Northern Ireland news

Row breaks out over invitations to Release Tony Taylor vigil

A vigil in support of Tony Taylor was held at Free Derry Corner.
Seamus McKinney

A ROW has broken out between the family of dissident republican prisoner Tony Taylor and Sinn Féin over a vigil at Free Derry Corner on his behalf.

Sinn Féin has denied a claim that it organised the rally on Thursday but failed to invite his wife, Lorraine Taylor.

Mrs Taylor criticised the party following the vigil, claiming it also failed to invite any members of the official Release Tony Taylor campaign.

The Derry man has spent more than two years in prison after his licence was revoked by then Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers in March 2016. Mr Taylor was released under the Good Friday Agreement after he was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1994 for IRA activity. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2011 for possession of a gun. However, since his licence was revoked he had not faced any further charges.

Mrs Taylor claimed Sinn Féin failed to invite any members her family or any representative of the official Release Tony Taylor campaign despite being represented on the group.

In a Facebook post, she said: “Not shocked at all propaganda at its best. so annoyed cause it is only my husband there (sic).”

However, a spokesman for Sinn Féin said the vigil was organised by Derry's Féile community festival.

He said: “Sinn Féin have consistently attended events which support the call for Tony Taylor's release and this vigil was no different.

“Sinn Féin recently met with the British secretary of state and reminded her of the considerable strain that Tony's detention is having on his wife, family and parents.”

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