Not long back from Maghaberry, god it’s a grim place. I cant even begin to imagine what the prisoners in there have to go through. Brutalised and beaten daily, forced strip searches, forced to pour their urine and bodily wastes through their cell doors, deprived of natural light and fresh air. Today they were given a much need morale boost. 500 people marched from the visitor car park to the main prison gates. People carried flags, banners and placards in support of the POWs. Whistles, air horns and fireworks were let off to make as much noise as possible so the POWs could hear us. We then went silent as we heard the POWs responding by banging their cell doors, walls and chanting. Pol Mac Adaim sang a few songs for the POWs. Local independent republican Cllr Davy Hyland was the main speaker and spoke very well, drawing comparisons to todays situation and the situation 30 years ago. We then marched down the side of Roe House chanting, banging, whistling etc. On the other side of the fence were the loyalist screws in riot gear with guard dogs, the same bigots who are torturing our POWs. We then made our way back to the car park and a cavalcade of over 60 cars drove up to the main gates sounding their horns. After the protest we were met with a massive “security operation” just a few hundred yards down the road from Maghaberry. Dozens of heavily armed members of the RUC/PSNI and numerous armoured land rovers stopped and searched cars and mini buses that were leaving the protest. All in all it was a great event that generated some much needed publicity and awareness to the plight endured by our POWs while at the same time giving the POWs a much needed boost. This is only the start! VICTORY TO THE POWs


Thirty-eight Republican Prisoners currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol. “Controlled movement” is imposed on Republican landings with only three prisoners permitted out of their cells on the landing at any one time with each prisoner accompanied by two prison officers. Free Association on landings completely removed. Legislation introduced by British government following the Good Friday Agreement removed the right of Republican prisoners to organise themselves on their own landings and removed the right of Republican prisoners to spend their time in prison constructively. Prisoners made to chose between daily exercise or education. Prisoners denied educational facilities to enable them to organise their own education. Easter lilies banned in the prison. Other Republican handicrafts confiscated and destroyed by prison officers. PSNI/RUC approval required before prisoners permitted on Republican landing. Republican prisoners’ parole entitlement has been reduced to half that of other prisoners. Denial of compassionate paroles for family and religious occasions. Parole for funerals of immediate family members often restricted to 6 hours or less. Constant use of strip searching to humiliate prisoners contrary to international law. One prisoner received 31 strip searches and 1,135 rub down searches in a six month period. Prisoners locked in their cells for alternately 21/23 hours per day. Abuse of the sniffer dogs in an attempt to criminalise political prisoners. Families and prisoners are wrongly accused of smuggling drugs into the prison. Familes are forced to have closed family visits which take place through Perspex screen while prisoners returning from parole are placed in solitary confinement for 48 hours. Family visitors exposed to Loyalist visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Loyalists going to and from legal visits. The power of the Governor to punish a prisoner by taking away remission was reintroduced specifically for Republican prisoners after it was banned by the European Court of Human Rights in 2002. Access to a doctor available only once a week. Interference with correspondence. Irish language and cultural items including handicrafts made relating to hunger strikes confiscated or destroyed by prison officers.

Friends of Brendan Lillis:

Maghaberry Protest Sunday 5th June.

The Friends and Families of POWs have organised a protest at Maghaberry to highlight the ongoing protest and the deterioration of conditions for republican prisoners in Maghaberry.

Newly elected Newry and Mourne councillor Davy Hyland will be speaking at the protest on Sunday.

Pól McAdaim will also be playing a few tunes.

We plan to make it loud so everyone is encouraged to bring whistles, horns drums etc….let the POWs hear us outside supporting them.

The protest is planned for,


Pick up points for Maghaberry Protest Sunday 5th June.
West Belfast, pick up at bottom of Whiterock Road 2.30pm.
Ardoyne,  pick up Shamrock Bar 2.00 pm.
Newry, pick up Derrybeg bus shelters, Camlough Rd at 2pm.
Lurgan, pick up at Kilwilkie Murals at 2.30 pm.

Anyone who has room in their car is encouraged to go to these pick up points and give lifts.


First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

(Martin Niemoller)

Free Brendan Lillis-Don’t Let Him Die in Maghaberry Gaol!

Friends of Brendan Lillis!/home.php?sk=group_132734503459781

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Prison Service has gone beyond the point of crisis after the deaths of three people in custody within a month, an expert has claimed.

