SINN Féin leader Gerry Adams has again called for the immediate release of Magaretta D’Arcy from Limerick Prison, saying she is “not a criminal” after visiting her in the Mulgrave Street jail this Wednesday.
The 79-year-old, who is suffering from cancer, is serving a three-month prison sentence over her refusal to sign a bail bond to stay out of unauthorised areas of Shannon Airport.
Speaking in Limerick, Mr Adams repeated his call directly after he and Sinn Féin Galway Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh visited with Ms D’Arcy. “She is in very good spirits and is thankful for the widespread support she is getting from the public. She is concerned about other prisoners, particular younger women prisoners and those with children. They are on 23-hour lock up.
“Margaretta is calling on law students to find out if a case can be taken over the Irish government’s complicity with rendition flights. She is concerned with the improperiety of a civilian airport being used for military purposes and the cost to the Irish taxpayer. She challenges the Irish Government over its failure to live up to its obligations under international law.
“Margaretta has been imprisoned for the stand she has taken in defence of neutrality and in opposition to any facilitation by this state of secret rendition programmes, which breach international law. She is not a criminal. She poses no danger to the public. She should be released immediately.”
Mr Adams is the second high-profile politician to go to see Ms D’Arcy in the jail, following a visit by President Michael D Higgins’s wife Sabina last month. Ms D’Arcy received a three-month suspended sentence last December for illegal incursion of the runway at Shannon Airport on October 7, 2012, during a protest over US military use. Mr Adams is due to visit King’s Island community centre this Thursday morning.