[Margaretta D’Arcy, top, and supporters in Bil’in, Palestine]
On Saturday Zoe Lawlor and John Lannon, of Shannonwatch, visited 79-year-old Margaretta D’Arcy in Limerick Prison.
“She was brought photographs and reports of demonstrations in Galway, Limerick, Dublin, London and Bil’in in Palestine, as well as a selection of some of the many articles written about her since her imprisonment. She was pleased that the issue of the U.S. military use of Shannon was being highlighted, and expressed her thanks to everyone who has shown their support.
“Margaretta was in good spirits and talked passionately on a range of issues. She once again referred to the unsatisfactory conditions in the prison, and of the state of ongoing sensory deprivation that the prisoners have to contend with. The impact on the women who are imprisoned is something she said that needs urgent attention. She noted that while plenty of research is being undertaken in relation to prisons, with prisoners often being passive subjects, there was little active engagement with prisoners themselves and very little being done to address their needs.
“Margaretta was pleased to hear that 15 MEPs from 8 different countries had written to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter calling on him to release her. This is something he could do since the government has it within their power to allow a Presidential pardon. However the question of whether or not she could accept a pardon would depend on what it was for, she said.
“She referred to the fact that she and others can stand outside Shannon Airport at the regular monthly vigils witnessing complicity in crimes. “When I went onto the runway I did so to stop those crimes” she said. “It would seem that it is ok for me to witness crimes, but not to do something to stop them. This is something the Minister needs to explain.”
“Margaretta also spoke of the irrelevance of age when it comes to taking action to stop injustices. “A person’s age is not relevant when it comes to taking action” she said. “I may have fewer commitments to family now than a younger person would, and this gives me the opportunity – as well as the duty – to act. It’s important to realise that people can be effective regardless of age.”
Margaretta D’Arcy thanks supporters and highlights role of women in conflict resolution (Shannonwatch)
Margaretta D’Arcy on Broadsheet
Pic: Galway Alliance Against War