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Comrade Tony Taylor - RNU

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Prison service, PSNI & NHS staff play games with ill republican prisoner

 

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RNU have expressed dismay and concern at the sick antics of the Maghaberry administration who have again used the plight of seriously ill POW Tony Taylor to confuse and cause maximum distress to his wife and family.

 

Yesterday afternoon, Tony (who suffers from injuries he sustained in an explosion in the early 90s), was taken from Maghaberry Gaol to an outside hospital after a severe infection caused his right arm to swell at an alarming rate.

 

Tony who is on full dirty protest in Roe House, lost his spleen in the explosion and had his body peppered with shrapnel which is still present, this makes him vulnerable to infection as his immune system is particularly compromised. Infections if left untreated can lead to blood poisoning and in Tony’s case can prove fatal.

 

At no time did the prison administration contact Tony’s wife or family to inform them he had been taken to an outside hospital, it was only through conversation with other prisoner’s families that the news reached his wife late yesterday evening.

 

On calling the Gaol, his wife was then denied details as to his medical condition and was even refused knowledge of the which hospital had been taken to.

 

Being given the impression that he was in Lagan Valley hospital, Tony’s wife then spoke to a senior staff nurse there who flatly refused to give her any details on either his condition or exact whereabouts. From the language and attitude displayed by this nurse it appears that she had been briefed not to divulge any such details to anybody who called on Tony’s behalf.

 

Only when she persevered and again called Lagan Valley, this time speaking to a junior staff member did Tony’s wife discover that he was in fact in Belfast City Hospital and was undergoing treatment for a serious infection to his arm.

 

On discovering that Tony’s wife had again called, the previous senior nurse then came back onto the phone and lambasted her for calling back, insisting that she stop calling the hospital on behalf of her husband.

 

Upon calling Belfast City Hospital, Tony’s wife was again met with resistance from staff who refused to divulge any information as to the condition of their patient; again it appeared that staff had been briefed not to speak to any callers about Tony’s wellbeing or whereabouts.

 

Several times in calls to the Gaol governor, Tony’s wife was told that a visit with him was out of the question, all the time being given imprecise information about his condition and exact whereabouts.

Eventually this morning she was told that Tony was on his way back to Roe House as his condition had been treated, however on again calling Belfast City Hospital she was informed that he was in fact still in their care and under armed PSNI guard.

 

Upon demanding an explanation from the Maghaberry administration for the confusion caused, Tony’s wife was told that the PSNI were in control of the situation and that it was a matter for them.

Tony is currently still in Belfast City Hospital and is not on his way to Roe House as previously claimed by the Maghaberry administration.

 

This sustained confusion and refusal to divulge information is leading to unbearable stress and worry on the family of Tony Taylor.

 

RNU believe that worry is deliberately being visited on Tony’s family in direct retaliation for his commitment to the Dirty Protest in defence of the August agreement in Maghaberry and in hope that visiting suffering on families will place further pressure on protesting prisoners.

 

We would ask NHS staff not to be press ganged into going along with these tactics and demand that they respect the rights of families to know about the condition and whereabouts of their loved ones.

 

We condemn attempts to put pressure on families of protesting POWs from any quarter and salute their resolve, we also call for the immediate release of Tony Taylor on medical grounds alone, it is clear that his medical condition is placing his life in danger within the confines of Maghaberry prison.

 

http://www.republicannetwork.ie/

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More reason for establishment of some form of political status and internment committee to be formed much like that of 1981, which pursued campaign for prisoners on a humanitarian basis and was inhabited by diverse collection of inviduals

 

Republican prisoners seem be target practise to bitter loyalist screws who make up British prison staff in Maghaberry,who act with impunity

 

 

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‘My husband will die in there’

 

 

Published on Friday 13 January 2012 15:20

 

The concerned wife of a Derry republican prisoner has appealed to the city’s political leaders to help improve conditions in Maghaberry Prison before someone dies.

 

Loraine Taylor, whose husband Tony Taylor is currently one of 35 republican prisoners currently protesting for better conditions, spoke of her worry and heartbreak over the health and wellbeing of her husband.

 

Mrs Taylor, from the Foyle Springs area of the city, told the ‘Derry Journal’, “Tony is on remand in Maghaberry Prison from August 3, 2011 and is currently on a dirty protest. He is in ill-health since being blown up in a bomb 18 years ago and has no spleen, no kidney and shrapnel in his body. Now they think he has septic arthritis, which could be poisoning his blood.”

 

Mrs Taylor, who is caring for three children, one of whom is special needs, has been worried sick about her husband since he was incarcerated. She is furious at the lack of communication from prison authorities.

 

“Tony has been taken to hospital by prison staff and on no occasion did anyone let me know. They have a duty to let me know, yet I hear nothing. They wouldn’t even tell me which hospital he is in.”

 

“Tony never complains. I notice through the visits how weak he is becoming, the weight is falling off him and he can’t even nurse my youngest child on his knee during visits anymore. He always rings me around 4.30pm every day and when he doesn’t phone I know there is something up. It was another prisoner’s wife who told me that Tony had been taken into hospital.”

 

He always puts on a brave face for us, for the children, but it’s heartbreaking when I look at him because I’m thinking to myself “he’s going to die in there.” This has been the hardest six months ever, I cry all the time.”

 

Earlier this week, Mrs Taylor inquired about her husband’s condition. “I had rang the hospital to see how he was, and they told me he had a bad night and was in pain all night. Then I spoke to the Governor, who told me that Tony had a comfortable night - so who’s telling lies here? What if he was dying, are they going to tell me he’s doing great? It’s a disgrace. It’s their duty of care to keep the family informed of what’s happening.”

“All I want is for them to be treated normally. I want all the MPs and political leaders to help stop the dirty protests and improve conditions in there, so Martin McGuinness and Mark Durkan must get involved and put pressure on Justice Minister David Ford.

A tearful Mrs Taylor added: “I want my husband to be treated like a human being, or he will die.”

 

http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local/my_husband_will_die_in_there_1_3418869#.TxBnMKHC43A.facebook

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A letter from Tony's wife Loraine placed in the Derry Journal....

 

 

Dear Sir,

 

Please allow me space in your paper in order to highlight the conditions which currently exist for Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison.

 

In conversations with my husband I was horrified when I heard of the conditions and tensions which are increasing daily in Maghaberry due to alleged physical, social, emotional and psychological abuse that republican prisoners are being subjected to in Roe house by some prison staff. It is my understanding that a number of complaints have been lodged with the Prison Service Ombudsman.

 

As well as that my husband Tony was badly brutalised by prison warden staff in Roe house in December. I always understood that prison was the punishment, not a place to be punished.

 

My husband is on remand as are many of the men in Roe house. The Prisoners are currently on a dirty protest and no wash protest essentially opposing the lack of association given to prisoners in Roe and Bush house and the daily forced strip searches.

 

I appreciate that there are some wardens who do their job professionally and respectfully but I am also aware of those who have allegedly abused their position and carried out heinous attacks on prisoners, their details have been forwarded to the Prison Ombudsman Office alongside the numerous complaints.

 

I have read Tony Pearson’s report, a former Governor himself, into Maghaberry prison and the vast number of recommendations which have yet to be implemented I am left asking myself who’s really running Maghaberry prison. Mrs Taylor referred the Prison Service Director Robin Masefield when he stated …..“POA members are choosing to perform duties towards prisoners, families and colleagues in a way that risks the safety of others and undermines the rehabilitative work that the public require us to carry out on their behalf.”

 

This provides little comfort for the wives and children of remand prisoners. I am also aware of Pauline Mc Cabe’s report which also made 16 recommendations after another prisoner also complained of the 23hr lock down. At that time only three prisoners were allowed out on the landing at one time. At this time Ms McCabe called for an immediate review and suggested that this should be increased, yet today only one prisoner is permitted on the landing at any one time.

 

It is my belief that the POA have free reign in all affairs and appear to be a law unto their own and frown upon suggestions for improved conditions from their seniors. Finlay Spratt the Chairman of the POA also claimed management had not made any constructive proposals for change.

 

My husband is on 23hr lock down and only let out of his cell to make daily phone calls, have family visits or to visit the Governor, at all times Tony is chaperoned by up to four prison guards and monitored continuously by the Maghaberry CCTV, the remainder of Tony’s time is spent in his cell. Regardless of this high level of supervision, Tony who refuses to be strip searched has his clothes forcibly removed by the prisons riot squad to have cavity searches carried out each and every time he leaves and returns to his cell. This is clearly a violation of his human rights as there is no justification for this inhumane treatment.

 

A number of republican prisoners have now launched a series of complaints with the Prison Service Ombudsman Ann McCabe consisting of alleged physical, social, emotional and psychological abuse.

 

These concerns highlight the need to address the outstanding two demands of the prisoners i.e.

 

1. The ending of strip searches and

 

2. The resumption of free association on prison wings and the need to fully implement the 160+ outstanding recommendations into the reform of Maghaberry Prison.

 

I would call on David Ford the Justice Minister who signed the August 2011 agreement along with the POA and representatives of the republican groupings to implement the that agreement and end these draconian and brutal searches. Numerous suggestions have been made to the POA and David Ford as alternatives to these abusive and often violent searches and these are outlined in the agreement.

 

All we are asking for is the ending of the abuse of prisoners and for the full implementation of what has become known as the August Agreement.

 

Signed

 

Loraine Taylor

 

Derry

 

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The unity shown in the campaign for the release of Brendan Lillis needs to be the exact same with Tony. This is a humantiarian issue as much as it's a political issue. We all need to up the ante and work for Tony's release before we see another Irishman end up dying in a British Gaol.

 

Release Tony Taylor Now!!

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It gets sicker by the day, hearing the stories coming out of maggaberry, it needs media attention in the mainstream. As republicans we know there is always been a blackout for serious issues like this, reasons being they could fear it would give agfa republicans a platform or pick up some sympathy, who knows.

Anyway, shoot me down if you want but I think it's time we tried to up protests on the ouside with a bit of disobedience , lobin a few fireworks over the wall of brit embassy,standing in the walls of it etc. Iunderstand chances are, we would be nicked but it would make for talk over why people were willing to go to such lengths

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