Big meeting for Marian Price in Dublin

The following piece first appeared on the Justice for Marian Price site here:

A packed public meeting, which was conducted bilingually, was held in Dublin on Sunday 25th March, where demands were made for the immediate release of Republican prisoner Marian Price.

“Internment and torture” were the terms used by the first speaker, Monsignor Raymond Murray, in describing Marian Price’s imprisonment, and he named Secretary of State, Owen Patterson, as responsible.  The chairperson of the meeting, Íte Ní Chionnaith, agreed strongly with the points made that it was unjust, illegal and inhuman to keep Marian Price in prison, given her illness.  Two friends of Marian’s spoke, themselves ex-prisoners, Nuala Perry and Eibhlín Collins, asking that the campaign for Marian’s freedom be broadened, and they gave an account of her present suffering and the injustice surrounding her imprisonment.

When the courts granted Marian bail in 2011, as Monsigner Murray stated, Secretary of State Patterson revoked a licence given to her in 1980 and she was immediately re-arrested.  But she had also been pardoned – what is called the “Royal Prerogative of Mercy”, which was given in 1980.  This demonstrated the inhumanity of Patterson, according to Mons. Murray.  The British authorities announced that they were unable to find a copy of the pardon which had been given to Marian, or that it had been shredded.  Or so they say.  “Can we believe them ?” the Monsignor asked the crowd.  It is believed that Marian Price would have to be released if a copy of this pardon could be found.

Íte Ní Chionnaith spoke about the suffering of Marian Price.  “Imagine  how awful it was for Marian and her sister Dolours in 1973 when they were tied to a chair during their hunger strike in Brixton Prison in England and were force fed.  A pipe was put down their throat and liquid was poured into it, down to their stomach, while they fought against it, until they almost choked.  Marian was in bad health when she was transferred to Ireland in 1975 and it was on health grounds that she was released in 1980.  Now almost 40 years later, at 57 years of age, she is interned under barbaric conditions.  This is a complete violation of human rights.

Having spent ten months in solitary confinement in Maghaberry, Marian Price’s health was so bad that she was transferred to Hydebank on 17 February, “a health facility” (so called) in which proper healthcare is not available.  Her doctor said that she must be transferred to a hospital outside the prison.  Her family and friends are very worried about her.  She has physical and psychological problems due to the dreadful conditions of her detention, the terrible legacy of her forced-feeding in 1973, the long years spent in Armagh Jail, and knowing that her detention is unjust and against human rights.

It was a turbulent meeting and people were angry at the treatment of  Marian.  It was agreed that the campaign should be strengthened and that the urgency of the case should be publicized.

On the finest afternnon of the year sofar, more than 200 people came to this meeting to demand justice for Marian Price, and a good many people failed to get in the door due to lack of space.  Among those attending were Marian’s sisters Dolours and Clare, her brother, and Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú.  Well-attended meetings had already been held in Derry and Belfast, and there will be a large event in Derry on 22 April next, at 2.30 pm.


Posted on March 28, 2012, in Democratic rights - general, Hunger strikes, Irish politics today, Prisoners - current, Public events - Ireland, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, Revolutionary figures, six counties, Women in republican history, Women prisoners. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good to see this blog has reported the meeting for Marian Price last Sunday.The organisers said they did not expect so many people and were sorry to have to turn people away.
    I was part of the the Free the Belfast Ten campagne in England in the 1970s. I cant believe that in 2012 I attended a meeting calling for the release from prison of Marian Price.

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