HARK:Northern Ireland Human Rights Initiative

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, veteran Irish civil rights leader, said in response to the case of Irish republican Marian Price, who was returned to jail in 2011: “It is a clear signal to everyone who is not ‘on board’ and who is not of the same mind as the government that no dissent will be tolerated.

“No dissent will be tolerated and you challenge the status quo at your peril.”.

Marian Price, 59, is a long-time Irish republican activist and ex-Irish Republican Army volunteer. She was given two life sentences over bomb blasts in London in March 1973 that targeted a British army recruitment centre and Old Bailey courts. Price was one of nine republicans sentenced, including her sister Dolours and Gerry Kelly, who is now Sinn Fein MLA for North Belfast.

Price was given a “royal pardon” in 1980 and left prison suffering from poor health and weighing only five stone. The Price sisters had spent 200 days on hunger strike demanding to be transferred to a jail in Ireland’s north, where republican prisoners had political status.

They were both forcibly restrained and force-fed three times a day over the last 167 days of the hunger strike.

Despite her health issues and prolonged jailing, Price remained politically active after her release. Her outspoken criticism of British rule caused problems for the British administration, who had probably hoped she would quietly fade from the political scene.

Price’s continued activism and vocal support for republicanism kept her under scrutiny and made her a target for British security services.

Jailed on orders of government official

Price was returned to prison in 2011, not on the basis of fresh evidence or any new offence. Rather, then-British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson ordered her detention and charged her with encouraging support for an illegal organisation.

The basis of this charge is that Price attended a 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration held in Derry; one of many held by Irish republicans each year. At the event, Price held up a piece of paper for a masked man from the 32-County Sovereignty Movement as he read out a message.

Three days later, Price was arrested. She was then granted bail, but arrested again after she left the court on Paterson’s orders.

This time, the reason was based on secret information from the British intelligence services, which claims the evidence cannot be revealed due to national security concerns.

Later, Price was also charged with “providing property for the purposes of terrorism”; this allegedly related to her purchase of a phone, which authorities “think” was later used by attackers who killed two soldiers in 2009.

Price’s supporters believe this is merely an attempt by the British authorities to link her with a crime. No evidence or connection to the incident was produced and she was again granted bail by the court.

Yet Price remains in prison due to Paterson’s order.

Price’s real transgression seems to be her critical remarks about conditions in the six Irish counties still claimed by Britain, and of the Good Friday Agreement that lead to the power-sharing arrangement between Sinn Fein and parties that support British rule in the north.

Solitary confinement

After her arrest, Price was held in solitary confinement in the all-male Maghaberry high security prison for more than nine months, despite not being convicted of any crime.

Then in February last year, Price was taken to Hydebank Women’s Prison where she served another nine months in solitary confinement.

In May last year, the so-called charges involving the Easter Commemoration incident were thrown out of court by a judge. Still Price remained in prison as her mental and physical health rapidly deteriorated.

Then in June, by now seriously ill, she was transferred to a secure ward at Belfast hospital.

The European Court and former Commission on Human Rights, as well as the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), have said the use of solitary confinement can be classified as torture, depending on the circumstances.

The CPT has also said that solitary confinement “can amount to inhuman and degrading treatment” and has on several occasions criticised such practices. It has recommended reforms such as abandoning specific regimes, limiting the use of solitary confinement to exceptional circumstances, and/or securing inmates a higher level of social contact.

Furthermore, the revised European Prison Rules of 2006 have clearly stated that solitary confinement should be an exceptional measure and, when used, should be for as short a time as possible.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has also stated that prolonged solitary confinement constitutes a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment prohibited under Article 5 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

The UN’s lead investigator on torture, Juan Mendez, has called for governments to end the use of long spells of solitary confinement in prison. Mendez said such isolation could cause serious mental and physical damage and amounted to torture.

He further said that short term isolation was permissible only for prisoner protection, but all solitary confinement longer than 15 days should be banned.

Support for Price

In a joint statement in November last year appealing to US officials visiting Ireland to support calls for the release of Price, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein deputy first minister of the Northern Ireland Executive Martin McGuinness said: “[Price’s treatment is a] serious case of injustice and denial of human rights and judicial rights in the north of Ireland.

“We believe that her detention is unjust and runs contrary to the principles of natural justice. We believe very strongly that Marian Price McGlinchey should be released.

“ Her human rights have been breached. She has been denied justice and due process. She is seriously ill. Her detention undermines the justice system and the political process.

“She clearly presents no threat to anyone.”

