Saturday, 29 March 2014

Spreading the message to Scotland

éirígí’s Stephen Murney travelled to Scotland last weekend to participate in a number of events.

His first engagement on Saturday 22nd March was at a protest outside Celtic Park in Glasgow in support of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry gaol. The protest has been a regular feature at this location aimed at creating awareness among the many thousands of people who pass by every week.

Stephen with Pol MacAdaim at the International Brigade Monument 'La Pasionaria' in Glasgow
On Saturday night, Murney was the main speaker at another public event in Glasgow. He spoke in some detail about the background to his own case including the intense campaign of state harassment he was subjected to in the months leading to his arrest. He also gave a first-hand description of the conditions Republican prisoners endure daily in Maghaberry.

During his talk, Stephen spoke on the issues of forcible strip-searching, controlled movement and the administrative isolation of prisoners.

He gave a graphic, detailed account of what forcible strip-searching entails and also explained the restrictive practice of controlled movement which makes day to day life for prisoners in Roe House extremely limited.

Stephen also highlighted the case of Tyrone man Gavin Coyle, who has been held in isolation since 2011. At the beginning of this week, Coyle embarked on a 72 hour hunger strike and other republican prisoners in Maghaberry joined a 48 hour fast in solidarity with him. Murney impressed upon everyone the urgent need to spread awareness of Gavin's situation.

During his visit to Scotland, the Newry man met with members of éirígí’s support network and brought them up to date with the latest political developments.

Speaking after his return to Ireland, Stephen said, “Obviously, having been recently released from Maghaberry myself, I am conscious that the core issues of contention within Maghaberry remain unresolved and in recent weeks the prison administration has further increased its vindictive actions against the prison. Several prisoners have been charged within the prison and sent to the punishment block.

“I’m confident that those people who attended the various events are now more aware of what is really happening in Ireland particularly in relation to the use of non-jury Diplock courts, internment by remand, state harassment and MI5 activity – the list goes on and on.”

Murney continued, “As was shown in my own case, the state doesn’t even have to produce any concrete or definitive evidence in order to imprison people. This could happen to anyone, irrespective of one’s nationality or colour. The British state is operating a system of injustice on both sides of the Irish Sea as demonstrated by the recent arrest and imprisonment of Moazzam Begg and others.”

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