Irish Republican News · June 11, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Concern over Maghaberry death

A former republican socialist activist and volunteer is the latest in a long list of deaths which have occured in the ‘special supervision unit’ of Maghaberry Prison.

John Kenneway died in his cell at Maghaberry Prison on Friday afternoon. It was reported that he took his own life.

In December 1997 he was one of three INLA men convicted of killing ‘King Rat’ Wright as he sat on a prison bus inside the jail at Long Kesh.

Although Kenneway was convicted of the murder, the fatal shots were fired by the other gang members.

Following his early release on licence after the Good Friday Agreement Kennaway was subjected to significant harassment at the hands of the RUC and PSNI. His licence was susbsequently revoked some months ago and he was returned to prison to recommence his life sentence.

“Early reports suggest that his death was by his own hand, it is too early to confirm this,” said a republican with knowledge of the case.

“What we know is that the Special Supervision Unit in which he died is manned by screws who are without exception loyalist in character.

“Just days ago he was denied compassionate parole to attend the christening of his grand-daughter.

“John was a colourful and witty down to earth lad with an instinctive empathy towards the problems and needs of the Belfast working class from which he came. He was a great neighbour and his loss will be bitterly felt in the community in which he lived.”

Kenneway’s death comes one week after the opening of the public inquiry into Wright’s murder.

The LVF leader’s family have claimed that elements of the British forces may have colluded in the attack in order to remove a significant loyalist threat to the peace process.

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© 2007 Irish Republican News