Republican Prisoners Action Group

Support the Political Prisoners

Irish Republicans on 48 hour fast

REPUBLICAN PRISONERS IN MAGHABERRY ON 48-HOUR HUNGER STRIKE




Republican Sinn Féin has learnt that Republican Prisoners of War in Maghaberry Gaol commenced a 48-hour hunger strike on Easter Sunday.

Republican Prisoners wore Easter Lilies in honour of Ireland's Patriot Dead. In response to this action, they were charged under prison rules and have been placed in solitary confinement for 48-hours. During their time on the boards the PoWs are refusing food.

Director of Publicity, Richard Walsh, said that “The screws and Loyalists are free to roam around Maghaberry wearing the British Imperial poppy, but anyone who dares honour their own country's martyred dead is invariably punished.

“Republican Prisoners are to be congratulated for their honour and discipline in rejecting these obscene policies in Maghaberry. Having endured ten months of protest inside Maghaberry in the recent past, the prison authorities in the employ of the British Government have once again forced the prisoners into protest action.

“We salute the prisoners in Maghaberry for their unbroken spirit in spite of ongoing attempts to marginalise and criminalise them in their pursuit for the freedom of Ireland.”


British Justice a Joke

Tyrone Man Cleared on Weapons Charges
East Tyrone Republican Tommy Hamill was yesterday cleared of possessing weapons and explosives with intent to endanger life.

In a long drawn out court battle which saw Tommy spend Months in prison and a Christmas away from his young children many questions remain to be answered.

In 2004 the Crown Forces in the Dungannon area uncovered a weapons dump in this dump they found a pistol a revolver ammunition for both a length of detonating cord and 15 rounds of assault rifle ammunition the dump was buried in a sewer pipe wrapped in bags.

Over a year after the discovery of this dump the Crown forces swooped on Tommy’s home arresting him and wrecking his house at the same time Tommy was interrogated charged and remanded in custody and latter was bailed.

Over the case Tommy’s defense exposed sinister aspects to the case the Crown Forces found the dump using a trained sniffer dog that hunts down explosives the dog indicated the dumps whereabouts the Crown Forces would usually then send in the bomb squad but not in this case a secretive branch of the RUC/PSNI never before herd of inspected the dump then the military then the RUC/PSNI took it away for evidence.

The fact Tommy’s fingerprints were on bags in the hide does not prove him guilty bags are a moveable item and could have been placed their by anyone, indeed in his defense Tommy said he handled thousand of such bags at work and during his daily life, he said he did not know how the prints got their it seems very suspicious that people who were not involved in gathering forensics were the first to view and handle the dump when it was found.

Republican Sinn Fein in Tyrone feel that the whole episode has been orcastrated by the Crown Forces with one aim to use the long remand time in the north as a form of internment on Tommy Hamill who locally is actively involved in the Republican movement and who is opposed to the on going British presence in our country, Tommy’s work with RSF the R.P.A.G and the fact he is from a large well respected Republican Family led to this harassment and targeting by the RUC/PSNI.

Clearing Tommy yesterday Judge Tom Burgess said suspicion was not the test required of the court and added the court had to be firmly convinced only the defendant could have wrapped the items and that this was not the case.

Tommy said yesterday he was relieved the ordeal was over but spoke out against the case ever going to trial slamming it as a show and an attempt to Jail him for as long as possible, he pointed out that the remand in custody and restrictions he had lived under during bail had severely disrupted his daily life he said this was an attempt to punish me because of my beliefs but that attempt has failed and if anything made me a stronger and more determined Republican

True Irish Soldier Returns Home

Former I.R.A Prisoner of War and Officer Commanding the Protesting Prisoners in Magaberry Jail Stiophan O Dalaigh was welcomed home at a Large Function held in Armagh on Friday Night.

Hundreds packed into the Pearse Ogs club in Armagh city to welcome back a True Irish Soldier cut from the same cloth as the men of 81, their was a sense of joy by the crowd to have Stiophan back with his own once again.

Released three weeks ago Stiophan was just settling back into family life when the Crown Forces decided they would also welcome him home, attacking his house last week cutting the door of with a chainsaw and arresting Stiophan and his younger sister, in relation to an attack on the Crown Forces in Dungannon.

