practice of 'work to rule' adopted by prison officers
could potentially result in a serious incident if
not addressed immediately. Republican prisoners are
currently enduring almost total lock up due to the
practice adopted by the Prison Officers Association.
The action taken by the POA will undoubtedly leave
republican prisoners and their families vulnerable
to attack in visiting areas due to a lack of adequate
prisoners believe that they and their families are
being used as pawns in a larger game between the POA
and the British government. It is no secret that the
POA felt that they had had been sold down the river
by the British governments decision to implement a
policy of segregation.
representative Finlay Spratt did however state that
although unhappy at the decision their job was to
implement any policy that the British government deemed
necessary. The POA must accept that they are government
employees and that their political opinions should
not influence their work.
is a feeling amongst republican prisoners that the
actions of the POA are intended to provoke a reaction
similar to that of the loyalist inmates and their
supporters on the outside.
prisoners have stated that they will not be provoked
by the actions of the POA into making a potentially
serious situation any worse.
republican prisoners have already endured weeks on
protest at the denial of their basic human rights
and any attempt to further erode these rights is intolerable.
IRPWA call on all agencies involved in the forming
of the Steele report to assist in bringing this situation
to a speedy conclusion.
is the understanding of the IRPWA that if the POA
go ahead with their proposed strike on the 5th of
November, the prison will be jointly run by the RUC/PSNI
and the management of the Northern Ireland Prison
this is an intolerable situation with the antipathy
between republicans and the RUC/PSNI a matter of record.
IRPWA believe that the British government cannot let
the political agenda of the POA dictate the pace of
the reforms called for in the Steele report and we
will resist the attempts of the POA to use republican
prisoners and their families as political footballs.
any dispute between the POA and the British government
the basic human rights of all prisoners and their
families must be protected.
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives