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Sinn Féin MP visits John Downey in Belmarsh Prison

28 June, 2013

West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has visited Donegal Republican, John Downey in Belmarsh Prison.

Following a visit with Donegal Republican John Downey in Belmarsh Prison yesterday (Thursday 27th June) Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty said:

“I visited John Downey in Belmarsh and found him to be in good spirits considering the situation in which he finds himself because of British securocrat bad faith. This is my second visit to John in the past three weeks. I conveyed solidarity greetings to him on behalf of his friends and comrades in Donegal and throughout Ireland and further afield.

"I also continue to liaise with John's family and solicitor, Gareth Pierce who is working tirelessly to resolve the situation and have John returned to his family as soon as possible.

“John Downey is a member of Sinn Féin and a long-time supporter of the Peace Process. The decision to arrest and charge him in relation to IRA activities in the early 1980s is vindictive, unnecessary and unhelpful.

“As part of the Weston Park negotiation the British Government committed to resolving the position of on the runs (OTRs). John Downey received a letter from the NIO in 2007 stating that he was not wanted by the PSNI or any British Police Force. Despite travelling to England on many occasions now six years on he finds himself before the courts on these historic charges.

“This development represents bad faith and a departure from what was previously agreed by both governments. Sinn Féin will continue to support John until his situation is satisfactorily resolved. And we will continue to make whatever representations we feel will expedite John's release.

“John Downey needs to be released and allowed to return home to his family.”

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