Frances Black has become the latest figure to call for the release of Derry republican, Tony Taylor, who has been in Maghaberry since his licence was revoked by erstwhile Secretary of State for the North, Theresa Villiers, in March 2016.
The Dublin singer-songwriter whose people are from Rathlin Island, said: “In the past number of years some people have been marginalised and imprisoned without charge for years.
“The case of Tony Taylor comes to mind. He is incarcerated in Maghaberry Prison.
“His wife [Lorraine] outlined his awful living conditions when she presented to the Joint [Oireachtas] Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The mistreatment of prisoners has long been a cause of unrest and must not become a threat to the peace process. All politicians should make their voices heard in calling for his release as no evidence has been produced to justify his detention.”
The singer, who famously contributed to the seminal folk record, ‘A Woman’s Heart’, in 1992, made the comments during a debate in the Seanad, where she is a senator on the Industrial and Commercial Panel. During the same debate she called for Irish unity.
“The abandonment of the Six Counties in 1922 has left a deep scar in the Irish psyche. I believe that it has a parallel with the guilt felt by parents who abandon a child. The Minister may not like me saying it but that is how I feel.
“I also believe that the main southern parties have an obligation to organise throughout the Thirty-two Counties and advance their stated objective of the reunification of Ireland.”
With many thanks to the: Derry Journal for the original story
Derry prisoner Tony Taylor’s parole hearing should be held as soon as possible and within the agreed time frame, says a local MLA.
The Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Raymond McCartney was speaking after meeting with Mr Taylor in Maghaberry earlier this week.
Raymond McCartney said: “During a visit to Maghaberry Prison I had an opportunity to meet with Derry man Tony Taylor who is currently being wrongfully detained.
“The Parole Commissioner has previously agreed to grant Tony a parole hearing within twelve months. This timeframe must be met and the hearing held as soon as possible.
“Tony Taylor’s continued detention is wrong and a clear violation of his human rights, he should be released immediately.”
With many thanks to: Derry Now for the original posting.
Tony Taylor was released from prison in 2014 after having served three years in custody, with four further years on Licence. Tony, as a member of the Republican Network for Unity, contributed to local politics in Derry by peacefully raising benefit cuts, prison conditions and policing issues. Tony complied with the terms of his licence, including reporting his activities to the NI Probation Board.
Tony was detained by police in Derry on October 17, 2015 and interviewed over two days at Musgrave Street Station about alleged republican activity based on MI5 “Intelligence”. He was unconditionally released pending a report to the PPS.
On 10th March 2016 Tony, while out shopping with his wife and children, was taken by the PSNI and returned to Prison. The Northern Ireland Office said his licence was revoked by the Parole Commission because of the risk he posed to the public. Tony’s solicitor, Aiden Carlin, has confirmed that this “risk to the public” was based on an MI5 assessment, and the same “Republican Activity” for which Tony was questioned and unconditionally released in October 2015.
Three weeks after Tony was returned to prison the Secretary of State admitted that her original order revoking his licence had been illegal. The recommendation to return Tony to prison had been made without even contacting the Probation Board. Tony remained in prison.
In July the P.P.S. concluded its examination of the file on his arrest and questioning in October 2015, and directed that Tony would not face prosecution.
Tony Taylor remains in prison for the same reasons of a “risk to the public” for which he has been:
Detained and questioned for two days in October 2015
Unconditionally released by the PSNI
Told by the P.P.S there will be no prosecution.
FREE TONY TAYLOR
With many thanks to: Irish POWs Truth and Justice Conquers All for the original posting.