Irish republican Marian Price released from prison after two years for aiding and abetting terrorists
Deteriorating health ends years held in isolation for leading dissident republican
Marian McGlinchey, formerly Price, the leading dissident republican, was released from custody yesterday after more than two years.
A convicted IRA bomber, McGlinchey had been in custody since May 2011 when the former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson revoked her license.
According to the BBC McGlinchey was moved from Hydebank Prison to a hospital on medical advice last June. Today she is finally at home with her family.
McGlinchey was previously convicted for her part in the Old Bailey bomb in 1973, in which one man died and more than 200 people were injured.
When Paterson had first sent her back to prison he said he had made the decision because the threat she posed had 'significantly increased.'
In a statement issued by her family on Thursday they thanked 'all those groups and individuals who worked tirelessly to campaign for Marian's release. Although she is now at home she is still very ill and we would ask that the media respects our privacy at this time.'
In recent years McGlinchey has been a leading member of the political wing of the dissident republican group the Real IRA, who oppose the peace process.
McGlinchey was reportedly arrested two years ago after holding the text of a speech made by a masked man at a Real IRA rally in Derry, during which the man made threats against the security forces.
She was later reportedly charged with having supplied a mobile phone used during the murders of Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, two British soldiers who were shot dead outside Massereene Army base in County Antrim. Those charges against her still stand.
She was granted bail on those charges at the time but was then taken back to prison due to Paterson's decision to revoke her license.
According to the BBC the decision to release her from custody on Thursday was taken by the Parole Commissioners.
In a statement, the Northern Ireland Office said the independent Parole Commissioners determination was based on her 'current circumstances.'
'Information about the proceedings of the Parole Commissioners are not to be made public and the Northern Ireland Office therefore cannot comment further,' the statement read. 'Marian McGlinchey continues to face charges for two separate offenses through the Northern Ireland courts.'
Responding to the news of her release Sinn Fein junior minister Jennifer McCann told the BBC: 'She should never have been imprisoned in the first place. Re-imposing her life-term license, especially given that she was granted bail, was a vindictive and unjust decision, and denied her the entitlement to due legal process.'
In a statement Ulster Unionist Assembly Member Tom Elliot said: 'The news today that the Parole Commissioners have made the decision to release Marian Price from custody will come as a shock to many people. This is because charges of providing property for the purposes of terrorism in relation to the murders of soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, as well as encouraging support for a proscribed organization, still stand against her.'
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