Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams tells Kenny to release minutes of Lynch meeting with Ted Heath

3 February, 2017 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has written to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny following revelations that the British Army and RUC Special Branch used waterboarding in the North in the 1970’s.

The Sinn Féin leader has asked the Taoiseach to “release the Irish government minutes of the meeting between Taoiseach Jack Lynch and Prime Minister Ted Heath referred to in the Pat Finucane Centre report and to review its files in those departments dealing with the North to identify any other information that was available to it about the use of torture and ill-treatment by the British in the North”.

Gerry Adams said:

“The use of beatings, ill-treatment and torture by the British Army and RUC was widespread in the North, especially during the 1970’s. The use of waterboarding as a technique has been known about for some time. However, the papers uncovered by the Pat Finucane centre provide the first documented evidence from the British side of waterboarding.

Two years ago, following the discovery of new evidence, the Irish government agreed to take the case of the Hooded men back to the European Court of Human Rights. The 14 men had been tortured over 7 days by British Army and the RUC Special Branch using brutal in-depth interrogation techniques.

To cover up its actions the British government lied to the Irish government; lied to the lawyers acting for the hooded men; lied to the European Court of Human Rights; and failed to inform the ECHR that this torture had been cleared at the highest political level by the then British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington. It also claimed that it had banned the use of the five techniques in 1972.

The British government papers uncovered by the Pat Finucane reveal not just the use of waterboarding as a technique of torture but that torture continued after the British government claimed to have ended it. The British government minutes also reveal that the then Taoiseach Jack Lynch raised one specific case with the British PM.

There is an onus on the Irish government to pursue this issue with the British. I have written to the Taoiseach and asked that he release the Irish government minutes of the meeting between Taoiseach Jack Lynch and Prime Minister Ted Heath. I have also asked that the government undertake a review of its files in those departments dealing with the North to identify any other information that was available to it about the use of torture and ill-treatment by the British in the North.”

Connect with Sinn Féin