Irish government meet with ‘Hooded Men’

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A meeting between the Irish government and Lurgan-based group the Hooded Men has been branded ‘positive’.

The Irish government had requested the meeting due to the high-profile legal campaign probing torture in the 1970s.

During internment in 1971, 14 men were selected for what was called “Deep interrogation techniques”.

In December 2014 the Irish government asked the European Court to revise its judgement in the case after its ruling that the techniques used were torture were overturned.

Since the discovery of UK documents under a Freedom of Information Act, the Irish minister of Foreign Affairs took the decision to go back to the European Court of Human Rights.

Both governments were asked to submit their case by May 12, 2016. Lawyers for the men in conjunction with the Irish government fulfilled the request, however the British have yet to do so and have received three extension dates the latest on December 10,

Case co-ordinator Jim McIlmurray described the meeting as ‘positive’.

Speaking after the meeting today Mr McIlmurray said: “They voiced their commitment to the case and us and future meetings will take place.

“They shared our concerns regarding the ongoing delays and feel the December deadline for the UK submission will be met.

“The UK government claimed the delay was due to misplacing documents from 1978 however the Irish government allowed them access to theirs,” he said.

“They (Irish government) showed understanding as to the urgency of the case as some of the men are facing health issues,”

He said the judicial review in Belfast will take place over five days in February.

Barristers for the government state that Prime Minister Teresa May is now involved.