Stiophan's Sister said she was terrified and thought it was a Loyalist Murder bid, she said they took me to Antrim and I was thrown into a cold damp cell, I did not know why I had been arrested and felt all alone but suddenly I could hear singing, I thought who would be singing in this hell hole, I put my ear to the wall and realized it was a rebel song.

Unknown to Stiophans Sister her Brother had just been thrown into a cell a couple of doors down and on hearing a woman’s voice with a country accent Stiophan began singing to let his sibling know she was not alone and to give her courage, such a small weapon as a human voice can be used to great affect when you have nothing else said Stiophan.

The Main speaker on the Night was Sinn Fein President Ruairi O Bradaigh who gave an emotional Oration welcoming Stiophan back among his Comrades and presenting him with a hand crafted Harp made by his Comrades in Portlaoise.

People came to the Function from all over Ireland and i remember seeing a small woman who at 89 years of age came all the way from Cork to welcome home this Irish Soldier, their were buses from Dungannon Newry Dublin and Fermanagh and people turned up in cars from all over the country.
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British Criminalisation of Republican P.O.Ws will never happen


Republican Prisoners' Action Group


MAGHABERRY POWs REFUSE FOOD



Whilst returning from a period of home release, the O/C of the Republican POWs in Maghaberry Gaol was put on the boards following a so-called 'positive' indication by sniffer dogs. On Friday 29th July he was placed in solitary confinement for a period of 48-hours. It is a well-known fact amongst the screws that he does not use any illicit drugs – nor have any drugs ever been found amongst Republican POWs or the area where they are housed.


Since the recent temporary suspension of their 10-month long protest action in Maghaberry Gaol against the conditions in which they are held, and for full political status, the screws have sought to aggravate the prisoners at every opportunity in an attempt to break their resolve. In their statement, the POWs made clear that the suspension should not be seen as a sign of weakness, but rather to give room for manoeuvre.


The Republican POWs in Maghaberry Gaol refused food over the 48-hour period that the O/C was held in solitary confinement. The Republican Prisoners' Action Group salutes the discipline and resolve of the Republican POWs in Maghaberry and condemns the vindictive nature of the actions of the prison authorities in the Six Occupied Counties.
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The Protest

  • Thirty-eight Republican Prisoners currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol.
  • "Controlled movement" is imposed on Republican landings with only three prisoners permitted out of their cells on the landing at any one time with each prisoner accompanied by two prison officers. Free Association on landings completely removed.
  • Legislation introduced by British government following the Good Friday Agreement removed the right of Republican prisoners to organise themselves on their own landings and removed the right of Republican prisoners to spend their time in prison constructively.
  • Prisoners made to chose between daily exercise or education. Prisoners denied educational facilities to enable them to organise their own education.
  • Easter lilies banned in the prison. Other Republican handicrafts confiscated and destroyed by prison officers.
  • PSNI/RUC approval required before prisoners permitted on Republican landing.
  • Republican prisoners’ parole entitlement has been reduced to half that of other prisoners.
  • Denial of compassionate paroles for family and religious occasions. Parole for funerals of immediate family members often restricted to 6 hours or less.
  • Constant use of strip searching to humiliate prisoners contrary to international law. One prisoner received 31 strip searches and 1,135 rub down searches in a six month period.
  • Prisoners locked in their cells for alternately 21/23 hours per day.
  • Abuse of the sniffer dogs in an attempt to criminalise political prisoners. Families and prisoners are wrongly accused of smuggling drugs into the prison. Familes are forced to have closed family visits which take place through Perspex screen while prisoners returning from parole are placed in solitary confinement for 48 hours.
  • Family visitors exposed to Loyalist visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Loyalists going to and from legal visits.
  • The power of the Governor to punish a prisoner by taking away remission was reintroduced specifically for Republican prisoners after it was banned by the European Court of Human Rights in 2002.
  • Access to a doctor available only once a week.
  • Interference with correspondence.
  • Irish language and cultural items including handicrafts made relating to hunger strikes confiscated or destroyed by prison officers.

