Irish Republican News · April 14, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Prison protest fast ended

An Irish republican awaiting repatriation from an English prison has ended a fast begun in a bid to obtain better medical attention and speed up his repatriation to be nearer his loved ones in Ireland.

Aiden Hulme was informed on Sunday by the authorities at HMP Full Sutton that if he refused breakfast the following morning, then his pain-killing medication would be withheld.

Hulme suffered severe leg injuries in a car accident and may have to have the limb amputated. He ended his fast after two days without medication.

He is in Full Sutton jail in England serving a 22-year sentence for his part in a ‘Real IRA’ bombing campaign in London and normally receives a pain-killing injection daily.

The Couth Louth republican refused food on Friday in protest at a delay in transferring him to Portlaoise Prison and was warned by the prison medical officer that he could not receive the injection if he was not eating solid foods.

Hulme ended his fast yesterday morning after two days without medication.

Michael Holden from the Irish Political Status Committee said the 27-year-old had been in a lot of pain.

“The pain-killing injection was in fact stopped on Sunday and on Monday he was so much in pain and feeling so unwell that in order for the medication to be administered he decided to go back to eating solids.

“He ended his fast this morning (Monday) and we are happy he has come off and we will continue to campaign for his repatriation.”

Mr Holden called on the Dublin government to set a date for Hulme’s repatriation.

“He will be repatriated eventually but we don’t know if it will be in two months or 18 months. If they would set a date, tell him it will be in May or September, it would be something to look forward to.

“He is likely to need his leg amputated and would like to be with his family. It’s not a case that he will be released, he will have to serve his entire sentence in Ireland.”

However, some specialists believe his injured leg might still be saved if given treatment.

Since he was transferred to Full Sutton prison in August 2004, he has had four operations cancelled with no reason given.

“It appears the prison service are content to ‘contain’ my condition with an on-going course of medication, but are in no rush to allow my operation to go ahead, whether it be here or in Ireland,” Mr Hulme wrote in a letter to SDLP leader Mark Durkan.

The prisoner’s legal team, some time ago lodged, a case for medical neglect against the authorities at Full Sutton.

Minister of Justice’ Michael McDowell is being urged to spare the young 27-year-old man any further pain and suffering by processing the transfer application.

* A picket calling for the immediate repatriation of Aiden Hulme will be held outside the Department of Justice on Friday 21st of April 2006 from 5-6pm. Protests are also being held in London and Chicago.

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© 2006 Irish Republican News