IRSP attend Political Prisoners Conference in Catalonia.

Irish Republican Socialist Party activist Gerard Foster attended a political prisoner conference in Catalonia organised by Jornades per l’Amnistia to give a lecture on the role of political prisoners and prisoners of the INLA in trying to resolve the conflict in Ireland.

The conference was attended by Basque, Catalan and Irish political prisoner support groups The IRSP talked about difficulties faced by political ex-prisoners on release, both legal issues around “prison records” still being used against them and the medical and emotional issues that many ex-political prisoners suffer from.

Mr Foster said “The physical and emotional issues that face ex-political prisoners transcend all geographical and cultural boundaries. The problems faced in Ireland by ex IRA and INLA political prisoners are the same ones that are faced by Basque and Catalan ex-political prisoners. Broken families, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, self medicating through substance abuse, criminalised by society and many more issues affect all ex-political prisoners and their families all across the World.”

He continued “We also discussed the important role played by Political Prisoners in cementing the process that lead to the major cessations. Their genuine contribution to that process of striving for peace is often overlooked but it is certainly one of the most important in moving the struggle away from War whilst exploring new avenues to continue the struggle.”

Mr Foster finished “The IRSP used the conference as a chance to dispel the myths being projected from Ireland by establishment politicians in “Peace Industry road shows” that travel the world’s conflict zones lecturing how they achieved “Peace” in Ireland. The IRSP explained true peace has not been achieved as the key source of the conflict, the occupation, still remains unresolved. “