Humanitarian appeals for Marian Price
Humanitarian appeals for Marian Price

Up to a thousand people showed their support for jailed political dissident Marian Price at a rally in west Belfast on Sunday.

Ms Price’s husband Jerry McGlinchey was among the speakers at the demonstration.

Supporters walked from Beechmount Avenue to a rally at Slievegallion Drive yesterday afternoon. One of the rally’s organisers, Pauline Mellon, said the veteran republican activist is “chronically ill and in need of urgent medical attention”.

Two United Nations-appointed doctors are due to visit her in prison shortly to assess her medical condition.

“Marian has been subjected to what experts define as torture and denied the most basic of human rights,” Ms Mellon said.

Mr McGlinchey, said in an interview that he is “very, very worried” about her health. He says she never recovered from the brutal force feeding which took place while she was on hunger strike in a British prison.

“My fear is that Marian will slip into a deep depression that it would take her years to come out of. I believe that is what the government intends,” he said.

A court hearing this week heard that a prison psychiatrist found the 58-year-old too ill to be brought to the Laganside courthouse in Belfast.

Defence lawyer Sean Devine said that the prison authorities “could not accommodate” a visit by the UN doctors this week, but that they would attempt to visit the jail next weekend.

Nationalist politicians are now also expressing growing concern.

Derry Assembly members Pat Ramsey and Raymond McCartney last week called again for her immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

After meeting Justice Minister David Ford to discuss the issue, Sinn Fein’s Mr McCartney said: “Marian Price should be released immediately.

“On humanitarian terms alone she should be moved to an outside hospital, never mind the fact that her continued imprisonment damages public confidence in the justice system.”


Meanwhile, Mr McCartney was himself accused of acting as a “jailer” in regard to another internee, Martin Corey, who was briefly allowed out of Maghaberry prison to attend his brother’s funeral last week.

McCartney and another senior Sinn Fein figure, John O’Dowd, accompanied the prisoner last Thursday morning as a condition of his compassionate parole, which was only granted at the last moment.

Republican Sinn Fein has expressed anger that a prisoner aligned with their organisation had been escorted by their Sinn Fein rivals.

In a statement, the group said republicans had always honoured their word in regards to compassionate leave “and to suggest otherwise is insulting”.

“At 11.45am, 15 minutes before the funeral Mass was scheduled to begin, Martin’s solicitor was informed that leave had been granted on the condition that two British Ministers belonging to the Provisionals escort him.

“One other independent person was also to accompany Martin. Martin was not allowed out of the Chapel grounds, even for the burial and had to be back in Maghaberry for 3pm.

“The escort by Provisional Crown Ministers is a classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper. The sight of O’Dowd and McCartney - ex-Republicans - performing the duties of the prison service shows them to be hollow shells of their former selves, something which was not lost on the community they claim to represent.”

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2012 Irish Republican News