Over one year has passed since republican prisoners commenced a

protest to end strip searching and controlled movement in

Maghaberry. The protest ended on the 12th August 2010 after a

facilitated agreement was reached between prisoners and gaol

admin/NIO which was supposed to have ended strip searching and

“phased out” controlled movement within the landings of republican

prisoners. As with previous agreements between republican

prisoners and the British, the British immediately began to claw

back on their position and in the case of this agreement even

introduced new and more degrading measures. As a group of non-

conforming republican prisoners, we fought against these measures

and have worked tirelessly to have the 12th August agreement

implemented. To achieve change we have to resist. To challenge

such a regime comes at a cost.

Since the signing of the August agreement over 60 forced strip

searches has taken place and the phased ending of controlled

movement hasn’t materialised. By this stage, May 2011, we should

have unfettered access to our two landings with cell doors

remaining open all day. Instead, ten screws have to be in place

before movement begins, with a maximum of six out on landings at

any one time. A “forum” involving prisoner representatives and

gaol admin was put in place as part of the agreement to sort areas

of contention, meeting on a monthly basis, but as non-conforming

prisoners, we refuse to take part in this “talking shop” whilst forced

strip searching and controlled movement remain in place. Other

areas that need to be addressed are too numerous to go into detail

but one example is that when a republican is arrested, he can

expect to spend up to 28 days in an interrogation centre, then if

charged, he’s brought to Maghaberry where he can expect to be

held on landings with loyalists and drug dealers for weeks (in some

cases months) before being transferred to the republican landings.

This is only one of many disgraceful issues that have been allowed

to continue unchallenged for too long. We will not stand idly by as

comrades suffer.

In recent months, we have released two separate documents

relating to the agreement of August 2010 and conditions within

Maghaberry. In both documents we called publicly for unity

between all prisoners, stating that we believed unity was our

strength and would benefit us all if we moved forward collectively.

We asked the other groups of prisoners and anyone outside with

influence and aligned to them to help to achieve this unity.

Unfortunately several months have passed and we have received

no response from either. We are conscious of the fact that a

significant number of POWs who agreed with our analysis and

actions required to obtain our objectives were fully supportive of us

but withheld that support. We now believe that most of those now

have the confidence to vocally show that support and indeed join

us in our struggle. We openly and genuinely welcome those

comrades and any others who share our view regarding gaol


Our objective is to establish a republican wing with republican

principles at its core. As republicans we will do whatever it takes to

achieve this. This will necessitate the ending of strip searching and

controlled movement per the agreement of August 2010. We

cannot and will not allow or facilitate any attempt to criminalise

republican prisoners any longer. We ask families, comrades and

republicans at home and abroad for renewed support as we enter

protest action to secure our rights as republicans. Strip searching

remains! Controlled movement remains! Our determination to end

them also remains!

Protest action has commenced at 10pm, Friday 6th May 2011.


Colin Duffy Damien McLaughlin Kevin Barry Nolan

Harry Fitzsimons Gerard McManus Brendy Conway

Seán McConville Brian Cavlan Gavin Coyle

Dominic Dynes Brendan McConville Mark McGuigan

John Paul Wootton Brian Sheridan Joe Barr