The Irish Republican Kevin Murray died in 2001, a few short weeks after finally being released from Portlaoise prison for the emergency hospital care which had been requested by himself, his family, and his fellow prisoners for several months prior to his death.

More information about the death of Kevin Murray:

Brussels, 8.7.2011

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
22nd Floor
Windsor House
Bedford Street

Dear Madam,

Concerns: the deaths in Maghaberry prison, Brendan Lillis who is actually dying in the Maghaberry prison

May I remind you to my letter of 30.6.2011, please ?

In this letter I said that it is not normal that, while you are pretending to investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prison custody (from 1 September 2005 the remit of the Prisoner Ombudsman was even extended as required by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland), you say that you ‘can not comment and can not be helpful’ in the case of Brendan Lillis.

You say that ‘these matters are for Minister for Justice Ford and the prison authorities’ but that is not correct. The least you can do as Prisoners Ombudsman which investigates with a special team the many deaths and suicides in the prisons of Northern Ireland, is to make a report of a case as Brendan Lillis and to contact the Minister and the direction of the prison authorities.

As you know very well, Brendan is very sick and he risks to die in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland where there were 3 deaths during the past 3 months.

I learned that Brendan has no right to the visit of a physician from outside the prison. That’s in violation of the prison law and international laws.

Brendan is now more than 450 days in bed and he is more dead than alive. His situation is getting worse every day. He can hardly move and talk.
He would now be fed through a gut that is going directly to his stomach. That is a sadistic torture because they know that he is dying and it is again a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the national and international laws.

Given his health, he has the right to be released.

As I said, there have been many deaths in the Maghaberry prison without you were doing anything to prevent it, without you took your job seriously. You seem to work without human feeling, without thinking of the life of the prisoners and their husbands, their families and friends.

Remember that you are a prisoner ombudsman. So, it is your work to DO something for prisoners.

You think that, by refering to the Minister of Justice and the direction of the prison authorities, you can avoid your responsibility. But it will not help you.
If you do not help a very sick prisoner by making a report and contacting the Minister and the prison authorities, you can be prosecuted as he dies.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Boeykens
President of Werkgroep Morkhoven

Sign the petition:​/releaseBrendylilli

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

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

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!

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