Interned at 63 Years of Age

Guest writer Jim McIlMurray with a piece flagging up the continued internment of republican Martin Corey on the Lurgan internee's 63rd birthday.

Today, September 2, 2013, is the 63rd birthday of Martin Corey.

Today is also the date the Parole Commissioners were to commence Martin’s annual Parole hearing.  We received communication on Friday, the 30th of August, informing us that this open hearing to review Martin’s ongoing detention would not commence on this date, with no alternative date being suggested or discussed with us.

Martin is entitled by law to an annual Parole hearing, and yet he has not received one in over two years.

A variety of reasons have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his "legal challenges" against his detention under Article 5 (4) (the right to have a court decide the lawfulness of his detention under the European convention of Human Rights).

Recent violations of Human Rights in the Middle East have received worldwide condemnation, including by the British government who stated that they 'will continue to play an active and forthright role in international institutions that promote and protect human rights.' They also emphasised the UK’s own commitment to strengthen human rights, both domestically and internationally.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was unacceptable to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. This ruling followed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing. Martin Corey has now waited 25 months.

The Secretary of State in a recent communication stated, 'an individual who served a life sentence can be returned to prison if they pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.' Since Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has never been charged with a crime, questioned by police regarding a crime, or given any explanation as to the risk he poses to the public.

Martin served 19 years in prison prior to his release in 1992. He has now served the equivalent of a seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.

Martin has not committed any crime. He poses no risk to the public and I am calling for his immediate release today.

I spoke with Martin this morning and he wishes to express his gratitude to those who sent messages and cards and also for their continued support in highlighting the ongoing injustice perpetrated upon him by the British government.


  1. Martin Corey is a name that pops into my head almost daily. I can't understand why there isn't more of an outcry outside of the campaign for him. The man is held at the whim of a politician with no mandate in north on alleged advice from the parole commission that she employs and if she so chooses can dismiss. Held on the strength of evidence that neither he nor his legal team are give access to, which begs the fundamental question, how do you challenge what you can't see?

    In England MPs have spoken out against the use of 'closed material' branding it the product of Tyrants and repressive regimes. This puts a question mark over the attitude of the Stormont Executive's position on the use of closed material evidence, and I believe that the parties and MLAs in Stormont whether holding ministerial positions or not should clarify their individual and party position on the use of such draconian measures. I would urge all interested parties to write to their MLA's and ask them do they support the use of closed material evidence and if not what they are doing about it?

    A very dangerous precedent has been set here!

  2. The PSNI probably have it in for him given the conviction he has for killing two of their colleagues. They are getting their revenge because they can.

    Now, that might be understandable in terms of sheer human emotions. But if human emotions hold a veto over what goes on in society, there would never be any progress, the jails would be packed and we would probably have the death penalty for offences considered trivial by modern era standards.

    Martin Corey is being held for what a court said he did in the 1970s - for which he has served his time - not for anything a court said he has done in recent years. He is being held at the whim of a politician - political policing par excellence.

  3. Firstly , Birthday Greetings to Martin , I have intentionally omitted "Happy".

    Martin is being held on secret evidence , It stems from the HET/ex RUC Special Branch and MI5 ,That's the Brits way of getting their own way. Every Ex pow should be out onto the street enforce demanding his release , lest they forget , He is still a comrade. As Anthony stated, Martin served his time , How many ex RUC murderers are going to be arrested under the secret evidence scam, Dare I say it , "NONE" , nor , any Murdering British Soldier. Its heart rendering to say the least, so called ex comrades allowing a 63 year old pensioner still interned and they do nothing about it, I hope some of them, especially in the Fellons club are reading this and I hope they die in shame.

  4. What happened to putting manners on the Brits?
    Last night we went as a family to watch a play written by Rosaleen Watson about the short life and tragic death of Tom Williams.
    Throughout the short and very moving drama there was an atmosphere of shock and disbelief that something as horrendous as Tom's eventual murder took place.
    There was an atmosphere of past- tense, an atmosphere of having moved away from these awful times.There was almost a feeling of detachment an invisible line drawn to distinguish past from present.
    I wondered as I left the prison was I the only person there who felt, all these years later nothing has changed they would hang us all over again if they could? Who knows?

  5. Fionnuala:

    "as I left the prison was I the only person there who felt, all these years later nothing has changed they would hang us all over again if they could?"

    They wouldn't take a millisecond to hesitate.

  6. My husband's grandfather was interned in Crumlin Road Gaol with Tom Williams at the time he was executed. My husband would often remark that his grandfather never spoke of it, such was the impact it had on him. Any time the name of Tom Williams comes up you can be sure my husband will be muttering the following passage from Tom Williams' letter to Hugh McAteer. As he was reading this thread earlier he went into it!

    ''But shall we make the mistake of '21? no, no, tis men like you and your staff will see to it. That no farcical so called Treaty shall in no way be signed by a bunch of weak-kneed and willed Irishmen. Better that the waves of the mighty oceans sweep over Erin than take and divide our nation, murder her true sons again. Better would be that heavens would open and send fire to destroy Erin, than to
    accept another Treaty like it''

    Another point of interest is that Paddy McGrory the father of the current DPP was actually taking a case to Europe over the internment of my husbands grandfather and others around 1958, I think, how times have changed you definitely couldn't say like father like son.

  7. I simply find this a crime against human rights. At the weekend I was researching through a few articles / writings about loyalism and part of my results included recent UTV and BBC articles in which they stated openly, the names of well known UDA men and that they were leaders. The same man who openly speaks from time to time on the news with the title " UDA leader " under his name. How can these people be publicly named as leaders of an illegal terrorist group and never face arrest. Today we have 5 supposed PIRA men being charged with membership from 1997 - 2000. We watched Marian Price spend years in prison there for holding a piece of paper. It seems MI5 love to turn a blind eye to it's operators whilst still the Irish suffer.

  8. I think you hit the nail on the head Anthony...Pure and simple bitterness.

    Judges can't find a reason to hold him, cops aren't interested.

    Unless, as several posters have mentioned before they (powers that be) are simply testing the water to see how far they can push the boundaries..

  9. Maitiu Connel:

    Those five are out on £250 bail , They are SF, That's unheard off in Nationalists terms, not that I would want to see them being remanded , I am just making a point , Its the same on both sides of the divide, Its not what you know , its who you know , but , there is more to this case than just being accused of being a member of PIRA.


    I have always stated that. They are pushing as far as they want now because they won't bang up any Pro treaties. I was well pleased on the Anti Internment March , all the banners of those still Interned , Also those of Michael Campbell, and of course those of Martin Corey.

  10. If Shinners such as Padraig Wilson support the British rule of law then I'm sure he would have no problem facing due process and taking a spell on remand, after all Sinn Fein are fond of due process. However I think what's keeping them off remand is that Padraig Wilson had requested to go on the republican wing when it was looking like he was going to be locked up a few months ago. Now that wouldn't look to well for the shinners one of their leading members requesting to be housed with those they have condemned as criminals and traitors.