• May 3, 2012


The Irish Branch of the Celtic League has written to the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Patterson MP, to express the concerns of members on the continued incarceration of Marian Price McGlinchey by the British authorities in the north of Ireland.

After her arrest in May 2011 Ms Price McGlinchey was firstly sent to Maghaberry Prison and then Hydebank Prison, but has not appeared in court or been convicted of any crime. The League is concerned by the legality of her continued detention. The full text of the letter sent can be found below.

“Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Owen Patterson MP

House of Commons




22 April, 2012

Dear Mr Patterson,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Celtic League. The Celtic League is an organisation that campaigns through peaceful means for the political, social, economic and cultural independence of the 6 Celtic Nations, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany. We have campaigned for many years on behalf of political prisoners. Unfortunately we had thought that there would be no need to campaign in Ireland any more, but it seems we have to campaign again.

I wish to enquire as to the reason of the imprisonment of Ms Marian Price McGlinchey. On what grounds are you holding her? You claim to have revoked her license, we would like to know for what reason this was revoked and on what evidence. However we would like to point out that when she was released in 1980, it was not on license, but on a Royal Prerogative of Mercy. By what order do you detain Ms Price. If there is a crime, then produce the evidence and let her have her say in court, otherwise we would ask you to release her immediately. Her conditions in Maghaberry and now Hydebank Prison has been dire and has contributed to her ill health. She should be released in any case, but due to her ill health we would ask on compassionate grounds as well.

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” I would call on you now to go through the proper channels, i.e. the courts and produce evidence of wrongdoing on Marian Prices behalf or release her immediately. Can you explain to me how the Secretary of State can interfere with the judicial process?

We look forward to your response.

Yours Sincerely,”

Celtic League members and supporters are being encouraged by the Branch to write to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Justice Minister to express their own concerns. Contact details can be found below.

You can send a letter or email to Owen Patterson MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, England or patersono@parliament.uk or to David Ford MLA, Justice Minister, Room 221, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast, BT4 3XX, Ireland or david.ford@MLA.niassembly.gov.uk

Related link here:



For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot,
General Secretary,
Celtic League
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.



The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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