Members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)


EAST Belfast UVF have been branded coke-dealing thugs i an astonishing attack by the boss of a UVF museum in the area.

Follow this link to find out more: https://twitter.com/LynneCampbell5/status/1275686919255490562?s=20

He hit out as specialist cops busted a suspected drugs ring linked to the gang. Loyalist community worker William McCaughey, curator of a museum dedicated to the UVF, laid into the current paramilitary goons for “torturing” the Protestant people. He accused them of criminality and cocaine dealing saying they should “hang their heads in shame”.  


EAST Belfast UVF has been accused of “torturing the Protestant population” in the heart of East Belfast.

Follow this link to find out more: https://www.facebook.com/913308238745902/posts/3069554353121269/?app=fbl

Respected community worker and UVF historian William McCaughey laid into the current UVF mob who were targeted in yet another anti-drugs sting the weekend last. McCaughey is the curator of the Ballymac Museum which is smack in the heart of what has for years been the heartland of the East Belfast UVF  – making the outspoken dressing down even more unusual. And his brave outburst came as police revealed on Saturday 20th June they had busted a suspected East Belfast UVF drug gang. Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force announced they had searched properties in Dundonald and believe drugs and cash found were linked to the East Belfast UVF. A 40-year-old man has been charged with drug offences and two women were reported to the PPS. The Sunday World understands the raid is highly significant and is closely linked to one of the terror group’s top bosses. A top cop said afterwards the local community “utterly supports” their efforts to disrupt East Belfast UVF. Detective Inspector Hamilton said: “Paramilitaries are not defenders of their communities, instead they are criminals who pretty on vulnerable people and exploit any circumstances they can for their own gain.”


And during a five-minute video posted on the Ballymac Friendship Centre’s Facebook page this week, William McCaughey (49) describes the current East Belfast UVF in less flattering terms. The clip entitled ‘Ballymac Museum Tour Part 3’ sees William, who’s listed in the credits as curator of the museum, complete his tour of the museum which largely includes artefacts collected from the Troubles. Having shown us various weapons and trinkets made in Long Kesh prison by UVF prisoners like David Ervine and Gusty Spence, he out-of-the-blue lets rip at the present day UVF. While a music box, made in Long Kesh, plays in the background he says: “It’s usually at this stage of the tour people ask me what has the East Belfast UVF got to do with the museum and my answer has to be, absolutely nothing. “Why? What has cocaine [word inedible], criminality, hiking of bills and general torture of the Protestant population, what’s that got to do with all this rich history?”

Snorting cocaine

But he doesn’t stop his impassioned speech there and even tells the current East Belfast UVF criminal element they should be ashamed. He continues: “Why use them three letters [UVF] and live on the backs of the people in this museum  – the Ulstermen who have defended their wee part of Ulster for hundreds of years? “Hang your heads in shame!” The video was uploaded to the museum’s Facebook page on Monday 15th June and seems to have been done to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of the murder of local UVF hero Robert ‘Squeak’ Seymour. McCaughey adds: “And from a time when East Belfast UVF were the ‘People’s Army’ – Volunteer Robert Squeak Seymour 15th June 1988.” Seymour became a UVF legend during the Troubles for murdering senior IRA man James ‘Skipper’ Burns, for which he was convicted of killing in 1981, though he was later cleared on appeal as he’d been convicted on ‘supergrass’ testimony. Until 2011, Seymour’s image featured on a mural on a gable in the nearby Ballymacarrett Road.

