The James Connolly Society Mhuineacháin are hosting a book launch on ‘the Hooded Men’ – the infamous story of fourteen Irish political prisoners illegally detained and tortured by British security forces in the wake of ‘Operation Demetrius’ – the British Army and RUC mass arrest of over 300 men during the notorious internment raids of August 1971.
Written by Denis Faul and Raymond Murray and first published in 1974, the book charts – through a series of interviews with the men themselves – the horrific story of how the fourteen were interrogated and tortured using the ‘five techniques’, which the European Commision on Human Rights, in a landmark 1978 ruling, deemed as satisfying its considered definition of torture.
The case is especially relevant at this time, given that the original verdict, having been reduced to the lesser charge of ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ on appeal at the European Court – through a manipulation of evidence presented and evidence withheld – is now subject to a legal effort by the Hooded Men to restore the original verdict and to establish culpability on the part of the British Cabinet, who agreed and seconded the use of the methods involved.
The event itself is on Saturday 22nd August at 6.30pm in Teach Na Daoine Family Resource Centre Mullaghmatt, just outside Monaghan Town. Hosted by the local James Connolly Society, it corresponds to the 40th Anniversary of Volunteer Sean McKenna (RIP) – one of the Hooded Men – who died in June 1974 from complications arising from his torture at the hands of the British occupation regime in the Six Counties.
Guest speakers on the evening will be Monsigneur Raymond Murray, co-author of ‘The Hooded Men’, and renowned human rights solicitor Darragh Mackin. A number of the men themselves will be in attendance and will participate in the discussion, with a limited number of reprints available for those interested in purchasing a copy of what remains an invaluable work of history.
All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there. For more information contact the James Connolly Society on their Facebook page or get in touch with us directly on this site.