Hyland slams Maghaberry treatment of republican prisoners
Independent republican Councillor for Newry & Mourne, Davy Hyland, has spoken out against what he described as ‘the internment and brutalisation of republican prisoners’ currently being held in Maghaberry. Speaking to Newry Times Davy said, “There are a number of republicans being held in Maghaberry including Marian Price, Martin Corey and Gerry McGeough. On top of being unjustly held captive some republican prisoners are not receiving the adequate medical treatment they require. Marian Price is apparently being held because her license was revoked by the British secretary of state, yet she was never released on license.”
Hyland continued, “Marian was granted a pardon due to ill health following a lengthy hunger strike and subsequent force feeding during the 1970s. Today she now finds herself being held in solitary confinement in an all-male prison. Another republican prisoner, Martin Corey, is currently interned after his licence was also revoked by the British secretary of state. Martin Corey was released from Long Kesh in 1992 after spending 19 years in prison. In 2010 he was arrested, imprisoned and charged without trial. Gerry McGeough is in bad health with a heart condition and for him to be in prison on charges dating back to the 80s is ridiculous. It’s clear that Gerry isn’t getting the proper medical treatment which must be of grave concern for Gerry and his family.”
“It’s clear that republican ex-prisoners have a sword hanging over their heads and if they speak out against British occupation or if they don’t toe the line they will find themselves being returned to prison. Colin Duffy’s case is a perfect example of this. Colin was very vocal against the current establishment, and made no secret of his strong republican beliefs. Next thing he found himself arrested, charged and imprisoned. Recently we saw Colin Duffy walking from Antrim court a free man. Colin was incarcerated in Maghaberry for almost 3 years on remand, this is a clear example of internment,” Hyland stated.
Claiming similarities between conditions now within the prisons to those during the 1981 Hunger Strike, Hyland said, “To make matters worse we have the ongoing protest in Maghaberry against controlled movement and forced strip searches. The recent images of republican prisoners sporting long beards and long hair has brought the reality and seriousness of the situation home to many people. It’s an image we thought we would never see again. Ten men gave their lives in 1981 so that today’s republican prisoners would not have to suffer the same treatment they endured. Some Stormont politicians claim to be concerned about such cases yet they don’t seem to be doing anything about it except issuing the odd vague statement, despite the fact that some of them were once held captive by the British state, they clearly have short memories. They are the ones who gave David Ford the job of Justice Minister, they put him in the position, so they have a lot to answer for.”
Councillor Hyland concluded by adding, “As an elected representative, I personally call for an end to the torture and brutality of republican prisoners and for the full implementation of the August 2010 agreement which would bring this crisis to an end. The BOSS chair is already in Maghaberry so why aren’t they using it if the technology is there? If those in Stormont are really opposed to these injustices then they should walk out of the puppet assembly and join the numerous picket lines and rallies against these injustices that are constantly taking place.”
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