[Sinn Fein]

5 March 1997

Kinsella arrest vindictive - Sinn Fein

Monaghan Councillor Caomhghin O Caoláin has reacted angrily to the arrest on Tuesday of former republican prisoner Sean Kinsella of Clones who has served 22 years in prison, 21 of which were served in Britain.

Mr Kinsella who was released from Prison in England in January 1996 and had to remain in that country for a further 3 months, has lived openly in the Clones and Redhills area of County Cavan since his return to Ireland 12 months ago. His arrest on Tuesday returning home from the village of Redhills by bicycle has caused considerable anger in the East Cavan community and in his native County Monaghan.

Councillor O Caoláin also criticised media reports that presented, Mr Kinsella arrest as ``recapture'' and spoke of him having ``slipped quietly back'' to Ireland in March 1996.

``This language is designed to create the impression that Mr Kinsella has been a fugitive in this country since his return here following his release last year. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sean has lived openly and at personal ease throughout the last 12 months. He has spent a lot of that time caring for his elderly mother who is in ill health. His return to County Monaghan was marked by a capacity `Welcome Home Function' in his native Clones, an event advertised in the local press and on local radio at the time.'', Cllr. O Caoláin said.

``Sean Kinsella has more than earned his peace. His 21 years of ill treatment in British prisons must surely be taken into account. On behalf of all who hold to a sense of justice I demand his immediate release and return to his family. I publicly call on John Bruton and the Minister for Justice Nora Owen to demonstrate their compassion by arranging for his release without delay'' concluded Councillor Caomhghin O Caoláin.

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