The attack on dissident republican prisoners – beaten by a seven-strong gang of loyalists at Maghaberry prison – came just 24 hours after the Andersonstown News predicted an attack was imminent.
Two dissident republican prisoners, John Connolly and Gerard McQuaid, required medical treatment; a third republican received minor injuries after the vicious attack by UVF inmates at the jail.
The prisoners were attacked by the loyalist gang in the Bann House section of the high security jail. It is thought that the loyalists pulled a gun and tried to shoot one of the men but the weapon jammed.
In Monday’s Andersonstown News we reported how top loyalist Mark Haddock’s arrival in the jail was set to spark a spate of attacks in the already tense prison.
There are a number of republican prisoners taking part in a no-wash protest for segregation.
One prisoner told the Andersonstown News that republicans feared they would be caught in the middle of feuding loyalist factions.
The prisoner told the Andersonstown News that republicans feared the two warring factions may try to “out-taig each other,” in an attempt to secure the support of other loyalists.
“It is a well documented fact that when loyalists feud it is Catholics who bear the brunt of the fallout. The situation was bad enough before, but you can almost feel the tension in the air since the arrival of Mark Haddock.”
The prediction didn’t take long to come true.
Geraldine Taylor of Republican Sinn Féin said the time for Review Boards was over and that the prison service should immediately impose segregation.
“Johnny Adair has been segregated for months for his own safety. Is his life more important than that of a republican?
“Campaigners have been warning about the volatile situation in the prison for months. The Prison Review Board is nothing more than a time wasting exercise. Will the NIO wait until a prisoner leaves the jail in a wooden box before they admit they are in the wrong?”