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POWs attacked for wearing Easter Lillies on Hunger Strike

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Tuesday March 25, 2008 18:29author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtach Report this post to the editors

Republican POWs in Maghaberry wore Easter Lilies in honour of Ireland's Patriot Dead. In response to this action, they were charged under prison rules and have been placed in solitary confinement for 48-hours. During their time on the boards the PoWs are refusing food.


Republican Sinn Féin has learnt that Republican Prisoners of War in Maghaberry Gaol commenced a 48-hour hunger strike on Easter Sunday.

Republican Prisoners wore Easter Lilies in honour of Ireland's Patriot Dead. In response to this action, they were charged under prison rules and have been placed in solitary confinement for 48-hours. During their time on the boards the PoWs are refusing food.

Director of Publicity, Richard Walsh, said that “The screws and Loyalists are free to roam around Maghaberry wearing the British Imperial poppy, but anyone who dares honour their own country's martyred dead is invariably punished.

“Republican Prisoners are to be congratulated for their honour and discipline in rejecting these obscene policies in Maghaberry. Having endured ten months of protest inside Maghaberry in the recent past, the prison authorities in the employ of the British Government have once again forced the prisoners into protest action.

“We salute the prisoners in Maghaberry for their unbroken spirit in spite of ongoing attempts to marginalise and criminalise them in their pursuit for the freedom of Ireland.”


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author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Tue Mar 25, 2008 18:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is reported that all the protesting POWs are in great spirits and are determined not to be broken by such petty and spiteful vendictiveness.

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author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Mon Apr 14, 2008 22:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Five Republican prisoners have been moved to the punishment block in Maghaberry jail after a court upheld a ban on the wearing of Easter lilies.

They are among 17 POWs charged under prison rules with wearing the Easter Lily outside their cells.

Last week POW Christopher Donaldson, lost a High Court challenge against the ban when In-justice Weatherup upheld a previous judgment.

In 2006 Real IRA POW Terence McCafferty also lost a High Court challenge.

Following the latest ruling five prisoners yesterday faced a prison adjudication process, with four ordered to spend three days in solitary confinement.

Another man, east Belfast republican Anton Craig, who is awaiting trial on charges relating to an incendiary attack in Belfast’s Boucher Road in 2006, was ordered to spend 14 days in solitary confinement. Prison sources say he was punished the additional 11 days after he smashed furniture when staff challenged him for wearing the lily, a symbol of the 1916 Easter Rising.

West Belfast man Thomas Tolan (37), serving a six-and-a-half-year jail term for the kidnap of Bobby Tohill, is also among the men charged with “failing to obey a direct order”.

Meanwhile Loyalist screws and prisoners may wear the poppy as much as they like.

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