Belfast Telegraph

New curtains and TV as IRA bomber Marian Price gets a £2,200 cell makeover

By Lesley-Anne Henry

More than £2,250 has been spent refurbishing a wing of Maghaberry Prison for its only occupant — Old Bailey bomber, Marian Price.

A total of £2,257 was forked out on a picnic table, summer seat and 18 flower planters for the exercise yard at Glen House in the Co Antrim jail. Money was also spent installing a flat screen television, DVD player and computer in Price’s cell which comes complete with curtains, a duvet set, a lamp, mat and cushions.

The expenditure has been described as “shocking” and “insulting” by DUP peer, Lord Maurice Morrow, who obtained the information through a written question to the Department of Justice.

Price (57), also known by her married name, Marian McGlinchey, had her release license revoked in May after she was accused of encouraging support for an illegal organisation during a dissident republican rally in Londonderry on Easter Sunday.

She was arrested after being pictured holding a speech for a masked man at the demonstration in Derry City Cemetery.

She had been arrested in 2009 in connection with the murder of two British soldiers, Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, outside Massereene Army Barracks in March of the same year and is accused of providing property, namely a mobile phone, for the purposes of terrorism.

Lord Morrow added: “This overt expenditure will come as an absolute shock to the public.

“Basic human rights and conditions are mandatory within prisons but the extent of outlay which has gone into accommodating Marian Price is simply insulting.

“Probably best known for her militant IRA connections and being convicted of bombing the Old Bailey, Ms Price was on licence but that was revoked in May.

“She was returned to prison by the Secretary of State who now appears to be ensuring she has first class accommodation almost as some sort of apology for having made the decision.

“In addition it would appear the definition of a separated prison has been altered to accommodate Ms Price, as originally such persons were required in law to be male.

“I raised this with the Justice Minister who assured me in a written Assembly Answer on June 6, 2011 that the definition of a separated prisoner had not changed at all.”

Justice Minister David Ford said Glen House had been refurbished so it was consistent with the accommodation provided to female prisoners in Hydebank Wood. In his response, Mr Ford said: “Glen House in Maghaberry Prison has been set aside as a dedicated facility for female prisoners and has been refurbished to provide Ms McGlinchey (Price) with a regime and environment which is, as far as possible, consistent with that available to female prisoners in Ash House, Hydebank Wood.

“The facilities will benefit any other female separated prisoners committed to custody.”

Background

Marian Price was jailed in 1973 for the IRA bombing of London’s Old Bailey. She was arrested in 2009 in connection with the murder of two soldiers at Massereene Army Barracks in Antrim and, in 2010 was accused of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation during a dissident republican rally in Londonderry. In May it emerged the 57-year-old had her release license revoked by Secretary of State Owen Paterson who said the threat posed by Price had “significantly increased”.

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