IRISH FREEDOM COMMITTEE
VICTORY FOR POWs AT MAGHABERRY
Thursday August 12, 2010
The Irish Freedom Committee has received news that the months-long
dirty protest by the republican prisoners at Maghaberry jail has
come to an end, with POWs demands of free association being met.
As of this afternoon, the POWs were in the canteen taking off beards
and cutting their hair for the first time in months.
We remain hopeful that demands for an end to strip searches have
also been met.
The republican POWs at Maghaberry have been living in a virtual
sewer for months, under 23-hour a day lockdown under appalling
conditions that have not been seen since the days of Long Kesh.
Please send letters and cards to the POWs at Maghaberry today,
addresses at the IFC website or by contacting us.
DEMANDS MET - POWS at MAGHABERRY CELEBRATE
Friday August 13, 2010
The Irish Freedom Committee received word today that the POWs at
Maghaberry are in great spirits, having spent last night celebrating
and singing songs until the early hours of the morning.
As of yesterday the Easter protest for Political Status has finally
ended, after weeks of negotiations by Irish republican prisoners
activists and the prisoners and their families, with members of the
British government and prison staff. Demands for a phasing-out of
controlled movement, and an end to strip-searches, have reportedly
The prisoners had endured months of living in a virtual sewer, with
no family visits or phone calls. This protest followed the Easter
takeover at the jail by the republican prisoners, who had been
subjected to intolerable abuse of human rights including 23-hour a
day lockdown, forced strip searches, inedible and foul food, being
forced to eat next to open toilets, no running water in cells, and
repeated denial of visits by family members.
The resolution of this prison strike has been a massive and
monumental achievement by all who worked so hard in negotiations,
and by letter and picket protest here in the US. The Irish Freedom
Committee would like to thank all of our volunteers and supporters
here who sent in so many cards to the POWs and letters demanding a
solution to the prison governor and British Government. We also
thank those who took part in a number of political status pickets in
Chicago and elsewhere.
The struggle goes on - we will never forget the men and women whose
harassment, interment, and fight for freedom continues daily under
the reprehensible yoke of British military rule.
Tiocfaidh ár lá!
A statement follows by the Concerned Families and Friends Group:
"The Concerned Families and Friends group welcome the latest
developments in the ongoing dispute within Maghaberry prison. After
three weeks of intensive negotiation the British have agreed to
change the punitive and vindictive regime republican prisoners were
forced to endure.
"We are relieved that our prisoners are no longer hostages to the
whims of the Loyalist Prison Officers Association and share in the
joy and relief of the prisoners' families who have endured years of
stress and turmoil and vindictive harassment at the hands of the
"We pay tribute first to the courage and integrity of the republican
prisoners who took a stand and challenged the Thatcherite policies
of the Stormont regime and endured the punishments of a vindictive
British prison system which tried in vain to crush their spirits.
"We also pay tribute to all those people who worked away quietly in
the background and lobbied intensively for a resolution to the
prison crisis. A diverse collection of community, political,
religious and business people took
time out of their busy schedules to devote time and effort to
contribute to finding a resolution to the crisis in Maghaberry; they
done this privately away from the publicity of the camera.
"We are particularly indebted to the herculean efforts of the
negotiation facilitators who have spent practically all of the past
three weeks in Maghaberry prison working to bring this day about.
They were at times frustrated
and at other times angry with the slow and obstructive pace of
events but they held in there and created the space where a deal
could be constructed. For their efforts we are truly grateful and
"To all those people who marched, protested, attended pickets and
registered their support for the prisoners' plight: go raibh mile
maith agat! It was you who made this day possible."
Radio Foyle interview with former POW Gary Donnelly re ending of the
(Go to 7 minutes into program).