Taoiseach to address internment issue
The 26-County Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he will raise Marian Price’s plight in Maghaberry prison when he meets the British Prime Minister David Cameron early next month.
Mr Kenny said he would study the report of the all-party delegation from the Dublin parliament that had visited the prison and met and spoke to the veteran republican, who remains interned without trial.
“I am aware of the circumstances of Ms Price going back into Maghaberry and of the medical reports regarding her state of health,” the Taoiseach added.
In May 2011, Marian Price was arrested after she held up a piece of paper on a windy day, at a traditional Easter commemoration from which a masked man read. She was taken to Maghaberry high security prison (an all-male prison) and was placed in solitary confinement, where Marian was accused of, ‘encouraging support for an illegal organisation’.
Marian has now been in prison for 16 months, during which time neither her lawyers or Marian have been allowed to see any of Britain’s ‘alleged’ evidence.
Despite having been previously force-fed 400 times by the British in an English prison and in considerable ill health and pain, she was initially kept in solitary confinement in a ‘male’ high security prison, before her deteriorating health required her to be hospitalised.
Although her release has been ordered on two occasions by judges, she remains interned without a trial, sentence, or release date by British decree.
Two British Direct Rulers have claimed Marian’s prison release license was “revoked” -- even though she was never released on license. Last month, she was refused permission to attend her sister’s funeral.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said a major issue surrounded her continued imprisonment and that of another veteran republican, Martin Corey.
In the Dublin parliament on Tuesday, he called on the 26 County government to “unequivocally call for the release of these two individuals.”
“They are held without charge or trial,” he said. “There is no due process whatsoever.”
He said a delegation from the Dail had found Marian to be very ill.
“Obviously, she is also grieving for her sister, Dolours, who died just a short time ago. She is confined. The government needs to raise these issues.
“I would like to know when was the last time the matter was raised and whether the government will unequivocally call for the release of these two individuals.”
The Taoiseach replied that he would raise it with the British Prime Minister and that it ‘is not easy to decide what is the best thing to do’.
Responding, Gerry Adams said it was “straightforward”.
“If a citizen is to be accused of an offence, that citizen should be brought forward and subjected to due process - sin e,” he said.
“Ms Marian Price has not been subjected to due process. Whatever has been said against her has been said in secret -- she cannot even hear it. It is back to the old days of internment, commissions and all the rest of it.
“It is easy to know what to do, with respect. If they want to keep these individuals in prison, let them go through due process or let the rest of us demand that they be released forthwith.”
Meanwhile, republican activists in Belfast this week erected a banner on the Belfast motorway to mark Marian Price’s internment, now almost two years old.
The 32 County Sovereignty Movement in Belfast said the banner was to mark that she has been interned 650 days “on the say-so” of the British government.