[Sinn Fein]

12 June 1997

Adams expresses condolences to family and friends of Pat Kelly

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams today expressed deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Pat Kelly who died at his home in Co. Laois.

Mr. Adams said:

``It is with great regret that I learned of the death of republican prisoner Pat Kelly last evening. To his partner Angela, his family, and to all his many friends and comrades I extend my sincerest sympathy and condolences.

``Despite serious ill-health Pat never gave up and continued to provide inspiration to people everywhere, particularly all those who campaigned so strenuously for his release. His death is a sad loss to all of us.

``Pat's death highlights in the most tragic way possible the attitude of the British government to Irish Republican prisoners. Despite the British knowing for months the full extent of Pat's serious illness they refused to give him the obviously urgent medical treatment which he required and kept him in the appalling conditions of the Special Secure Unit's. The callous neglect and deliberate inaction of the British government clearly contributed to his death.

``The fact that this was going on while an IRA cessation was in place is a stark example of the British government's attitude to the peace process. Pat Kelly's death gives an added urgency and impetus to the need to address the question of prisoners and their treatment, particularly those held in jails in England.''

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