[Sinn Fein]

22 December 1998

Prisoner Releases Welcomed

Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member Martin Ferris has welcomed the release of Tommy Eccles, Pat McPhillips, Brian McShane and Peter Rodgers.

Mr. Ferris said:

``We welcome the release from Portlaoise Prison of these four republican prisoners. While we are conscious of the hurt involved for the bereaved families, today's releases will see these men re-united with their families having served long!riods of time in jail.

``The release of political prisoners is in the spirit of the ongoing peace proces!d is a necessary part of the search for peace and reconciliation in Ireland. It is also in full accord with the Good Friday Agreement which is supported by the majority of people on the island.''

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