A late 2011 UVF mural, on Ballymacarrett Road in East Belfast. The four members named are Robert Seymour, shot dead by the PIRA; James Cordner and Joseph Long, who were both killed in a premature explosion, and Robert Bennett, killed by the British Army during a riot. These same four are commemorated in the controversial 2013 mural featured in: Follow this link to find out more: https://extramuralactivity.com/2013/12/23/years-of-sacrifice/
Until 2011, Seymour’s image featured on a mural on a gable wall in the nearby Ballymacarrett Road
McCaughey’s sideswipe is being supported by many loyalists. This paper has written extensively about paramilitary drug lords in East Belfast UVF. Many of the old UVF guard have been reported to be ashamed of the actions of the current crop of paramilitary leaders. The Sunday World asked Mr McCaughey for a comment on his statement but we were told by the centre: “Unfortunately at this time William is unavailable for comment.” Sources in East Belfast say the outburst from the community worker, who was until recently was listed as a director of the Ballymac Friendship Centre, shows how sections of East Belfast have turned on the current UVF.
And the positive feedback left by supporters of the museum show many people are fed up with East Belfast UVF. The video clip has been viewed over 7,000 times and been shared 83 times and attracted completely positive comments. One person wrote: “Brilliant William, well said and very well concluded.” Another supporter wrote: “Well said you can’t be a true loyalist and a drug dealer.” Another fan commented: “Thank God someone has had the courage to speak out x.” Things have been going wrong for the East Belfast UVF for a few years but those problems have accelerated following the murder of popular community worker Ian Ogle last year. The Ballymac Museum was started after loyalists got fed up with ‘their’ history being told through the eyes of republicans. In 2015 it received just over £200,000 in public funding to have the centre refurbished.
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
A year later Mr McCaughey was quoted in a number of newspaper articles as he gave tours round the new museum, though he was never pictured himself. He said of the UVF memorabilia: “It’s not about glorifying anything, but it’s about the fact you shouldn’t forget about it either, it’s a part of our history here, a part of the history of this area that’s being kept alive. “There’s been Americans in and once they started to realise the conflict here was more complicated that the Irish against British, they were absolutely fasinacinated. It’s also been great for young people in the area who maybe label themselves as loyalist or whatever, but don’t really know what that means. “The history in here helps them understand what their history is. Loyalism, the term, it’s often seen in a bad light, but this is helping show there’s more to it than just the Troubles. It’s a social history and it’s important it’s not forgotten.”
TRYING TO FOOL US: One of the threatening UVF murals in East Belfast. Jamie Bryson unmasked!
A police spokesman said on Saturday June 2oth 2020 of the latest raids targeting the East Belfast UVF: “Following this proactive policing operation a quantity of suspected class A, B and C controlled drugs, cutting agent, bags and scales and a significant amount of cash were seized. “Two women are to be reported to the PPS on suspicion of drugs offences.” Detective Inspector Hamilton said: “We know that the communities most affected utterly support our ongoing efforts and want to work with us to end the harm caused by the criminal activity of paramilitaries.
If Jamie Bryson was not a member of the UVF then why is he pictured here? Reading a statement out on behalf of the East Belfast UVF
” And late on Saturday June 20th 2020, the police confirmed the 40-year-old had been charged “with possession of a class A controlled drug, with intent to supply, possession of a Class B controlled drug, possession of a class C controlled drug and firearms licensing offences,” said a spokesperson. “He is due to appear at Newtownardes Magistrates Court via vidolink on Thursday July 16th 2020. As is normal procedure, all charges are reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).”

.With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Steven Moore for the EXCLUSIVE original story  – steven.moore@sundayworld.com 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/crime/anti-uvf-operation-nets-suspected-drugs-and-cutting-agent-man-charged-narcotics-and-firearms-offences-2890660

(2)-: https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/watch-paramilitary-crime-taskforce-raid-18456679

(3)-: http://www.belfastdaily.co.uk/2020/06/20/man-held-over-east-belfast-uvf-drug-dealing-probe/

(4)-: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-northern-ireland-53119053


Gerry Adams sent me to US to buy rifles for the Provos: ex-top IRA man

SPOTLIGHT: IRA Priest says Thatcher was “right” about him

Former top IRA man Brendan Hughes claimed that Gerry Adams sent him to America to buy Armalite rifles for the Provisionals, according to a new TV documentary.

