Torture Files – The Hooded Men


beaten up


Why should anyone believe you?

In 1994 Dr Ó hAdhmaill was convicted of conspiring to cause explosions in England and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
He was released under the Good Friday Agreement, and is now a lecturer in social policy at University College, Cork.


 Dr Féilim Ó hAdhmaill said he believed he was going to die when water was poured over his mouth and nose.

Dr Ó hAdhmaill said the RUC wanted him to admit involvement in the murder of a police officer.

“I was held for a number of days, during which I was badly beaten.
“The main aim was to get me to sign a statement of admission of involvement in the IRA and involvement in the killing of a member of the RUC who worked in Castlereagh. A number of people were rounded up and brought in, and I was one of them.
“During that particular period it was the norm and I thought my treatment was severe, but it wasn’t unusual.
“It was only really when things came out about waterboarding in Iraq that people started to revisit some of the stuff that took place in the North and my case was one of a number of cases where it was alleged that what we went through was waterboarding.
“I had never heard the term waterboarding until Iraq, so I would never have used the term waterboarding.”
“The thing that I’m most concerned about today is peace, and it seems to me that we’re not going to get peace until we have some sort of release for people who have gone through all sorts of things.
“That includes people who have been damaged by the IRA, people who have been damaged by loyalists but also people who have been damaged by the state.
“Rather than saying no, we didn’t use torture, I think the British government needs to come out and say yes, we did this as part of a number of different attempts to deal with what we thought was an emergency situation
“At the end of the day the British soldiers and the RUC, regardless of what I personally feel about them, they were the cannon fodder, they were the footsoldiers, they did what they were told.
“You have to look at the people who were behind the policy. You have to look at the state.”

In a statement, the PSNI’s Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said that as he had not seen the documentation referred to he was unable to provide any substantive comment on its substance at this time.
Where people have a complaint regarding the actions of army personnel, they should contact the police.
“Anyone with a complaint about the actions of police should contact the office of the Police Ombudsman,” he said.


For all of you who missed the documentary last week – here it is:


mod doc

The treatment of the Hooded Men, and the way it was handled by Britain and the European Court, paved the way for the use of torture as an interrogation technique by democratic societies


By a vote of 14 to 3, the Court found, “Although the five techniques, as applied in combination, undoubtedly amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, although their object was the extraction of confessions, the naming of others and/or information and although they were used systematically, they did not occasion suffering of the particular intensity and cruelty implied by the word torture as so understood.” (Judgment in the Case of Ireland v. The United Kingdom)

The case of the Hooded Men, then became the benchmark by which other countries measure their “enhanced interrogation programs,” and continues to be used to justify the use of torture by democratic societies.

That is why the Hooded Men have decided to bring their case back to the European Court – to ensure no other man or woman experiences the same horrific treatment they did, at the hands of a so-called “civilized” nation.

Not one British subject has served one day or even one minute in prison for the campaign of terror unleashed in the military and paramilitary installations in the north-east of Ireland. Indeed many have instead found themselves promoted or rewarded within the British Armed Forces, paramilitary police (the then RUC and its PSNI successor) and Intelligence community (MI5, MI6 and all the other abbreviations).

amal clooney

Update: 10/2/2015: Amal Clooney, famous Human Rights lawyer who is supporting Greece’s case to have the Elgin marbles returned to Athens, has agreed to act for the Hooded men in the forthcoming case of Ireland vs Uk



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