• December 1, 2014


Everyone’s smiling on the British Irish Council ‘family’ photo except Enda Kenny (see link):


Now it could be that Enda was caught out of pose or just that he’s by nature a fairly serious man. Or it could be the water charges controversy raging back in Ireland was playing on his mind.

Enda is just two along from Theresa Villiers, Northern Ireland’s latest ‘imposed’ Secretary of State.

Now I’m sure that of all the issues that Enda and Theresa got around to discussing the ‘Hooded Men’ would not have been one of them. However it is firmly back on the agenda.

I refer of course to the disgraceful abuse and torture of a number of Irish citizens interned by the British at the start of ‘the troubles’.

Amnesty International together with the Pat Finucane Centre are looking for Irish Government help for the ‘Hooded Men’ who they say were tortured by the British state after being interned in 1971.

The Celtic League is also to add its voice to the call and General Secretary Rhisiart Talebot will write to the Irish government this weekend.

Amnesty say that the ‘interrogation methods’ used by the security forces constituted torture and are seeking to overturn an earlier ruling by the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) which found against the UK but stopped short of condemnation for torture and said that the men’s treatment was ‘inhumane and degrading’.

Crucially RTÉ documentary, the Torture Files, broadcast earlier this year brought evidence to light which showed that Britain had withheld evidence in its defence of the original case.
The documentary established that UK authorities, including senior government ministers, sanctioned the use of the ‘five techniques’ in Northern Ireland, which they had also denied before the European Court.
These techniques included:
wall-standing in stress positions for hours
white noise
sleep deprivation
food and water deprivation
The original case saw Ireland take the UK to court alleging that it had breached the European Convention on Human Rights. The case was the first such inter-state action heard by the ECtHR. The court ruled that the five techniques of interrogation inflicted on the men constituted inhuman and degrading treatment and were in breached the convention, but were not torture.

Despite the UK assurances after the EctHR ruling that such techniques were banned by the British Army they were still being used after the Iraq War.

There is a deadline for the reopening of the case (4 December 2014) so as much pressure as can be brought to bear is needed – hence the decision of the Celtic League to add its voice to the call.

“These men and their families have a right to truth and justice,” said Amnesty’s Colm O’Gorman recently. It’s a shame that Enda did not lean across the table at the BIC and point that out to Theresa Villiers!

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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