And Catholic priest Patrick Ryan has told the same programme he set up arms deals between the IRA and Libya; that he once stole from church collection boxes to provide funds for the Provos, and that Margaret Thatcher was right to link him to English bombings like Brighton and Hyde Park.

OC Commder in H Blocks Brendan Hughes and leader of the first hunger strike in 1980

The disclosures come in episode three of the BBC NI series Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History.

In an interview recorded before his death in February 2008, Brendan Hughes, a one-time friend and ally of the former Sinn Fein leader, claims Adams sent him to New York to smuggle Armalites back to Ireland in the early 1970s.

Hughes adds: “I think we did push the war forward more than anyone else did. And I think it was Gerry who was largely responsible for that because it was Gerry who sent me to America to get the Armalites.”

Adams, who refused to take part in the Spotlight series, has always denied that he was a member of the IRA and he has repeatedly said Brendan Hughes told lies about him.

Gerry Adams and Brendan Huhes in Long Kesh

In the same programme about IRA gun-running, former missionary and parish priest Patrick Ryan has no such qualms about owning up to his part in the smuggling of weapons.

Tipperary-born Ryan says Mrs Thatcher was right to link him to a series of IRA bomb attacks in England like Hyde Park and Brighton which almost killed the Prime Minister at the time.

Asked about regrets, Ryan says: “I have big regrets that I wasn’t even more effective. But I didn’t do too badly you know.”

Ryan claims that it was his discovery of a timing device which transformed the IRA bombing campaign and stopped terrorists blowing themselves up as they made their deadly bombs.

Ryan’s admissions run contrary to what he told a Tipperary newspaper in 1988 when he said he had raised cash for nationalist victims of the Troubles but had “never bought explosives for the IRA or anybody else”.

In that year Ryan was arrested in Belgium and was sent back to Ireland but the Irish government infuriated Mrs Thatcher by refusing to extradite him to Britain.

Spotlight: Provo commander says Adams sent him to New York to smuggle weapons
In Spotlight, Ryan says that at the start of the Troubles he took money from mission collection boxes to finance the situation in the north but was later approached by the organisation’s leaders to work for them permanently.

“They asked me to travel the world and try to get help for them,” he says.

The British government was convinced he was the main link between the IRA and Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi who saw the Provos as comrades in arms.

Ryan says of Gaddafi: “He was a fine fella, the best I ever met. And we got on very well.”

Ryan says that in 1973 the IRA dispatched him to Rome to meet their Chief of Staff Joe Cahill who went with him to Tripoli to meet Gaddafi who initially offered 200 tonnes of weaponry but later reduced the shipment on board the boat, the Claudia, to five tonnes because he suspected someone had blown the whistle.

Veteran IRA man Des Long says Cahill had been told the boat’s owner was working with British intelligence.

“He was warned and warned and warned that the whole thing was gone,” says Long, and the Claudia was captured off the Irish coast.

Ryan however continued to travel all over Europe working for the IRA and he says he also spotted Memo Park timers which motorists were using to remind them when their car parking fees had run out.

As footage is screened of terrorists making up a device, Ryan says he saw the timers as a means of preventing bombs going off while terrorists were arming them.

Such was the scale of links between Libya and the IRA, the documentary makers say that in November 1972 the Provos chartered a DC3 aircraft to fly 25 rocket launchers and 400 warheads from Libya to Shannon airport. Days later one of the rockets killed policeman Robert Keys in an attack on Belleek RUC station in Fermanagh.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Ivan Little for original story 

IRA Volunteer Hugh Coney, a native of Coalisland, Co Tyone, was shot dead by the British Army while attempting to escape from Long Kesh on 6th November 1974.

Following the introduction of internment in August 1971, the internees were initially held in Magilligan Prison, Co Derry, and the Maidstone Prison Ship, moored in Belfast Lough.

Oglach Hugh Coney - Coalisland, Co Tyrone.


Maidstone Prison Ship - moored at Belfast Lough
Magillign Prison - 1970s.
Magilligan Prison - as it is today.

