Below is the unedited version of a letter which was published in the Irish News on Mon 17th March.
The situation surrounding the treatment of political prisoners in Maghaberry jail and the failure to achieve a resolution featured again in the media recently.
In 2010 Republican prisoners embarked on a dirty protest seeking basic and reasonable living conditions and a conflict free environment. An agreement was reached in August 2010 by all parties
involved. This agreement was immediately reneged on by the prison administration resulting in a continuation of protest until November 2012.
Republican prisoners ended the protest in good faith to create space for a dialectical process of engagement to resolve all issues we exhausted the process and also the internal complaints system which led to a comprehensive Ombudsman report in May 2013, a report in which the Ombudsman vindicated our position.
Representatives of Roe 4 Republican prisoners have met and engaged with Ireland’s main churches, trade unions, community figures, prison representatives and more, none of whom have stated what we seek is unreasonable.
Despite all of our efforts, the NIO, MI5 and the prison administration have produced and offered nothing but obstacles to progress, belligerence and bigotry. Indeed the Anne Orr report and CJINI reports and recommendations have consistently identified the jail administration’s intransigence as the main obstacle to a resolution it is they who hold the key to removing the causes of conflict, all future problems and issues arising from this situation are solely their responsibility.
Roe 4 Republican Prisoners