n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Justice in transition, Anna Eriksson : book reviews

Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Some years ago, a wayward teenage relative of mine was "joy riding" in Twinbrook, West Belfast. The driver of the stolen car lost control at high speed. The car left the road, crashed and rolled, before ending up on its roof. The crash seriously injured an innocent pedestrian. My relative was partially disabled in the crash, but two other passengers escaped with minor injuries. A few days later, the IRA apprehended the young miscreants on the housing estate, taking them away from their families for interrogation. Both were shot in the legs as punishment. Meanwhile, my young relative was given a serious warning by the IRA to desist from his "anti-social behaviour", but because of his debilitating injuries, he was not shot. A short time afterwards, the police detained several men from Twinbrook, whom it claimed had been involved in shooting the two teenage car thieves. One of the alleged members of the IRA punishment squad was another relative of mine, who is also related to the young man disabled in the car crash. In general, the community supported the accused IRA members (who were later released because of lack of evidence) and ostracised the "joy riders". Such was life, crime and justice in Northern Ireland.

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