Four Tyrone men on hunger strike in Maghaberry

THREE Dungannon men and one man from Pomeroy are currently on hunger strike in Maghaberry prison.

It’s understood Thomas Hamill, Dessie Hamill, Mark McGilloway and Austin Creggan have been refusing food for over a month after requests for them to be moved to a different section of the prison were denied.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) said it is monitoring the situation.

Thomas Hamill and Mark McGilloway, both 40, from the Dungannon area, are being held in custody on explosive charges relating to a pipe bomb find on the Mineveigh Road in May this year.

38 year-old Desmond Hamill, from Springdale Estate in the town, and Pomeroy man, Austin Creggan, 48, from Park View in Pomeroy are in custody on robbery charges, said to have happened in January at a Dungannon filling station.

All four are from a Republican background and have asked to be housed in the Republican wing over fears for their safety from other prisoners. But due to “issues” with another Republican group within the wing, the men remain housed with Loyalists and other criminal prisoners. It has also been alleged that Loyalists housed within the same complex have made physical threats to the four men, with Republican forums reporting that a device was placed in the microwave of their current wing’s canteen facilities which the men used.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service has denied that this incident took place.

A spokesperson for Northern Ireland Prison Service said: “Four prisoners continue to refuse prison food but have availed of their tuckshop. Staff are closely monitoring the situation.”