Prison ban over 'sniffer dog threat'

Prison ban over 'sniffer dog threat'

A woman has had her visiting rights suspended at Maghaberry Prison over claims that she threatened a sniffer dog.

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."


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