Lily Ban Indicates Forceful Resonance of 1916 Symbol
It has been reported that republican prisoners at the notorious Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland have once again been punished for wearing Easter Lilly symbols this year.
Prisoners who wore the symbol to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising are reported to have been returned to their cells and denied visits.
Prison policy is markedly hypocritical as remembrance poppies are allowed to be worn in the prison each year in November when they are on sale.
The stance of republican prisoners over the issue was not helped by a somewhat perverse judgement by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Donaldson v the United Kingdom (see link) which found the ban on Easter Lilies was lawful and the decision of the prison service to allow the poppy to be worn did not conflict with this.
An attempt by the prison authorities to ameliorate the situation by allowing the shamrock to be worn (by those who wish) on St Patrick’s Day does not seem to have worked.
If anything the bizarre behaviour of the NI Prison Service over the Easter lily issue indicates the forceful resonance the symbol and the events of 1916 still have for those opposed to Irish unity.
(This report compiled by the Director of Information)
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