Former Irish and American death-row prisoners unveiled new An Post stamps in Dublin in 29th June to mark the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.“Amnesty International started with a very simple idea, writing letters in support of prisoners of conscience and people at risk of execution,” the group’s executive director in Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, said yesterday.“A stamp with An Post was just a really iconic way to mark where we started from and I suppose to reconnect people with that original idea,” he added.
On hand to unveil the stamp was Peter Pringle, one of the last people to be sentenced to death in Ireland when he was wrongly convicted of killing two gardaí in a shoot-out in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, in 1980. Mr Pringle – whose son Thomas serves as an Independent TD for Donegal South West – described how the sole evidence against him at the time of his trial was one statement he was said to have made during some 43 hours of interrogation.
“The words I was alleged to have said and didn’t say were, ‘I know you know I was involved but on the advice of my solicitor you will have to prove it all the way’ and that’s the evidence on which I was convicted and sentenced to death in the Special Criminal Court, which is a non-jury court.”His sentence was commuted to 40 years in prison by President Patrick Hillery and eventually overturned in 1995.His partner, Sunny Jacobs, who served 17 years on death row in the US before her conviction was overturned in 1992, also took part yesterday. The couple now live in the west of Ireland.(source-Irishnews.com)