Peru drug suspects trying to ‘stay positive’

Father Sean Walsh visits Melissa McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid in Lima prison


Melissa McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid, the two women arrested on drugs charges in Peru, are “trying to stay positive,” according to Father Sean Walsh who has visited them in the Virgen De Fátima prison in Lima.

Ms Connolly’s brother Keith and Ms Reid’s ’s father William have also visited and brought clothes and food to the two women.

Keith McCollum Connolly returned to Northern Ireland on Saturday and Mr Reid is expected to fly out back to the UK tomorrow.

Peter Madden, the Belfast lawyer who has been acting on behalf of Ms Connolly, has also returned to Northern Ireland where he says he will begin to prepare a defence case and interview relevant witnesses in Ibiza.

It is understood that local lawyer Myer Fishman will continue to represent both women in Lima.

The women are currently the only two foreign inmates in the prison and are still getting used to prison routine, including following written instructions in Spanish. There is one English-speaking psychologist in the prison and she has been explaining the routines and systems to the two women.

Father Walsh said that they were being well taken care of and have been given bedding and blankets. He also said that they are allowed to have money to buy food and to make phone calls from the prison.

Anita Lamont of the Foreign Women Prison Ministry in Lima makes weekly visits to foreign women in prison.

“When the foreign women arrive [to the prison], they have nothing. We try to provide bedding such as sheets and blankets and other basic necessities.”