The campaign to release Price has encompassed a diverse range of people and political, social and community organisations across Ireland and elsewhere. Calls for her freedom have been backed by the two parliamentary nationalist parties in the north, Sinn Fein and the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP).

Adams called for Marian’s release in November, January and again in March. McGuinness has also appealed several times for her release, most recently at Sinn Fein’s Ard Fheis (congress). He also attended and gave evidence at the Parole Commissioners hearing a short time ago.

SDLP leader Alistair McDonnell called for her release on March 30. SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey has been a vocal supporter of the release of Price, as has Lisburn independent councillor Angela Nelson.

The campaign is also supported by a wide range of republican and national groups, including the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (of which Price is a member), Irish Republican Socialist Party, Republican Network for Unity, Eirigi, Republican Sinn Fein, Irish Freedom Committee, Friends of Irish Freedom, the Celtic League, the United Celtic Brotherhood and the 1916 Societies.

Calls for Price’s freedom have also come from Dublin City Council, Fermanagh Council, Dungannon Council, Galway Council, Derry Council, Sligo Council and Omagh Council.

Among other groups calling for Price’s release are the Scottish Republican Socialist Party and Human Rights Watch UK.


Devlin McAliskey said: “I think what is very important for people to recognise that what is happening to Marian is not an isolated case. While it’s happening here in Northern Ireland and we have had to call upon the UN Rapporteur for Health to exercise his authority to examine it … [it relfects] the arrogance [of] many of the Western powers …

“I think Marian’s case is symptomatic of those things we see every day … That people can still be imprisoned without due process and that many countries, particularly in the very powerful Western alliances, feel that UN resolutions and UN protections are for protecting them from their enemies, but not people from powerful states.

“Marian’s case is not just something peculiar to the Northern Ireland situation. The increasing confidence with which fundamental human rights and due process and protections are being ignored ― I think is frightening.”

The treatment of Price amounts to a return to the bad days of interment without trial, enforced by the British on the nationalist community in Ireland’s north in the early 1970s.

Price is being held purely because of her views and criticisms. She is being selectively targeted because she refuses to remain silent in the face of British coercion and repression.

The British justice system’s mistreatment of Price has again exposed it as the disgraceful, hypocritical and discriminatory structure that it is, a fact that Irish people have experienced throughout the colonial occupation of Ireland.

Price’s case reveals the contempt the British judicial system has for genuine fairness and due process.

Twice she was granted bail by judges, only to be rearrested due to orders signed by the Northern Ireland secretary of state. Price has been illegally imprisoned. The lack of a genuine case against Price and her jailing without due process is a travesty that must be remedied by her unconditional freedom.

Price’s human rights are being grossly violated by her long-term incarceration. She is effectively detained without trial, sentence or release date. This means she could be held for an indefinite time, an illegitimate procedure that allows the British administration to hold her for the rest of her life if it so desires.

On the basis of compassion, legal, civil and political rights, and those of common sense, Price should be released immediately.

Paterson: My duty is to protect the public

Owen Paterson

                                        Owen Paterson

OWEN Paterson has defended his decision to revoke the licence which allowed Old Bailey bomber Marian Price out of jail under the Belfast Agreement.

The Old Bailey bomber was returned to prison last year after intelligence provided to the Secretary of State linked her to terrorism.

She also faces a charge in connection with the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks. Last week, a judge dismissed charges against Price and three men arising from an Easter commemoration.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have claimed that she is being “interned” but unionists have supported the decision.

On Sunday, the DUP’s Peter Weir said he wouldn’t “be crying too many tears” over Price.

Yesterday, in the Commons, Mr Paterson made a carefully-worded statement about “a matter of huge consequence and debate in Northern Ireland” without referring to Price by name.

He said that the Parole Commissioners, who are appointed by the Stormont Justice Minister, were responsible for decisions on the release and recall of life-sentence prisoners.

“If information is brought to my attention, I share it with the commissioners and seek a recommendation from them regarding whether to revoke a licence.

“If they recommend that I do so, I will revoke, because I have a duty to protect the public… The commissioners make their decision on whether to release the prisoner because they are no longer a risk to the public, or whether the prisoner should stay in custody. The commissioners’ decision is binding.”


DOES Anyone honestly believe Marian Price is a threat to national security? At almost 60 and in very poor & mental & physical health, the one-time radical republican has long since passed her revolutionary sell-by-date.

The deterioration in her health leaves her unable to even sit through a video-link court appearance, never mind oversee the actions of an armed dissident republican group. However, for those opposed to peace what she does represent is a link with a past romanticised by disillusioned former IRA members. Her conviction for bombing the Old Bailey along with her sister Dolours and one-time close friend and fellow bomber turned political enemy Gerry Kelly led to imprisonment in Englandwhere the sisters were both force-fed daily in the most violent of circumstances. 

