Judicial Review Proceedings

The Prison Service have agreed to remit a disciplinary award made against a Catholic prisoner in HMP Maghaberry after he refused to attend a workshop in the prison on Good Friday.

Stiofan O Dalaigh, who is currently one of the prisoners on protest in HMP Maghaberry, brought judicial review proceedings against the prison when he was ordered to go to the workshop on Good Friday. The Prison Rules state that prisoners do not have to work on days of religious observance and Mr O Dalaigh argued that the order, and the subsequent disciplinary action by Governor Maguire, breached the Prison Rules and infringed on his freedom of religion. Mr Justice Weatherup ruled that Mr O Dalaigh had an arguable case and granted leave to apply for judicial review on 29th May. Rather than submit any defence to the case, the prison service has indicated that they are prepared to clear his record of these proceedings.

Mr O Dalaigh is also currently bringing separate judicial review proceedings against the Prison Service after it introduced new requirements that compelled prisoners to provide the telephone numbers of any relatives that they wanted to phone. Mr O Dalaigh refused to provide the numbers due to concerns that the details might fall into the hands of Loyalist paramilitaries, as his family details were previously found in the hands of Loyalist paramilitaries. As Mr O Dalaigh refused to provide exdirectory family numbers to the prison, he has been unable to phone his family since the start of April. He argues that his rights under the European Convention have been breached and the case is listed for hearing in October.