Internment & mistreatment of political prisoners in Ireland – Marian Price

Row after guards stayed as doctors attended to Marian Price
By Suzanne Breen

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The family of veteran republican Marian Price claim her human rights were violated after a prison officer remained in a treatment room as she underwent intrusive medical procedures.Price, who has been suffering from pneumonia, was taken for a lung wash and an endoscopy so a camera could be inserted to examine her lungs. Doctors asked prison staff to leave the treatment room in Belfast City Hospital where Price was heavily sedated for the procedure on Friday. Her husband Jerry McGlinchey said: “They refused, saying they were under instruction from Hydebank that at least one prison officer stay with her during the medical procedure. “The doctors stated it was unacceptable to have prison staff beside Marian but they were over-ruled. “My wife is a seriously ill woman. She is not a security risk. She can hardly walk, let alone run off and escape.” Price (58) was moved to Belfast City Hospital in June to be treated for severe depression after spending a year in solitary confinement in Maghaberry and Hydebank jails. The Old Bailey bomber developed pneumonia and arthritis and her family say her health is deteriorating rapidly. Mr McGlinchey claimed that on Friday, for the second consecutive day, his wife was hand-cuffed by prison staff against medical advice. ”Marian’s wrists are badly swollen from arthritis. The doctors have repeatedly told prison staff not to handcuff her but they insist on doing so.” Price’s husband claimed that on Thursday his wife was subjected to “oppressive security” when she went to Musgrave Park Hospital for tests for her arthritis. “She was double handcuffed as two prison staff and four PSNI officers accompanied her to the examination. When she went to give a urine test, one prison officer actually insisted on going into the toilet with her,” Mr McGlinchey said. “This is inhuman and degrading treatment. Nobody has to agree with my wife’s politics to see this is wrong.”
Price was last year charged with encouraging support for a paramilitary organisation after holding a statement from which a masked Real IRA man read at an Easter Rising commemoration in Derry. A court granted her bail on that offence — the charge has since been dismissed – but she was taken to Maghaberry prison after Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her licence. Her lawyers claim he’d no right to do so as she’d been granted a royal pardon when freed from jail in 1980. The government says this pardon has been lost or shredded.


Marian Price is the national secretary of the dissident republican political group, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. With her sister Dolours and Gerry Kelly — now a senior Sinn Fein politician — she was part of an 11-member IRA unit which bombed London in 1973.

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