Prisoner attacked at Maghaberry
Prisoner attacked at Maghaberry

Republican prisoner Kevin Barry Nolan, who stood as an independent candidate in the 2005 council elections, has been injured in an attack by a warder’s dog at Maghaberry jail.

Mr Nolan was mauled and severely bitten in the attack on Tuesday leaving him with a number of wounds and bleeding heavily from the arm.

The Fermanagh man was returning from the gym with other prisoners when the incident took place.

It was reported that he was “thrown back in his cell after basic, minimal treatment was administered by the prison officials.”

In a statement the 32 County Sovereignty Movement condemned the incident and said the treatment of Mr Nolas was “totally disgraceful, and once more shows the true colours of the British state when it comes to dealing with Irish Republicans.

“This is despicable behaviour from the prison authorities, and a breach of Kevin’s human rights.”

The incident on Tuesday is the latest in an escalating trouble at the County Antrim jail.

Over the Christmas period, republican prisoners were placed on a restrictive regime, while visitors to the jail are now being subjected to strip searches carried out by members of the PSNI.

Visitors who refuse the strip-search at the prison are threatened with transfer to Lisburn PSNI station where they face a forced strip-searched.

“Family members are now reluctant to visit their loved ones,” said Republican Sinn Fein, which called for a human rights campaign over the prison conditions.

One visitor to the jail said: “When I was in the room I was told to remove my clothes on my upper body and was told to spread my arms up against the wall and my upper body and clothes were searched.

“After being searched I was told to put them on again. Then they told me to remove my shoes and then to remove one sock at a time and shake them. I was allowed to put my socks back on. Then I was told to take my jeans off and then my underwear and shake them while the RUC/PSNI were sniggering and laughing at me. Then I was told to put my hands up against the wall and made to lift my left leg up 10 inches for about 20 seconds and then repeat with the right. I was told to put my clothes back on.

“I was then told I would be getting a box visit knowing that Republican POWs dont accept box visits. I let my mother go on into the visit. I was then escorted out of the prison.”

* Meanwhile, an official British report into the suicide of a republican prisoner at a so-called “Special Supervision Unit” inside Maghaberry has said it found no evidence of foul play.

John Kenneway was a member of the INLA team that killed notorious unionist paramilitary Billy Wright inside Long Kesh prison in 1997. He was found hanging in his cell in nearby Maghaberry jail three years ago.

The prison isolation unit where he died must take action to improve its suicide prevention measures, the report said.

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