Intervention sought for protest at Maghaberry
Intervention sought for protest at Maghaberry


Republican prisoner Dermot Burke is currently engaged in a dirty protest in Maghaberry jail after the prison regime there refused to transfer him to the republican wing at Roe House.

Interned by remand on January 24, it was reported by the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) that he commenced a no-wash protest on February 19. His action began after prison authorities refused his transfer to the republican wing and falsely claimed he was under threat.

Dermot is refusing to cooperate with the prison regimen. As part of the protest, he is smearing his excrement on the walls of his cell, an action made famous in the 1970s by republican political prisoners who refused to be criminalised by the British government.

“The MI5 controlled Maghaberry regime have constantly lied, manipulated and deceived Dermot during their dealings with him,” the IRPWA said.

“Following accusations of false threats, body scan failures, and isolation, it has reached the point where protest action is required for Dermot to be moved to Republican Roe House.

“The IRPWA fully support Dermot in his actions to get moved to Republican Roe House and extend our solidarity to him.”

The prisoner support group directly accused MI5 of directing the actions of the prison authorities.

“The regime at Maghaberry have used the tactics of ambiguity and lies, not only with Dermot, but with others who have challenged the delay in moving Dermot to Roe House,” they said.

“During this time, IRPWA representatives have attempted to contact the Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, and Dungiven parish priest, Fr Seamus Kelly. Whilst Bishop McKeown refused to take calls, it was explained to Fr Seamus Kelly that urgent calls regarding the abuse of Dermot’s human rights were needed. However he insisted that he had ‘no time to make calls’, and that he ‘doesn’t get involved in politics’.

“Dermot, who is one of Father Kelly’s parishioners, is now smearing his own excrement on a wall in protest against MI5’s refusal to move him to republican Roe House. The so-called leaders of Catholicism, who continuously champion human rights are now blatantly closing their eyes, and covering their ears to the ongoing treatment of republican prisoners.”

Anti-Imperialist Action echoed the call of the Maghaberry prisoners and demanded Dermot be transferred to the republican wing.

“British Imperialism is still at war in Ireland and MI5 are at the forefront of that war against Republicans. The treatment of Dermot Burke is unacceptable to anyone who believes in basic human rights and is just more MI5 games aimed to harass Irish Republicans.” they said.

“All Republicans should speak out in support of Dermot Burke and Support all Republican Prisoners across Ireland. Victory to the Republican Prisoners!”

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.

© 2024 Irish Republican News