[Sinn Fein]

16 October 2000

Sinn Feín response to Dublin High Court sentence review date for Walsh and McAuley

Sinn Fein spokesperson Gerry Kelly MLA said:

``Today's Dublin High Court ruling setting a date (January 22nd 2001) for the State's appeal to increase the sentences of republican prisoners Kevin Walsh and Pearse McAuley makes no difference to the essential fact that these men, and those held with them in Castlerea, were and still are entitled to early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

``The Good Friday Agreement covers all IRA prisoners imprisoned for incidents which occurred before April 10th 1998, regardless of the jurisdiction they were or are jailed in or what their conviction was for.

``There cannot be a two-tier system discriminating against certain prisoners of the conflict.

``Sinn Feín is conscious of the pain felt by the family of Garda Jerry McCabe when this issue is raised but many, many other families throughout the island have found the release of prisoners difficult yet have accepted its centrality to the peace process.

``These prisoners should have been released by now and Sinn Fein will continue to campaign for their immediate release.''ENDS

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