Two more weeks’ punishment for Gabriel Mackle!

New screws in the CSU in Maghaberry jail must be trying to earn stripes from their paymasters judging by their aggressive attitude towards Gabriel Mackle. Since their arrival at the beginning of the month, the heating in Gabriel’s cell has been turned up high and as the windows don’t open the cell is suffocating. This has long been the practice in police cells but not in prisons. 

On May 5, 2017, Gabriel was taken to see a doctor at his own request. He was taken to the doctor, a nurse was also in the room, by two screws who refused to leave the room and stood at the open door within earshot of what was being said. Because of this Gabriel refused to discuss anything with the doctor or nurse and left the room.  Later when Gabriel was on the phone to his wife his call was stopped after only five minutes. 

Also on May 5, Gabriel was adjudicated on and charged with refusing a direct order on March 31 to go to Bann House. His radio was removed from his cell and he cannot make an order to the tuck shop for two weeks. This is indeed an act of vindictive aggression. As was stated previously, when Gabriel refuses to move into the loyalist section of the prison, that refusal is being used to further punish him. He still has had no visits and has only a short phone call during the day. 

All this on the anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands who died fighting criminalisation of political POWs. How infuriating that 36 years later there is an attempt to criminalise Republican prisoners, not just by the prison regime but by POWs in Roe House who suddenly change the rules to gain control of the wing. 

Withmany thanks to:

POW Department
Sinn Féin Poblachtach.

5 May/Bealtaine 2017

‘Patten-like reforms’ to prison service demanded in the North of Ireland the occupied six counties in the North.

Another damning report into the prison service in the North of Ireland!

Southern politicians speak after jail visit.


THERE have been calls for “Patten-like reforms” in the north’s prison service (Protestant jobs for Protestant boys) after a cross-party group of politicians from the Republic visited Maghaberry Prison.

The group, which included former Fianna Fail minister Eamon O Cuiv, met several republican prisoners held permanently in Maghaberry’s punishment block, known as the Care and Supervision Unit (CSU). Mr O Cuiv, along with Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle, Fianna Fail senators Jim Walsh and Mary White, Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan, Independant TD Maureen O’Sullivan and United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly, later held a press conference at Belfast’s Europa Hotel. Tensions at Maghaberry have been high in recent months amid complaints from republicans that authorities have reneged on a deal to end strip-searches. In November 2012 inmates on the Roe 4 wing ended an 18-month ‘no wash’ protest days after the ‘IRA’ shot dead prison officer David Black as he travelled to work along the M1 near Lurgan, Co Armagh. Mr Pringle claimed prisoners in the CSU are held under “degrading and inhumane conditions”. “This situation can’t be allowed to continue and it has to end and prisoners have to treated with some dignity and sense of respect for their human rights,” he said. Mr Pringle described a previous meeting with justice minister David Ford to try to deal with some of the issues as a “waste of time”. Mr O Cuiv said he was “shocked” by allegations that some prisoners held in the CSU are being approached by MI5 to become informers. He said the “daily regime” described by the five republican inmates in the CSU,  which includes 23-hour lock-ups, is “horrendous”. Ms Daly said reforms similar to the Patten changes to policing are required to overhaul the prison service. “The prison workforce come primarily from one side of the community and that is unsustainable in the long term,” she said. A spokesman for the service said:  “The separated regime is subject to considerable scrutiny from outside bodies and, whilst some of the issues raised on this occasion are not for the prison service, all complaints by, and on behalf of, prisoners are properly investigated.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the origional story.

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