Sean Bresnahan, Chair of the Thomas Ashe Society Omagh, calls for the immediate release of Neil Hegarty, calling also for support towards prisoner initiatives as the Christmas season approaches.
The Thomas Ashe Society view with alarm last week’s gaoling of Neil Hegarty, only 24 hours after his release from Maghaberry. This spiteful and retrograde move on the part of the British Government represents a serious escalation of its repression in Ireland that must be challenged by right-thinking people. We demand his immediate release and extend to his family our full support and ongoing solidarity at this difficult time.
Mindful also, with Christmas approaching, that the gaols of Ireland still hold many as political prisoner, remembering likewise that December has always been regarded here as ‘Prisoners Month’, we note that the issue of political prisoners and their unjust treatment remains a continuing blight on society. With that in mind, we extend our regards to all Republicans imprisoned in Maghaberry, Hydebank and Portlaoise Gaols.
We encourage the wider Irish public to better inform themselves of the situation in the prisons today and to donate, where possible, to the various campaigns that highlight this issue. We acknowledge and pay tribute to the selfless efforts of those who maintain those campaigns, who offer much-needed, invaluable support to the families of those impacted.
To those families, we extend our full support over the Christmas period and beyond. To the prisoners themselves: your cause is a just one and we commend your ongoing sacrifice. Know that there are still those in the community who respect and recognise your endeavour.
The gaols of our country have for too long endured the wretched phenomenon of the political prisoner. For too long those who seek nothing more than the legitimate goal of an independent Ireland have suffered behind their walls. May the All-Ireland Republic, our shared objective, some day soon be won — bringing a long overdue end to their plight.