One Loud Voice

Tonight The Pensive Quill features guest writer Pauline Mellon who has been campaigning on behalf of the imprisoned Marian Price.

On Sunday April 22nd at 2.30pm in Derry there will be a procession leaving from Free Derry Corner and arriving at the Guildhall Square for a rally to address the ongoing internment and torture of fifty eight year old Republican prisoner Marian Price. The event is organised by independent activists and will be led by world renowned human rights campaigner Monsignor Raymond Murray.

Marian Price was arrested following an Easter Commemoration in Derry lastyear. She was sent to Maghaberry all male prison where she spent ten months in isolation on the order of Secretary of State Owen PatersonMarian has remained in custody and isolation despite being granted bail on the questionable charges brought against her.
On the 17th February as a result of public pressure Marian Price was hastily transferred to an alleged healthcare facility at Hydebank prison. The Department of Justice has claimed the move was the result of clinical advice from the regional health board however many believe it was a reaction to a meeting attended by hundreds in Derry the previous evening.

Marian is not receiving the adequate healthcare treatment to deal with the damage that has been caused by almost a year's isolation and neglect. Experts have defined long term isolation as torture and clearly given this criteria Marian's treatment is in direct conflict with current human rights legislation.

Owen Paterson sent Marian Price back to prison following the revocation of a supposed life licence. She was released from prison close to death in1980. Mr Patterson conveniently overlooked the fact that Marian Price received a Royal Prerogative of Mercy (pardon) shortly after her release. This document wiped the slate clean for Marian and overrode the licence she was previously released on.

The British authorities have since admitted to either losing or shredding this pardon, a document Marian's solicitor is confident would secure her release. It has been acknowledged that no other pardon has been lost or shredded by the British authorities. It must be asked if Owen Paterson has been unable to locate Marian's pardon document how can he state that the pardon does not negate Marian's expunged licence. This point has been raised by numerous human rights campaigners and legal authorities.

Owen Paterson has no mandate in the North of Ireland nor is he accountable to the people here yet he can disregard the rulings of two judges and keep Marian Price in prison. This scenario raises questions about the justice powers devolved to Stormont and the judiciary as well as the independence of this branch of government.

We are outraged at the treatment of Marian Price and feel that it is a scandal that must be addressed by all of us. This torturous practice of isolation and licence revocation for convictions dating back almost 40 years is in fact internment under another guise. Internment and the abuse of prisoners aroused a sense of alienation and injustice within the Nationalist/Republican community in recent decades and we must ask
ourselves why have those now in power not learned the lessons of history.

We believe justice is a core element in the establishment of real peace and stability and would ask everyone to join the procession and rally on April 22nd to call with one loud voice for justice for Marian Price and all victims of internment and torture.


  1. Marian may be in solitary but she is not alone. Evidence that others elsewhere have been subjected to the same vindictive punitive mentality.
    Forty years in solitary confinement and counting

  2. Pauline,

    good piece. You have done a great job campaigning on this important issue

  3. Just came across this from Mandy Duffy.

    10 April at 21:40 ·

    Statement from the Family & Friends of Republican Prisoners Maghaberry. 10th April 2012.

    Family & Friends of Republican Prisoners Maghaberry strongly condemn the decision by Maghaberry prison to put Republican prisoners on 24 hour lock up for refusing to remove the Easter Lily.

    Republican Prisoners were put on 24 hour lock-up on Saturday 7th April, visits were refused on Easter Sunday and the prisoners have lost their one hour access to the exercise yard and their five minute phone call, leaving family members concerned at the loss of contact.

    Once again,Republican prisoners have been punished for wearing Ireland's traditional symbol of remembrance. However, no punishment by Maghaberry will deter them from honouring those who died in pursuit of Irish freedom.

    We are reminded once again of the sectarian regime adopted by Maghaberry prison, a regime that punishes Republican prisoners for being Republicans.

    Mandy Duffy PRO
    Family & Friends of Republican Prisoners Maghaberry.