31 October 1997
Doherty welcomes decision on transfers
Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty this afternoon welcomed the decision by the British government to agree the transfer of three political prisoners, Vincent Wood from Mayo, Pat Hayes from Kerry and Denis Kinsella from Clondalkin in Dublin, to Portlaoise jail from prisons in Britain. Mr. Doherty added that if the political will is there all of the political prisoners in British jails can be back in Ireland for Christmas.
Mr. Doherty said:
``We welcome the decision by the British government to finally agree the transfer of these three men to Portlaoise jail, something which will be a great relief to their families and friends. Vincent Wood, Denis Kinsella and Pat Hayes have been waiting six months for Jack Straw to put his signature to the necessary papers to set in train their transfer to Ireland. This delay followed a failure by the former British government to agree their transfer. We hope that Jack Straw will now move speedily on those other cases that are currently before him
``Of particular concern at this time are the cases of those men who have already served 22 years and still have not been given any release date. Due to the failure of the British government to set tariffs on their sentences they are not eligible to apply for repatriation. This situation must be rectified immediately.
``This weekend marks the second anniversary of the ratification of the European Convention on the Transfer of Prisoners, an anniversary which we hope will spur both the Irish and British governments into action on the issue of repatriation. If the political will is there all of the political prisoners in British jails can be back in Ireland for Christmas.''
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