Veteran republican Marian Price was granted compassionate parole yesterday to
attend the wake in West Belfast of her sister Dolours.
Price (58) was released from Belfast City Hospital – where she is under armed guard
– and accompanied to the wake house by Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann and
SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey.
Dolours Price, who was found dead at her Co Dublin home last week, will be buried
Monsignor Raymond Murray, who knew her from his days as prison chaplain in
Armagh jail in the 1970s, will officiate at Requiem Mass in St Agnes' Church in
Marian Price received three hours' compassionate parole. The two nationalist
MLA's were told to keep her under constant supervision and nobody, apart from her
immediate family, was allowed into the house when she was there.
Price's husband, Jerry McGlinchey, said: "We are relieved Marian got to say goodbye
to Dolours. She hadn't seen her sister during the 20 months she has been imprisoned
so she would have been devastated had she not been allowed this visit."
The veteran republican's release followed intense behind-the-scene negotiations over
the weekend involving lawyers, politicians and the authorities.
Belfast Crown Court had granted Price bail on Friday but that decision was later
overturned because of the nature of the charges she faces and the "high security
risk" it was said she poses.
Price – who is being treated for severe depression, arthritis, and lung problems – is in
Belfast City Hospital's psychiatric unit. Her health deteriorated after a year in solitary
confinement in Maghaberry jail.
The sisters were part of an IRA unit which bombed London in 1973. Marian Price's
licence was revoked after she held a statement from which a masked Real IRA man
read at a dissident republican rally in 2011.