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Prison Service challenged over jail ban on ‘Craigavon Two' book

Solicitors for Brendan McConville have threatened legal action after prison authorities refused to allow a booklet relating to his case to be brought into Maghaberry jail
Connla Young

PRISON authorities have been challenged for refusing to allow a booklet about the case of two men convicted of killing PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll into Maghaberry jail.

Craigavon men Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were found guilty of murdering the Co Down officer in March 2009.

Both denied involvement the Continuity IRA sniper attack which claimed the life of the 48-year-old.

A campaign group set up to support the men’s campaign recently published a booklet about their case written by English-based academic Dr Kevin Hearty.

However, prison chiefs refused to allow a copy to be delivered to Mr McConville during a visit at Maghaberry Prison.

His solicitor Darragh Mackin said he has now written to the Prison Service demanding an explanation.

“It appears this booklet has been refused solely on the basis that it relates to an ongoing public campaign entitled ‘Justice for the Craigavon Two',” he said.

“It may be that the prison does not agree with the basis behind the campaign to which the materials relate, nevertheless, the prison has no lawful basis in which to continue to confiscate and remove our client’s property.”

The solicitor claimed prison chiefs have previously refused to allow photographs relating to the campaign into the jail.

“This was met with pre-action correspondence, which ultimately resulted in the return of the property,” he wrote.

“That in itself is indicative that the basis to which you propose to remove this property is entirely without foundation. “

A spokesman for the Prison Service said: “NIPS do not comment on individual prisoners or cases.”

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