Northern Ireland news

Hooded Men ruling 'led to ill-treatment across the globe'

Hooded Man Liam Shannon speaks to the media along with Sinn Féin's Niall Ó Donnghaile and Belfast councillor Mairead O'Donnell. Picture by Mal McCann
Connla Young

A MAN thrown from a British army helicopter during internment has said his treatment not being labelled as torture led to others being ill-treated across the globe.

Liam Shannon (70) was one of 14 Catholic men, known as the 'Hooded Men', who say they were tortured after being detained during interment in 1971.

The west Belfast man was speaking yesterday after the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the Irish government against a ruling that they were not tortured.

In 1978 the court held their treatment was inhuman and degrading, but fell short of torture.

Mr Shannon said not reversing the 1978 judgment had resulted in the use of similar techniques elsewhere.

"In countries all over the world people were trailed out and tortured and murdered, and they did it in the name of the judgment between Ireland and the United Kingdom," he said.

"If that judgment had have been rectified they wouldn't have been able to do it."

The techniques used included being hooded, made to stand in stress positions, forced to listen to loud static noise and being deprived of sleep, food and water.

In some cases the men, including Mr Shannon, were also thrown from helicopters they were told were hundreds of feet in the air despite being just feet from the ground.

Mr Shannon said the surviving Hooded Men continue to feel the impact of their treatment including "flashbacks" and waking up "in cold sweats".

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