They became part of a campaign that gained massive support. As news of their ill-treatment went global and was made Public, thousands protested in rallies across Ireland. Marian Price’s present plight does not muster that support in such numbers. The most vocal callers for her release now come in the unlikely guise of the SDLP which has been outspoken in it’s condemnation of keeping a women fast approaching pensionable age behind bars.

Gerry Kelly
Gerry Kelly

The revoking of life licences remains a sore point – it is a process overseen by a British secretary of state and beyond the control of a locally elected justice minister. Mr Owen Patterson ( now resigned ) deemed Price a threat to NATIONAL SECURITY ” I doubt that the MP for North Shropshire knows Price personally and therefore we have to assume he acted on advice given by a security source here. Whether that was directly from the PSNI or the more shadowy security agencies or another unknown source may never be known, as legally the secretary of state does not have to reveal details of the ” intelligence ” that led to his assessment. Charges against the Veteran republican relating to a rally in which a masked Real IRA member read out a statement were last week dramatically thrown out of court. The judge presiding over the case had previously warned the prosecution to get it’s finger out in a case that required no complicated forensic evidence yet had already taken more than a year to prepare. Despite last weeks ruling, the PPS has indicated an intention to push ahead with the prosecution via indictable summons. However, this is all irrelevant to Price’s plight as regardless of the out come of both this and a further charge of providing a mobile phone that police allege was used to claim the murder of two British soldiers at Massereene in 2009, she will still stay behind bars indefinitely while her licence has remains revoked.SAME WAR - SAME MEDIA COVER - UP !

Her detention has been likened to internment and it certainly has a whiff of the Guatanamo Bay about it, holding someone in isolation, without trail and with no release date. Doctors have deemed Price too mentally ill to take part in any court proceedings. That includes those conducted by the parole commissioners who preside over the sentence review board – the only people apart from the secretary of state with the power to release her. While this situation continues she remains in limbo. Leaving aside the implications to Price and her family there are potentially more sinister repercussions from such a seemingly undemocratic detention.

We enjoy a fragile peace that relies on the support of the public for the north’s institutions. As it becomes increasingly clear that politicians here enjoy only a limited amount of power and have no say over certain aspects of the justice department including the managing of life licences – this can cause a loss of confidence.


It also points up a gaping flaw in the Stormont institutions, a fault easily exploited by those who oppose them. This discord manifests not in the leafy middle – class suburbs, where the detention of a former IRA bomber is unlikely to bring about outpourings of sympathy or make for dinner party conversation, but in places such as Derry, Lurgan and North and West Belfast where maintaining peace has always been a difficult juggling act and the danger of a return to violence is never too far away. Marian Price is a broken women. Releasing her poses no threat to Northern Ireland’s future but keeping her locked up does. It is now a critical situation that needs to be addressed before one women’s imprisonment is allowed to become a recruitment tool for those violently opposed to peace.


Rally charges against Price dropped

Charges brought against prominent republican Marian Price, over her role in an Easter Rising commemoration in Londonderry last year, have been dismissed by a judge.

Rally charges against Price dropped

Marian Price, pictured at the rally in Derry last Easter. (© UTV)

The 57-year-old, also know by her married name McGlinchey and from Stockman’s Avenue in Belfast, had been facing charges of managing and taking part in a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation last April.

She was charged alongside three Derry men – 42-year-old Paddy McDaid from Sackville Court, Frank Quigley, 29 and from Elmwood Road, and 50-year-old Marvin Canning from Glendara.

All four were due to face a preliminary enquiry on Thursday morning, but defence solicitors for the men said that they had not received any related papers.

A defence barrister for Marian Price, who did not appear, said that his client had been judged unfit to travel and that her condition had deteriorated and she had been deemed unfit even to appear by video link.

A barrister for the prosecution said that the papers were almost ready and requested a short adjournment.

The defence then made an application that District Judge Barney McElholm should refuse to return the four for trial due to the delays in the prosecution case.

Mr. David Herrity for Price said his client was “severely depressed” due to her incarceration and may not be fit to attend for some time.

Judge McElholm said if it was just a matter of Price’s illness, her case could be separated from the rest but the fact that there were no papers in the other cases was concerning him.

He described the case against the four as “straightforward” and added: “I have seen cases where there are complicated forensics take less time.”

The judge said that he had limited powers in cases like this, but added: “If I do not use what teeth I have, I may as well sit back and allow the prosecution to dictate the pace.”

