[Sinn Fein]

14 April 1998

Sinn Fein Welcome Portlaoise Prison Releases

Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member Martin Ferris this evening welcomed the release of nine republican prisoners from Portlaoise Jail and called for an immediate amnesty for all political prisoners.''

Mr. Ferris said:

The release of these nine republican prisoners is a very welcome development. It is a positive indication of the seriousness with which the Irish government has approached the peace process in relation to the issue of political prisoners.

``There must be an immediate amnesty for all of the 270 republican men and women in prison in Ireland, Britain and the United States.

``Pending the release of all political prisoners the five republicans who have served 23 years in prison in England should be released and all other Irish political prisoners held in England should be transferred to Ireland. The British government should withdraw extradition requests.

``Republican prisoners have played an important and supportive role in relation to the peace process. Sinn Fein is totally committed to securing the release of all political prisoners.''

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