Friday, 22 July 2011

Release Brendan Lillis Now

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has called for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis as the Belfast man’s partner yesterday [Thursday] began a hunger strike in protest against his continued incarceration.
Lillis, who previously served 16 years as a political prisoner, has been held in Maghaberry jail since 2009 when the British secretary of state revoked his release license after he appeared in court on unrelated charges. Despite the fact that these charges have not been proceeded with and that Lillis is seriously ill, he has not been given a release date.

Lillis is suffering from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis which, his partner – Roisin Lynch – says, has left him with possibly only weeks to live.

Lynch today began a hunger strike in protest at Lillis’ continued imprisonment at the Andersonstown barracks site in west Belfast.

Mac Cionnaith said: “The continued imprisonment of Brendan Lillis, a seriously ill man who may have only weeks left to live, is callous in the extreme.

“Brendan has consistently been denied adequate medical attention by the prison authorities in Maghaberry, while the distress for both him and his family has been heightened by the conditions he is forced to endure.

“The initial charge against Brendan was not proceeded with due to his illness. It is ridiculous therefore that he is held in prison because of a political offence he was charged with in the 1970s – an alleged offence for which he already served a long, long time.”

Mac Cionnaith added: “The plight of Brendan Lillis raises the wider issue of the British secretary of state’s ability to incarcerate republican ex-prisoners who have been released on license. At present, Belfast woman Marion Price and Lurgan man Martin Corey are also being held in Maghaberry on the whim of Owen Paterson.

“This situation is intolerable and an effective opposition must be built against it.”

Mac Cionnaith concluded: “At this difficult time, éirígí extends its solidarity to Brendan, to his courageous partner Roisin and to all his family.

“Brendan Lillis must not be allowed to die in jail. The British government and David Ford must take the only humane course of action and release him immediately.”


  1. bollocks!!! I have had AS for 20 years now, yes its painful at times but you get on with life as best you can. To suggest he is virtually dying is total BS. I spent 3 months in hospital with it, but with treatment you improve, full stop. Never in my puff, have I knew someone to die of it. Talk about exaggeration!

  2. 3 monthsin hospital? BL has been lying in a bed for almost 2 years, and yes with treatment he would improve but he isn't getting the proper medical treatment in Maghaberry. And just today roisin was in on a visit this afternoon when the visit was stopped after ten minutes. a doctor declared BL to be critical and has ordered his removal to an outside hospital. so far the prison authorities and the stormont crowd have not told roisin where he is being moved to