Wednesday 17 October 2018

Independent TD Mick Wallace is released from prison after two hours inside

TD Mick Wallace arriving at Limerick Prison this afternoon.
Photo: Brian Gavin Press 22
TD Mick Wallace arriving at Limerick Prison this afternoon. Photo: Brian Gavin Press 22

Kevin Doyle and Kathryn Hayes

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has been released from prison after just two hours inside, has learned.

The Wexford politician, who was presented in the Dáil this morning before his arrest, is understood to have been freed from Limerick Prison shortly after 4pm.

The exact circumstances surrounding his release are not yet clear but it is understood that prison governors have discretion about detaining people for minor offences such as the non-payment of fine.

It had been thought that Mr Wallace would spend Christmas in jail after being sentenced to 30 days imprisonment for not paying a €2,000 fine.

Deputy Wallace was arrested by arrangement at Clontarf Garda station in Dublin this morning and arrived at Limerick Prison shortly before 2pm.

Last April the Wexford TD was fined €2,000 at Ennis District Court for breaching security at Shannon Airport in 2014 but vowed not to pay it.

Mick Wallace and Claire Daly.
Mick Wallace and Claire Daly.

United Left TD Clare Daly was also fined €2,000 at the same court appearance earlier this year - she too vowed not to pay it.

Read more: Mick Wallace arrested 'and being taken to Limerick prison'

Dressed in his traditional pink shirt Mr Wallace was driven to Limerick Prison by Gardai in a navy blue unmarked Toyota Avensis.

Speaking through an open window as he arrived at the prison gates Deputy Wallace said:

"It probably wont be as bad for me as it is for the people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan."

When asked if he was being treated OK, Mr Wallace nodded "yes".

Passers by shouted "well done Mick" as the TD was being driven inside the gates of the facility.

Before his arrival, a banner saying 'Free Clare Daly Free Mick Wallace Stop War Crimes' was erected outside the prison by Ed Horgan of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and Shannonwatch.

Read more: Christmas in jail for TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace

Mr Horgan said Deputy Wallace was fully justified in not paying the court fine.

"The purpose of all this is to highlight the fact that US military are still using Shannon airport and have been involved in the killing of well over one million people including a quarter of a million children.

Mr Horgan's believes the jailing of Mick Wallace will highlight the importance of the issue with the Irish media and the Irish people and "thats partly what this is about and also with an upcoming election we we want this to be an election issue"

More to follow

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