Britain says it has paroled a prominent Irish Republican Army veteran, Marian Price, because she is ill with a range of mental and physical problems.

The Irish government and leaders of the Irish Catholic minority in Northern Ireland welcomed Thursday's decision to free Price following a two-year campaign for her release. But because of her illness Price, who has been held under guard for the past year in a Belfast hospital, will remain hospitalized indefinitely.

The 59-year-old Price originally received a life sentence for participating in the Provisional IRA's first car-bomb attacks on London in 1973. She won parole on humanitarian grounds in 1980 after suffering from anorexia nervosa.

Britain in 2011 ordered Price to resume her 1973 sentence because she allegedly aided IRA splinter groups. She faces two charges.