251355_115533635201793_100002354707362_147602_4340355_a Continue reading “JUST 16% OF NEW PRISON OFFICERS ARE CATHOLIC”

Marian Price being held is ‘internment’: Priest

A Catholic priest has described the continuing detention of the Old Bailey bomber Marian Price as a form of internment.

She has been in custody in Maghaberry Prisonsince May last year.Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her licence after she appeared at a dissident republicanrally.A meeting of supporters campaigning for her release was held in Londonderry last night.Former prison chaplain Monsignor Raymond Murray said Mr Paterson’s decision had echoes of the past for nationalists.

“This is a form of internment,” said Monsignor Murray, who was prison chaplain in Armagh for almost 20 years.

“I am just shocked that the secretary of state wouldn’t be aware of how seriously nationalist people look on internment.

“We thought it had all ended and here it is coming under a form of revocation, revoking a license.

“He would have to explain to us and explain the process of law as regards Marian Price.

“In any way has she broken the law? That would have to be provided but it is not provided by shoving her into prison on a pretence in an unjust way.”

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey critical of Marian Price detention

The continued detainment of alleged dissident republican Marian Price has “unintentionally provided a recruiting tool” for dissident republicans, an SDLP MLA told the assembly on Monday.

 Pat Ramsey tabled a motion calling on Justice Minister David Fordto liaise with the secretary of state to review the conditions of her detention.Price has been in custody in Maghaberry prison since May 2011, when Owen Paterson revoked the release from prison on licence of the Old Bailey bomber.”This action provided the dissidents the opportunity again to rouse the long-held suspicion of the British justice system imposing its role on the people across Northern Ireland,” Mr Ramsey said.Ms Price, also known as Marian McGlinchey, had been charged with encouraging support for an illegal organisation, the IRA, following a dissident republican rally in Londonderry on Easter Sunday.

The judge granted her bail on that charge, although her licence was later revoked.

InternmentSpeaking at the time, Mr Paterson said he made the decision because the threat posed by Price had “significantly increased”.

Before members discussed the motion, Speaker William Hay warned that nothing could be said which would jeopardise the current prosecutions with the courts.

Sinn Fein’s Jennifer McCann said her party had attempted to get an amendment to the motion to acknowledge republican prisoner Martin Corry.

She said she saw Price’s case as “tantamount to internment without trial”.

The DUP’s Paul Givan, who is also chair of the justice committee, said the motion was “irresponsibly tabled by the SDLP”.

“Mr Ramsey not once commented on Marian Price’s history and why her licence has been revoked,” he said.

He added that the secretary of state had a “duty to protect the wider interests of society”.

Price was jailed for the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973. She was released on compassionate grounds in 1980.

Responding to the debate, Justice Minister David Ford said the revocation of the licence and the case was led by Mr Paterson and the responsibility now lay with the parole commissioners.

He said under devolution, it fell to the secretary of state to recall those released on a life licence if the rationale was determined to be of a “national security nature”.

Mr Ford said he therefore had “no role” and it would be “a serious danger if this house would instruct me to do something which is outside my responsibilities”.

“My opinion on this matter would carry no more weight than any other member of the assembly,” he added.

He denied claims that Price’s medical needs had not been addressed during her time in custody, claiming that she had been provided with the care she required.

Mr Ford also explained that Price had been placed in Maghaberry – an all-male prison – as she was seen to be high risk and Hydebank Wood Women’s Prison was deemed unsuitable.

The motion was rejected.

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Assembly clash over Price detention

The Assembly clash over a motion on Marian Price. 


Monday, 30 January 2012

Assembly clash over Price detention

Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey put forward a motion at Stormont on Monday calling for Justice Minister David Ford to review the conditions of her detainment in Maghaberry.

She has been held there since May 2011, when Owen Paterson revoked the Old Bailey bomber’s release from prison on licence.

Mr Ramsey said the move means dissident republicans will argue that the British government can override the local justice system at will.

He said: “These groups have been able to stoke a sense of injustice in the community, to use it for political gain and to seek to mobilise young people in their actions against the democratic will of the people.

“Those of us in elected office must do everything within our power to prevent dissidents from succeeding.

“Unfortunately however the actions of the secretary of state have unintentionally provided a recruiting tool for those individuals who are so intent on reigniting violence.”

Price was granted bail last May after being charged with supporting an illegal organisation – but she was not released because Secretary of State Owen Paterson made a separate decision to revoke her early release licence.

The 57-year-old, who along with her sister Dolours was jailed in 1973 for her role in a republican bombing campaign in London, was accused of holding a speech for a masked man at a dissident rally on Easter Sunday.

Unionist politicians reacted angrily to the motion.

Paul Givan of the DUP said: “Marian Price was convicted because of her part in an IRA bombing unit that was responsible for bombing the mainland, the Old Bailey being the most notorious one out of them all, and was given a life sentence in 1973.

“So that’s who we are talking about – not some little old lady who has been sent to prison because they stole a bag of peas out a shop.

“Let’s get real about what we are discussing in this chamber and why the SDLP are now wanting to act as proxy for the 32 Sovereign County movement is beyond me as to why they would want to do this.”

Before the debate started, Speaker Willie Hay warned members that they should not make any comments that would undermine ongoing legal proceedings involving Price.

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