Queen’s University professor Phil Scraton of the Action Prison reform group said the treatment of inmates with mental health issues was simply not good enough.

Lyn Edwards, the mother of one of the inmates who died earlier this month, said the system was failing in its duty of care towards her son. Aaron Hogg, 21, from North Belfast, was awaiting trial in Maghaberry Prison over attempted murder.

“The whole system let Aaron down,” she said.

She had written a letter just saying how vulnerable he was, that he was in their care and it was up to them to look after him, she told the BBC.

“There are a lot of people in there with mental health issues who are just put in there, locked up, forgotten about, and that’s it,” she added.

Professor Scraton said the Prison Service was not fit for purpose.

“I gave evidence to the prison review a few weeks back and I called it an institutionalised malaise,” he said.

“When something continues as long as the problems we have in our prisons have continued, it’s no longer a crisis, a crisis is something that comes to a head and you recover very quickly.”

Earlier this month, a man aged 19 and a woman aged 23 were found dead in their cells in Hydebank Young Offenders Centre.


After the examination of the high-level Irish Government delegation by the UN Committee against Torture on 23 and 24 May 2011, the situation in Irish prisons has deteriorated…


It is being confirmed by Republican P.O.W’s from maghaberry prison, that Harry Fitzsimons has recieved a severe beating by the riot squad.  They went into his cell this morning, holding their hands over his mouth and nose to stop his breathing, punching his face they broke his glasses he has cuts on his face, they tried to break his nose, one said hes unrecognisable, he has a suspected broken wrist an ribs due to the severe punching to his body, then they brutally ripped every stitch of clothing off his body, while on top an beating him he screamed out in pain the other pow’s said they didnt even recognise the voice. Other updates will follow..

After the examination of the high-level Irish Government delegation by the UN Committee against Torture on 23 and 24 May 2011, the situation in Irish prisons has deteriorated…!/home.php?sk=group_132734503459781  Friends of Brendan Lillis

NO MORE deaths by MEDICAL NEGLECT in British and Irish prisons!

After the examination of the high-level Irish Government delegation by the UN Committee against Torture on 23 and 24 May 2011, the situation in Irish prisons has deteriorated…


Prison authorities have ordered a lockdown on the dissident republican wings at Maghaberry Jail over fears that a protest could escalate.

Prisoners were informed of the 72-hour lockdown in a memo delivered to their cells on Tuesday morning.

It is claimed the measure could be extended by a further 28 days if they do not comply with an earlier evening lock-up time.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, a dissident leadership source said “a slow-motion train crash” was happening inside the prison — and warned of consequences outside the jail.

In a sinister threat in March, the group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) told this newspaper it had the personal details of a number of prison staff “up to and including governor level”.

The jail protest is about a number of issues — strip searches, lock-up times and freedom of movement inside Roe House, where on two landings more than 30 dissident prisoners linked to a number of groups are held.

These include the Real and Continuity IRA organisations and ONH.

Some of those prisoners are now involved in a so-called dirty protest.

Others have been involved in “hand-to-hand fights” with prison officers in recent days.

Attempts by facilitators, who brokered an agreement between prison chiefs and prisoners last August, to gain access to the prison have “failed up to this point”.

Commenting on the developing protest, a source said: “The prisoners have ruled nothing out.”

He did not elaborate on that comment, but added: “This could all be resolved by the Prison Service.”

The source claimed what was happening was “an attempt to use the prison as a breaker’s yard”, and said: “The agreement (last August) is opposed by a large section of the Prison Officers Association.”

A spokesman for the Department of Justice told the Belfast Telegraph: “The Northern Ireland Prison Service can confirm that following non-compliance with lock-up times, a number of prisoners have been placed under Rule 32, which restricts their association.”

He added: “In line with agreed procedures, this will be reviewed within 72 hours.”

By Brian Rowan
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Read more:


Friends of Brendan Lillis:

Sign the petition:​/releaseBrendylilli

They are people dying in Irish prisons because they have no rights and are living during day and night in gloomy, little dog cages. And the first thing we read is that ‘Irish prison authorities have ordered a lockdown on the dissident republican wings at Maghaberry Jail over fears that a protest could escalate.’

Is this an answer of the Irish Minister of Justice to the recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture ?

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) welcomes your queries:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

General inquiries:
Telephone: +41 22 917 9220