‘Scapegoat’ prisoner denied family visits

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Prison warders at Maghaberry have prevented a family visit with Paul McIntyre for a second time after he was refused bail and incarcerated at Maghaberry earlier this month.

Mr McIntyre, who is facing charges but has been described as a ‘scapegoat’ and ‘a political hostage’ for the death of journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Derry in April last year.

He was initially allowed bail late last month due to the weakness of the case against him. But a week later, a judge overturned that decision and ordered him detained at Maghaberry high security prison in County Antrim.

His family now fears that the 52-year-old Derry is facing ‘internment by remand’ ahead of lengthy legal proceedings. And for the second time in less than a week, Mr McIntyre’s son and grandson were stopped from making visits to see their father and grandfather.

Saoradh said the reason for this latest refusal was that they “were acting suspicious in the car park” -- apparently because Mr McIntyre’s son snapped a photograph with his own son.

Following that refusal, the pair were leaving Maghaberry to return home when they were stopped by the PSNI police in a staunchly loyalist area. Saoradh said this was “a clear case of harassment”.

“This latest tactic by the British state of refusing visits then using Crown Forces to stop friends and families of Republican Prisoners is one that has been tried and tested in the past.

“It has failed then and it will fail now. Saoradh stand with political hostage Paul McIntyre and all current Republican Prisoners,” they said.

© 2020 Irish Republican News