Ráiteas / Statement
“Sinn Féin Poblachtach utterly condemns the removal of Dónal Billings from E1 landing, Portlaoise Gaol. Dónal is a lifelong Republican. He is incarcerated for actions against normalisation, and the occupation of part of Ireland. His service to the Republican cause is longer than that of some of those who had him removed from the landing are alive.
Dónal is a quiet man who has always had time for any of the POWs he met while imprisoned either in the 26 county state or in the cages of Long Kesh. In both these Gaols he made every effort to aid others in learning Gaeilge, it is said he taught Hunger Strike Martyr Bobby Sands Gaeilge while both served time in Long Kesh.
Now in his 60’s he has been cast in among criminals in the Midlands. Considering the present situation among criminals this action could quite easily place Dónal in the path of danger. The bullying tactics by those on E3 and E4 are doing immense damage to Republicanism and considering the calls for “unity of Republicans” by their leadership it goes diametrically against what they say they purport to seek. Support for Republicanism in general has been damaged by this and other recent actions including the forced acceptance of two gangland criminals onto E1 only a short while ago.
We call for Dónals immediate re-admittance onto E1 and the cessation of all bullying of the independent POWs and those Republicans who’s numbers are low in the Gaols of Ireland. While all Republican groups have their differences, it has always been the case that we agreed to unity on POW issues, the recent divisive actions make such unity difficulty and this can only have a knock-on effect for the POWs themselves. When all is said and done it play’s directly into the hands of the imperial partitionist States we all oppose.”
Críoch / ENDs
– Republican Sinn Féin POW Department