An open letter to the Irish people from Portlaoise jail by republican political prisoner DD McLaughlin.
My name is Damien McLaughlin. I am a father of four, my three boys are aged two, four and eleven. My daughter is fifteen years old. I am from Ardboe in County Tyrone and soon I will face the prospect of being tortured in a hell-hole called Maghaberry Gaol.
I’m writing this letter because I need your support in the fight to stop the extradition of Irish Republican political prisoners from the 26 counties to the six county statelet. For the past seven months I have been held in Portlaoise Gaol far away from my loved ones and friends.
The reason? I’m fighting my extradition to the six counties to face false charges based on so called hearsay evidence. When I arrive in Maghaberry I will face humiliating forced strip searches administered by deeply sectarian Loyalist screws. I know this because I have experienced dozens of these degrading strip searches having been held there in the past. My personal movement will be completely controlled every moment of every day. Having already been tried in the media by the DUP and TUV politicians who have slandered me repeatedly. I will be produced before a Diplock juryless court which exist for the sole purpose of imprisoning Irish Republicans like myself.
If my extradition proceeds I will be handed over to this brutal sectarian prison regime by my so called fellow Irishmen at the behest of MI5 and the British Government. During the course of my trial I face upwards of 100 brutal forced strip searches over a period of 10-12 weeks. All of my visitors including my family and children who have already been harassed and sometimes refused visits entirely will have to face this whole terrible process again.
Any trivial pretext can be used to refuse a visit such as the type of clothes they are wearing as seen recently in the case of Dee Duffy’s young son. My family will have to face sniffer dogs, searches, hatred and sectarian abuse that no children should ever have to endure. This letter is not only for myself it’s also for two young men who are facing the same terrible situation: Ciaran Maguire from Finglas and Sean Farrell from Crumlin.
I am a Republican from Tyrone and as difficult as it will be for me to bear the torrent of slurs, violence and provocation, I can only imagine what it will be like for these two Dublin lads being degraded and tortured one hundred miles away from their families.
So I’m calling on everyone - Nationalists, Republicans, and Socialists and those who believe in human rights and justice around the world, let’s hear your voice loud and clear. Don’t let this happen, don’t let Irish Republicans be extradited to a British torture camp. Stop the extradition of all Irish political prisoners now! Support the Anti-Extradition campaign!
A special thanks to all those who have been to the forefront of the Anti-Extradition campaign from Saoradh and the IRPWA. You know who you are as do I.
Irish Republican political prisoner,
DD McLaughlin, Portlaoise Gaol