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Disruption ends at republican jail

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Maghaberry in Co Antrim is Northern Ireland's only high-security jail

Maghaberry in Co Antrim is Northern Ireland's only high-security jail

Maghaberry in Co Antrim is Northern Ireland's only high-security jail

Disruption at the Northern Ireland prison unit that houses dissident republicans has ended without injury to staff or inmates, prison authorities have said.

It is understood prison officers withdrew from the landings on Roe House at Maghaberry Prison earlier today due to apparent threats from prisoners.

Maghaberry in Co Antrim is Northern Ireland's only high-security jail. Convicted dissidents are held in separated conditions in Roe House along with remand prisoners awaiting trial.

Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) Director General Sue McAllister said: "I can confirm the incident involving separated prisoners in Roe House has ended with no injuries to staff or prisoners."

Ms McAllister said the service remained committed to a recent pledge to "normalise" the regime within Roe House, as recommended in a stock taking report.

However she said that could only happen in an environment where staff were "free from threats and intimidation".

In 2012 Maghaberry warder David Black was shot dead by dissidents as he drove to work.

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Supporters of the inmates gathered outside the prison gates tonight to stage a protest. They have claimed the authorities are trying to debase the prisoners.

In the past republican inmates opposed to the peace process being held in the prison have protested against security measures like strip-searching.

Rules on conducting full body searches have been eased in some circumstances.


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