• March 30, 2021

Illustrated below is a screen shot of the National Archive pages. The UK National archives contain details of the use of CR Gas and other riot control agents including its deployment to N. Ireland in the 1970s. CR stocks (a highly carcinogenic gas) were held at at prisons including Long Kesh where it is suspected to have been used – dropped in an uncontrolled way onto the compounds from military helicopters.

For a long time the deployment of CR was under wraps and until 2010 the UK MOD denied any records existed on it. Since then they have revealed that some of these files were lodged with the National Archive. Some are open, others after 45 years and still closed. One wonders if the MOD themselves know what documents remain for example about five years ago they told the Celtic League they had ‘located’ another file. In addition, recently we became aware that CR was trialled in the former British Colony of Hong Kong although this episode remains shrouded in mystery.

The use of CR gas at Long Kesh and its impact on inmates subjected to it is important. Were there long term health effects/ We queried the UK and Irish governments five years ago about this. The UK responsible for running the prison camp in the 1970s was responsible to ensure that health standards and the health of inmates was monitored. We asked British and Irish authorities about five years ago if this was done. So far no clear answer has been forthcoming.

There are a lot of hidden secrets about the use of CR gas and they are not all hidden in the sealed vaults of the UK National Archives.

Bernard Moffatt

Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (29th March 2021)

Note: You can get more info on our work correspondence etc by searching ‘CR Gas’ on the Celtic League Mannin Facebook Page:


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