They have nothing on me, says Corey

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JAILED republican Martin Corey has said he still has “no idea” why he is being held in prison- almost a year and a half after his arrest.

Speaking exclusively to the ‘MAIL’ from Maghaberry prison, the Lurgan man said he believes he has been imprisoned because of his political beliefs.

He also warned that a hunger strike among republicans in the County Antrim jail could happen “very soon”.

Mr Corey served 19 years in prison for the killing of two RUC men in 1973. He was released on licence in 1992.

However, the Secretary of State revoked his licence in April 2010 after he was deemed to be a “security risk”.

He has been held in Maghaberry prison since then.

“I have been in prison for nearly a year and a half, and I still haven’t been given a reason,” said Mr Corey.

“They have put forward a number of allegations against me, and I’m not able to defend myself against any of them.

“They say I have been seen speaking to known republicans, and that I visited a number of houses in Lurgan Tarry.

“What does that matter? It doesn’t mean I’ve done anything wrong.

“They have absolutely nothing on me, and that’s why they haven’t charged me.

“If I went to court, I would end up being released because there is not a shred of evidence against me.”

He continued: “When I was arrested last April, I was taken to Lurgan police station. None of the police officers in the station knew why I had been arrested.

“I was then taken to Maghaberry. When I got here, even the prison officers were surprised to see me.

“One of them asked me what I was doing here, and I replied, ‘You know as much as I do’.

“I was thrown into a cell and I have been here ever since.

“The fact that I’m in here and haven’t been given a reason makes the whole thing even worse.

“If they have anything on me, they should charge me and send me to trial. If not, I should be released.”

The 61-year-old worked as a grave digger in the town for twelve years before he was arrested.

“When I was released from Long Kesh, I did not get involved in anything. I would have attended the odd white-line picket, things like that. But that’s the most I would have been involved with.

“I have held down a steady job for more than a decade, and even got a character reference from Monsignor Hamill. To accuse me of posing a threat is just ridiculous.”

Mr Corey said the ongoing dirty protest at the prison could soon escalate.

He said: “A hunger strike is looking like a very real possibility. The agreement of August last year is not being implemented, and this protest is likely to escalate.

“The last hunger strike started with a dirty protest, and this dispute could end the same way.”

He added: “There are plenty of volunteers for a hunger strike. That’s one thing there’s no shortage of.”