Hundreds pack Guildhall Square to call for release of Marian Price (Newswire)
Some 700 people packed into the Guildhall Square this afternoon to call for the release of Marian Price.
They were led in a procession by a single piper as they left Free Derry Corner in the Bogside at 2.30pm. They arrived at the Guildhall to hear Monseignor Raymond Murray, Marian Price’s husband Jerry McGlinchey (pictured above), Kate Nash, Pat Ramsay MLA, Nuala Perry and Evelyn Brady address the crowd.
Marian’s husband Jerry McGlinchey, who was at the rally with their daughter, told the gathered crowd that his wife was “being held hostage, tortured mentally and denied proper medical care”. He said his wife should be released now “before they destroy her ability to function as a human being”.
Monseignor Raymond Murray said that Marian Price deserved to be treated like a human being, not a statistic.
“She is a person with a name,” he told the crowd. “She is a mother, wife, sister and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I call on everyone here today to act now. Start writing to your public representatives, build a crusade to get Marian free and home to her family.”
SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey told the crowd that after months of demanding a meeting with the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson has now agreed to meet and discuss Marian Price’s case and the prison issue.
“The will of the people cannot and will not be ignored,” said Mr Ramsey. “Not while there are those of us willing to stand for what is right.
“There are people here today of all political shades – and none. Some of us will disagree on a range of issues, but the strength of feeling about Marian’s internment has brought us together, to speak with one voice, to say “Free Marian Price”. That is the measure of the injustice felt in the community, and as a public representative it is my duty to protect freedom of speech, so much more so if I disagree with what is being said.
“The very basis for democracy is ‘vox populi est vox dei’ – the voice of the people if the voice of God. Mr Paterson and others need to tune in – because it was once said that ‘we haven’t gone away you know’ – I want to tell Mr Paterson and those who seek to force injustice into the realm of reality here in our communities – I will not go away. The people here assembled will not dissolve.
“We want the peace promised to us, guaranteed by concurrent referenda in 1998 – a full peace, not one with strings attached, not one bound by vendettas – and we will not rest until Marian Price, Tony Taylor, Gerry McGeough and Martin Corey are home with their families, and the protest in Roe House is resolved with dignity restored for those inside.”
As the rally drew to a close, organiser Pauline Mellon took to the stage with her mobile phone. Marian Price was at the other end of the line. The crowd chanted ‘Free Marian Price’ as Ms Mellon held her phone aloft.
Marian Price was arrested following an Easter Commemoration in Derry over a year ago. She was sent to Maghaberry all male prison where she spent ten months in isolation on the order of Secretary of State Owen Paterson. Marian has remained in custody and isolation despite being granted bail on the charges brought against her. She was moved to Hydebank Woman’s Prison in February on clinical advice.