He said that everyone was entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable period of time.

The barrister for the prosecution requested a two-week adjournment to allow the papers to be finalised.

But Judge McElholm said he was not granting any further adjournments and, as there was no evidence before him, he was not returning the four for trial.

He said Price’s case was different, but told the three men who appeared in front of him that they were free to go.

Price remains in custody, as she also faces a separate charge of providing property for the purposes of terrorism in relation to the murders of two soldiers at Massereene in 2009. She denies the charge.



 Related articles

Charges against Marian Price dropped

Marian Price charged over murder of Massereene soldiers

22 July 11 14:21

Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey

A prominent republican has been charged in connection with the murders of two soldiers in Antrim in March 2009.

Marian Price – also known by her married name Marian McGlinchey – has been charged with providing property for the purposes of terrorism.

The charge is related to the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at Massereene barracks.

On Friday, a lawyer said no new evidence has been produced to link republican Marian Price to the charge.

He said the 57-year-old was first questioned 18 months ago about allegations of supplying a phone.

Peter Corrigan also said a legal bid will be made to have the case against her thrown out as an abuse of process.

She was charged by summons earlier this month, a relatively new process in Northern Ireland, rather than at court on Friday.

The soldiers were shot dead outside their base as they collected a pizza delivery.

Two men are due to stand trial accused of their murders later this year.

Ms Price, who is also known by her married name Marian McGlinchy, is in custody following the revocation of her release on licence.

She was convicted for being involved in the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in 1973, but has been critical of Sinn Fein in recent years.

Three witnesses

She was expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court for a preliminary enquiry on Friday.

But she was not produced after it emerged that her defence team want to cross-examine three witnesses, including two senior detectives, as part of their challenge to the case against her.

A date for the day-long committal hearing is expected to be fixed next month.

Mr Corrigan told the court an abuse of process application will also be mounted.

He said: “The defendant was originally questioned in relation to these matters in November 2009. That’s 18 months ago.

“No new evidence has been adduced since that date.”

The solicitor detailed how his client’s previous release from prison was subsequently revoked by the secretary of state.

He claimed the allegations which formed part of the new charge against her were linked to that decision.

A hearing into the revocation of her licence is due to take place in August, the court was told.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall ordered that the case be listed again for August 5.

At that stage Ms Price is expected to appear via video link…..



A Chairde there are 4,225 people petitioning for Marian Price at the following CAUSES on Facebook, which have been censored and  the active administrators all removed, censored or blocked by British intelligence and their agents in Ireland. We will carry on with this petition here on CARE2.

British intelligence in Ireland whose activities in mentored, state sponsored loyalist assassination and murder is rarely documented but now they have gone rogue. Besides being involved in drug rackets all over Ireland, they are engaged in politically shaping all political parties and their agendas on all of the island.

While Labour has been bought and paid for by the unions who are already compromised, Fine Gael, bought and paid for by the culchies and Fianna Fail bought and paid for by everybody, their latest projected replacement PSF are paid and run by British intelligence. 

The British Intelligence-Industrial-War complex in Ireland, have a vested interest in prolonging the last 40 years of troubles with the internment of traditional Irish republicans like Marian Price and other Irish republicans released under the Weston Park part of the peace agreement as provocation.

 The Process has now been broken in no uncertain terms by the Tories with the secret collaboration of Provisional Sinn Fein, who have a vested interest in silencing all alternative peace formulae other than their own monopoly, bringing Ireland back into the British Commonwealth to conclude the process. 

 The Political internment of Marian Price without trial is a critical part and provocative part of this. Pseudo republican groups, along with modern media techniques, such as astroturfing, drug-wars, smear, dis-information, provocateurs, division, are all Kitson tools, which are part of British intelligence techniques and their media war on all matters genuinely Irish in Ireland currently. 

 The activities of British Intelligence Gone Rogue, are not confined to Ireland, even their own Baroness Thatcher would accept their control of the British media is the real issue hidden by the prosecution of Murdoch, with their Tribunal window dressing. 

The following are just some of the CAUSES on Facebook censored as a result of the work of their agents.


Members 1,711


Members 315


Members 270


Members 570

Join 4,000+ Petitions on International Women’s Day FREE INTERNED MARIAN PRICE ! 

Members 166

FREE PRICE in British Occupied Ireland(Cause)

Members 458


Members 635

A QUESTION OF HONOUR ?..your..ahem..majesty ?

