Republican News · Thursday 19 October 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Kelly rejects Castlerea sentence review

Reacting to a ruling in the High Court in Dublin setting a 22 January 2001 date for the State's appeal to increase the sentences of republican prisoners Kevin Walsh and Pearse McAuley, Sinn Féin spokesperson Gerry Kelly said it ``makes no difference to the essential fact that these men, and those held with them in Castlerea, were and still are entitled to early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

``The Good Friday Agreement covers all IRA prisoners imprisoned for incidents which occurred before 10 April 1998, regardless of the jurisdiction they were or are jailed in or what their conviction was for.

``There cannot be a two-tier system discriminating against certain prisoners of the conflict.

``Sinn Féin is conscious of the pain felt by the family of Garda Jerry McCabe when this issue is raised but many, many other families throughout the island have found the release of prisoners difficult yet have accepted its centrality to the peace process.

``These prisoners should have been released by now and Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for their immediate release.''

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