Saturday, 18 April 2009
POW Protest Portlaoise Prison
IRISH REPUBLICAN PRISONERS WELFARE ASSOCIATION 18/04/2009 Protest on E3 Portlaoise Gaol.
It is with great regret that the IRPWA call upon the republican family to once again support POW’s in their protest against the blatant injustice of the Prison system in Ireland.
The IRPWA have been tasked by the republican POW’s to state how and why this protest has occurred and to clarify the facts of this protest.
A protest is currently underway on E3 Portlaoise due to the suspension of the temporary release (TR) and compassionate release (CR) programmes. It is the belief of the POW’s that this has happened due to IRA actions in the occupied six counties, indeed the Irish Prison Service have indicated this much and one of their spokespersons has even asked the OC of E3 if he ‘Believed in the border’!
The situation at present is as follows: Two republicans prisoners (Vinny Kelly and Justin McCarthy) are currently involved in a no wash/dirty protest, NOT on the blanket as some have suggested. At intervals republican POW’s will join this protest until the whole landing is on protest , at this stage the protest will escalate.
The Irish Prison Service representative and the Governor have asked the Officer Commanding to reconsider the POW’s stance pending talks with the Free State government, the only concession the POW’s have been willing to make at this stage is to delay further men joining the protest for a short period to give them a chance to resolve the issue. It is the understanding of the IRPWA that this window of opportunity is fast closing and we would urge all those involved in the Free State government and the Irish Prison Service to make strenuous efforts to resolve this intolerable situation as soon as possible.