In 1981, the wishes of hunger strikers, including IRA prisoner Bobby Sands MP, were respected and doctors supervised political death-fasts in Occupied Ireland by political prisoners demanding their international rights as Irish POWs refused by Margaret Thatcher. However Marian Price and her sister Dolours Price who were on hunger strike for 200 days were force fed 400 times while their comrades Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg died, which Marian described as follows:
“Four male prison officers tie you into the chair so tightly with sheets you can’t struggle,” says Price.

“You clench your teeth to try to keep your mouth closed but they push a metal spring device around your jaw to prise it open. They force a wooden clamp with a hole in the middle into your mouth. Then, they insert a big rubber tube down that. They hold your head back. You can’t move. They throw whatever they like into the food mixer – orange juice, soup, or cartons of cream if they want to beef up the calories. They take jugs of this gruel from the food mixer and pour it into a funnel attached to the tube. The force-feeding takes 15 minutes but it feels like forever. You’re in control of nothing. You’re terrified the food will go down the wrong way and you won’t be able to let them know because you can’t speak or move. You’re frightened you’ll choke to death. “Most modern doctors conclude that forcible feeding is a form of torture. The intention, however by the British to cover situations in which prisoners are repeatedly tortured and have attempted to die by hunger-strike to avoid the continuation of their torture. Just as doctors are sometimes advised not to revive Irish political prisoners simply to allow their torture to continue, they are advised not to force-feed prisoners so that they can be maltreated and interrogated. The European Convention on Human Rights prohibits “degrading” treatment in Article 3. The patient’s right to refuse treatment should be respected.

In 1980 Marian Price received the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and was freed on humanitarian grounds after suffering from anorexia nervosa in 1981, as a direct result of being force fed by the British. Marian Price a vocal opponent of the Bad Friday Agreement has said: “It is not, certainly not, what I went to prison for.” On 15 May 2011, the un-elected Secretary of State for Occupied Ireland Owen Paterson smashed the Peace agreement and broke the Royal Prerogative by revoking her release from prison.

Her detention has been described as ‘de facto internment’ by Provisional Sinn Fein. Marian was imprisoned in solitary confinement in the all male prison of Maghaberry for what the British have termed operational reason but what was subsequently leaked, that in fact the British intended to force feed Marian again in the hospital wing of the prison, where she was politically interned in solitary confinement for 300 days of what the UN have called torture.
Marian’s lawyer, Peter Corrigan has told a court: “As part of that application we had written to the NIO seeking a copy of the actual pardon that was conferred on the defendant in 1981. To this date the NIO still have not served that important document on us, and it is central to us making an abuse of process application.”

The defence case is that terms of the pardon covered all of the offences for which Price was convicted in 1974, Mr Corrigan added. Her lawyers are seeking to establish there was no power for the pardon to be revoked. The judge emphasized that any documents required for a defence should be provided by the British who are accused of abuse of process as usual in Occupied Ireland. Meanwhile Marian’s other comrades continue to be tortured daily under the pretence of strip searching in the British gaol.

Twice, a judge with the precise same intelligence reports as the English Secretary of State ordered she be released on bail immediately as she was no threat to the public. The 58 year old Marian has publicly stated her days as a militant activist are long gone but she cannot condemn young people who fight to remove the British criminals from Occupied Ireland. However each and every time the Queen’s unelected Englishman has overruled the judge and ordered Marian Price be interned without trial. His excuse was that he was revoking her parole but Marian was not on parole because she received a royal pardon or the “Royal Prerogative of Mercy” when she was freed in 1980. She was then at death’s door from a hunger strike. She was force-fed more than 400 times on a hunger strike.

This unelected English autocrat in Occupied Ireland now says that the much publicized pardon which was common knowledge “cannot be located,” that it either has been lost or shredded. Marian’s lawyer Peter Corrigan told a public meeting that it is the only time in the history of Royal Prerogatives of Mercy that a pardon has been mislaid. Monsignor Raymond Murray a respected veteran human rights campaigner and spiritual chaplain, said, “You can draw your own conclusions.” Marian has been in solitary confinement for more than 300 days. The UN Spokesperson on Torture has said solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture. Marian is locked in her cell 21 hours a day with a camera. She has no privacy because prison staff constantly go in and out of her cell. Male prison guards shine a light in her face at night so she can’t sleep.

Marian says she feels like she is “in a zoo.” Her husband, Jerry McGlinchey, says that he is “very, very worried” about her health. She has never recovered from her previous force-feeding, she suffers from such severe arthritis that she can’t open her hand. He believes her health will get worse while she is in solitary confinement. The Irish civil rights leader Bernadette Devlin McAliskey has told a meeting in Belfast, “From the government’s point of view it is a clear message that no dissent will be tolerated. You challenge the status quo at your peril.”
This internment without trial coupled with British sponsored or mentored murder of Human rights lawyers in occupied Ireland, along with blanket censorship, political paramilitary policing, prisoner torture has made post process Occupied Ireland a brutal military state for Irish people in their own land.

