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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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Brendan Lillis transferred to hospital from Maghaberry Prison

Former IRA member has been transferred to hospital for medical assessment after being refused early release or parole.

File photo of the external gates of Maghaberry Prison
File photo of the external gates of Maghaberry Prison

SUFFERING FROM A severe medical condition, convicted criminal Brendan Lillis has been transferred from his cell at Maghaberry Prison to an outside hospital.

The BBC reports that the prisoner, who is serving a life sentence, has been moved to a hospital for medical assessment of a serious bone disease.

Lillis, now 59, was returned to prison in 2009 on charges of robbery and tiger kidnapping charges. He previously served a 15-year sentence from 1977 to 1993 on explosives charges.

The Prison Service confirmed today that a doctor recommended a transfer to hospital because his condition needed immediate assessment.

His family were informed that he was removed to Belfast City Hospital for treatment.

Despite campaigns, the West Belfast man has twice been refused early release. He has, however, already been deemed too ill to stand trial on the robbery and kidnapping charges.

The BBC says he could still face charges if his health improves.

The Irish News ran a report last Wednesday on Lillis’ debilitating condition, which the Department of Justice has previously deemed non life-threatening.

However, the newspaper reporter who travelled to the Antrim prison, found that Lillis is suffering from anorexia and has the body mass index of a young boy of 11 or 12. She described his condition as ‘shocking’.

His partner, Roisin Lynch also told the newspaper today that Lillis has not been able to eat or drink in more than a week.

Lillis and his family continue to call for his freedom on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.

The Prison Service said last month that there were not sufficient reasons to justify his release on such grounds.

More: Seriously ill former IRA man begs for prison release >

Read more from Allison Morris in today’s Irish News (print edition) >

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