Category Archives: IMPLEMENT THE AGREEMENT
Maghaberry Prison: Reaction to damning report :
Picket in support of the 5th Annual International POW Day, which was held in the Bullring on the 24th of October. This statement was read out at the picket;
Comrades, we are gathered here today to pay homage to our brave volunteers and to highlight the plight that they are currently facing as they languish in captivity. It is important to send not only our Solidarity, but also to show our defiance of British rule and continue to progress towards the United Ireland we need.
With many thanks to: Republican Sinn Féin Wexford:
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Common Sense Replaced with Belligerence
Republican Political Prisoners wish to set out clearly our position on the Stocktake recently undertaken and released by David Ford, pictured above, (the Justice Minister’s) so-called Independent Assessment Team.
The stocktake was a unique opportunity to re-engage the implemention process of the August 2010 Agreement, and to deal with the unacceptable isolation of Republican Political Prisoners. Although willing to give the Stocktake a “fair wind”, we remained sceptical. We have at all times acted in good faith. Unfortunately our initial scepticism has, once again, proven well founded.
Like the August 2010 Agreement before it, the Stocktake has been immediately attacked and subverted by the DUP, in coalition with a loyalist cabal within the jail staff, which maintains a stranglehold on jail policy. The Stocktake is being used as a means to rewrite the August 2010 Agreement and supplement its core tenets. A result of this has been overt attacks by bigoted fundamentalists on our daily regime within the jail confines. A cursory read over Hansard: Justice Committee reports in Stormont on Tuesday November 18 provides clear evidence of this. No amount of revisionism will change the well documented facts, and timeline of events, of how the 2010 Agreement was deliberately sabotaged, long before David Black was executed by the IRA or a “dirty protest” was commenced. Republican Political Prisoners are not afraid of the facts. We have them chronicled in abundance. (www.irpwa.com)
It is our view that the “elephant in the room” can no longer be shied away from: We are not “ordinary prisoners”, we are Political Prisoners and therefore will not accept being treated as anything else. The schizophrenic dealings with us, where all “privately” accept what we are, on one hand, but then try to enforce a criminal regime, has only helped stoke the bigoted fire of the DUP.
David ford the so-called Justice Minister, the NIO and the constitutional nationalist parties in Stormont have given the DUP carte blanche to thwart progress. Where else would such a biased political party hold sway over such processes within a jail? The Stocktake itself is now based on the notion of Republican Political Prisoners “behaving” before inadequate, piecemeal changes can be made. In effect, the outworking of this has been the regression of our already limited regime. It is not us who need to “behave”. We will always behave exactly like Political Prisoners because that is what we are. Let us be clear; all of the conflict surrounding this situation is based on several core issues which were identified and could have been remedied in 2010. Instead, the isolation of Republican Political Prisoners has been added, and the opportunity to get back on track has been squandered.
Republican Political Prisoners are committed to the August 2010 Agreement. We have been relentless in our pursuit of a Conflict-Free Environment. But, a Conflict-Free Environment will only be achieved when those with the power are prepared to stand up to the bully-boy tactics of the DUP and their loyalist fifth column within the jail. The DUP and their loyalist cohorts within the jail staff are deliberately provoking a situation in which conflict is inevitable. The blame for this should be laid directly where it belongs. We will be as clear and unambiguous as possible; Republian Political Prisoners and our supporters are well prepared for the struggle ahead.
Republican Political Prisoners, Roe House, Maghaberry 8 – 12 – 2014.
“After the surrender, no arrangements for decent custody… led to conditions which left a memory as bitter as that enkindled by executions… In the rotunda gardens… men gnashed their teeth at the shame to which both sexes were exposed” (TM Healy, Letters and leaders of my day, Voloume ii, p.561)
The above quote relates to the immediate aftermath of Eiri amach na Casca. There is somthing in the British psyche that craves not only the capture, but the degradation of those who refuse to submit to its will. Taking a Rebel prisoner is never enough, being captor will not suffice.
Twenty-four hours after the signing of the August 2010 Agreement serious matters arose. “Staff” immediately approached Republican Political Prisoners to ask what the Agreement entailed as they had not been briefed by the Jail Management. This was the first fundamental “mistake” that would allow bigots to renege upon and ultimately undermine the Agreement.
On 12 Novemer 2014, David Ford, the Justice Minister for the North of Ireland, announced to end the Strip Searching of Republican Prisoners being released from Maghaberry Gaol; going on home leave and, the end of “automatic” strip-searching for external hospital appointments. Less than 24 hours later a riot squad was ordered to forcibly strip a Republican Prisoner en route to, and upon return from, an external hospital appointment.