Marian Price may be a political prisoner of conscience in a British hell hole in Occupied Ireland for the rest of her life without the help of people who care. She is not the only one there are many more political prisoners of conscience in Ireland who were brave enough to speak out against British brutality and occupation.
This unelected English tyrant in Ireland, Owen Paterson can be e-mailed at to tell him to free Marian Price immediately. You may also join the other 4,225 petitioning on CAUSES Facebook to Organise, Agitate, Educate by going to a Bernadette McAliskey VIDEO AND OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS –


Marian Price needs our support

MARIAN PRICE could be in a British prison in Northern Ireland for the rest of her natural life. Unlike other political prisoners in the North, she has had no trial, no sentence, no release date, nor even a date when the Parole Commission will review her case. Unless the courts intervene, she will only be released by order of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson.

Twice, Price has been arrested under Northern Ireland’s special security laws and brought before what is known as a Diplock Court, where no jury serves. Twice, a judge has ordered that she be released on bail.

Each time, Paterson overruled the judge and ordered Price back to prison. He said that he was revoking her license (parole). But Price was not actually on license. Convicted of bombings in Britain, she received a full royal pardon (the “Royal Prerogative of Mercy“) when she was freed in 1980 because she appeared to be on the brink of death from severe anorexia nervosa. The anorexia was the result of being force-fed more than 300 times when she was on hunger strike in a British prison.

The Northern Ireland Office now says the pardon “cannot be located”–that it has either been lost or shredded. Price’s lawyer Peter Corrigan recently told an overflow public meeting in Belfast that this is the only time in the history of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy that a pardon has gone missing. Monsignor Raymond Murray, the veteran human rights campaigner, said simply, “You can draw your own conclusions.”

Nevertheless, the Parole Commission sided with the Northern Ireland Office and refused to release Price. Her lawyers will be appealing the decision in court.


Send an e-mail to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson and ask him to free Marian Price immediately.

To learn more about the case and get the latest updates, go to the Free Marian Price website.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

PRICE IS being held in conditions designed to break her body and spirit. She has been in solitary confinement for more than 300 days. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture says solitary confinement for more than 15 days amounts to torture.

She is locked in her cell 21 hours a day. There is a camera in the cell. She has been told that it is switched off, but there is no way to know if that is true.

She has no privacy because prison staff constantly goes in and out of her cell. At night, male prison guards open a peephole and shine a light in her face so she can’t sleep. Marian has told relatives she feels like she is “in a zoo.”

Her husband, Jerry McGlinchey, recently told the WBAI show Radio Free Eireann, “My fear is that Marian will slip into a deep depression that it would take her years to come out of. I believe that is what the government intends.”

He previously said that he is “very, very worried” about her health. She has never recovered from the force-feeding. It caused tuberculosis that had to be treated in 2010, and she was due for a checkup when she was arrested. The anorexia has returned, and she suffers from such severe arthritis that she can’t even open her hand. McGlinchey believes that her health will get steadily worse as long as she is in solitary confinement.

Price is a dedicated Irish republican. She believes that it is necessary to wage an armed struggle to end British rule in Ireland.

But what is at stake is much more than Marian Price or her politics. As the Irish civil rights leader Bernadette Devlin McAlsikey told the Belfast meeting, “From the government’s point of view, this is a clear message that no dissent will be tolerated. You challenge the status quo at your peril.”

We can’t depend on the courts to free Marian Price. Each of us needs to help set her free. In the past month, hundreds of people have come to protest meetings in Derry and Belfast.

There is one very simple thing each of us can do today. We can e-mail Owen Paterson and tell him to free Marian Price immediately. This may be especially important for those of us who don’t live in Ireland. The British government has often proven very vulnerable to international pressure.


Marian Price and the lost document

week launch judicial review proceedings in the High Court in Belfast asking for her release from prison on the grounds that Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson had no authority to order her detention.

The veteran republican was detained in May 2011 when Paterson signed an order declaring that she had breached the terms of the licence on which she’d been released in 1980 from two life sentences and a 20-year term imposed for IRA bombings in London, including the bombing of the Old Bailey, in March 1973. Around 180 people were injured in the blasts, mainly by flying glass. One man died from a heart attack. Price’s elder sister, Dolours, and Gerry Kelly, now a minister in the Stormont Executive, were among the 10-strong IRA bomb team.

