CAMPAIGN: Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan who are being held in police custody in Bogota FORMER Belfast Feile an Phobail director Caitriona Ruane is the chief campaigner behind a push to repatriate three Irishmen accused of training FARC guerillas in Colombia. Ms Ruane has just returned from a seven-day visit to South America and yesterday launched a human rights campaign to get the men released. The high-profile figure says she got involved after a request from the trio’s Irish solicitor Peter Madden. In an exclusive interview with the Irish News Ms Ruane said the ‘Bring Them Home’ campaign was launched to establish a legal team and “proper defence” for the men. When Ms Ruane announced she was stepping down as director of Feile an Phobail last month, she dismissed speculation she might stand as a Sinn Fein candidate in the forthcoming general election in the Republic. She said last night her previous human rights work, fluent Spanish and a wide knowledge of South America had helped land her latest role. Sinn Fein has been under intense international pressure since the arrest of republicans Martin McCauley, James Monaghan and Niall Connolly in Bogota on August 11. The Colombian military alleges the three were training members of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The men deny the claim but admit they were travelling on false passports. McCauley (39), originally from Lurgan, was wounded in 1982 during an attack on a hay-shed by RUC officers. The father-of-three, who was Sinn Fein director of elections in Upper Bann during the 1996 Forum election, was the only survivor of the alleged shoot-to-kill operation. Fluent Spanish speaker Connolly (36) from Dublin, “facilitated visits by Sinn Fein delegations to Cuba,” according to the campaign but has “never been a member of any political party”. Sinn Fein has dismissed claims by the Cuban government that Connolly represented the party in Havana. Monaghan, originally from Donegal, is a former member of Sinn Fein’s ard comhairle. He first made his mark with the IRA in the early seventies when he was jailed for planting incendiary devices in shops and businesses. He was later jailed for firearms possession. In July 1976 he escaped from Dublin special criminal court with three other IRA suspects after a double bomb blast caused chaos. Ms Ruane, a friend of the Connolly family, said the campaign came about because of fears for the men’s safety. The three are being held in a police compound after being moved from Bogota’s notorious Modelo jail where riots and killings are routine. On the trip to Colombia with Ms Ruane was Peter Madden of Madden and Finucane solicitors and Dan Connolly, a brother of Mr Connolly. She said: “The object of the visit was twofold, primarily it was to get legal representation for the three men and secondly to set up visiting conditions for the families. “The men are being held in very bad conditions and as far as I can see they are not safe anywhere in Colombia.