The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Further Problems at Maghaberry Gaol
Martin Mulholland, IRPWA • 12.11.03

The IRPWA view with serious concern recent events relating to Maghaberry gaol. On Monday 10th November republican prisoner Ciaran Mc Laughlin's father died. A request for compassionate parole was made to the Northern Ireland Prison Service so that Ciaran could attend his father's funeral and be with his family during this trying time. The NIPS responded by offering Ciaran just 12 hours to travel to and from Derry, attend the funeral and burial, and comfort his family. Needless to say Ciaran refused such an insulting offer as he felt, rather than alleviate some of the pain, such a scenario would have added to his family's hardship and grief. The treatment handed out to Ciaran is in sharp contrast to others being allowed to vary their bail conditions to accomodate the celebration of the eleventh night bonfire and another Loyalist prisoner being given parole to "help his granny move house".

Also on Monday this week three people appeared in court in Derry charged with arms offences. The conduct of the PSNI/RUC outside the court to the families and friends of those inside was totally unacceptable. People were manhandled and forcible pushed aside without cause for such heavy-handed action. The brother and partner of one of the people before the court were both forced to the ground and could have sustained injury had friends not come to their aid. It appears the 'new' PSNI again let their 'veil' slip and the good old bigoted RUC was there for all to see.

To further compound these problems one of the women charged has now been victimised by the governor of Maghaberry Women's Gaol-- (Mourne House). This woman appeared before the court as Mary Burns. Although she declined to either confirm or deny this, she has been remanded into custody in Mourne House under this name. Likewise she has been allocated a prison number under this name and the prison have accepted her clothes and money under this name, but today the Governor has decided that she will not be allowed visits in the foreseeable future until she speaks to him to confirm her identity. It would appear that the Governor is making up the rules as he goes along. We have heard of breaches of prison rules by prisoners saying the wrong thing but now punishment is being handed out for saying nothing at all.

We in the IRPWA insist that this woman is treated with human dignity and demand that her right to be visited by family and friends is respected. Nowhere in prison rules does it state that a prisoner must speak!!! We further demand that all Republican prisoners are guaranteed adequate time to spend with their families at times of bereavement and that they are not denied such a basic right at the whim of whoever happens to be on duty on a particular day. Decency and common-sense should prevail at such traumatic times. Those working to their own selfish agendas need to realise that it is human beings who are suffering and bearing the brunt of their actions.












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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

14 November 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Belfast Agreement Postpones Cure for British Problem
Liam O Comain


Further Problems at Maghaberry Gaol
Martin Mulholland


Luis Eduardo Garcia Interviewed

Anthony McIntyre


Choosing Sides in Iraq
Mick Hall


The Taboo of Racism So Subtle
Davy Carlin


Left Unity Meeting


Thessaloniki Prisoners On Hunger Strike
Anarchist Prisoner Support


Death Fast in 4th Year
DHKP-C Prisoners’ Organisation


10 November 2003


Address to Ard-Fheis 2003
Ruairí Ó Bradaigh


British Anti-Insurgency

Liam O Comain


From A Belfast Granny
Kathleen O Halloran


Planes, Trains and Big Wains!
Eamon Sweeney


The Most Important Election Ever, Again
Anthony McIntyre


What Went Wrong in the New South Africa?
Andrew Nowicki




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