Marian Price being held is ‘internment’ - Msgr Murray

A prominent Catholic priest has agreed that the continuing detention of veteran republican Marian Price is internment without trial.

Ms Price had been charged with encouraging support for the IRA at an Easter rally in Derry. The judge granted her bail on that charge, although her ‘release licence’ was revoked last May.

Since then, she has been in custody in Maghaberry prison. A meeting of supporters campaigning for her release was held in Derry last night.

Former prison chaplain Monsignor Raymond Murray said the decision of the Secretary of State [British Direct Ruler Owen Paterson] had echoes of the past for nationalists.

“This is a form of internment,” said Monsignor Murray, was prison chaplain in Armagh for almost 20 years.

“I am just shocked that the Secretary of State wouldn’t be aware of how serious nationalist people look on internment.

“We thought it had all ended and here it is coming under a form of revocation, revoking a license.

“He would have to explain to us and explain the process of law as regards Marian Price.

“In any way has she broken the law? That would have to be provided but it is not provided by shoving her into prison on a pretence in an unjust way.”


Last week, the Stormont Assembly heard a motion, tabled by the SDLP, calling on the Stormont Justice Minister David Ford to review the conditions of her detention.

“This action provided the dissidents the opportunity again to rouse the long-held suspicion of the British justice system imposing its role on the people across Northern Ireland,” said SDLP Assembly member Pat Ramsey.

Sinn Fein’s Jennifer McCann said her party had attempted to get an amendment to the motion to acknowledge republican prisoner Martin Corry. She said she saw Marian Price’s case as “tantamount to internment without trial”.

Responding to the debate, Ford said the revocation of the licence and the case was led by Paterson and the responsibility now lay with the parole commissioners. He claimed he therefore had “no role” in the matter.

The motion was opposed by the unionist parties and was rejected.

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