Republican POWs wish to outline our position on the recently published stocktake, which was conducted by David Ford’s independent assessment team. Although we have good reason to be sceptical, we are willing to give it fair wind – the stocktake has the capacity to reengage the implementation process of the August 10th agreement.
The reality is – this is the only viable option and it is the only feasible alternative to the current situation. The Aug. 10th agreement represents the only route to a conflict free environment within the jail. Despite the petty and vindictive attempts to immediately destabilise the relative calm on the Republican wing by reactionary elements, aided, abetted and encouraged by those with a regressive vision of the Gaol, Republican POWs will remain steadfast being fully aware that the Aug 10th agreement is a victory to no one, it is a route to an environment which is conflict free and threatens nobody.
Those currently opposing the stocktake and principally the agreement have over the past 4 years shown themselves bankrupt of any realistic or positive proposals to resolve the issues surrounding the imprisonment of Republican POWs. We have engaged with a variety of individuals and organisations including Trade Unions, the SDLP, Leinster house politicians, the hierarchy of both of Ireland’s main Churches, CJINI, successive prison ombudsman and Anne Ower’s commissioners. Across the wider community and political spectrum there is an acceptance that a resolution is needed, that exists in the Aug. 10th agreement, resolution of all outstanding issues is within all of our grasps, this should not be held to ransom by the politically ambitious or reactionary elements who yearn for a time long past. We are in the 21st century and prison conditions should reflect that, therefore Republican POWs in Roe House are in full favour of a conflict free environment.
Signed: Republican POWs Roe House.