17 December 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

An attempt has failed to have a report made public which campaigners for the truth about the 1974 bombings in Dublin and Monaghan believe could shed light on those responsible for the atrocity. The British Information Tribunal decision on a freedom of information application made by media outlet DeclassifiedUK was made in August but only came to light last week. The application concerned a report drawn up by a former MI5 director, Jack Morton, as part of a review of the organisation, staffing and equipment of the RUC Special Branch in 1973.

Campaigners believe the report could shed light on alleged collusion between the RUC Special Branch and loyalist paramilitaries. The year following the report’s completion, UVF car bombs killed 33 people and an unborn child in Dublin and Monaghan. No one has ever been charged with the atrocity. Margaret Urwin of the Justice for the Forgotten group said it was of crucial importance for campaigners to be able to access the report, as they had long been aware of the close relationships between members of the Glenanne Gang, who are believed to have carried out the 1974 bombings, and the RUC Special Branch.

“As they have done with so many hundreds of other files on Northern Ireland, which have been closed for 84 years or 100 years, the British authorities have applied the national security blanket possibly in order to cover up human rights violations,” Ms Urwin stated. A PSNI spokesman said the force had “noted the decision of the Information Tribunal” and had “no further comment to make on this matter”. “HOODED MEN” RULING BY U.K. SUPREME COURT Yesterday, Wednesday, the Supreme Court in the UK ruled that the PSNI was wrong not to investigate allegations of torture being used 50 years ago against a group of individuals who have come to be known as the “Hooded Men”.

The late Seán McKenna from North Monaghan was among 14 men subjected to barbaric treatment while interned without trial in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s. The European Court has found that the treatment of the men by British security personnel at Ballykelly army barracks – which included beatings, sleep and nourishment deprivation and psychological abuse – was “inhuman and degrading” but did not constitute “torture”. A “torture” ruling has been the subject of a long campaign by the survivors and their families, whose case has been taken up by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations.

Those subjected to the extreme interrogation techniques have claimed that they were hooded, placed in stress positions for long periods, subjected to sustained loud noise and denied food, water and sleep. The men also said they were beaten and thrown hooded from helicopters that they believed were flying at height, but were in fact hovering close to the ground. The PSNI took a case to the Supreme Court having failed in Belfast’s Court of Appeal to overturn a High Court ruling that found that the police force should revisit its decision to end its investigation into the treatment of the men.

Delivering the court’s judgment yesterday, Lord Hodge said: “There is no evidence that anyone involved in the authorisation or operation of the hooded men’s ill-treatment has ever…

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