SF concern that Derry man being detained on '˜probability', not facts

Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has renewed her call for the immediate release of imprisoned Derry man, Tony Taylor.

Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 12:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 1:47 pm
Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion (far right) with her party colleagues, Raymond McCartney, Martina Anderson and Maoliosa McHugh at Maghaberry Prison.

The 49-year-old has spent a year-and-a-half in jail without charge after his early release licence was revoked by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers in March 2016.

A former republican prisoner, Tony Taylor was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 1994 for IRA activity and for three years in 2011 for possession of a rifle.

A Sinn Fein delegation visited Mr. Taylor in Maghaberry Prison on Friday last.

The city’s MP, Elisha McCallion, was accompanied by Martina Anderson MEP, Raymond McCartney MLA and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh.

After the meeting, Mrs. McCallion said Mr Taylor’s ongoing detention was wrong and an “affront to democracy and the justice system”.

“We were told that he is now being detained on ‘probability’, not facts or evidence,” she added.

“The continued detention of Tony is also placing a considerable strain on his wife, family and parents.

“Tony Taylor should be released immediately and we want to see a united voice coming from this city and beyond to end this injustice.”

This is a view shared by Derry’s Mayor, Maolíosa McHugh, who described the issue as of significant humanitarian importance.

He added: “Derry City and Strabane District Council, earlier this year, passed a motion supporting the release of Tony Taylor. I am reiterating the call for his immediate release and have real concerns that he is being detained on a definition of probability.

“The current situation is having a detrimental impact not only on Tony Taylor himself, his wife and disabled child but the entire family and local community.”