Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Calls for the Irish government to intervene as lives of three Irish citizens in Colombia are in grave danger

14 May, 2004


Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has expressed deep anger and concern at the decision of a Colombian Judge to refuse to allow Martin McCauley, Niall Connolly and Jim Monaghan to return home to Ireland until the prosecution appeal of their innocent verdict is heard. Mr. McGuinness said 'every hour that the three men remain in Colombia their lives are in grave danger. I want to make an urgent appeal to the Irish government to make further representations to get the men home safely.'

Mr. McGuinness said:

" There is deep anger and concern in Ireland at the decision of a Colombian Judge to refuse to allow Martin McCauley, Niall Connolly and Jim Monaghan to return to Ireland while they are waiting on the Prosecution appeal of their innocent verdict to take place. This process could take several years.

" Every hour that the men remain in Colombia their lives are in grave danger. They cannot be protected in prison in Bogota and the Colombian authorities have turned down all requests to ensure the men's safety on their release.

" The situation is now very dangerous.

" We have been in contact with the Irish government regularly about this case over the past three years and particularly in recent weeks. I want again to make an urgent appeal to the Irish government to make further representations to get these Irish citizens returned home safely." ENDS

Mr. McGuinness will be available to talk to the media today, Friday 14th at 2.30pm at the Kildare Street entrance to Leinster House.

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