IN A statement on May 25 the POW Department of Republican Sinn Féin said that the use of compassionate leave as a punishment against POLITICAL HOSTAGE Martin Corey, who is currently languishing in Maghaberry Jail with no charges against him, ws a new low even for the British and their lackeys in Stormont.
“Peter Corey, Martin’s brother, died on Monday, May 21, 2012 after a battle with cancer. The prison regime refused Martin compassionate leave. One of the reasons given was their fear that Martin would abscond. Republicans have always honoured their word in regards to compassionate leave and to suggest otherwise is insulting. What is equally insulting was the suggestion by the prison service was that ‘the lives of those attending the funeral would be endangered’ should he get out for the day.
“An appeal was scheduled for the morning of the funeral – Thursday, May 24 at 9am. The High Court in Belfast refused to make a judgement; referred it back to prison service and suggested they reconsider their refusal.
“At 11.45am, 15 minutes before the funeral Mass was scheduled to begin, Martin’s solicitor was informed that leave had been granted on the condition that two British Ministers belonging to the Provisionals escort him. One other independent person was also to accompany Martin. Martin was not allowed out of the Chapel grounds, even for the burial and had to be back in Maghaberry for 3pm.
“The escort by Provisional Crown Ministers is a classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper. The sight of O’Dowd and McCartney – ex-Republicans – performing the duties of the prison service shows them to be hollow shells of their former selves, something which was not lost on the community they claim to represent.
“The Provisionals are so totally embedded in the British establishment that they were entrusted with the ‘job’ of ensuring a Republican POW returned to jail after attending a Mass. Had Martin Corey been given dignified parole he would have returned to the jail at his appointed time, a man of his word does not need jailers.
“If the Provisionals have the power to act as jailers in the name of the British government and the prison service, how come they don’t use that power to get Martin released? Or even get the inhuman conditions in the jail improved?
“The practices of the past are no longer afforded to Republican POWs, most recently POW Damien McKenna was point blank refused leave to attend his father’s funeral.
“The cat-and-mouse games of the NIO and courts in relation to compassionate leave for Republican prisoners is mental torture against people who are already going through deep grief and anguish, this practice must stop immediately.”
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : by Republican Sinn Féin on Friday, 25 May 2012 at 15:10
- PoW Martin Corey refused compassionate leave on the death of his brother (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Statement from the POW Department Republican Sinn Féin 223 Parnell Street Dublin 1 00353-1-8729747 00353-87-9374277 (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Report on MagHaberry for UNHRW (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Statement from the Family & Friends of Republican prisoners, Maghaberry. 19th May 2012 (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Free Gerry McGaough campain letter (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)