Compassionate leave ‘vindictive’ say group

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A group called the RNU Cogús Political Prisoners has criticised the conditions put upon Derry prisoner Eamon Cassidy when he applied for compassionate leave to attend a funeral.

Mr. Eamon Cassidy was jailed for eight years in 2013 for having explosives with intent to endanger life. Half of the sentence will be served in prison, the other half on licence.

Mr. Eamon Cassidy’s brother, John Cassidy, died last month. Eamon Cassidy applied for compassionate leave to attend his brother’s funeral and was initially turned down. However, after Mr. Cassidy appealed the decision he was granted compassionate leave with strict conditions.

RNU Cogús Political Prisoners claim Mr. Cassidy was told he could only attend his brother’s Requiem Mass and was not permitted to talk to anyone.

The group told the ‘Journal’ that Mr. Cassidy was not permitted to attend the wake house or go to the cemetery after the funeral.

“The conditions put upon Eamon were nothing short of vindictive and insidious,” said a spokesperson for RNU Cogús Political Prisoners.

Mr. Eamon Cassidy decided that the conditions put upon him made attending his brother’s funeral mass impossible.

“Compassion for important religious events especially family bereavements is something that should be the norm in any civilised society,” added the spokesperson.

The ‘Journal’ contacted the Department for Justice and a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said that as a matter of protocol they do not comment on individual prisoners.