August 1983 - Prison visits ban on Sinn Féin

Miss Joy Doherty, Culmore, the only lady among the sailors at Culmore regatta checking the rigging in the punt sailing with brothers George and Jimmy Hegarty from Greencastle. (0208MM03)
Miss Joy Doherty, Culmore, the only lady among the sailors at Culmore regatta checking the rigging in the punt sailing with brothers George and Jimmy Hegarty from Greencastle. (0208MM03)

Sinn Féin Assemblyman Martin McGuinness has hit out at a decision by the Northern Ireland Office, not to allow the party’s elected representatives to visit prisons and prisoners in Northern Ireland.

He accused the Northern Ireland Office of taking a deliberate political decision to lessen the effect of Sinn Féin’s recent electoral growth, and said the ban meant that he would not have access to many of his constituents and would be unable to help them with their problems.

Mrs Greta Austin presenting the Altnagelvin Garden Centre trophy to Mrs Madeline McConomy and Mr John McConomy of 57 Hollymount Park, Waterside, who were the overall winners of the Hollymount Best Kept Garden Competition. Also in the photograph are Mr Robert Brolly, the organiser, Mr Stephen Austin, and Mr Jerry Brown, secretary. (0208MM01)

Mrs Greta Austin presenting the Altnagelvin Garden Centre trophy to Mrs Madeline McConomy and Mr John McConomy of 57 Hollymount Park, Waterside, who were the overall winners of the Hollymount Best Kept Garden Competition. Also in the photograph are Mr Robert Brolly, the organiser, Mr Stephen Austin, and Mr Jerry Brown, secretary. (0208MM01)

A Northern Ireland Office spokesperson confirmed that Sinn Féin elected representatives would not be given access to the prisons in Northern Ireland.

He said the party still supported violence and it was not thought appropriate that they be allowed admission to the prisons.

He added that the decision to ban Sinn Féin elected representatives from the prisons had been taken at the time of the Assembly elections.

Pictured are parishoners from Long Tower prior to their departure on annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Padre Pio at San Giovanni. They were joined by their spiritual director, Fr E Halpin, OFM, at Dublin Airport. Group leader, Clare Gallagher, is pictured on extreme left. (0208MM02)

Pictured are parishoners from Long Tower prior to their departure on annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Padre Pio at San Giovanni. They were joined by their spiritual director, Fr E Halpin, OFM, at Dublin Airport. Group leader, Clare Gallagher, is pictured on extreme left. (0208MM02)