“we can only conclude that publicity was indeed his agenda”

The reports of “ground-breaking talks” to be held in September between Sinn Féin and the 32 County Sovereign Movement appear to have been somewhat exaggerated…

From the iol report

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement later, however, played down the expectation of talks.

It said it believed talks were to focus on issues surrounding dissident republican prisoners held in Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim.

It claimed no firm arrangement on a wider meeting was yet agreed and accused Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams of publicising the talks.

The group said: “If Mr Adams felt it necessary to publicise this correspondence before any meetings took place we can only conclude that publicity was indeed his agenda as opposed to working constructively with us, away from the restrictions of the public glare, to resolve the ongoing crisis in Maghaberry.

“We remain focused and will not be distracted in organising on behalf of the prisoners and their families.”

And on the situation in Maghaberry

A spokesman for the prisoners’ families, Gerry Hodgins, said the protesters are demanding political status and access to legal representation.

“A prison will only work when there is co-operation between the prisoners and the prison staff,” he said.

“There is no co-operation in that prison at the minute – it is being run in a very vindictive and punitive manner.”

But Finlay Spratt from the Prison Officers’ Association said the inmates just wanted control of the jail.

“It’s down to this old argument about who runs the prisons – is it prisoners or is it the authorities?” he said.

“The prisoners want to run the prison. Well, that’s not what prison is for.”

Adds  More of that exaggeration in this UTV report, which ends with

Earlier this week Mr Adams also held face-to-face talks with the loyalist north and west Belfast parades forum, which the party described as a “breakthrough.”

Which would be another exaggeration…

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