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Tuesday 20 February 2018

TDs' plea over jail conditions of IRA man

Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

A GROUP of TDs is pleading for better prison conditions for an Irishman jailed in Lithuania for plotting to smuggle arms to the Real IRA.

The group – Fianna Fail's Eamon O Cuiv, Sinn Fein's Martin Ferris and Independents Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan – were in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius yesterday to visit Michael Campbell, inset.

They also attended court to hear Campbell, who is from Co Louth, appeal against his 12-year prison sentence.

Mr O Cuiv, who has campaigned for the release of republican prisoner Gerry McGeough, said the group was not commenting on the case.

Campbell was arrested in a January 2008 sting in Vilnius as he met a Lithuanian agent who posed as an arms dealer. Campbell is in his early 40s.

He was convicted of attempted smuggling, aiding a terrorist organisation and illegal possession of arms.

He also dismissed any role of his elder brother Liam, one of four Real IRA leaders found liable by a civil court for a 1998 bombing in Omagh, Co Tyrone, which killed 29 people.

Campbell previously claimed he was set up by British intelligence but it is understood other grounds for appeal were outlined in court yesterday.

But the TDs are focusing on the prison conditions.

"The conditions here are quite horrendous," Mr O Cuiv added. "There is no hot water. He is in a cell with 21 others."

Irish Independent

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