Wednesday, 8 June 2011


On Tuesday June 7th, Screws entered Pow Brendan Conway’s cell and informed him that he was being transported to hospital for his post cancer check up. Brendan asked them if he would require a strip search leaving Maghaberry and they said yes, Brendan then told them that if a strip search was a prerequisite for him attending his hospital appointment he would be refusing to attend. They told him that he had no choice in the matter and he was physical trailed by the riot squad down to reception where he was brutally strip searched and transported to hospital.

He was escorted in hand cuffs by two screws and brought into the consultation room; the screws sat either side of him as the Doctor started her consultation. Brendan asked the doctor to stop the consultation in the presence of the two screws and requested that they leave the room, the two screws refused. The doctor intervened and asked that the screws leave the room as patient doctor confidentiality meant that she could not continue with the consultation in their presence and pointed out that she would be required to do an intimate examination of Mr Conway and supported his request that they leave the room, they again refused so the consultation was cancelled.

Brendan was then returned to Maghaberry where he was forcibly strip searched again and returned to his cell. Brendan asked to speak to the Governor as he wanted to lodge a complaint about his treatment. The governor came to his cell and apologised for the incident and said that the two screws had broken protocol and they should have left the room during his consultation and gave Brendan an assurance that it would not happen again. Brendan told him that he would not be taking any future hospital appointments if he was required to endure a forced strip search to avail of them. The Governor said that they had to make sure he was brought to hospital for these important post cancer check ups and it was his job to insure he attended, Brendan pointed out that it was within his rights to refuse hospital treatment and no one could force him to attend these appointments which required a brutal forced strip search during which he will receive injuries just to attend.

Brendan has been in touch with his legal team and will be pursuing this breach of his basic human right to Doctor-patient confidentiality through the courts.


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