 

The Catholic Church

For this past Year I.R.A Prisoners under their own command and directive have been on protest at the conditions they are facing in the British Prison Camp Magaberry lately that protest has been suspended as a show of good faith to the catholic hierarchy in Ireland who have said they are negotiating on the Prisoners behalf indeed a series of meetings with the Catholic church headed up by cardinal Brady and his team led to the prisoners taking this decision some movement was made by the brits on some of the prisoners 5 demands but a lot of  key demands were not addressed

 

British Criminalisation policy

For Hundreds of Years the British Government has tried to paint the struggle for Irish Freedom as criminal and at every turn Irish Republicans held in British jails have fought this criminalisation from Thomas Ash to Bobby Sands Irish Volunteers have Protested and died in British Prisons Fighting this Criminalisation there same tactics that failed in the past are today being used against the P.O.Ws in Magaberry some demands have been granted but the Brits are now using new tactics against the P.O.Ws criminals with no Republican links are now being placed on the Republican Wing in Magaberry Jail it is now reaching Crisis point with it looking like Republicans will have to share cells with common criminals this is another attempt to paint them as criminals Irish Republican Army Prisoners of War  will use all forms of protest open to them to make sure this British Campaign stops

 

The R.P.A.G

The Republican Prisoners Action Group was set up by Republicans who support the 5 demands of the P.O.Ws in Magaberry Jail our aim is to raise awareness of the Prison Protest faced by these brave men and to raise support for their cause through out the year we have taken our protest to the streets with a series of white line protests in towns and city’s across the occupied six counties the most recent one on Saturday in Lurgan we have converged in protest on Media headquarters in Belfast to complain about the media blackout on the Prison protest it seems the Media is under the thumb of the British Propaganda machine it is only through the help and support of the Republican People and supporters on the ground that we can get our message across I call on all Irish Republicans to Join the R.P.A.G and support the Prisoners in Magaberry Jail

 

 



Press Release/Preas Ráiteas

Republican Prisoners' Action Group


MAGHABERRY POWs ANNOUNCE SUSPENSION OF PROTEST


Statement from O/C CIRA POWs in Maghaberry Gaol


The Republican Prisoners held in Maghaberry Concentration Camp have agreed to temporarily suspend their 10-month long protest. Since 19th June 2006 Republican POWs have been protesting against a régime which seeks to criminalise those who continue to struggle for Ireland's Freedom. Throughout the long months of protest representatives of the POWs have held meetings with various organisations including the hierarchy of the Catholic Church: indeed Archibishop Seán Brady visited the prison and spoke directly with the O/C of the prisoners on protest. During these meetings the Church representatives appealed to the prisoners to suspend their protest in order to allow them to enter discussions on the prisoners' behalf. Whilst the POWs demanded direct talks between their O/C and the Brits it was then decided not to escalate the protest. The decision to suspend the current phase of protest was taken after the Leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann were informed by the Gaol O/C.

Whilst there have been some changes implemented to improve conditions since this decision we believe that they only partially meet our demands.




The following are the changes:


Access to classroom for self-education

Inter-wing football

Access to dining room for breakfast and dinner on a rotational basis

More time out of cell resulting in a 16-hour and 19-hour lock-up as opposed to the previous 19 and 23-hour lock-ups



Although we must acknowledge that significant change has been made we believe that a lot more needs to be done.

We have only agreed to a temporary suspension in order to show that we are not intransigent; we will not accept the continuation of any policy which seeks to criminalise Republican POWs. We would urge the NIO and the Brits not to view our suspension as a sign of weakness, but rather as a sign that we are willing to give room for manoeuvre – the room that was requested from us by intermediaries. We wish to restate that we will not tolerate any more foot-dragging on the issues pertaining to better living conditions. We will not allow the status quo to remain for a further 3 years without more significant change. The ball is again in the Brits' court.


