Prisoners who have served twenty years

Eddie Butler

Eddie Butler is a single man and a native of Limerick. He was 26 years of age when arrested after the Balcombe street siege in London in December 1975. He has three brothers and three sisters. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he has spent the last almost 20 years being shifted from prison to prison. In the first four years of his sentence, for example, he was moved to a new prison eight times. (Brixton, Wandsworth, Brixton, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Birmingham, Durham, Leicester). For over three of those years he was held under Rule 43, the `Good Order and Discipline' rule. Under this rule the prisoner is locked in a cell for up to 23 hours a day. He is allowed one hours exercise per day, if the weather is fine.

Those four years are merely representative of the pattern of life for most Irish Republican Prisoners in Britain. Eddie Butler will be 45 years of age this month, April. His parents are still living in the family home in county Limerick and despite advancing years continue to make the regular journey to England to visit their son. Currently Eddie Butler is held in Full Sutton prison.