Posted By: August 15, 2013

 Niall Deeney . Londonderry Sentinel.Wednesday, August 14,  2013

Those interned and subjected to ‘deep interrogation techniques’ at a secret interrogation centre in Ballykelly are seeking legal action against the British government.

One of the ‘hooded men’, who were subjected to treatment in the 1970s they describe as ‘torture’, told the Sentinel that negotiations are ongoing between solicitors representing the former internees and ‘human rights lawyers’ in England. Michael Donnelly, a former republican internee, explained: “We are trying to decide how best to proceed. We will await the response of the Irish government who took the original case before we decide on the best course of action. There have been discussions between a solicitor and human rights lawyers in England, who I am told have given us a very enthusiastic response.”

Details of the secret interrogation centre emerged as declassified British government records were unearthed last week. The Pat Finucane Centre, who released details of the documents to the local press, say that the files show that two official inquiries and the European Court of Human Rights were kept in the dark by the British security services about the top secret Ballykelly interrogation centre.

In 1978, after a case had been brought by the Irish Government to the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg found that the British government had subjected the ‘hooded men’ to

“inhumane and degrading treatment”. The Pat Finucane Centre, as they released the previously classified British government documents which revealed details of the secret Ballykelly interrogation centre, pointed out that there were only two mentions of Ballykelly in the European Court’s findings.

Now, the surviving ‘hooded men’ are hoping the case can be revisited in light of these revelations.

A lengthy and vivid description of the treatment to which Mr Donnelly was subjected is still available online.