Belfast IRSP Statement on the unjust detention of Brendan Lillis

Belfast Irish Republican Socialist Party gives it’s unconditional support to Brendan Lillis and unequivocally calls for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds and condemns the current practice of interning Republicans on the basis of their political antecedents. Furthermore, we applaud and unconditionally lend our support to Mr Lillis’ partner, Roisin’s current three day fast, the protest camp at the old Andersonstown barracks site and the wider campaign to have Brendan released from Maghaberry gaol.

Mr Lillis has been unable to move from his Maghaberry prison hospital bed for a period exceeding 600 days, his bodyweight has plummeted to a life threatening level of approximately 5 stone, combined with numerous serious medical complications and the excruciating daily pain of the chronic disease Ankylosing Spondilitis. Further compounding his dire illness is the severe lack of adequate medical facilities in Maghaberry Gaol, where the ‘hospital’ amounts to little more than a ‘sickbay’ staffed by MO’s ill equipped and unqualified to cope with a patient in Mr Lillis’ critical condition.

Belfast IRSP condemns the prison system, the NIO and Stormont ministers who are playing cat and mouse with the life of a gravely ill human being who is a threat to no-one or society in general. Mr Lillis is being held without hope of any trial as he faces no charges and his continuing detention is based on the fact that he was once a life sentence prisoner and therefore his license is the unjust basis of his indefinite imprisonment in Maghaberry gaol. Belfast Irish Republican Socialist Party correctly identifies Mr Lillis’ detention as yet another facet of the British government’s selective internment policy, with ex-Republican POWs being used as political hostages who face arbitrary arrest if they oppose the status quo or do not toe the ‘Stormont line.’

No matter how the NIO etc try to complicate or stifle support for Mr Lillis by wrapping his case in bureaucratic red tape, the plain truth is that they are playing games with a desperately ill man’s life. David Ford, the Stormont regime’s prison’s minister could end Brendan’s suffering and save his life with a mere stroke of a pen, yet he refuses to do so on vindictive political grounds. We call on all freedom loving people to support the campaign for Mr Lillis’ release and also re-affirm our admiration and continuing support for Roisin’s courageous actions in raising awareness of her partner’s plight.

Release Brendan Lillis!

A. McGuigan,
Belfast Steering Committee,
Irish Republican Socialist Party,
Costello House,
392b Falls Road,