Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland: ‘We investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prisons but we cannot be helpful’


date: 28 juni 2011
Subject: RE: Prisoner Ombudsman Enquiry Form

Dear Jan

Thank you for your email in relation to Mr Brendan Lillis.

While we are aware of Mr Lillis’ situation, the Prisoner Ombudsman’s
remit extends to the investigation of complaints from prisoners and the investigation of deaths in prison custody.
We are not in a position, therefore, to comment on his continued detention. These matters are for the Minister for Justice and prison authorities.

I am sorry we cannot be more helpful.

Yours sincerely

Prisoner Ombudsman’s Office
22nd Floor, Windsor House
Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FT

Thursday, May 26, 2011



Prison Hospital
Upper Ballinderry Road
Lisburn, Co. Antrim
North of Ireland
BT  28  2PT

Ireland with its violation of human rights, is a good example of the ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ within the European Union…

Brendan Lillis remains in the prison hospital at Maghaberry Gaol where he suffers from a chronic medial condition called ankylosing spondylitis, which cause his spine to fuse. At present, he is confined to bed and his condition has taken a turn for the worst. His weight has plummeted to five stone and his rapidly deteriorating health is causing huge concern to his family and friends. 

His continued incarceration is a clear demonstration of the shameful nature of British rule in Ireland.

What they are doing to Brendan is against their own written policy. In keeping with the Northern Ireland Prison Service Corporate and Business Plan 2008/11, it is stated that prisoners’ access to health services must be appropriate to their needs and equivalent to those services available to the public.  This is off the NI Prison Administration website. They are not honoring their rules.

The high security Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim has been ranked as one of the worst performing in the UK

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Tribulations of Brendan Lillis.

Brendan Lillis is a former republican political prisoner who served a life sentence as a result of his involvement in the North’s violent political conflict. He served around 16 years for possession of explosives and firearms. In 1992 BL, as he was known to his friends and comrades, was released on license. While in prison he took part in the many protests against the British government’s criminalisation policy.

Today he is being held in Maghaberry Prison as a result of a completely unrelated charge which we now know is no longer to be proceeded with. Nevertheless the life sentence that he received in 1977 has been reactivated which means he is once again a lifer serving time only for actions carried out in the 1970s and for nothing else.

In 2009 he appeared in court on a robbery related charge. Shortly after his arrest the British Secretary of State withdrew his licence which meant that in spite of no new convictions Brendan Lillis since his arrest has once again been serving a life sentence.

There have been concerns raised about the state of his health. It seems that he is being detained within a regime which can easily be described as one of medical neglect. It was reported in the Andersonstown News that he is suffering ‘from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis, which leads to a curvature in the spine and causes the body to produce excess bone mass.’

His condition is considered so serious that he has been deemed unfit to stand trial. His partner Roisin described the difficulty his illness posed for communication between the two.

For the first 10 weeks he had no visits because he couldn’t get into a wheelchair and they wouldn’t let me into the jail … He couldn’t make phone calls as his condition was so bad he could not physically lift the phone. During that time I could not get a hold of a prison doctor to find out how Brendan was – one day I rang 37 times and no-one was available to talk to me … After a lot of debates with the jail I was eventually allowed to visit him in his cell which I have done since …. He was finally moved to the hospital wing … Brendan is now in a precarious situation and if he doesn’t get released from jail I am in no doubts he will die soon.

By the time Roisin eventually did get to see her partner she was shocked at his condition. ‘He just looked like he was dying and he still does.’ She later said ‘he’s been on the hospital wing for the past 14 months and he’s supposed to have physiotherapy every day to stop inflammation, but he’s lucky if he gets one session a week.’

There are reports that he lay on the cell floor for a number of days before prison staff would move him to the prison hospital. During his arraignment Brendan Lillis was unable to leave his bed…
Open group —

Bulletin: Jamie Scott Ordered To Scrub Prison Walls with One Arm – From Sis. Marpessa

To: The 540 members of E.A.T.D.P (europeans against the death Penalty and prison injustices)

Jamie Scott called her mother this morning and informed her that Warden Holman woke her from sleep, demanding to know what her mother was posting on the internet regarding mold on the walls and leaking in her unit. She got up and showed him the mold all over the walls as well …