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McCartney calls for release of Paul Brennan

14 October, 2008

Raymond McCartney, Foyle MLA and chairperson of Coiste na n-Iar Chimí has called for the release of Paul Brennan the former Long Kesh escapee who is being held in a US detention centre. Speaking after collecting a petition organised by Ogra Sinn Fein Mr McCartney said, 'Ogra Sinn Fein is to be commended for highlighting this issue and I will be writing to the US administration calling for Paul's release.

Mr McCartney also said, 'It is important that the issues in and around political imprisonment remain on the political agenda. In recent weeks I was part of a Sinn Féin delegation led by party president, Gerry Adams, who met with Paul Goggins who deals with these issues at the NIO.

"We used this meeting to once more outline the difficulties faced by ex-prisoners and their families in a range of matters including access to employment and travel, access to financial services and adoption. We made it absolutely clear to Paul Goggins that in our opinion the best way to move all of this forward is to expunge prison records'.

The Irish government has its role to play in ensuring that all Emergency Legislation is removed from the statute book. Sinn Fein remains totally opposed to the Offences Against the State Act and in particular its provision to allow the testimony of a Garda Superintendent to secure a conviction. I am mindful that there are four men from Derry currently awaiting trial on the basis of this legislation. I believe that this case should not be proceeded with and the men should be released'.

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