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Sunday 21 September 2014

Fears for health of jailed peace protester Margaretta D'Arcy

Published 05/02/2014 | 02:30

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Deputies Joan Collins,Clare Daly,Mary Lou McDonald and Catherine Murphy with the  Yellow Ribbons which they tied to the gate at Leinster House  in support of the call for the release of activist Margaretta D'Arcy. Picture: Tom Burke
Deputies Joan Collins,Clare Daly,Mary Lou McDonald and Catherine Murphy with the Yellow Ribbons which they tied to the gate at Leinster House in support of the call for the release of activist Margaretta D'Arcy. Picture: Tom Burke

THE SON of jailed peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy has warned that the 79-year-old's health is deteriorating while in prison.

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Finn Arden, who took part in one of two protests to highlight the detention of his cancer-suffering mother, said she was stressed by her continuing stay in Limerick prison.

"I was down with her last week and I'm seeing her again tomorrow. She seems a bit stressed and excited about things and it's difficult trying to get concrete information from her because, while I talk to her most days over the phone, we only get six minutes," he said.

He added that he feared the ordeal was taking its toll on his frail mother's health.

"She's got ongoing cancer treatment and I'm waiting for a letter from the hospital for her next check-up within the next month. I'm hoping they will let her out for that," he said.

Ms D'Arcy is only allowed two visits each week with a maximum of three people each visit. Mr Arden said the visit of her long-time friend Sabina Higgins had given her a major boost. The pensioner is now passing the time behind bars learning how to play the tin whistle, according to her son.

"She's going to the gym and she's learning tin whistle, she says there isn't a huge amount of activities available. She got me to organise that women's books be sent to the library so Charlie Byrne's Bookshop supplied two boxes of books."

Mr Arden was joined by around 40 people yesterday at Eyre Square in Galway where he tied yellow ribbons around the trees, calling on the Irish Government to pursue the path of peace. A similar demonstration took place outside the Dail at the same time.

Ms D'Arcy was arrested in Galway on January 15 after refusing to sign a bond to uphold the law and keep away from unauthorised zones at Shannon. She had been given a three-month suspended sentences last December for illegal incursion of the runway at Shannon Airport.

Irish Independent

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