The Republican Prisoner, aware of David Ford’s directive and “stock-take”, articulated opposition to being strip-searched on these grounds. The response of the Maghaberry Governors (David Savage and Brian Armor) was a feign ignorance and state that he would be forcibly strip-searched regardless. The strip-search ensued. A large group of highly aggressive Riot Squad personnel entered the small room where a Republican Prisoner, awaiting hospital treatment, stood alone to face them. This was repeated on his return, even though he had been hand-cuffed, with prison guards present throughout. The aggression these men bring into that room is not merely the product of their Riot Squad training, it is sadism derived from blind sectarian hatred. This regime’s sustenance is a gratuitous and pervasive violence that is extracted from inflicting indignity upon Republican Political Prisoners in Roe House.
The era whereby Republicans “gnashed their teeth” at the indignities to which we are exposed ended a long time ago. The Administation’s failure to implement the August 2010 Agreement could not impact upon the ability or resolve of Republican Political Prisoners to face down the Pro Unionst, bigoted regime. Neither will a refusal to implement recent directives achieve anything other than a renewed conflict-fuelled enviorment.
Republican Political Prisoners Roe 4, Maghaberry 24-11-14
With many thanks to: IRPWA
REPUBLICAN prisoners in Maghaberry gaol have claimed a reveiew of a controversial deal at the high security prison has been “sabotaged”.
It comes just days after prisoners offered to give a recently completed independent stock-take” a fair wind”. The reveiw, carried out by an independent assessment team appointed by Justice Minister David Ford, (pictured below), examined aspects of a deal struck in 2010 to relax strip searches and controlled movement in the prison. Republican prisoners on the republican wing of the jail’s Roe House have accused jail authorities of reneging on the deal. The prisoners have claimed, however, that the reveiw has “already been sabotaged by the DUP and the POA (Prison Officers Association).” The recent stock-take found that “not all the principles of of the August 2010 agreement have been adhered to, nor have all undertakings been acted upon”. It also said the stock-take has “created an opportunity to get things back on track” in the prison. In response to the review, prison authorites say they will look at outstanding elements of the agreement including strip searches. They also say they will consider relaxing controlled movement as long as prison staff are allowed to carry out their work “free from harm, intimidation and threat”. Republican prisoners alligned to the ‘IRA’ are currently on the republican wing of the prison’s Roe Four landing while those alligned to the (CIRA), Continuity IRA and (ONH) Oglaigh na hEireann are housed in Roe Three. In a joint statement, repubican prisioners claim they have been told that from this week the two landings will be treated as “separate units” and that a grill separating the landings will not be opened “until violence in the streets stop”. “If those in power are genuine about moving forward to a conflict-free environment within this jail, they need to show that they are serious, for now this process is dead.” Both the POA and DUP were not available for comment yesterday. A skopesman for the Prison Service said: “The Northern Ireland Prison Service is committed to the agreement and to providing a normalised enviroment for the Roe House prisioners within a secure location.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
‘ Although we have good reason to be sceptical, we are willing to give it fair wind – Inmate’s statement
REPUBLICAN prisioners in Maghaberry Gaol have said they are willing to give a “fair wind” to a recently completed reveiw of a controversial prison deal.
The reveiw which was carried out by an independent assessment team appointed by Justice Minister David Ford, examined aspects of a deal struck in 2010 to relax strip searches and controlled movement in the prison. Republican prisoners in the jail’s Roe House have accused jail authorities of reneging on the deal. The recent stock-take found that “not all the principles of the August 2010 agreement have been adhered to, nor have all undertakings been acted upon”. The report found that the agreement has “been unable to realise its full potential, partly because of bedding in problems arising from the lack of trust” between prison service officials and republician prisoners and concern about staff safety. It also said the stock-take has “created an opportunity to get things back on track”. In 2012 republican prisoners ended a no-wash protest just weeks after prison officer David Black was shot dead as he travelled to work in Maghaberry Gaol along the M1. Prison authorities say they will look at outstanding elements of the agreement including strip searches. They also say they will consider relaxing controlled movement as long as prison staff are allowed to carry out their work “free from harm, intimidation and threat”. In a joint statement inmates on the republican wing Roe Three and Four landings gave the review a cautious welcome. “Although we have good reason to be sceptical, we are willing to give it a fair wind,” it said. “The stock-take has the capacity to re-engage the implementation process of the August 2010 agreement. The reality is the only viable option. It is the only show in town,” it said. The prisoner statement said the 2010 deal offers are “victory to no-one”. “It is a route to an environment which is conflict free and threatens no-one,” it said. The joint statement added that a “resolution of all outstanding issues is within all of our grasps”. ” This should not be held to ransom by the politically ambitious or reactionary elements who yearn for a time long past,” it said. “We are in the 21st century; prison conditions should reflect that. Therefore Rupublican Political Prisoners in Roe House are in full favour of a conflict free environment.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the origional story.