26 May 2006

Irish prisoners’ repatriation call

Daily Ireland

Inmate is transferred from England to Portlaoise

By Connla Young

Campaigners have called for the speedy repatriation of all Irish prisoners serving time in English jails after a Co Louth republican was transferred to Portlaoise this week.
Dundalk man Jim McCormack was flown from England on Tuesday and will now serve the remainder of a 22-year sentence in Ireland.
McCormack was jailed for 22 years in 2003 for causing explosion in England and is one of seven republicans who have applied to be returned to Ireland to see out their jail terms.
In recent months the case of Co Louth man Aidan Hulme has been highlighted by campaigners. The 27-year-old has been told he requires surgery to remove a leg damaged in a motor cycle accident several years ago. Campaigners accused justice minister, Michael McDowell, of stalling on the Louth man’s transfer request.
Michael Holden from the Irish Political Status Committee said his group is concerned about the welfare of the remaining six prisoners serving time in British prisons. The campaigner says the case of Fermanagh man Noel Maguire, who was the target of a murder bid behind bars last year, is of deep concern.
“We are concerned about the case of Noel Maguire who originally had his transfer request turned down. His circumstances have now changed and he has reapplied. His application is well behind the others though and this concerns us.
“Two prisoners are currently facing attempted murder charges after they tried to stab him last year and if he is left on his own in an English prison he will be in great danger.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice, which oversees the transfer of prisoners back to Ireland, said the department does not comment on individual cases.

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