For more information on Oglach Hugh Coney, please click on the link below for more details:

Maidstone Prison Ship click on the link below for more details:

HMP Maidstone in the harbour of Algiers. Alongside HMP Safari and HMS Sahib


With many thanks to: Stephen Codd (Stiofán Mac Óda) :


The Long Kesh Hunger Strike, in which 10 IRA/INLA volunteers died, was called off at 3:15pm on 3rd October 1981.



Statement from Cógus POWs, Maghaberry Prison 25/05/2012

On the 1st July 2011 Cógus POWs in Maghaberry embarked upon a “Dirty-protest”. We did so after months of watching the Prison service and David Ford eroding the hard fought for 12th August Agreement. Both had been warned for months that their actions or lack off would force the prisoners hand and we urged the Prison service to work within the framework of the 12th August agreement. 

It was a protest we didn’t embark upon lightly as we knew that our actions would bear heavily on our families, it would deflect republicans from the overall struggle outside and would have a physical and emotional impact on ourselves. However to do nothing would have put republican prisoners conditions in a deplorable situation, so with the sacrifices of republican prisoners before us as a beacon, we began a new stage in prison struggle.
The Crux of our angst is the deliberate misrepresentation of the 12th August agreement by the NIPS and the failure of the DOJ and its head David Ford to face down the naysayers, who are reluctant to penal reform and change simply because republican prisoners are the lightning rods of that proposed change. Republican POWs believed that strip-searching and controlled movement was fully addressed in the August 2011 agreement. Sadly rather than embracing the opportunities of the agreement and taking the opportunity to show pragmatism, the NIPS reverted back to their usual dogmatic and rigid policies.
When it was clear that POWs and the DOJ/NIPS were at loggerheads over strip-searching and controlled movement, as it had been pointed out to them on numerous occasions during the circular conversations that passed as the new “forum”. The POWs showed vision and a willingness to promote the agreement and to iron out issues of contention. On the issue of strip-searching pows offered to strip down to their underwear and shake their own under garments, this was the standard and accepted approach to strip-searching in Long Kesh right up to the point of closure in 2000. This proposal was rejected by the prison service that embarked upon a regime of brutal and sexually degrading strip searches of passive republican prisoners.
We began to passively refuse to co-operate with strip-searches while entering and exiting Maghaberry, the response from the prison service was to send a full riot unit into the cells holding us waiting to attend court or hospital. We were charged and pinned to the wall with a shield, then dragged to the floor by screws in full riot gear at all times they applied their knuckles behind our ears as pressure points and twisted our arms and hands into painful locks. They ripped our clothes and underpants from our bodies and then after searching them, through them back at us and exited the cell laughing. This is what David Ford; the so called champion of human rights turns a blind eye to in “his prison”.
Ten months into the “dirty-protest” has seen our health suffer badly as our protest continues. Our cells have lost all natural light as the walls and ceilings are covered in excrement, we are on 23 hour lockup and have to eat and sleep in our own waste. We suffer infections and some men have needed hospital treatment. Our cells are hosed down every six weeks and we are returned to our cells, the process for us starts over again, our long hair and beards are a public testament to Maghaberry visitors that all isn’t well in the “North’s most modern and secure prison”
Ten months into our protests and our refusal to co-operate with strip-searches seen David Ford finally accept what we and others had been saying all along. That technology existed that made strip-searching for the most part redundant in prisons. He accepted a recommendation from Dame Anne Owers to explore alternatives to “full body searching”. Over one and a half million pounds has been spent by the NIPS managing the republican prisoners protest, months of hardship and relationships destroyed in the short to medium term that could have been avoided with common sense and a desire to have a harmonised regime in Roe House.
On the 3rd May 2012 David Ford announced that he was introducing a pilot scheme of two x-ray style machines in Hydebank wood prison and in Magilligan prison. He didn’t say how long the pilot scheme would last or how quickly if accepted it could be installed in Maghaberry. When pushed on this issue Ford has been deliberately vague and ambiguous. There is no doubting that we as protesting POWs have won the argument on the futility of strip-searching in modern times. However without a clear timeline or tight framework to work from our efforts could be placed on the notorious backburner that exists within Maghaberry and our forced strip-searching and controlled movement would be left back in the hands of the NIPS, that is a position we will never accept.
In an effort to defuse tensions and to allow space to watch developments in the pilot scheme, Cógus pows through the independent facilitators informed the NIPS on the 7th May 2012, that if they suspended all strip-searches across Maghberry (as they had done for eight weeks after the 12th august agreement to allow time to install the boss-chair) That Cógus pows would suspend their protest. This offer was refused. On Thursday 10th May 2012 Cógus pows again offered to suspend the protest if the prison service would agree to pows coming down to their under-pants and shaking them ourselves, the prison service response was to offer not to have the search team forcibly strip us and that two prison officers in standard uniform would remove our clothing and that we would pull our underpants elastic out and allow a screw to look down.
We have been attacked and degraded by thugs in uniforms for almost one year now, we would not allow ourselves to be criminalised nor would we allow ourselves to be humiliated with their “latest offer” it was flatly rejected. No one can say that republican prisoners haven’t shown pragmatism or vision, we have no desire to be on protest for protest sake, however as we have shown in this communication, NIPS intransigence is fully to blame for the situation that prevails in Maghaberry today.
On Thursday 23th May 2012 Cógus pows have increased our protest, we slopped out onto the landings as the screws opened up for the morning unlock, the response has been to bring in extra cleaning materials and the screws have spread cat litter all over the landings, we intend in the coming weeks to enhance our protest further, if the NIPS believe that dialogue was or is a sign of weakness our actions now will show them that rather than burning out the protest, our intentions is to increase it. The Door isn’t shut however and if the prison service or Ford is serious about progress they need to act! Not talk! To show their sincerity in moving out of prison conflict.
Can we finish by thanking our families and supporters for your unswerving support, without it our struggle would be impossible…signed Cógus POW rep


