Daly hits back at Murdoch over prisoner campaign
Daly hits back at Murdoch over prisoner campaign


One of Ireland’s foremost anti-imperialist activists, independent Dublin MEP Clare Daly, has said she has been effectively smeared in a Sunday Times article which has made insinuations about her work on prisoners’ rights.

The article said Ms Daly possessed the email address of Irish republican prisoner Liam Campbell and forwarded it to a controversial Lithuanian diplomat at the time of a justice campaign over Campbell’s extradition to the country, and makes sinister and exaggerated suggestions about the contact.

Mr Campbell was illegally extradited from Ireland in connection with an supposed MI5 arms ‘sting’ before being cleared by a Lithuanian court early last year.

Ms Daly also attended the trial of Liam’s brother, Michael, another miscarriage of justice victim, who was convicted on charges resulting from the MI5 frame-up, and served two years of a twelve-year sentence, before his conviction was overturned in 2013.

Ms Daly has said the details of the article are being reviewed by her lawyer. However she said it was “a backhanded compliment of sorts” that the media empire of Australian-American tycoon Rupert Murdoch had expended “so many column inches on smearing me on the eve of a very important election”.

In a statement, she said her involvement with Irish political prisoners was anchored in the work of the ad-hoc prisoner group of the Dublin parliament.

A cross-party grouping on prisoner and justice issues set up under the framework of the Irish peace process, it was recognised by the Independent Reporting Commission, a statutory body established in 2015.

Ms Daly said she met Liam Campbell in 2012 as part of the work of that group before travelling to Lithuania with a cross-party group of parliamentarians.

“In 2013 I, along with (Fianna Fáil TD) Eamon Ó Cuív, (Independent TD) Maureen O’Sullivan and (Sinn Féin TD) Martin Ferris, travelled to Lithuania to attend at the trial of Michael Campbell,” she said.

“As an MEP I have continued to work on fundamental rights and prison conditions on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee, in which capacity I have worked with prisoners and defendants in numerous EU countries.

“There is nothing whatsoever either surprising or untoward about public representatives who work on fundamental rights and prison conditions interacting with persons accused or convicted of criminal offences, and taking steps to help them when they and their legal teams seek to ensure their rights are vindicated. Human rights are universal, or they are meaningless.

“Against the backdrop of Israeli threats against the Irish state, it is deeply troubling that the Murdoch-owned British press is collaborating with a website controlled by a Russian oligarch with links to Israel on a piece that is deeply invidious to the peace process, and publishing what can only be described as a political hit-job on an Irish politician less than two weeks out from an Irish election.”

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