Dónal Billings: RSF Offer Solidarity To Impeached POW

Republican Sinn Féin POW Department hit out at the treatment of a republican prisoner, Dónal Billings.

Sinn Féin Poblachtach utterly condemns the removal of Dónal Billings from E1 landing, Portlaoise Gaol. Dónal is a lifelong Republican. He is incarcerated for actions against normalisation, and the occupation of part of Ireland. His service to the Republican cause is longer than that of some of those who had him removed from the landing are alive.

Dónal is a quiet man who has always had time for any of the POWs he met while imprisoned either in the 26 county state or in the cages of Long Kesh. In both these Gaols he made every effort to aid others in learning Gaeilge. It is said he taught Hunger Strike Martyr Bobby Sands Gaeilge while both served time in Long Kesh.

Now in his 60’s he has been cast in among criminals in the Midlands. Considering the present situation among criminals this action could quite easily place Dónal in the path of danger. The bullying tactics by those on E3 and E4 are doing immense damage to Republicanism. And considering the calls for “unity of Republicans” by their leadership it goes diametrically against what they say they purport to seek. Support for Republicanism in general has been damaged by this and other recent actions including the forced acceptance of two gangland criminals onto E1 only a short while ago.

We call for Dónals immediate re-admittance onto E1 and the cessation of all bullying of the independent POWs and those Republicans whose numbers are low in the Gaols of Ireland. While all Republican groups have their differences, it has always been the case that we agreed to unity on POW issues. The recent divisive actions make such unity difficulty and this can only have a knock-on effect for the POWs themselves. When all is said and done it play’s directly into the hands of the imperial partitionist States we all oppose.

Dónal Billings: On Hunger Strike

In the few short hours since the statement issued this morning by Sinn Féin Poblachtach it has come to light that Dónal Billings has begun a hunger strike. As a dedicated Republican we can assume that this path was not chosen lightly and has been forced on him by the actions of counter revolutionaries who had him removed from the landing in Portlaoise.

Dónal is a life long Republican and in in Gaol for Republican activities.

We call for his immediate repatriation to the landing and the cessation of the bullying tactics being used by the majority group within the Gaols before permanent damage is done to the health of Dónal.

It is past time for Republicans to stand up firm against these tactics that have crept into both Gaols. All POWs, whether aligned to a group or independent, who are incarcerated for Republican activities deserve to be treated equally and with respect. No group can force their ideology upon them or block them from the landings.

Críoch / Ends


  1. I suggest you read the statement relleased earlier today
    by the prisoners in portlaoise. I find your statement
    condescending to say the least. It was your organisation
    who removed Donal from an area of the prison shortly
    after he arrived, while i dont know the ins and outs of
    these recent events, I can state with certainty that
    Donal was facilitated by republicans in E.block after
    his falling out with a cira prisoner.i was in the gaol
    when this happened an every effort was made to
    make Donal feel welcome on the republican block.

  2. I would trouble yourself too much about not knowing the ins and outs James Connolly, the person or persons who wrote that piece clearly know less than us especially in relation to the main protagonist and it didn't stop them blithering on.

    It didn't stop the Facebook and internet chorus either, at one stage Donal was nearly set for martyrdom, well up until the point where the prisoners statement brought it all crashing down.

    Ridiculous yes, but convoluted hype seems to be the way ahead, whoever came out with the theory, ' you couldn't make it up' clearly got it very wrong.

  3. Nuala,

    Have you a link to the prisoners statement? I tried finding it online but was unable to. I was visiting Portlaoise the other day funny enough but it was to see a guy whose sentencing I had been at earlier in the year and not to discuss the above matter.

  4. https://www.facebook.com/LOL4NR/?hc_ref=ARSmcsdQPg0D0AjkgVgxUfiWBkpUmkdJeHZH-VbjKGHBW7qzufshhwEyGj8KjPYb1aM

  5. Mackers,

    I didn't read it via the link. The statement in full is on the IRPWA Facebook page in full.

    Thanks Henry Joy.

    Apologies for the fact my comment should have began with ' I wouldn't bother with ins and outs'

    A very unfortunate state of affairs all round. Not least for the prisoners on E wing.

    Republicans have enough stacked against them, without people adding to the ever expanding mix with half truths and in some cases no truths.

    It was unreal to observe the time and energy people devoted to championing this cause even though experience and common sense cried out, what about another side!

    I sincerely hope it is resolved in the best interests of all concerned, because this hype serves no one one and it most certainly doesn't serve Republicanism.