SF delegation meets McConville in prison

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‘Serious concerns’ have been expressed over the convictions of the Craigavon Two, jailed in connection with the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll.

Sinn Fein’s party chairman Declan Kearney visited Maghaberry jail with other members of the Justice Committee to get an insight in relation to the current prison environment.

The group met prison inmates included Brendan McConville who with John Paul Wootton were convicted of the murder of the local policeman in Craigavon in 2009. Both have denied murder and a campaign was launched to have their convictions overturned. Mr Kearney said: “We discussed the serious concerns, which exist in relation to the convictions of Brendan and his co-accused John Paul Wootton.”

Michaela Boyle said; “During our visit we had an opportunity to meet with prisoners both from the integrated wings and also political prisoners in Roe House. In addition, we met with prison management and those involved in delivering education, training and employability skills. The visit was extremely informative in relation to the pace of prison reform.

“While much progress has been made in improving the quality of the prison environment for both prisoners and staff, it is clear there is some distance to go. Both political and ordinary prisoners, as well as members of staff, are all entitled to be treated with the highest standards of equality, respect and dignity.

“We also met Brendan McConville who provided us with an update on the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign. We discussed the serious concerns, which exist in relation to the convictions of Brendan and his co-accused John Paul Wooton.

“We will use this visit as the basis for further engagement with prison management and the Justice Department.”