MLAs call for Lillis release

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Local MLAs have called on justice minister David Ford to reconsider his decision not to release critically-ill prisoner Brendan Lillis.

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney and the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood both met with Mr Ford and Mr Lillis’ partner, Roisin Lynch.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr McCartney said; “David Ford needs to step forward and do the right thing. Brendan Lillis has already been deemed by the authorities too ill to stand trial. He has been bed ridden for two years. He is a threat to nobody.

“The legal advice that I have seen is very clear. David Ford has the power to act. He does not have to wait on the Life Sentence Review Commission to meet.

“Brendan Lillis should be released on compassionate and humanitarian grounds now and allowed to be admitted to an outside hospital where he can receive proper medical care.”

Mr Eastwood also called for the prisoner’s release. “The power is in the hands of David Ford and he must make the right decision and do so immediately. Brendan Lillis is not a threat to society and should be allowed home.

“We met with Roisin Lynch, Brendan’s partner, I must commend the manner in which she has taken her campaign and carried it with dignity for her loved one.

“The SDLP urged David Ford very strongly that he must make this decision. Brendan Lillis cannot be allowed to die in jail,” the Foyle SDLP MLA said.