ON March 9 the Republican POWs, Roe 3 Maghaberry said in a statement:
“You are all aware of the construction work being undertaken within the jail over the past month. You will also have witnessed the strength of our resolve in opposing this work.
“David Forde has recently stated in the assembly that the new construction was to ensure the safety of staff. But its underlying and true purpose is to displace and sectionalise us in an attempt to deflect our focus and dilute our position on the ending of controlled movement for POWs.
“We have demonstrated the failure of the new system, which led to a stand-off on Monday, February 2, 2015. We would now like to thank all those who attended the protest at the gates of the prison in solidarity with us. It was an immense demonstration of solidarity and brought us all some comfort.
“Any further attempt by the jail administration to undermine the Agreement of August 2010 will be resisted. The problems within the jail are mainly due to the deceit and lies from the jail administration and staff. Prison service director general Sue McAllister in particular seems to regularly suffer from this affliction to a degree that she now seldom speaks the truth.
She has also reneged on her word given during a discussion she had on one of the landings with two Republican representatives, where she stated that an independent chairperson for the forums would have to be acceptable to both the jail administration as well as the Republican POWs.
“We do not accept the appointment and imposition of Tom Millar as chair. Sue McAllister also had the effrontery to deny that POWs were injured either before or during the standoff in February. She claims to deal in facts; perhaps she should open her eyes to the fact that she is managing a corrupt administration. This is evidenced by the conjuring of threats against staff, and the intimidation of POWs, while knowing no one holds the staff to account when their wrongdoing comes to light.
The threats and intimidation we the POWs face daily became most evident on Sunday, February 1, 2015 when a senior officer by the name of Harry Evans stated the following to a CIRA POW “you haven’t the balls to hit me” in an attempt to provoke a reaction.
“Once Evans realised this provocation didn’t work he further added sexually derogatory remarks about the POWs wife stating: “your woman loves it up the a**e”. The POW showed great restraint by not reacting to this provocation. He went to another member of staff to remove Harry Evans before things escalated.
“Through our continued efforts to highlight every indiscretion we will achieve some measure of accountability. We invite Sue Mc Allister and David Forde to meet with us to discuss a way forward and an end to this impasse and that of controlled movement and the unnecessary brutal act of strip searching. If either of them are serious about finding a genuine way forward and securing a lasting settlement they will accept our invitation.”
—OC, Continuity Irish Republican Army POWs
Maghaberry jail, 2015
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