Vols. Dominic and Mary McGlinchey Commemoration speech in full from Unrepentant Republican Collie Duffy.

A chairde, is mor an honor dom a bheith anseo inniu le beirt laochra a chuimhnú.

Eighteen years ago, on a bleak February night in the Irish Free State, another patriot son of Ireland lost his life. He was not the first, nor will he be the last Irish patriot to loose his life in the struggle toliberate Ireland from the clutches of English imperialists and Irish gombeens.

That man was Dominic Mc Glinchey, a son, a brother, a husband, a father, to many of us a friend and to all of us an inspiration and a comrade.

To say that Dominic’s life was the struggle for the liberation of Ireland is a gross under-statement. And what it meant to live in a police state where rights became privileges and freedom was temporary, was shown to him at the young age of seventeen when he was interned without trial. Thrown into the cages of Long Kesh in 1971 this was to be the first of many encounters that Dominic would have over the years with a corrupt and unjust legal system, designed not to administer the law in an even handed way, but to break the will of those who would have the audacity to stand-up and demand their rights. And Dominic was one of the first to stand-up not only for his own rights but also the rights of others, he did so in a proud and defiant way so that no-one could be in any doubt that no matter what the cost, he would be on the side of the oppressed and not the oppressor.

Indeed, Dominic’s commitment to standing-up for what he believed in was so great, that he soon became a figure of fear within the corridors of power and the then administrators of English rule in Ireland launched a campaign of repression and vindictiveness against him, reserved for anyone demonstrating the virtues of leadership that exposed the corrupt and artificial nature of this immoral and illegal state. Time after time he was harassed, arrested, vilified, imprisoned, attempts were made to take his life and attempts were made to defame his good name, laws were changed to imprison him and all of the principles of what are good and decent in any society were set to one side in an attempt to do what the English have never been able to do in Ireland, that is, to break the will of one Irish man who refuses to be broken.

