As word comes in of a brutal and sustained attack upon Republican and Republican Socialist prisoners in Maghaberry Gaol, the IRSP seeks to put into perspective the context in which prisoners; Brian Carron, Darren Poleon, Paddy O’Neill, Gavin Coyle, and Conor Hughes have found themselves targeted, beaten and dumped into solitary confinement.
Ireland is on the verge of transitionary constitutional change; for the first time ever, a United Ireland is being discussed widely as a real and tangible prospect.
Yet as our people prepare for future independence, the screws of Maghaberry prison still preside unmonitored over a regime which may soon be remembered only for a litany of foreign inspired torture and oppression.
We know that an identified ‘Prison Officer’ has for some time been attempting to bait Republican prisoners into a provoked aggressive response via a litany of prolonged sectarian and personal based insults and petty obstructions to their daily lives, he has not been acting alone.
Those familiar with the Maghaberry system know well that both the administration there and the (Orange Order influenced) ‘Prison Officers Association’ frequently utilise such underhanded tactics in an attempt to gain monetary and tactical concessions from the state, such as increased staffing levels, increased wages and other discreet and unpublicised perks of the job.
The calibre of the average screw in Maghaberry makes them vulnerable to the underhanded suggestions of their administration who use them to gain such nefarious ends.
Maghaberry screws are generally uneducated, of sub-normal intellect and often disturbed by underlying psychological and addiction related problems, they would not survive in any other social or professional environment, however it is these attributes which make them invaluable to an administration determined to make gain via the brutalisation of vulnerable republican prisoners not to mention the raft of state agencies who celebrate the chance to punish revolutionary parent organisations on the outside.
Such is the reality of Maghaberry prison; as Ireland prepares for future progress, Maghaberry harks back to Ireland’s darkest past, its screws and their behaviour is an affront to progressive thinking and are a cancer on the face of Irish society.
Establishment politicians can no longer sit back and offer empty suggestions to resolve the ongoing problem of inhumane oppression in Maghaberry prison, failure by mainstream politicians to condemn this latest attack on Republican prisoners can be considered no less than silent complicity, complicity which will be recorded and condemned in the new Ireland.
The IRSP wishes all those prisoners affected well, and resolve to stand in their corner in a real and tangible way.