Category Archives: Prisoners – current

Support the POWs this Christmas

Sean Bresnahan, Chair of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh, calls on people around the world to support initiatives for prisoners and their families over the Christmas season.

Today, December 12th, is the International Day of Action for Political Prisoners. With that in mind, the Thomas Ashe Society extend solidarity to all political prisoners, worldwide, who share our understanding of the wrongs in this world and who face ongoing detention accordingly. We remember especially those here in our own country, in Maghaberry and Portlaoise, where the issue of political prisoners and their unjust treatment remains a blight on society.

We encourage the wider Irish public to better inform themselves of the situation in the prisons and to donate, where possible, to the various campaigns that seek to highlight this issue and to support the families of those impacted. To those families – most especially at this time of year: our thoughts are with you and we extend our full support over the Christmas period and beyond. To the prisoners themselves: your cause is a noble one and we commend your ongoing sacrifice. Know that there are still those who respect and recognise your endeavour.

The gaols of our country have for too long been filled with those who seek nothing more than the legitimate goal of an Independent Ireland, free from British rule. May that All-Ireland Republic, our shared objective, some day soon be won, bringing an end to the wretched phenomenon of the political prisoner in Ireland.

Sean Bresnahan
Chairman, Thomas Ashe Society Omagh

Statement from Republican Prisoners Roe 4 Maghaberry 26/07/16

Statement from Republican Prisoners Roe 4 Maghaberry 26/07/16

Over recent weeks Republican Prisoners have noted increasing repression towards Republican Prisoners by the Jail Administration. During this time we have also witnessed the appointment of another Unionist Stormont Justice Minister, with DUP fundamentalists obtaining key positions also on the Justice Committee. Similarly, we have witnessed the appointment of a British Secretary of State with a background in security under a Thatcher style British Prime Minister.

It is against this backdrop that a new Read the rest of this entry

Speech by RNU’s Paul Crawford at July 3 Newry anti-internment rally

13393911_1728270154112192_6645445412543553767_n“I’d like to begin by thanking the organisers of today’s picket for asking myself to represent the Republican Network for Unity and our POW’s department Cogus here this afternoon. It’s a privilege and an honour to address you all.

“The fact that we are here for the 3rd year in a row is evidence that Internment as a tactic to disrupt political activity is very much alive but also that our opposition to Internment is equally alive.

“In order to oppose Internment we must first understand what it is and what it is used for. In many ways the word has been over used and as such has lost much of its impact and meaning. There are those who would say that everyone incarcerated by the British or the Free State are interned. There are those who would state that while all internees are political prisoners, not all political prisoners are internees.

“For our purposes, however, it is enough to state that the original definition of internment is correct. Those who are detained without charge for the political expediency of the state. People like my comrade Tony Taylor, a perfect example of internment by the state to prevent and hamper legitimate political activity.
Tony, like Martin Corey before him, has been remanded in custody at the behest of the British secretary of state. No semblance of a trial, no pretence of a trial. Secret evidence that can’t be disclosed and won’t be disclosed because it doesn’t exist.

“We have miscarriages of justice like the cases of the Craigavon 2, men who have been deliberately framed on the word of informers and Walter Mittys. Set up by the dirty hand of the British security apparatus and practically ignored by the political elite despite a growing realization that these men are innocent across the board. Read the rest of this entry

Maghaberry prison administration steps up aggression

13567179_1025555037513181_8802081204186951436_nStatement by prisoners, July 1, 2016:

Yesterday the naked aggression of the Maghaberry administration toward republican political prisoners was once again exposed. The day of sinister events began at 11am when the notorious riot team raided three cells on Roe 3 occupied by Cogús republican prisoners. The three political prisoners concerned were not present in Roe House during this lockdown raid due to parole, court and visiting arrangements.

The day’s events then culminated during the evening lockup when once again the riot team entered Roe 3 and forcibly removed political prisoner and current internee Tony Taylor from Roe House and moved him to the jail’s punishment block – the SSU.

The prison administration and particularly security governor Brian Armour and Ciaran McGuinness over recent months have been overt in their attempts to fuel conflict through introducing red herring arguments to deflect possible resolutions to the main issues and systematically playing Machiavellian games.

Yesterday’s events can only be seen as a plan to further intensify tensions in Roe House. Cogús republican prisoners will not stand idle and let such antagonistic actions go unchallenged, though in contrast to the bigoted reactionary forces, we will meet their provocations in a disciplined and an organised manner, employing an intelligent and practical strategy to ensure our rights as political prisoners are won.

Cogús POWs
Roe 3, Maghaberry
1/7/16

Free Dónal Ó Coisdealbha, oppose internment

Protest outside Leinster House, Thursday, May 12

“Freedom for Donal” protest outside Leinster House, Thursday, May 12

Last Thursday (May 12) saw a protest outside Leinster House against what is, in effect, the internment of republican activist Dónal Ó Coisdealbha.

This case is particularly appalling since he will be tried by a non-jury court (the Special Criminal Court) where the three judges can accept secret evidence.

