Maghaberry Prison: Solicitor Ciaran Shiels disputes claims no prisoners assaulted

Image caption Visits to inmates were cancelled on Tuesday because of a security alert outside the perimeter of the prison.

A solicitor has disputed claims that no prisoners were injured during a stand-off with dissident republican inmates at Maghaberry Prison on Monday.

Ciaran Shiels, who represents a prisoner on remand, said he was aware of at least four inmates who said they had been "assaulted".

The Prison Service said no prisoners or staff were hurt during the incident.

The Department of Justice said that given the legal proceedings, it cannot comment on the case.

A judicial review hearing into the treatment of Mr Shiels' client Christopher O'Kane will take place at the High Court later on Thursday.

'Grievous bodily harm'

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle Mr Shiels said: "Christopher has alleged that he was one of a number prisoners who were assaulted by prison staff.

"Since Monday morning we have been denied access to a client and been given no guarantee that he has received proper medical treatment.

"A one-sided story appears to have emerged, firstly, that alleged threats had emanated from prisoners and that no one had been assaulted. That is clearly not the message that we are getting," he said.

"I'm aware of at least four prisoners who have alleged that they have been assaulted and the injuries that one prisoner has suffered, which include a broken arm and lacerations to his face, are in fact consistent to grievous bodily harm."

It is understood that during the incident on Monday, prison service management withdrew staff from Roe House landings because of verbal abuse and threats from dissident inmates.

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