Lawyers for Price, who is 57, say that she was pardoned rather than released on licence and that Paterson exceeded his authority in sending her back to prison. Paterson’s barristers contest this, but have told a panel of parole commissioners that “extensive searches” have failed to locate a copy of the document on which she was released.

Price was the only female detainee in the high-security Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim from May 11th last year, when she was charged with encouraging support for an illegal organisation. In recent days, she has been moved to the female wing of Hydebank prison. The charge arose from an incident during the 32-County Sovereignty Movement’s Easter commemoration in Derry city cemetery when she held up the script from which a masked man read the Real IRA’s “Easter Message”. The 32-County Sovereignty Movement, of which Price is secretary, is widely regarded as the political wing of the Real IRA.

Opposing bail, a detective sergeant told the court in Derry that the Real IRA statement had “threatened assassination against anyone from the nationalist or republican community who may be perceived by the IRA to be a traitor.” He agreed that Price had maintained during questioning that she had not known the content of the statement in advance. Granting bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said that there was no evidence that Price had had prior knowledge of the “vile and objectionable” nature of the statement, nor any record of absconding.

Price was rearrested as she left the dock on the basis of the order signed by Paterson the previous evening. In Maghaberry two months later, Price was further charged with “providing property for the purposes of terrorism” – allegedly supplying a mobile phone subsequently used in connection with the Real IRA gun attack in which two soldiers were killed outside Massereene barracks in Antrim in March 2009.

Price had been questioned for two days about this allegation in November 2009 and released without charge. Her lawyers say that there had been no change in circumstances in the interim and that no new evidence had emerged. They suggest that the charge was brought so as to pre-empt their planned challenge to the validity of the detention order. An attempt to have the Massereene-related charge ruled out as an abuse of process was postponed until the question of the extent of the pardon has been settled.

In a ruling on January 30th, the parole commissioners recounted that “Mrs McGlinchey (then Marian Price) was convicted on two charges of causing explosions and one charge of conspiring to cause an explosion. She was given two life sentences and a concurrent 20-year sentence on November 15th, 1973. She was released on licence on April 30th, 1980. Sometime shortly after her release, Mrs McGlinchey received a Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM), commonly referred to as a Royal Pardon. The issue is a simple one. Did the RPM cover only the 20-year determinate sentence or did it also cover the two life sentences? This should be a simple matter to determine by looking at the RPM. The difficulty is that the Secretary of State has informed the panel that the RPM cannot be located.”

Price’s lawyers have told the commissioners that, “It is difficult to fathom how, even exercising a modicum of care, this document was destroyed without someone, before destruction, ensuring that the original (or at least another copy) was still in existence. There is certainly a foundation for suggesting that this document may (and we can put it no higher) have been deliberately ‘buried’ given the embarrassment it might cause.”

The panel found that Paterson’s view was correct, that while the balance of Price’s 20-year sentence was remitted, her release from the life sentences was conditional on future behaviour. They cite a letter dated April 30th, 1980 – the day Price was released – from the private secretary to the Secretary of State to the private secretary to the Queen: “Her (McGlinchey’s) release involves release from the life sentence which means that she will always remain liable to be recalled to prison if her behaviour justifies this step.”

The commissioners supported this view with a quote from an Irish Times news story on May 1st, 1980: “The official announcement explained that the release was ‘on licence’, meaning that Price could be recalled at any time.” The panel goes on to note, however, that the Royal Prerogative of Mercy was issued “sometime very shortly after her release . . . although the precise date is uncertain.”

In an affidavit, Price says that, “In the wake of my release my solicitor Patrick Marrinan visited me to inform me that I had subsequently been granted the Royal Prerogative of Mercy which pardoned me of all of the 1973 convictions including the life sentence . . . He stated that I was as free as he was under the law [and] not on licence.”

MEMBERS OF PRICE’S family say that the “pardon” was negotiated with then-Northern Secretary William Whitelaw by Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich. In finding for the Secretary of State, the panel pointed out that “There is no contemporary material exhibited to the affidavit to confirm or support [her] claims concerning the scope of the RPM.”

Price’s lawyers say that it is unreasonable to expect her to have retained a legal document from 30 years ago and that the fact that she didn’t should not be used against her.

The judicial review proceedings are aimed at overturning the January 30th ruling. Lawyers for Price will ask the High Court to endorse instead their view that “the onus is on the detaining authority to prove the legality of the detention . . . Mrs McGlinchey should be discharged as the authorities cannot establish that she is, in fact and in law, on licence.” Price’s association with “dissident” republicans has deprived her of support from many who might in other circumstances have rallied against her detention on a minister’s say-so and the perceived lack of due process.

