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Death in Maghaberry prison of republican socialist

category antrim | miscellaneous | news report author Saturday June 09, 2007 03:13author by Gan ainm - Belfast ABC Report this post to the editors

A former republican socialist activist and volunteer is the latest in a long list of deaths which have occured in the 'special supervision unit' of maghaberry prison.



As we write west Belfast is coming to terms with news of the death in Maghaberry prison of John Kennaway.
John was a former Volunteer with the Irish National Liberation Army who played a significant role in the fight against Loyalist killer squads in the city for over two decades.
Whilst imprisoned in Long Kesh John by his own admission participated in the audacious behind bars assasination of Loyalist seriel killer and LVF commander Billy 'king rat' Wright in 1997.
Following his early release on licence after the Good Friday Agreement John was subjected to harassment at the hands of the RUC and PSNI, his licence was invoked some months ago and he was returned to prison to recommence his life sentence.
Early reports claim that his death was by his own hand, it is too early to confirm this. What we know is that the Special Supervision Unit (the official term for the punishment block) in which he died is manned by screws who are without exception Loyalist in character, anti catholic and vicious and vindictive in the extreme. According to eye witness accounts from members of Belfast ABC it is a place in which human rights dont exist and in which staff are accountable to nobody.
Maghaberry prison is situated in an area in which the LVF hold much support and in which King Rat frequently operated. Just days ago he was denied compassionate parole to attend the christening of his grand daughter.
Johns passing represents the latest in a long line of deaths in the prisons SSU (see the link below for details).
He was a down to earth lad, witty and with an instinctive empathy towards the Belfast working class from which he came. By all accounts he was also a loyal helpful and concerned neighbour and his loss will be bitterly felt in the community in which he lived.

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/belfastabc
author by Barrypublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is the only section of Maghaberry with a policy of no closed circuit cameras . In the same week the files disappear from the Billy Wright enquiry i find this quite a disturbing development
I knew John well and am stunned at the news of his death . Deepest condolences to his family

author by finnpublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 18:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Condolences to Johns family at this sad time for them.

have you a link to an mp3 of hte song anti social on that myspace page, please?

author by for finnpublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 19:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

www.myspace.com/ciaranabc

author by jimmypublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 19:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The statement below was issued by a spokesperson for 'teach na failte' the republican socialist prisoner support committee regarding Johns death.

Although John has not been a member of the RSM since his earlier release from Long Kesh since he had his sentence re-imposed I, on behalf of Teach na Failte and the RSM have been making representations on his behalf. A Teach na Failte delegation had met with the N.I.O. minister David Hanson and later met with high ranking officials of the Prison Service. Our objectives during these meetings was to break the deadlock within Maghaberry and specifically the conditions endured by the republican POW's. It was at our comrade Gerard Murray's Mothers funeral a few weeks ago that I became aware of the conditions endured by John, he was on Rule 32 in the notorious SSu and the screws were exacting a vengeance om him, continually torturing him. This was having a detrimental effect on his mental well-being, isolated and alone, at the mercy of sadistic screws. I immediately set about contacting officials from the N.I.O. I impressedd upon them the serious nature of Johns fragile mental condition and pressed for his transfer to the republican wings. John should have been on the republican wing as of right, he was in prison for an operation carried out by INLA which resulted in the execution of mass murderer British agent Billy Wright. I was told that John did not meet the criteria and that the PSNI had blocked his move to the republican wings. I pointed out the absurdity of this decision and reminded the prison Service and NIO of a Strabane former provo prisoner Kevin Murray who was put on the republican wing having received 6 months for a driving whilst dis-qualified. I continually pressed the N.I.O. and Prison service demanding John's transfer to the republican wing, I pointed out more than once that the republican socialist community will hold them responsible for any harm that may come John's way as a result of his treatment. At 9.30pm yesterday Alan Smith the senior Prison Service official telephoned me to pass on his condolences, I reminded him that I had made him more than aware to John's state of mind, he could offer no excuses but gave the customary excuse of 'I passed it on'. I told Alan Smith that it was the opinion of the RSM that they were reponsible for John's death and had exacted their revenge for the killing of brit agent Billy Wright, I then told him to f*ck away off as it was turning my stomach listening to him. It was a calculated decision to refuse John entrance to the republican wing, there are many ways in which to kill a man and the British used Rule 32 continual isolation to break John's spirit. They are reponsible for his death. RIP John.

author by reibiliunpublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 23:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a thought..

The death of John Kennaway just as other deaths in custody... Roseanne Irvine & Terence Wheelock etc.

The possible extradition of Roisin McAliskey, imprisonment of others such as Noel Maguire and John Brady.

The imprisonment of Rossport 5 & the possible imprisonment of the Raytheon 9, NEW anti-terrorism laws of Brown look more like the introduction of "internment" again seems more possible. Criminalisation of Political Prisoners, Political Status etc.

Criminal Justice Bill legislation on Bail laws will introduce changes to the bail, to the right to silence, and reduce judge's discretion on mandatory sentencing. Stop and Search.. Immagration laws.. The list is endless.

Surely there needs to be a unified acknowlegement of these continued repressive state measures shows clearly no signs of changing.

A unified collective voice made up of concerned relatives/activists, support groups and other interested bodies is required now to issue support, information and protest on this continuing wave of injustice by the state.

RIP John

author by Joepublication date Sun Jun 10, 2007 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RIP

author by Black Guard Detachment - Libertarian / Anarchistpublication date Sun Jun 10, 2007 02:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I had my differences with John but most sincere and deepest condolences on behalf of many in the libertarian / anarchist movement... The role of BW and others in the loyalist death squads has been underestimated and under-reported. If John had any role in what happened to BW it is to his lasting credit. As Durruti said 'There is a time to act.' Deep sadness for the loss to his own family. Go n´eirí an bothár leat.

author by gan ainm - Belfast ABCpublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 18:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The word in west Belfast is that John Kenneways body has been removed from the wake house by the PSNI to facilitate further investigation into the cause of death.

author by gary - garypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

to all the people who dies in da prisons rest in peace ;)

author by Mary Kellypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 17:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last Easter sunday there was a report from Maghaberry of very aggressive treatment of republican prisoners. I wrote to the NIO & Governor about this, and no response.
Deepest sympathy to John 's family. I hope they are supported to get justice. The Irish Human Rights Commission should be investigating this case, and the severe conditions affecting prisoners & their families.

author by Pete Bpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There you have it; so called Republicans in Government and The torture of Republican Prisoners still continues in the prisons.
No change from De Valera's time.

author by fenianbandit - ballymena sons of eirepublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what a terrible thing to hear the untimely death of a dear comrade, remember mo chara, the laughter of our children will be our greatest revenge.R.I.P john

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