Irish Republican News · May 21, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Roisin McAliskey arrested

Roisin McAliskey has been arrested on foot of a new extradition bid by Germany.

Roisin, a mother of two, appeared before a Belfast court after being arrested at her home in Coalisland, County Tyrone, on a European arrest warrant.

Her own mother, the former Mid-Ulster MP and Catholic civil rights campaigner Bernadette McAliskey, listened from the public gallery as the court was told how the warrant was eight months old but was only new being acted upon.

It is the second time Germany has attempted to have Roisin extradited over the 1996 IRA attack which injured no-one but caused extensive damage to the base.

On the first extradition attempt, in 1998, Roisin had been pregnant at the time. Her cruel and inhuman treatment in English jails provoked an international outcry and has been blamed for causing her to develop mental illness.

Roisin has always protested her innocence and the evidence presented against her has already been comprehensively discredited.

Roisin and her mother left court flanked by friends without making any comment. She will appear again for the extradition hearing on June 6.

Defence lawwyers questioned the eight-month delay in effecting the arrest. In recent months, her mother has again questioned the direction and integrity of current peace efforts.

Outside the court, Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein MP for Mid-Ulster, urged the German authorities to drop their extradition proceedings.

He said: “Over 10 years ago these matters had a more than adequate hearing in a succession of British courts.

“The arrest this morning of Roisin on the foot of an extradition request from German prosecutors will be seen by many as petty and vindictive.”

Mr McGuinness, Deputy First Minister at the North’s new power-sharing Assembly, pointed out that she has always maintained her innocence.

He added: “Roisin McAliskey is the mother of two young children and she has lived openly in her home town in the 10 years since her release from prison in England the last time the German authorities threatened to have her extradited.

“The German authorities should take note of the tremendous progress we have achieved in Ireland in the course of recent years and immediately drop the demand for Roisin’s extradition and allow her to return home immediately to her young family.”

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© 2007 Irish Republican News