Northern Ireland news

One of the 'Hooded Men' granted High Court permission to challenge the impasse over pensions for Troubles' victims

Brian Turley. Picture by Aidan O'Reilly

ONE of the so-called 'Hooded Men' has won High Court permission to challenge the impasse over pensions for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Brian Turley was one of those detained and subjected to special interrogation methods by the British military in the early 1970s as the conflict raged.

The 14 men were taken to a secret location where techniques including being forced to wear hoods, thrown to the ground from low-flying helicopters and then deprived of sleep, food and drink.

They also endured continuous loud noise and prolonged wall-standing as part of the alleged torture methods.

Mr Turley launched legal action amid delays in the pension scheme for Troubles' victims.

The scheme, which was due to open last month, has been held up by a dispute between Westminster and Stormont over who funds the estimated £100 million costs over the first three years.

Mr Turley's lawyers insist he has suffered long-term health effects due to the treatment he was subjected to.

His legal challenge is being taken against the Secretary of State and the Executive Office.

At a hearing yesterday Mr Justice McAlinden granted leave to seek a judicial review on the basis that he has established an arguable case the delay is unlawful, his solicitor confirmed.

Darragh Mackin, of Phoenix Law, said: "Our client contends that the current impasse is, and remains, unlawful.

"He warmly welcomes the comments today by the Court that the issues at the heart of this case are exceptional and require urgent determination."

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Northern Ireland news