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11 December 1997 Edition

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Out for Christmas

Audacious escape from H8


Liam Averill, a republican POW serving two life sentences, has escaped from H8 in Long Kesh.

An Phoblacht has learned that Averill, from Maghera in South Derry, was in a safe house long before prison officers learned he had escaped. The alarm was raised in the jail last night (Wednesday) and as we go to press the Crown Forces are launching a futile hunt for Averill in the area surrounding the prison in rural County Antrim. Checkpoints have been set up on raods near the jail, including the M1 Motorway.

Liam Averill's audacious and mysterious escape has left the prison administration with very red faces. It comes just nine months after a daring escape bid from H7 was foiled when a partially dug tunnel collapsed. Republicans were then moved to H8 and it is from there that Liam Averill escaped yesterday. He was just three years into a double life sentence.

As with all successful escapes, this will be a tremendous morale booster for all republican prisoners and their supporters and a source of deep embarrassment for those who seek to jail them.
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