That Dominic Mc Glinchey refused to ever bend the knee in the face of oppression and corruption, from wherever it came, is what made him an enigma to his enemies. However, for us, his friends, family and comrades, it is what made him the great liberator that he was. It was what gave him the responsibility of showing by example the passion and love for a (cause and a people) that he knew to his very core was just and right. In those days when Dominic was shuttled North and South more frequently than the Belfast to Dublin train, he demonstrated by his dignity and resolve that nothing in the arsenal of oppression could break the spirit of an Irish Republican determined to liberate his people.

Such determination and passionate commitment to a cause as noble as wanting to see your people live in peace and freedom would be met with the only response that oppressors and those who would settle short of freedom knew. Hence on that bleak February night another patriot son of Ireland lost his life. And while the loss of yet another hero of the struggle for Irish liberation was a blow to us all, Dominic left for all of us a legacy that even yet our enemies try to diminish, that legacy is, that it is right to stand-up for what you believe in, that it is right to expose corruption wherever it exists, that when met with institutionalized violence it is right to resist and that it is right for every Irishman and Irishwoman to speak out against the injustices and abuses of power that they see, from whatever quarter they see it. By his example he also gave us another important legacy and that was that the struggle for national liberation is not confined by the narrow parameters of a single organization or grouping. No, the right to engage in the cause to liberate your people and your country transcends organizational or party political boundaries, the cause of Irish freedom belongs to all of the people of Ireland and only when the will of that people is expressed without external interference, can Ireland begin the process of building the Republic that will be a fit and enduring testimony to the bravery of men and women like Dominic and Mary McGlinchey.

So while today is about remembering the dedication and selfless sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price for Irish freedom, and pausing to think, how different it would have been if the injustices of military occupation had not been foisted upon us, let us also take the opportunity to celebrate the commitment of an Irish Republican hero and his contribution to the just and noble cause of setting his people free. Let us take the example laid down by Dominic, Mary and others, that only when we begin to look beyond sectional interests and narrow minded sectarianism, can we begin to see the bright horizons of a true Republic, that only when we allow the objectives of the struggle to determine our actions can we create the common purpose needed to complete that struggle, that only when personal interests are set to one side can we truly liberate and that all of our endeavors will be dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of Irishmen and Irishwomen do not have to face the hardships and choices that Dominic, Mary and their generation have had to face.

It would be remiss of me to leave this graveyard today without recognising those who in many ways are the unsung heroes of our struggle, they are the families of men and women like Dominic and Mary Mc Glinchey. Thank you for giving us a shinning example of a freedom fighter, thank you for giving us your son, brother, husband and father in struggle and thank you for giving us the opportunity here today to pay tribute to the legacy of an Irish patriot.

We also need to recognise and pay tribute to the commitment and sacrifice of women in struggle. Women like Mary McGlinchey who were to the fore of our struggle for national liberation. This struggle never was and never can be the sole preserve of men.

A Dhominic agus a Mháire …… thank you for the memories, thank you for the inspiration, thank you for the dedication and most of all thank you for being you. Go raibh mile maith agaibh, your loss will not be in vain.

Ar aghaidh linn le cheile. Tá sé suas linne uilig an streachailt seo a chríochnú. Tiochfaidh ar lá.



Republican Women Prisoners

Discrimination against Republican Women Prisoners


A policy of discrimination against Republican women prisoners has been blatently and systematically exercised since the opening of Maghaberry prison in 1986.


In recent years the NIO [Northern Ireland Office] abolished lock-up [confinement to cell] for ALL prisoners in Long Kesh and for male prisoners in Lagan House, Maghaberry. More recently, lock-up was also done away with for two women on A2 in Mourne House in Maghaberry. The ending of lock-up has not been extended to Republican women prisoners who continue to be locked from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm and from 8.30 pm to 8.00 am, a total of 12.5 hours daily.

