Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association.
Press Release: 27-08-2003.
Contact: Marian Price/Martin Mulholland.
Phone 07801 729 412 or e-mail irpwa@hotmail.com

Murder Bid on O/C IRA prisoners.

This weeks murder bid on the republican prisoner’s officer commanding, John Connolly, must surely be the last attack before the NIO grant segregation.

The incident occurred on Monday morning as Connolly was returning to his cell after phoning his family. The republican prisoner was rushed in his cell by seven loyalist prisoners who proceeded to beat Connolly to the ground with tins of food in socks and pillow cases. The loyalists produced a pistol and placed it against John Connolly’s head and pulled the trigger but fortunately the gun jammed. Another republican prisoner, Gearoid Mag Uaid, ran into the cell on hearing the commotion and was also badly beaten. The loyalists tried to strangle John Connolly before they ran off. The two republican prisoners received severe bruising and gashes to their heads while the loyalists involved in the attack have been placed in the special supervision unit. No weapon has been recovered yet although many republicans would not be surprised if the weapon has already been smuggled out by the people who smuggled it in.

The IRPWA have information that a loyalist grouping held a meeting in the prison on Sunday night where this and other attacks on republicans were discussed and planned, we are also aware that some of the prison staff knew that this meeting took place yet took no measures to ensure that something like this didn’t happen.

We call for an immediate inquiry into the events of Monday morning and demand that someone is held to account. The Prison Service can no longer deny these events are taking place and avoid public scrutiny as they have done up to now.

The NIO and the Prison Service have some serious questions to answer regarding this incident and must surely now agree that the only common sense solution to the crisis in Maghaberry is immediate segregation. It is only by sheer good luck that the republican community is not making plans for a funeral today, something that no side in this dispute should welcome. RESTORE POLITICAL STATUS.

Martin Mulholland spokesperson.

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