Adams to visit anti-war activist D’Arcy in Limerick Prison

SF president to see Aosdána member suffering cancer who refuses to sign bail bond

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is  due to visit anti-war activist Margaretta D’Arcy in Limerick Prison this afternoon. Photographs: Dara Mac Dómhnaill/Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is due to visit anti-war activist Margaretta D’Arcy in Limerick Prison this afternoon. Photographs: Dara Mac Dómhnaill/Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 10:48

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is due to visit Margaretta D’Arcy in Limerick Prison this afternoon, where she is being held over her refusal to sign a bail bond to stay out of unauthorised areas of Shannon Airport.

Ms D’Arcy (79), who is suffering from cancer, is serving a three-month prison sentence over her refusal to sign the bond.

Mr Adams - who is expected to address the media at 4:30pm - is the second high-profile politician to go to see Ms D’Arcy in the jail, following a visit by President Michael D Higgins’s wife last month.

Áras an Uachtaráin confirmed that Sabina Higgins visited the Aosdána member and anti-war activist in a private capacity.

Ms Higgins and Ms D’Arcy have been friends for many years. President Higgins spoke at the funeral of Ms D’Arcy’s husband, playwright John Arden.

Ms D’Arcy received a three-month suspended sentence last December for illegal incursion of the runway at Shannon Airport on October 7th, 2012, during a protest over US military use.

The sentence was activated when she refused to sign the bond and she was arrested at her Galway home and taken to Limerick.

More than 200 artists have called for her release, including journalist Nell McCafferty, film-maker Lelia Doolan and former UN assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday.

The Minister for Justice has stated that Ms D’Arcy is free to leave prison if she agrees to abide by the terms of her bail bond.