Prison ban over 'sniffer dog threat'

Published Tuesday, 21 January 2014
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A woman has had her visiting rights suspended at Maghaberry Prison over claims that she threatened a sniffer dog.

Prison ban over 'sniffer dog threat'
Seamus Martin Kearney leaves Derry Courthouse in 2010 after being bailed. (© Pacemaker)

The partner of Seamus Kearney, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in November for an historic murder, was one of a group of people visiting him on Saturday, 11 January when the incident occurred.

Seamus Kearney, 54, from Gorteade Road in Swatragh was found guilty of the murder of John Proctor in November. The 25-year-old RUC reservist was gunned down by the IRA moments after visiting his newborn son at the Mid-Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt in September 1981.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment, however, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, he will serve two years before being released on licence.

It is understood that a sniffer dog detected contraband on one of the group during the visit 10 days ago.

West Belfast Republican Gerard Hodgins said the man had to relinquish his visit, adding: "We handled it in a mature and accepting manner and no aggression ensued between either of us or the prison officers involved."

Mr Hodgins said that Mr Kearney's partner Fiona then made a remark about the dog.

"Fiona muttered to me "that dog should be put down", by way of commiseration with our friend, and she and I went on in to visit Seamus."

However, on Saturday, when she returned to the prison to visit she was informed that a ban was in place.

A statement from the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: "A visitor to Maghaberry Prison on 11 January has been temporarily suspended from further visits pending an investigation into an incident where she allegedly abused members of staff."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
dont visit if you cant except the rules. in bangor wrote (361 days ago):
she must obey the rules like any other visitor, if she wont then she cant enter the prison, did she never hear that people smuggle things into jails ?does she just want to wander in and out as she likes?i could nearly bet that she gave the staff abuse for doing their jobs?funny how hundreds of other visitors and staff get searched and don't give any hassle?
Observer in Online wrote (361 days ago):
Scum! Its as simple as that, threatening prison officers and search dogs, shame on them.
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (370 days ago):
Sure he'll be out soon. GFA lol
Coleraine in Coleraine wrote (370 days ago):
The World's gone mad! It's a dog not a child. It 's not a member of staff.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (370 days ago):
Disgraceful saying that about a dog and im a republican.
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