Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Republican Delegation Meets Pows

A delegation of the Families & Friends campaign group met with a delegation of POWs in Maghaberry today, Monday 28th June 2010. The delegation consisted of Alex McCrory, Mandy Duffy, Paul Little, Marian Price, Carl Reilly and Elaine Carlin. The prisoner delegation included: Colin Duffy, Harry Fitzsimmons, Sean Carlin, Brendy Conway, Damian McLaughlin and Stevie O'Donnell.

The meeting that took place was very informative; in that the POWs were able to relay at first hand the conditions which they are living under to the campaign group. Likewise the campaign group was able to brief the prisoners on the campaign outside.


The POWs spoke of the 2 Demands which needed to be met in order to end the protest.

1. Freedom of Association with an end to controlled movement.

2. End to degrading and humiliating Strip Searches.


The POWs painted a vivid picture of their current living conditions. Some described it like living in a sewer. The landings are covered in excrement and urine and this is being pushed and walked back into their cells deliberately by the screws. The POWs' bedding and belongings are also being deliberately interfered with. During meal times the screws, who are dressed in protective clothing; masks, gloves etc, are handling the POWs food using the same gloves that have been contaminated with excrement and urine.


As a result of this unhygienic handling of the POWs food the POWs are already becoming sick. Vomiting and diarrhea is already common place.This is of major concern given that requests for medical treatment have been refused. It's only a matter of time before some of the POWs become seriously ill.

Morale and Unity

Despite living under these conditions the morale and unity among the POWs is very high. This was quite evident to the delegation during the meeting. when the POWs were expressing total confidence in achieving their demands. The comradeship among the POWs was evident to all.

The campaign group outlined to the POWs how the campaign was progressing outside and asked the POWs for their views. The POWs stated that they were delighted with all the work the campaign group had done to date. They said that events carried out `taoibh amuigh' increased the moral of all the POWs. The large protests at the gaol were specifically mentioned as they gave a big lift to the POWs. The need for the campaign taoibh amuigh to be escalated was also mentioned.

The POWs thanked the campaign group for the meeting and for all their work and support. They expressed their gratitude to everyone who has campaigned on their behalf and have also asked for their continued support.

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