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29 May 1997 Edition

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Roisín McAliskey gives birth

By Eoin O'Broin

Roisín McAliskey has given birth to a 5lbs 13oz baby girl. The birth took place in Whittington hospital North London, at 3.04pm on Monday 27 May.

McAliskey received conditional bail three days earlier. Newspaper sources have suggested that the baby is to be called Loinnir, which means `ray of light'.

Speaking at a press conference at the hospital the morning after the birth, Bernadette McAliskey appealed to the authorities to allow Roisín and her daughter to remain in hospital. Her appeal comes on the back of a dispute between the family and the prison authorities over how much time McAliskey should spend in hospital.

Fuascailt campaigners in London last week told An Phoblacht that authorities in Holloway were pressing doctors to carry out an induced birth in order to limit the amount of time spent in Whittington. Doctors, however, were considering a caesarean birth to avoid complications.

Shortly after the birth Bernadette McAliskey told reporters of her mixed emotions following the birth, ``I am delighted at the birth of Roisín's daughter but I am also bitterly angry that she was forced to bring her child into the world in such appalling circumstances''.

Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness sent his ``warmest congratulations to Roisin McAliskey and her partner Sean McCotter on the birth of their daughter''. McGuinness also called on the British government to ``make every effort to ensure that Roisín and her daughter do not have to return to prison. The bail conditions should be significantly eased to allow Roisín to leave hospital when well and able to do so. The threat of any return to Holloway should be removed''.
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