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Republican prisoners vow to resist changes to Maghaberry regime

Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim
Connla Young

Republican prisoners in Maghaberry have said they will resist any attempt by authorities to “run down conditions” at the high security prison.

The comments come just days after the prison’s governor Phil Wragg said the current regime for paramilitary prisoners is under review.

However a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice last night said the review is not focusing “on the issue of separation but on the issue of how facilities for them are managed and resourced”.

Republican prisoners are currently held in the prison’s Roe House while loyalist inmates are held in Bush House.

They are both separated from each other and the general prison population.

The review comes after a damning report, on the prison and how it is run, was published earlier this month.

The report claimed that running the separated regime at Maghaberry has a negative impact on the prison.

Republican prisoners say however the report failed to take into account controlled movement, strip searches or a 2010 deal to address both issues, which prisoners say authorities have reneged on.

The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association, which represents prisoners on the jail’s Roe Four landing, said the report also failed to address other key issues.

“Whatever the future may bring to Maghaberry Prison following on from this report, one can rest assured that Maghaberry will always be in the headlines until the issues identified by republican prisoners have been resolved and Britain desists from its current prison policies which like those it implemented in the past are doomed to failure,” a spokesman said.

In a statement prisoner welfare group Cogús, which represents Roe Three prisoners, said “that any future attempts to run down conditions in Roe House would be resisted.

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