No solid details as yet but I've heard that the Shinners have started another scam like the previous one, in which cases were taken in regards to forced confessions made under RUC interrogation in the 1970s.
This time it's the brutal and inhumane treatment which had been meted out during the Blanket Protests. Apparently Ex-Blanket Men and Women, stupid enough to be sucked in, are being told that test cases against the British Government will be compiled with the intention of taking legal action.
Without doubt this is an attempt to draw Ex-Blanket Men and Women back into the 'fold'.
I was among other Republicans who were drawn into the Confessions Cases quite a few years back. In 1977 my own case of brutality in Strand Road RUC Barracks was chosen - even before I was sentenced - to go to the European Court of Human Rights. However after I had been sentenced, having not recognised the court, I went on the Blanket and heard no more of my European case. The reason being, as I believed at the time, was because I had refused all visits for over a year.
Therefore when the Shinners announced the brutality cases I felt I had a very strong case and went along with it. We all posed for photos in the Gasyard Centre and were told that our cases would be assigned to different solicitors.
Two years passed and I had practically forgotten about it until Raymond McCartney's case and that of others, including Charlie McMenamin popped up in the courts.
I contacted my assigned solicitor who told me he had heard nothing more since the initial contacts. I told him to continue with mine independent of the others.
We all know the outcome of McCartney's case and that of McMenamin et al. Mine however was knocked back twice to date, (for legal reasons I can't go into it much.) Let’s just say My Barrister told me that my case was more solid than that of McCartney and others and that from reading my depositions alone it’s clear that I was brutalised into signing a statement.
Quite a few others have been knocked back as well, as I found out when I received a letter from my solicitor informing me of the latest failure on my part. Our cases had been rejected en bloc, in fact I wasn't even aware that my case had been heard until after my solicitor had been informed.
In the back of my mind I was also aware that I had seen something similar which concerned former Internees from Derry which had been spearheaded by Sinn Fein's Gerry McCartney and I dug around until I found a Derry Journal article on it.
Usually when you have to dig things up you'll find that they've been buried and it certainly looks like it with the Ex-internee cases. I asked about, and one former Internee, Michael Donnelly, who was asked to partake and refused, told me he heard nothing more about it. He also said, that he believes; as I do, that this 'latest escapade' is about luring ex-prisoners back in.
Those men and women who were approached to compile the Blanket Protest cases should read the article, 'Ex-internees to launch legal action' from the Derry Journal dated September 2010. I'm certain they'll find striking similarities to what they've been told.