Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Colombian announcement significant

10 June, 2004


Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly, who is in Colombia this week as part of a Bring them Home delegation, has described as significant the announcement by the Colombian authorities that they have no problem with Martin McCauley, Niall Connolly and Jim Monaghan returning to Ireland while they are awaiting a decision in relation to an appeal of their innocent verdict.

Mr. Kelly said:

"This evening's announcement by the Colombian authorities that they have no problem with Martin McCauley, Niall Connolly and Jim Monaghan returning to Ireland while they are awaiting a decision in relation to an appeal of their innocent verdict is very significant.

"Almost two weeks ago the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern called on the Colombian President to intervene and we hope that this evening's announcement will now open the way for the men to return home to their families as quickly as possible.

"The men continue to be held in very dangerous conditions. It is obvious that there is no safe place for them to stay in Colombia. The men should be allowed home immediately."ENDS

Speaking from Colombia this evening, Caitriona Ruane of the Bring them Home campaign welcomed the announcement from the Colombians. She said:

"This evenings statement from the Colombian government is very welcome and has happened following the Irish government's intervention. The men's lawyers are now putting a petition into the magistrates asking that the men be allowed to leave Colombia and return to Ireland. We are asking them to adjudicate on this matter as quickly as possible given the urgency of the situation."

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