O/C CIRA
Republican Prisoners
Maghaberry Gaol

ENDS
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Support the 5 Demands

                                         
  • Thirty-eight Republican Prisoners currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol.
  • "Controlled movement" is imposed on Republican landings with only three prisoners permitted out of their cells on the landing at any one time with each prisoner accompanied by two prison officers. Free Association on landings completely removed.
  • Legislation introduced by British government following the Good Friday Agreement removed the right of Republican prisoners to organise themselves on their own landings and removed the right of Republican prisoners to spend their time in prison constructively.
  • Prisoners made to chose between daily exercise or education. Prisoners denied educational facilities to enable them to organise their own education.
  • Easter lilies banned in the prison. Other Republican handicrafts confiscated and destroyed by prison officers.
  • PSNI/RUC approval required before prisoners permitted on Republican landing.
  • Republican prisoners’ parole entitlement has been reduced to half that of other prisoners.
  • Denial of compassionate paroles for family and religious occasions. Parole for funerals of immediate family members often restricted to 6 hours or less.
  • Constant use of strip searching to humiliate prisoners contrary to international law. One prisoner received 31 strip searches and 1,135 rub down searches in a six month period.
  • Prisoners locked in their cells for alternately 21/23 hours per day.
  • Abuse of the sniffer dogs in an attempt to criminalise political prisoners. Families and prisoners are wrongly accused of smuggling drugs into the prison. Familes are forced to have closed family visits which take place through Perspex screen while prisoners returning from parole are placed in solitary confinement for 48 hours.
  • Family visitors exposed to Loyalist visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Loyalists going to and from legal visits.
  • The power of the Governor to punish a prisoner by taking away remission was reintroduced specifically for Republican prisoners after it was banned by the European Court of Human Rights in 2002.
  • Access to a doctor available only once a week.
  • Interference with correspondence.
  • Irish language and cultural items including handicrafts made relating to hunger strikes confiscated or destroyed by prison officers.

REPUBLICAN POWs NEED YOUR SUPPORT

PLEASE PROVIDE ANY SUPPORT YOU CAN TO REPUBLICAN PRISONERS ACTION GROUP OR JOIN YOUR LOCAL PRISONERS ACTION GROUP – PHONE 028 90319004 (6 COUNTIES) OR 223 PARNELL ST, DUBLIN 1, 01 8729747 (26 COUNTIES) R.P.A.G@hotmail.com
https://webzoom.freewebs.com/powstatusnow/nwhite.wmv


Join the R.P.A.G Now !

Support the P.O.Ws by Joining the Republican Prisoners Action Group we are currently organising through out Ireland




There’s an inner thing in every man,
Do you know this thing my friend?
It has withstood the blows of a million years,
And will do so to the end.

It was born when time did not exist,
And it grew up out of life,
It cut down evil’s strangling vines,
Like a slashing searing knife.

It lit fires when fires were not,
And burnt the mind of man,
Tempering leadened hearts to steel,
From the time that time began.

It wept by the waters of Babylon,
And when all men were a loss,
It screeched in writhing agony,
And it hung bleeding from the Cross.

It died in Rome by lion and sword,
And in defiant cruel array,
When the deathly word was ‘Spartacus’,
Along the Appian Way.

It marched with Wat the Tyler’s poor,
And frightened lord and king,
And it was emblazoned in their deathly stare,
As e’er a living thing.

It smiled in holy innocence,
Before conquistadors of old,
So meek and tame and unaware,
Of the deathly power of gold.

It burst forth through pitiful Paris streets,
And stormed the old Bastille,
And marched upon the serpent’s head,
And crushed it ‘neath its heel.

It died in blood on Buffalo Plains,
And starved by moons of rain,
Its heart was buried in Wounded Knee,
But it will come to rise again.

It screamed aloud by Kerry lakes,
As it was knelt upon the ground,
And it died in great defiance,
As they coldly shot it down.

It is found in every light of hope,
It knows no bounds nor space,
It has risen in red and black and white,
It is there in every race.

It lies in the hearts of heroes dead,
It screams in tyrants’ eyes,
It has reached the peak of mountains high,
It comes seating ‘cross the skies.

It lights the dark of this prison cell,
It thunders forth its might,
It is ‘the undauntable thought’, my friend,
That thought that says ‘I’m right!’

Marcella, H-Block, Long Kesh Prison Camp.
(Bobby Sands 32county T.D )


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