Monday, 25 July 2011

Davy Hyland Demands Immediate Release of Brendan Lillis‏

Independent Republican councillor Davy Hyland has expressed his deep concern at the condition of Brendan Lillis and has called for his immediate release from Maghaberry prison.
Brendan Lillis is a former blanketman and IRA POW. He served around 16 years for possession of explosives and firearms. In 1992 BL, as he was known to his friends and comrades, was released on license. Brendan is now a Prisoner in Maghaberry Gaol after the British secretary of state revoked his license which means he is once again a lifer serving time for IRA actions carried out in the 1970s.

Brendan suffers from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis and his family say he is close to death, weighing only 5.5 stone and having only weeks to live. His partner has pleaded for support as she watches Brendan slowly die. He can no longer speak or move, and is confined to his bed, in a prison cell with no windows.

Hyland said: “The British Justice Minister and David Ford and British secretary of state Owen Paterson have adopted an almost “Thatcherite” approach when it comes to prisoners in Maghaberry. David Ford refuses to budge over the implementation of the agreement reached last August and the British secretary of state has revoked the licences of various republicans such as Marian Price, Martin Corey and Brendan Lillis”

“It’s ironic that exactly 30 years ago 10 Republicans died on Hunger strike because of the British government’s refusal to recognise their basic rights and today Republican prisoners in Maghaberry find themselves in the same situation”

“Brendan Lillis has been in bed for over 600 days and for the British to claim he is a threat to anyone is totally absurd. This man is a threat to no-one and should be immediately released.”

On Saturday 23rd July Davy Hyland along with fellow republicans from Newry travelled to Belfast to show their support for Brendan Lillis, his partner Roisin and family by attending a protest at the former Andersonstown barracks site. The protest consisted of Brendan’s partner, former Blanketmen, ex-POWs and supporters taking part in a 3 day hunger strike.

Davy concluded: “I would call on everyone with an interest in human rights to support the campaign to have Brendan released immediately. I urge everyone to attend protests, pickets, sign petitions, and follow Brendan’s campaign on Facebook. Families of those involved in the 1981 hunger strike, including the family of Bobby Sands, have called for the immediate release of Brendan. At this difficult time let’s remember Bobby’s famous words “everyone republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play, no part is too great and no part is too small”.

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