of all citizens, which is at issue in this case. The first may infringe upon one person (or a small number of persons) and yet be justified in the ‘common good’, perhaps by virtue of some peril to the community, including the individual rights of other citizens (which is what the ‘common good’ actually means). But in the encroachment on the rights of all citizens, all at once, though at first sight appearing merely to be the aggregation of individual instances of such infringement — and therefore to be subject to the same logic — there is both a qualitative difference and a question of balance that renders almost any such incursion unthinkable on the basis of their self-evident disproportionality.
The framers of the Constitution had deliberately and with aforethought side-stepped the option of providing for any such situation as the government in 2020 was claiming the right to create.
It would seem perverse if, in the absence of any clear provision to cater for situations other than ‘war or armed rebellion’, a government was able to impose far stricter restrictions outside of Article 28.3.3° than those applied at the time the wording of that article was revised (because its terms did not seem to fit the definitions of the emergency then threatening: viz. a war in which Ireland was not directly involved). It is surely unimaginable that, retreating from expanding the article further at that time, the framers would have been tolerant of far more draconian measures being introduced without any solid constitutional foundation, having themselves chosen the path of caution, for fear of extending precisely such liberties to future administrations.
Mr Justice Hogan went on: ‘As Mr. Waters correctly noted in his oral submissions, this general issue was addressed by Gavan Duffy J. in The State (Burke) v. Lennon  IR 136 at 145. Referring to Article 24, Article 28 and Article 38, Gavan Duffy J. said: “The need to provide for times of emergency was clearly foreseen and the emergencies in contemplation where defined. . . . There is no provision enabling the Oireachtas or the Government to disregard the Constitution in any emergency short of war or armed rebellion.”’
Far from following Duffy J.’s logic, however, Hogan J. turned it on its head, asserting that this 1940 reference to an ‘emergency’ amounted to testament to a constitutional recognition of ‘an emergency other than one which invokes Article 28.3.3’, a possibility that he had failed to raise in his own 2012 book. Here, one might have expected the judge to refer to the 2011 case of Dellway Investments Ltd & Ors v NAMA & Ors — also extensively cited in our submissions — in which his late colleague, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, dealing with precisely this question, had stated:
A property owner [for example] has a clear right to have his property respected by the State and safeguarded from trespass or seizure by others; but there may be imperatives arising from a state of war or armed rebellion, an accident, or an acute emergency created by fire, natural disaster or other sudden and extreme circumstances which justify transient trespass upon his property without his consent or without taking the time to see if he, as owner, wishes to urge any reason against it. Thus, the placing of a fireman’s ladder in one’s garden, to save imperilled life and property, does not require audi alteram partem if the garden’s owner’s is absent.
But it is the business of the law to identify such circumstances: otherwise the cry of ‘emergency’ would be sufficient to set all rights aside at the whim of the Executive. Our Constitution makes specific provision for ‘war or armed rebellion’. It is not for the Courts to extend those provisions to a situation which is not one of war or armed rebellion. That would require a decision of the people in a referendum, if they thought it necessary or prudent to confer such unreviewable powers on the State. The cry of ‘emergency’ is an intoxicating one, producing an exhilarating freedom from the need to consider the rights of others and productive of a desire to repeat it again and again.
It is abundantly clear, therefore, that only under the provisions of Article 28.3.3° is the State freed from constitutional restraint by virtue of declaring a State of Emergency under its existing provision or, in the event that a situation requires as much, by amending them to the needs of the situation at the time obtaining.
This, in fact, is what occurred in 1938/39, when the then government faced a situation that it believed was not covered by the Constitution as enacted. Hence, the amendment referred to above. And if a government in the past was so punctilious in guarding against any danger of extending excessive powers to future governments, it may certainly be said that, confronted with the circumstances of March 2020, Mr de Valera’s government would have forsworn to act as the government led by Leo Varadkar — who had lately lost whatever mandate he might be deemed to have possessed — and would have told the supranational authorities to take a running jump at themselves, or immediately called a referendum.
The extra-Article 28 entitlement of the Government to suspend constitutional rights and freedoms must be measured against the concept, in Mr Justice Hardiman’s analogy, of ‘transient trespass’. And whatever might be decided as to the permissible extent or duration of such measures, it cannot be in doubt — again, using Mr Justice Hardiman’s example and language — that the citizen must very expeditiously become entitled to question the extent and duration of those restrictions, in the only place in which he or she can usefully do so: in a court of law, which we were seeking to do, but being repeatedly rebuffed. Hardiman J’s analogy of the ‘ladder on the lawn’ also implies that, whatever might be the consensus view of how long or short, how rough or tender such ‘transient trespass’ measures are entitled to be, there can be no doubt about the proposition that the justification for transient trespass upon the freedoms and rights of the citizen ‘without his consent or without taking the time to see if he, as citizen, wishes to urge any reason against it’, must be extremely abbreviated.