Little has been heard from civil libertarians or from women’s groups. Demonstrations have been tiny. There has been scant media coverage.

The bitterness of republican splits is seen in the fact that Price last month refused to meet a Sinn Féin delegation visiting the prison.Only a handful of SDLP members of the Assembly have taken up her case. Pat Ramsey of the SDLP, who saw Price in Maghaberry a number of times, says: “She is effectively in isolation – the only woman in a high-security male prison. Her health is bad and getting worse.”

The background

Marian Price first came to public attention in 1973 when, aged 19, she, her sister Dolours and eight others were charged with being part of an IRA unit which planted four bombs in London. Sentenced to life, she, Dolours, Hugh Feeney and Gerry Kelly – now a Stormont minister – spent more than 200 days on hunger strike seeking political status. She was force-fed 167 times.

From one of the best-known republican families in Belfast – her father Albert had been in the IRA in the 1940s – she was active in the mainly-student People’s Democracy before becoming one of the first women admitted as a full member into the IRA. Released in the 1980s, she remained politically uninvolved until the 1990s when she emerged as one of the most vocal republican critics of the Sinn Féin “peace strategy”.

Revoking her licence last year, Northern Secretary Owen Paterson said that the threat which she posed had “significantly increased”.


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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The detention of IRA veteran Marian Price harks back to internment | Eamonn McCann

The facts around Price’s detention suggest she is being held not for any crime, but from a belief the state is better off without her

Today, parole commissioners for Northern Ireland will decide whether to order the release of the IRA veteran Marian Price from Maghaberry prison. The 57-year-old has been held since last May, when the Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Patterson, signed an order revoking her licence.

Her detention has been a scandal. Price has been effectively held in solitary as the only female in the high-security prison, charged with encouraging support for an illegal organisation. The charge arose from an Easter Rising commemoration in Derry organised by the 32-county sovereignty movement – widely regarded as the political voice of the Real IRA – during which she held up the script from which a masked man read the Real IRA’s “Easter message”.

Price was one of nine IRA volunteers sentenced to life for planting four bombs in London, including one at the Old Bailey, in March 1973. Around 180 people were injured, mainly by flying glass. One man died from a heart attack. The bombing party included Gerry Kelly, now a Sinn Féin minister at Stormont, and Price’s older sister, Dolours.

Price was freed in 1980 suffering from tuberculosis and anorexia and weighing around five stone. Her lawyers insist that her release was based on a royal pardon, which would mean that Patterson had no legal power to order her detention. His intervention amounted to an egregious abuse reminiscent of internment, they say. However, Patterson’s lawyers say that “extensive searches” have failed to locate the crucial document. A copy destroyed in 2010, they have told the parole commissioners, turns out to have been the only copy that existed, so its exact terms cannot be established. But, they add, the “surrounding circumstances” of 1980 suggest that Price was not pardoned but conditionally released.

Many are surprised that British authorities have not been able to come up with a stronger case. Price’s lawyers, Kevin Winters and Co, told the commissioners in a submission on 4 January: “It is difficult to fathom how, even exercising a modicum of care, this document was destroyed without someone, before destruction, ensuring that the original (or at least another copy) was still in existence … There is certainly a foundation for suggesting that the document may (and we can put it no higher) have been deliberately ‘buried’ given the embarrassment it might cause.”

In court in Derry two days after her detention last year, despite strenuous prosecution objections, she was granted bail, then immediately rearrested under an order signed the previous evening. Her bail application had thus been made meaningless by Patterson’s advance arrangement to trump the court’s decision if it went against the state’s wishes.

In the high-security jail where she is being held, Price was further charged last July with “providing property for the purposes of terrorism” – connected to the trial for the killing of two soldiers outside Massereene barracks in Antrim in March 2009.

Price had been questioned for two days about this allegation in November 2009 and released without charge. There was no change in circumstances in the interim and no new evidence offered. Again, over the objections of the state, she was given bail and, again, returned to prison. It seems at the least a reasonable suspicion that the new charge was designed to pre-empt the planned challenge to Patterson’s authority.

On Monday, Price appeared at Belfast magistrates court on the same charge and was returned for trial. Again, despite bail having been given on the charge in July, she was taken back to prison.

The facts of Price’s detention, taken together, suggest she is being held indefinitely not because there is evidence that she is guilty of serious crime, but because the Northern Ireland Office believes the state is better off with her out of the way – that, in everyday language, she is in internment. We thought we were done with that in Northern Ireland. Marian Price should be freed forthwith.

With Many Thanks to : Eamonn McCann ·

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