It’s even more difficult to understand that given the fact the same authorities had a decade to investigate a 1997 case before Byrne’s extradition back to Ireland from the United States, more than a year has passed without his actually having his day in court.
Unless the Director of Public Prosecutions can bring to court some very compelling evidence it stands the risk of looking like a bureaucracy wholly indifferent to the needs of a family that has been divided by an ocean, and the difficulties of affording air fares in a time of hardship.
Joe Byrne has been free on bail since his return to Ireland in February of last year which seems to suggest that he is not viewed as a threat to society, or potential witnesses in the case.
His case finally gets underway in a few days time.
In the meantime, he has not been able to work and support his family in the period between his extradition and the present.
His wife, Eileen Grady Byrne, who remains in Rockland County with their daughter Mairead, is on disability.
Mairead frets and wonders about her dad, why he isn’t home, why he isn’t around to take her to school in the morning and tuck her into bed at night.
The reasons for extradition in the first place would ordinarily be reason enough for trial of a case. Not so in this instance, it would appear.
The family has complained that it has had difficulties actually finding out what are the precise circumstances of the case and the nature of the charges at this juncture.
Eileen Grady Byrne, for one, feels that the legal goal posts are being moved and, not surprisingly, worries deeply about her daughter facing into the future without her father.
It can only be hoped that prosecuting authorities are neither stalling the case because they don’t have a strong one to begin with, nor are simply using time in an attempt to shore the case up.
Joe Byrne could have spent the last twelve months working and supporting his family and still would have been back in Ireland in time to stand trial later this month.
It would seem that even despite being on bail, he has already been punished for something for which he has not been convicted. And so has his wife and young daughter.