Irish Republican News · September 19, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Fears for prisoner on second hunger strike
Fears for prisoner on second hunger strike

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A relative of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is already into his third week on a prison hunger strike over conditions in Maghaberry, it has emerged.

Belfast republican Liam Hannaway began refusing food at the high-security jail more than two weeks ago on August 31.

News of the hunger strike was only released this week after prison authorities failed to respond to his demands.

Mr Hannaway was interned by remand following a raid on a meeting held by the breakaway political party, Continuity Sinn Fein, in Newry in 2014.

Those arrested are currently being held alongside criminals in Bann House, but have demanded to be transferred to the jail’s Roe House, where political prisoners are held.

Other demands include the provision of all required medication and proper medical attention to republican prisoners.

Supporters pointed to the plight of Sean O’Neill, a 76-year-old republican veteran who was interned alongside Mr Hannaway, who has endured degrading and inhuman treatment at the hands of prison warders as he sought treatment for cancer of the bowel.

Mr O’Neill was forced to endure over 80 degrading and humiliating strip-searches and was at all times handcuffed to prison screws when leaving and again returning to Maghaberry prison.

Tragically, he was recently informed his cancer in terminal. He has now been denied humanitarian bail to be with his family at this time.

SECOND HUNGER STRIKE

In 2010, after a previous arrest, Mr Hannaway first mounted a six week hunger strike when prison authorities refused to allow him to serve a sentence alongside other political prisoners.

That hunger strike has left him in a weakened state, according to the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Dependants Fund (IRPDF). Since then he has suffered from a range of medical problems including high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Hannaway has lost 21 pounds in weight since starting his latest fast and has been vomiting as his body struggles without food.

“To date he has not been seen by a doctor and has only been checked by a nurse while on hunger strike he should be seen weekly by a doctor,” the IRPDF said.

“His vomiting has stopped and he is very shaky but is in good spirits.

“The decision to go on hunger strike is not one that has been made lightly and he is determined to see it through to its awful conclusion if his demands are not met.”

© 2015 Irish Republican News