11 May 2006 Edition

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In briefs

TD Demands Repatriation For Aidan Hulme

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Arthur Morgan has demanded that both the British and Irish governments take action to ensure that Louth man Aidan Hulme, currently imprisoned in England, is immediately repatriated to Ireland to enable him to receive adequate medical care.

Aidan Hulme is currently serving a 22-year sentence in prison in England. Prior to his arrest and imprisonment he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that left him with a severely injured leg. In the immediate aftermath of the accident he was receiving medical treatment and his condition was improving at the time of his detention.

Morgan said that subsequent to his arrest and imprisonment in Belmarsh Special Secure Unit, his condition began to deteriorate at an alarming rate "to the point where he is in danger of losing his leg if proper medical treatment is not granted. It is my view that this treatment will not be granted while he remains in prison in England".

The British authorities had transferred all the official documentation relating to his repatriation bid to the Department of Justice in Dublin by September 2005 but the application has still not been processed. Morgan said that the delays are unacceptable and are leaving open the risk of Hulme having his leg amputated in England.

"I am calling on the British and Irish governments to speed-up existing repatriation procedures and return Aidan Hulme to Ireland immediately so he can receive the medical attention currently denied to him in England", Morgan said.

Border impediment to GP access- McElduff

The border and the existence of two separate Health Departments in Ireland is acting as a major impediment to proper GP access in border areas, according to Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff who has organised a high level meeting of health officials this week to tackle the issue.

On Friday 12 May, Sinn Féin's West Tyrone MLA and All Ireland Spokesperson Barry McElduff is convening high level talks with Senior Officials of both Health Departments, North and South aimed at putting in place 'real, meaningful North/South Cooperation in the area of GP Out of Hours Services.

McElduff said this week that at least 65,000 people living close to the border actually live closer to GP out of hours services 'in the other jurisdiction.'

Friday's meeting, organised by McElduff in Monaghan will be attended by both Directors of Primary Care and by Sinn Féin's Health Spokespersons, Caoimhghín O Caoláin TD and John O'Dowd MLA as well as Newry/Armagh MP Conor Murphy and Donegal County Councillor, Tony McDaid.

"Taoiseach should call summit on collusion - " Ó Caoláin

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has reiterated his call for the Taoiseach to demand a special summit meeting on collusion with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. His call came after the Taoiseach, responding to a Question from Ó Caoláin, stated in the Dáil that the Government would examine the files uncovered by the Pat Finucane Centre and Justice for the Forgotten in London which show detailed knowledge at top British government level of how the UDR was inextricably linked with loyalist paramilitaries as far back as 1973.

Ó Caoláin said that the question must be asked as to why voluntary organisations had to uncover the documents. "Judge Barron and the other various inquiries did not uncover them nor did any representatives of the Irish government. The documents show the British Ministry of Defence in 1974 - the year of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings - agreeing to the extension of the intelligence role of the UDR. The uncovering of these documents clearly exposes as a lie the British government claim that it has no more evidence to give to inquiries on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of 1974 or the many other cases. For this reason I reiterate my call for the Taoiseach to call a special summit meeting on collusion with the British Prime Minister", O Caoláin said.

The Cavan/Monaghan TD urged the Taoiseach to press the British government to co-operate with the investigation into the murder of Séamus Ludlow. He also condemned what he called "the brutal sectarian murder" of young Michael McIlveen in Ballymena and urged "all political leaders at all levels to confront sectarianism in whatever form it takes so that such tragic deaths can be avoided".

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