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Sinn Féin delegation meets cross-party group of TDs to discuss Maghaberry Prison issues

18 May, 2017 - by Declan Kearney

A Sinn Féin delegation has met with a cross-party group of TDs in Leinster House to discuss ongoing issues related to Maghaberry Prison.

The delegation including Party President Gerry Adams and National Chairperson Declan Kearney met this morning with a group including Eamon Ó Cuiv, Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan.

Speaking after the meeting, Declan Kearney said:

"Sinn Féin has consistently highlighted issues which remain unresolved in Maghaberry Prison.

“These issues include full body searches, controlled movement and cultural equality for prisoners within the jail.

“We view these issues of contention as resolvable if the will was there to do so.

“I also took the opportunity to update the group of TDs on the situation with Tony Taylor who continues to be imprisoned despite any evidence having been brought forward over the course of the last 14 months to justify his imprisonment.

“We will continue to highlight these issues and work proactively with those who seek to find solutions.

“All of these issues should be set within the wider context of prison reform, which must seek to improve conditions for both integrated and segregated prisoners so that both staff and prisoners are treated equally with dignity and respect.

“The reality at present however is that a security mentality continues to have primacy in Maghaberry. This naturally undermines the development of a more rehabilitative culture as well as in relation to key aspects of both the system and every day prison life.

“Further to this, the issue of mental health care and the alarming levels of drug abuse within the prison were also discussed.

“Sinn Féin will continue to proactively make representations and campaign for effective and necessary reform with all institutions and agencies which have responsibility for prison policy and resources."

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