HC Deb 09 November 1976 vol 919 cc144-5W
Mr. Frank Maguire

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the six Irish prisoners assaulted in Albany are receiving proper medical attention; and if he considers that Sean Campbell, who received severe injuries, ought to be kept in solitary confinement while recovering.

Mr. John

I do not accept that these six prisoners were assaulted. On the evening of 16th September they erected a barricade in a part of a landing of the prison and refused to obey several orders to give themselves up. After a final warning that if they did not do so they would be forcibly removed, they armed themselves with heavy chair legs, table legs and a broken bottle. When they refused an order to drop their weapons the staff were told to remove the men. In the struggle which ensued the six prisoners and 19 officers were injured.

I am satisfied that the prisoners have received proper medical attention for their injuries, from which, I understand, they have now recovered.

They were subsequently charged with a number of offences against prison discipline and were punished by the Board of Visitors. Their punishment included awards of cellular confinement, for which they had all been certified as medically fit, and they are all at present serving their punishment in the prison segregation unit. I am assured that there are no medical reasons why Mr. Campbell should not continue to serve his punishment there.