Neither Hogan J. nor any of the other 10 judges who deliberated on our substantive application of judicial review addressed this judgement of Hardiman J., which quite clearly rules out the declaration of an emergency, even when it is not described as such, other than in accordance with Article 28. In the Covid context, the word ‘emergency’ was all over the legislation enacted on March 19th 2020. A marginal entitlement of the State or Government to encroach briefly upon the fundamental rights of some or even — perhaps conceivably, at a stretch — all citizens, had been expanded into an ad hoc provision for the almost total suspension of the Constitution, which at the time of the Supreme Court hearing point had continued for two years, and might, even now, at any time be resurrected on any pretext or none. And this is the fundamentally disastrous consequence of what occurred in our case: that Mr Justice Hogan’s sanguine sense that, denied the protection of Article 28.3.3°, the State remains answerable to the people for its actions through the courts, is only valid if the courts agree to permit the citizens to call the State to account before them. If they do not, the notional idea of an alternative route to declaring an open-ended emergency offers a charter for despotism. In a certain light, retrospectively reading Judge Hogan’s exploration of the issues raised in our submission, it almost seemed that, in finding in our favour on other points, he was constructing a round-the-houses justification for upholding our case rather than accepting the most clear-cut one, which is that, under no circumstances could the blanket derogation of fundamental rights imposed in March 2020 have been justified outside of the terms of Article 28. 3.3°, and most certainly beyond a few weeks at most — unless . . . unless? — unless a war had been declared and he was aware of this declaration and of some necessity or injunction to take it most seriously, but either wished to cover his tracks or, perhaps — to put the same thing rather differently, acknowledging his condition as all wig and no gavel — wished to do a decent thing in the course of doing what he knew to be wrong.
If, to hypothesise, the Irish government had knowledge that the ‘virus’ threatening Ireland was actually a bioweapon of some kind, thus justifying the invocation of Article 28.3.3°, the situation might be radically different — legally as much as otherwise — to how it appeared. And perhaps this notion more than hints at a possible device-of-choice of those wishing to avoid the legalisms of peacetime. If so, it is likely that something similar to the events that rolled out in Dublin arose also in practically every other Western country. As to why this did not emerge, then or afterwards — it is likely that such a scenario, if canvassed in public by any such government, might have sparked a panic that would have brought forward the threatened extremes of horror.
Many thoughts and questions form a scrummage for attention, arising from this litany of facts, truths, observations, experiences, speculations and feelings.
Is all or the brunt of the above even possible? — that is the uppermost, the loudest question. Is it possible that the ‘war’ that was used to close down humanity in 2020 had not yet happened at the time of that closure, but existed only as a future hypothesis that was, nonetheless, impressed upon the world’s political and legal authorities as a probable sequel to — or, indeed, an intrinsic element of — the Covid project? Perhaps, then, the world was ‘on a promise’ of war? Perhaps that war was baked into the Covid cake by those who had made it? And perhaps its intimation to the legal authorities of sundry nations was baited by the sanctimony that, only by doing what they were told could the world’s wigs and shiny-suits have any chance of averting that eventuality. Was the bizarre and unseemly behaviour of the Irish judiciary, in bastardising the Constitution they were enjoined to serve, the outcome of some kind of mental reservation enabled by the promise or threat that, if they did not do what was required in the first instance, they would have to do it in the last? For now we know that we have indeed an actual war on our hands — and on our hearts and minds — that we have had one, in truth, for more than a year — and that this war has had the potential, at any moment, to explode into the deadliest the world has ever seen. Perhaps that, from the outset, was the intent and purpose behind the militarisation — in advance — of the Covid project. Was it thus that all obstacles were removed, all objections, all talk of proportionality, all preciousness about freedoms? Was that the fiendish logic behind the militarisation of the enabling legislation in the US, going back half a human lifetime? So that those who stood on their principles could be presented with a Hobson’s Choice: By all means, stand by your constitutions and their freedoms today, but tomorrow you will not have the choice. Stick with the letter of the law and, before long, you will find that your options are narrowing and your laws powerless to prevent what is coming?
And perhaps: Do it this way and you may mitigate the loss of human life, for what is coming is not negotiable.
Since the beginning, we who have, yes, fought these events and fought those ostensibly responsible for them, have regarded ourselves as participating in a spiritual war. By that we did not mean a war of religions, or even a war between the religious/spiritual and the atheist/heathen. This was a war between Good and Evil, between the most primal and fundamental forces existing in reality, with at stake the entirety of human futures, hopes, lives, loves and being. This is the only context in which we can hope to make any sense of the scenarios, hypotheses, connections, verities and realities outlined in the above.
The plan — the Covid scheme or scam, together with or incorporating all the ancillary ‘projects’ (Ukraine, climate, BLM, mass migration, trans, et cetera) — has not yet succeeded. The truth comes dropping slow. The wheels of Revelation turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine, and in the end expose the transparency and lucidity that governs all earthly existence: that it is finite, but precious, and that the demands of Truth cannot long be ignored. All the above passes now into history, and where we go next we go with nothing to lose but our souls.
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