Appeal to Bradley ‘as a mother to a mother’

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The following statement, addressed to British Direct Ruler Karen Bradley, was issued by Lorraine Taylor, wife of republican internee Tony Taylor. She was speaking after a rally at Free Derry Corner on Sunday to mark Mr Taylor’s 900th day in prison.

 

It appears that my husband, Tony Taylor, who has been in detention now for 900 days without any reason, in reality is being used as a political hostage by the British Secretary of State, Karen Bradley.

The British Secretary of State has been in Dublin to meet Pope Francis to celebrate the importance of family life. My simple question to her is how can she square this meeting with the Pope and deny access to his family?”

Tony has now been held in jail without charge since March 2016, after his parole licence was revoked by a previous British Secretary of State. I now ask Karen Bradley to use her authority as the current Secretary of State, as a woman and a mother, to send Tony home to his family.

She should also hear the voices of the high profile political, church, trade union and community leaders, along with the many northern and southern district councils and senior representatives of the Irish Government who are supporting the call for Tony’s release.

Tony, prior to his internment without trial. was the primary carer for his elderly parents who are both ill and who have been unable to visit him for more than a year.

Tony himself has chronic health problems. Furthermore our son, Bliain, is severely disabled and is heavily dependent on his father.

I firmly believe that Tony’s continued detention is unlawful, unduly punitive and discriminatory and his legal team have argued the refusal to release him is as unlawful as it is contrary to the Human Rights Act (1998).

A final word to Karen Bradley, as a mother to a mother - can you now exercise your conscience, intervene and use your authority as Secretary of State to request that my husband be released on humanitarian grounds back to his family? Failure to do so will make your visit to meet the Pope and celebrate the importance of family just a political pretence.

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