The official reason given by NIO for ending lock-up in Long Kesh was the lack of jail sanitation there. However there are toilets in all cells in Maghaberry, and yet the NIO went on to abolish lock-up for many prisoners here. The NIO have set out published criteria which they say a prisoner must meet in order to have the lock-up ended although this applies only to prisoners Maghaberry. The first criteria is that a prisoner must have been in prison for at least 8 years. Several Republican women prisoners meet this condition and yet have not had lock-up ended. The second criteria is that the prisoner must be on low or medium as opposed to a `High risk’ security classification. We believe that the imposition of this particular criteria is designed to exclude Republican women from having their lock-up ended because Republicans are generally kept on high security classifications until they are released from prison. Added to this, many of the men who are in Lagan House, Maghaberry, and thus have no lock-up, were `high risk’ security until entering Lagan house but then this classification was conveniently lowered to medium or low risk to suit the criteria set out by the NIO.

Also, some prisoners have been kept in Lagan House who did not meet the criteria at all. Paul Kavanagh for example, was a category A’, maximum risk prisoner and yet he was held in Lagan House during his stay in Maghaberry. All of this demonstrates how useless the criteria set out by the NIO is and why it is that Republican women should not be prevented from having their lock-up ended on the basis of such criteria.

In addition, earlier in the year, the No.1 Governor here in Maghaberry suggested that if Republican women prisoners wanted to be treated the same as our male counterparts in Long Kesh, including having lock-ups ended, we would have to move to the H Blocks in order to receive that treatment. In response to this suggestion, we drew up a document inquiring about the nature of living accomodation women prisoners could expect to receive in the H-Blocks, as well raising questions about educational and other facilities there. The NIO have been in possession of this document since early February 1997 and in all that time not only have they not answered our queries, they have also failed to acknowledge receipt of the document altogether. Since the governor here offered to move Republican women prisoners to the H-Blocks where lock-up for us would be automatically ended, this makes ridiculous the notion that our security classifications are an all important factor in preventing our lock-up from being ended here. It also makes nonsense of the idea that we must be in prison a certain length of time before lock-up can be ended. The governor felt that our lock-up could not be abolished within Maghaberry because this would mean having to extend this facility to all prisoners in Maghaberry, something which the governor did not want to do. The fact though that Paul Kavanagh and others were situated in Lagan House despite not meeting the criteria there means that the NIO is unconcerned with appearing to favour some prisoners and not others. Also, the No. I governor of Maghaberry has stated that even if a prisoner meets all of the relevant criteria they may never enter Lagan House and have lock-up ended simply because their general conduct has given the governor reason for concern. Again, this further example of the criteria being side-stepped or ignored demonstrates that the criteria is senseless in the first place and should not be used to prevent lock-up for Republican women prisoners being abolished.


The existence of 12.5 hours lock-up each day results in Republican women prison havone only limited access to telephones. Whereas the hundreds of prisoners with no lock-up can make calls any time day or night, Republican women prisoners find that they are unable to contact family members, friends and legal advisors simply by being unable make telephone calls after 8.30pm.


Education facilities within the womens’ prison have always been inferior to those enjoyed on the male side.

The education wing in the male prison is available in the evenings and at weekends when staffing levels permit, but for women prisoners evening and weekend access is never an option, regardless of staffing levels. Republican women prisoners do not ask for special privilege status but demand parity of treatment. By allowing certain conditions and `privileges’ to some prisoners but not extending the same to Republican women, the NIO is guilty of operating a policy of discrimination for which there can be no justification. What seems ironic is that in those areas where women were viewed as having an advantage over male prisoners, such as having more items allowed in parcels and having tissues and deodorants supplied through prison stores, governors and the NIO moved quickly to relieve this situation. They cut down on womens’ parcels and stopped supplying tissues and deodorants to women prisoners. The Governor and NIO are keen to ensure that they do not appear to discriminate in favour of women prison, but do not seem at all concerned about their practice of treating women in an inferior way in important areas of life. When it was pointed out to the No 1 Governor that it is unfair to treat women in this way he simply stated that `life is not fair’.

October 1997

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