Republican News · Thursday 19 November 1998

[An Phoblacht]

SF visits POWs in England

A Sinn Féin delegation spent Monday and Tuesday of this week visiting the remaining five POWs in English jails who are awaiting repatriation to Ireland or transfer to the H Blocks. On Monday the delegation, Sean Crowe, Edel Kelly and Eoghan Mac Cormaic, visited Jan Taylor in Frankland prison, and in the evening spent an hour and a half with Patrick Kelly and Jimmy Murphy in Full Sutton. On Tuesday morning they travelled to see Nicholas Mullan and Michael Gallagher in Long Lartin.

Sean Crowe said that the prisoners were all in good spirits. Sinn Féin remained determined not to allow the impending transfer of the five to act as an obstacle to the release of those already transferred. He criticised the linkage of their transfer to British Home Office control over when the prisoners would be released from an Irish prison. He called for their speedy transfer and an end to the uncertainty which families are enduring. Crowe also slated atempts by David Trimble to re-write the Good Friday agreement by creating links where they do do exist between prisoner releases and decommissioning

Edel Kelly said, ``the British Home Office have sought to protract what should have been a straightforward procedure, and have held these five prisoners as hostages for several months. Now that the latest `obstacle' has been cleared there is no reason why the men should spend another day in England, and all the families want to see the Dublin Government processing the transfers with all haste''.

Saoirse Chair, Eoghan Mac Cormaic said that the demand for all political prisoners to be released remained as strong as ever. ``Welcome as it is for these men to be brought home, the real objective is to clear the prisons. The continued imprisonment of prisoners already transferred, some of whom are entering their 25th year in prison, is a disgrace. Saoirse remains focused on securing their release.''

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News