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‘Hooded Men’ accuse British Government of waiting for them to die after 45 years seeking justice

Kevin Hannaway (left) and Francis McGuigan, two of the Hooded Men. Picture: RollingNews.ie
Kevin Hannaway (left) and Francis McGuigan, two of the Hooded Men. Picture: RollingNews.ie

A GROUP of men in the North of Ireland who are taking legal action over their alleged torture at the hands of British soldiers during the Troubles have accused the British Government of waiting for them to die, after waiting decades for justice.

The so-called ‘Hooded Men’ made the remarks outside of Belfast High Court, where their case is being heard.

One of the men, Francie McGuigan, said: “I thought it was shameful. We have been waiting for 45 and a half years to get the full truth and they still won’t release the documents.

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“I think they are waiting for us to die and our case to die.”

A judge was assured yesterday that an extensive examination of documents relating to the alleged torture was ongoing – but the group lashed out at the British Government outside the court.

Their lawyer spoke of how the ageing group is suffering from increasingly poor health.

Since the issue first came to light in the 1970s, one of the ‘Hooded Men’ passed away and another suffered a heart attack – while a third has been diagnosed with dementia.

The 11 men are taking the British Government and the Department of Justice to court over their alleged capture and torture in 1971.

They claimed they were subjected to various torture methods by British soldiers during their incarceration.

Here are the key points you should know about Belfast’s Hooded Men

1. Their case is being led by Amal Clooney, the renowned international human rights lawyer who hit headlines for marrying US actor George Clooney in 2014

2. They claim the British Army tortured them with hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and water

3. One of the Hooded Men, Kevin Hannaway, appeared in court in August charged with assisting the IRA

4. In 1978, the European Court of Human Rights held that the British Government carried out ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ – but said it fell short of torture

5. An RTÉ documentary uncovered fresh evidence in London that saw the Hooded Men once again head to the courts in their quest for justice

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James Mulhall
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James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

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