Belfast Telegraph

Inmates punished over Easter lillies, claims family group

Maghaberry Prison has come under fire following claims that it placed Republican prisoners under 24-hour lock-up for refusing to remove their Easter lillies.

A spokesman for the Family and Friends of Republican Prisoners Maghaberry Group claimed the prisoners were punished for marking the Republican event and locked up on Easter Sunday, April 7 when they said visits were also cancelled, an allegation disputed by the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

"Once again, republican prisoners have been punished for wearing Ireland's traditional symbol of remembrance," Mandy Duffy spokesman for the group told the Andersonstown News.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said "appropriate steps were taken to ensure that the well-known policy on the wearing of lillies was adhered to over the Easter period" and said that "did not impact on visits which proceeded as planned on Easter Sunday".

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