Protest cancelled as prison agreement reached

The Northern Ireland Prison Service has published the text of an agreement between segregated republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison and prison authorities.  The agreement is expected to bring to an end the protest by the prisoners in Roe House, and the planned public demonstration in Londonderry on Saturday has been cancelled.

From the BBC report

BBC NI Home Affairs Correspondent Vincent Kearney said that during the discussions, the prisoners had put forward a list of five demands and that agreement had been reached on the three demands they considered “most important”.

He said he had been told that starting on Friday, between 0830 BST and 1930 BST there would no longer be any limit on the number of prisoners who could use the recreation room or outside football pitch at the jail.

He said he had also been informed there would be a relaxation on “controlled movement inside the republican wing”.

Prisoners had told him they had secured concessions on strip-searching, and that there would no longer be “routine full-body searches”. However, it is understood strip-searching will remain an option “in exceptional circumstances”.

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  • Mark McGregor

    I’m surprised the Prisoners Forum isn’t being pitched by their supporters as essentially a return to recognition of OCs.

    It looks very close to it.

  • Greenflag

    Good .

  • A N Other

    an internal settlement then ….

  • Special Category Status, how’ve you been keeping?

  • JJ malloy

    Does anyone know how many Republican prisoners are in the prison at the moment?

  • Greenflag

    You mean dissident republicans ? Who knows and probably only those very close to them such as family care . There’s no need for them to be where they are now . The violent option is not necessary in the light of the GFA and is also counter productive to their ‘alleged’ political objectives 🙁

  • Alan Maskey

    At least that is progress. Let’s hope it can be built on.

  • JJ malloy

    I don’t disagree with you. I just was curious how many people were throwing away their youth for a hopeless cause

  • hodgie

    they are not all of the dissident variety of republicanism. most undoubtedly are affiliated to one or other dissident grouping but there are also people affiliated to the irish republican socialist movement who are on complete ceasefire and have decommissioned. additionally there are the men convicted of the bobby tohill case and they are most certainly not of the dissident variety of republicanism.

    i am happy that this particular episode is over and hope the prison settles down to a quiet place where prisoners are no longer abused.

  • Political Prisoners in Roe House in Maghaberry are Republican Prisoners. The term of dissidents U use to describe these lads is totally wrong, as Hodgies has already correctly stated above….

    I agree there’s no need for them to be there because in the historical sense, the imprisonment of Irish Republicans has never stop military actions against the British State in Ireland, therefore, it is quite futile to hold political hostages.

    How can their political objectives be ‘alleged’? Does that mean that any Republican imprisoned since 1921 was also alleging his or her political objectives……? As a former Political Prisoner myself, I can assure anyone that those behind bars during the recent Conflict were quite aware of why they were inside! Likewise, I know some of those currently incarcerated and they are undoubtably Political Prisoners and would never have seen the inside of a British prison had it not been for the continuation of the British occupation here!

  • Fair play to everyone who helped secure a decent end to the protest and ensured the Political Prisoners in Maghaberry now have dignity……

  • Alan Maskey

    Fair play to everyone who helped secure a decent end to the protest and ensured the Political Prisoners in Maghaberry now have dignity……and that they canbe taken out of the equation when the use of armed force is being contemplated or implemented.

  • Greenflag

    ardeoin republican ,

    ‘The term of dissidents U use to describe these lads is totally wrong, as Hodgies has already correctly stated above’

    No it’s not totally wrong . Read Hodgies comment above again I quote .

    ‘they are not all of the dissident variety of republicanism. most undoubtedly are affiliated to one or other dissident grouping’

    ‘the imprisonment of Irish Republicans has never stop military actions against the British State in Ireland,’

    It stopped actions against the Irish State in Ireland . As of now by the vote of all the people of Ireland there are two accepted States on this island . That can only change by means of a majority of people voting to end that situation . The actions of these dissidents and others only ensures that the British minority in Ireland (the majority in Northern Ireland ) plus an increasing number of Northern Ireland Catholics and even Nationalists will oppose any UI .

    I say ‘alleged’ political objectives because unlike those Republicans in 1918 these ‘dissidents ‘ have zero chance of developing the broad public support which would be needed to attain their political objective of a United ‘Socialist ‘ Ireland . The majority of people both North and South don’t want a ‘socialist ‘ state . There may be a small majority favouring a social democratic type state but thats about it. This may change in the future but it will only change by political means . Trying to kill ex policemen in NI or serving policemen will NOT win them any friends or votes from either side of the NI community .

    ‘It is quite futile to hold political hostages’

    That may be but I’ll assume these people are not behind bars for holding public meetings or discussion forums or holding political meetings . They are in prison because of acts of violence against others or other crimes.

    ‘would never have seen the inside of a British prison had it not been for the continuation of the British occupation here!’

    That may be but the continuation of what you call British occupation has been accepted by the votes of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland and the GFA settlement has been ratified by the Irish Republic’s Government and people in a referendum .

    JJ Malloy is right these people in prison are throwing away their young lives .

    Congrats to Justice Minister Ford for taking the action needed to reduce tensions . Hopefully families and friends and others who may have influence with the ‘dissidents’ can persuade them to stop trying to kill themselves and others . If they want a UI any time soon they had better breed for one and not bleed for one !

  • Munsterview

    Any insightful person concerned about peace and stability in the Six Counties can only welcome this agreement as a good basis to build on.

    I also welcome the fact that this agreement is made available in it’s entirety to the public so they can asses for themselves as to just what was agreed. Now that the details are in the public forum is there anything in it that could not have been conceded from the outset ?

    Must everything continue not alone down to the wire and such a way that even when the agreement is finally reached all the goodwill is drained and there is only sterile ground to build on?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree there’s no need for them to be there because in the historical sense, the imprisonment of Irish Republicans has never stop military actions against the British State in Ireland, therefore, it is quite futile to hold political hostages.

    I assume then you agree with the release from jail of that other political hostage, Torrens “trick or treat” Knight. I have an idea – let’s get him a new house off Alliance Avenue for him and all his pals do practice their legitimate political beliefs.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Looks like a good deal.

    I only hope now that the dissidents will see sense and stop trying to kill civilians.

  • Cynic

    I hope they will stop trying to kill everyone….its pointless. PIRA learned that it was counterproductive

  • joeCanuck

    Excellent post in reply to AR, Greenflag.