The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Aiden Hulme Repatriation Picket

Paul Doyle, New Republican Forum • 19 June 2006

A protest calling for the immediate repatriation of Irish prisoner Aiden Hulme was held outside the General Post Office in Dublin on 17th of June 2006 from 2-3pm.

The event, which was organised by the New Republican Forum (NRF), was extremely well attended with 60-70 people present. Members of a variety of republican organisations came along including Sinn Féin, Eírígí, The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), The NRF and The Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners (CGRP).

Aiden, 27, was imprisoned for alleged involvement in the 2000/2001 'Real' IRA bombing campaign in London. Prior to his arrest and imprisonment he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him with a severely injured leg. After the accident Aiden was receiving treatment in Belfast and his condition was improving. However, upon imprisonment in Britain's notorious Belmarsh Special Secure Unit (SSU), Aiden's medical condition began to deteriorate at an alarming rate. After long delays the Belmarsh authorities reluctantly acquired the services of a specialist to examine Aiden's injured leg but after a brief examination the Belmarsh-appointed specialist informed him that the injured leg should be amputated. Aiden's family and friends, disturbed by and suspicious of this opinion, immediately sought a second opinion.

After intensive and prolonged political lobbying an independent specialist was permitted to examine Aiden. After the examination the independent specialist deemed the limb "saveable" - contrary to the opinion of the prison-appointed specialist. However, the independent specialist insisted it was essential that Aiden receive appropriate medical treatment, warning he "feared the worst" if it was not forthcoming. Aiden underwent surgery, but due to continuing medical neglect he is now once again facing amputation.

Aiden has had a further operation aimed at saving the limb cancelled on 'security grounds' on four occassions by the prison authorities. Last week he was informed that this operation will no longer be of any benefit to him. The only courses of action still open to him are amputation or an operation to kill the nerves in his leg to ease the pain he is racked by. The latter is the operation that has been suggested.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan has contacted the British Home Office and the Department of Justice requesting that Aiden's repatriation application be processed without delay. Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin has also called on the Irish Government to intervene immediately. He said: "Aiden Hulme's application for repatriation to an Irish prison has been with Michael McDowell in the Irish Department of Justice since last September (2005). I call on Mr McDowell to process this application immediately so that Aiden Hulme can come back where he will be close to his family and receive the much needed medical attention that he is entitled to."

Aiden, who is on 23-hour lock down, has instructed his legal team to initiate proceedings against HMP Full Sutton on account of the treatment meted out to him.

Saturday's protest was marred somewhat by the overt harassment of members of Garda Special Branch. Paul Doyle, one of the NRF organisers of the event said, "Despite the fact that this was a peaceful and dignified attempt to make the public more aware of a situation which looks likely to result in a young man loosing a limb due to medical neglect, the Special Branch saw fit to harass and intimidate those in attendance".

"They began repeatedly taking peoples' names and addresses and in many cases a close-up headshot photo to go with it. They snatched fliers out of peoples' hands and threatened arrest. They also had a camcorder trained on the protesters throughout. At one point they even started harassing members of the public who showed an interest in the demonstration. After one woman took a flier three branch men literally ran down the road after her and took the flier off her. This blatant attempt to stifle the right of the Irish people to protest is inexcusable and will be highlighted."

The NRF and other organisations will continue to protest about this issue until Aiden Hulme has been repatriated.

Various other political and humantarian groups have spoken out about this case and an online petition has been lauched at:

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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

22 June 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Framing of Michael McKevitt
Marcella Sands

Foreward to 'The Framing of Michael McKevitt'
Fr Des Wilson

Demagogues and Demigod
Tommy Gorman

Getting It Tight
John Kennedy

The Restoration of Restorative Justice
Marcel M. Baumann

DUP Analysis
Dr John Coulter

Father Faul
Fr. Sean McManus

Aiden Hulme Repatriation Picket
Paul Doyle

Prison Protest Begins
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG), Republican Sinn Fein, Newry

New Hero, and a Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Charlie's Angel
John Kennedy

The Letters page has been updated.

Profile: Mehdi Mozaffari
Anthony McIntyre

The Blanket, the Cartoons and the End of Left and Right
Gabriel Glickman

The Blanket and the Cartoon Controversy: Anthony McIntyre Interviewed
Martyn Frampton

A Welcome End
Mick Hall

Anthony McIntyre

Freedom of Speech index

14 June 2006

The Mark of Cain
Anthony McIntyre

Debris of the Dirty War
Mick Hall

More Claims
Martin Ingram

Case Unproven
Anthony McIntyre

Chain Gang
John Kennedy

Better to Put the Past Behind US
David Adams

The Gamblers
Dr John Coulter

Diarmaid Ferriter's The Transformation of Ireland
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Profile: Caroline Fourest
Anthony McIntyre

Le «manifeste des douze» fait réagir
Caroline Fourest

Reaction to the Manifesto (English Translation)
Liam O Ruairc

Freedom of Speech index



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