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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

Gilmore: No problem with Sabina Higgins prison visit to Margaretta D'Arcy

The wife of President Michael D. Higgins visited the veteran peace campaigner in “private and personal” capacity, according to the Áras.


TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said there’s nothing inappropriate about a visit by the president’s wife to jailed peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy.

The 79-year-old, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, was arrested at her home in Galway during the week after she refused to sign a bond to keep away from unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport.

She had previously been sentenced to a suspended three-month jail term for trespassing at the airport, but the sentence was activated after she declined to sign the bond. D’Arcy had been protesting the use of the airport by the US military.

It emerged yesterday that Sabina Higgins had paid a visit to her in prison — an event described by Áras an Uachtaráin as “private and personal”.

Asked by reporters this morning whether he thought the visit was appropriate, the Tánaiste and Labour leader said “I think it is”:

I know Margaretta D’Arcy — she’s a particularly strong woman and activist all her life. She has very strong opinions.

I hope that her legal team will be working on her behalf to ensure that she’s released as soon as possible from prison.

Gilmore said he had only learned of the visit after it took place, from media reports.

Read: Protest being held condemning the jailing of Margaretta D’Arcy

Read: 79-year-old jailed for three months over Shannon protest

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