TDs make ‘humanitarian’ visit to Campbell appeal hearing in Lithuania

September 16, 2013

A spokesman for the Repatriate Michael Campaign has reported that despite the conditions the Faughart man is being held in, he was buoyed by the visit of four TDs to Lithuania for the hearing before the Lithuanian Court of Appeal on 30th August.

Well-known, high profile politicians Éamon Ó Cuív from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein’s Martin Ferris, joined Independent TDs Maureen O’Sullivan and Clare Daly on a “humanitarian” visit to Vilnius for the Court Hearing and to examine first-hand the conditions in which Michael is being held.

After the hearing the group were able to meet with Michael and his legal team and hear first-hand explicit detail of the inhuman and degrading prison conditions in Kaunas, where Michael is currently being held.  Maureen O’Sullivan described listening to Michael describe the conditions and his experiences as ‘grim and disturbing’ and the facts given led Ferris to describe Lithuania as ‘a third world country compared to Ireland’.

All four fully support Michael’s repatriation to serve the remainder of his sentence in Ireland and have indicated they will seek a meeting with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore to discuss his plight.

The Lithuanian Court of Appeal is to hand down its ruling on the government’s appeal against Michael’s sentence on October 2nd.  The Campaign spokesman states “this campaign is solely a humanitarian issue, nothing else.  People should be getting on to their local politicians to raise Micahel’s plight at every level.  Newry and Mourne District Council have already passed a motion supporting Michael’s repatriation, I have personally spoken to MEP’s,TD’s and MLA’s , all of whom support his repatriation.  There is a groundswell of public support to repatriate Michael. The Lithuanian court needs to be aware of this and simply do the right thing”.

He also states that ‘Michael has been convicted, they are an EU country, he should be allowed to return to Ireland to serve the rest of his sentence out here, in the same prison conditions as his fellow nationals’.

Whilst there are only a few weeks left before the ruling is delivered the Spokesman continues to urge people to get behind the campaign to support Michael’s repatriation and do whatever they can to “bring Michael home” .