Although three TDs (Clare Daly, Maureen O’Sullivan and Mick Wallace) have offered to put up bail and Dónal has agreed to house arrest and electronic tagging, he has been denied bail.

It’s in the interests of everyone concerned with basic civil liberties to oppose what amounts to the internment of this young activist.

 

 

 

Belfast éirígí 1916 commemoration

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Several hundred people attended éirígí’s annual Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast on Monday 28th March.

Led by a seven-person colour party and young people carrying portraits of the 1916 leaders, party members and supporters paraded along the Falls Road shortly after one o’clock to Milltown Cemetery where a commemorative ceremony was held at the original Republican Plot.

The proceedings were chaired by Sharon Pickering. In her introductory remarks, Sharon made special mention of Belfast-born Winifred Carney who, along with Julia Grenan and Elizabeth O’Farrell, remained with the GPO garrison throughout the entirety of Easter week.

She added, “We must remain focused on our enemies and confident in ourselves. The struggle requires a systematic approach, it requires efficiency, sustainability, and we must continuously challenge and question ourselves.

“Strategies need to be Read the rest of this entry

Free Tony Taylor!

_54439703_tonytaylorCathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has called for the immediate release of Derry man Tony Taylor, who was re-imprisoned on the orders of the British Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers on Thursday (March 10).

Speaking from Dublin he said, “Tony Taylor is just the latest in a very long list of Irish republicans to find themselves interned without trial by the British state. It is simply unacceptable for a politician to have the power to summarily revoke an ex-prisoners license. That they can do so without publicly producing any evidence and that the accused is given no opportunity to challenge such ‘evidence’ exposes the true nature of the irreformable British ‘justice’ system in Ireland.

“Almost twenty years after the Good Friday Treaty why has a British politician, who has never received a single vote in Ireland, still got the power to arbitrarily Read the rest of this entry

Collapse of ‘Duffy Three’ shows British use of internment by remand: 1916 Societies statement

DuffyThreeWhile welcoming the collapse yesterday of the case against the ‘Duffy Three’ and congratulating those involved for their ultimately successful challenge to Britain’s manipulative ‘internment by remand’ policy, the 1916 Societies note that this same internment by remand continues to exist as a functional strategy of the British state in Ireland and cal
l for an immediate end to this insidious practice.

The case in point, despite that the parties concerned had already been released in advance of yesterday’s developments, remains indicative of how the legal process has been warped to serve the requirements of the British intelligence and security apparatus. It amounts to a classic example of what many decry as ‘internment by remand’ – the malign use of extended periods of imprisonment without bail – to target and remove from society political Read the rest of this entry

Soldier of the revolution and working class intellectual: two tributes to Vol Tony Catney

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Funeral of Tony Catney

Below is the tribute to Tony ‘TC’ Catney written by republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry.  It was read out at his funeral in August 2014 in Belfast by Paul Duffy.  The text is taken from The Pensive Quill blog.

People assembled at the graveside of Tony Catney hardly need an introduction to the life and times of the man being laid to rest. There are so many dimensions to the life just ended that it would be impossible to catalogue them or squeeze them into some easy to deliver package. TC, as we all knew him, was a republican gem, a rough diamond with sharp edges and a razor sharp intellect to match.

People will remember TC in different ways and for different reasons. His friends will remember him fondly. His critics will see him more caustically. But the mischief in him would have enjoyed that. His attitude would be that if he was not annoying those he fundamentally disagreed with then he wasn’t doing his job. And the job of TC, as he saw it, was to bring clarity to matters that others tried to obscure.

For IRA prisoners TC will always occupy a Read the rest of this entry

1916, 2016: them and us

This first went up on the site back on April 28 this year; I’m putting it back up on the home page because it remains relevant.  I’ll be highlighting it continuously as long as I need to!

indexOne of the products of the end of the Provisionals’ armed struggle in the six counties and their signing up to, and enthusiastic participation in, an internal settlement there is that the kind of historical revisionism that was officially-backed from about the mid-1970s until the end of the 1990s has become outmoded.  The kind of nonsense delivered up by the likes of a would-be Sebastian Flyte such as Roy Foster is now surplus to requirements.

Instead, there is a new war over ‘1916 and all that’.  The southern establishment is much more relaxed about recognising and celebrating the importance of 1916 than they have been at any time since the explosion in the six counties at the end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s.  On the other hand, the establishment is vitally keen on tying the 1916 rebellion and subsequent war for independence into its own history.  They want to present the events of 1916-21 as finding their natural and logical conclusion in the establishment and development of the 26-county state.

Moreover, they want to show that this state and its population, or certainly its ruling elite, have ‘matured’ to the level of putting the old ‘enmity’ with England behind them.  ‘We’ can now recognise the ‘sacrifices’ made by Orangemen in the First World War and also commemorate men from nationalist Ireland who joined the British imperialist army and died on the slaughter fields of that war.  It’s all just part of Ireland’s rich and diverse Read the rest of this entry