CAIN: Events: Internment: 'BELFAST August 1971: A case to be answered' by Danny Kennally and Eric Preston (1971)

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Extracts from 'BELFAST August 1971: A case to be answered' by Danny Kennally and Eric Preston (1971)

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Text: Danny Kennally and Eric Preston ... Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna
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Treatment of Arrested

This is a sample of signed statements relating to the treatment after arrest of some of the people detained under the Special Powers Act. Copies of these can be found lodged with the Association for Legal Justice, and at the Central Citizens' Defence Committee.


John Mateer, 54 Raglan Street.
In connection with his arrest and detention on 22nd August, 1971.

My name is John Mateer. I am 18 years of age and I am an unemployed window-cleaner.

At approximately 4 a.m. on the 22nd August, a unit of the Green Howards came to my house. They knocked at the door. My father opened it. The soldiers pushed past him up the stairs and came into my bedroom. They were carrying rifles and batons. One of them said, "Get out of bed you Irish bastard". I said, "What for?" They said, "You're coming with us".

They told me to put on my boots and jacket and took me outside to the jeeps. They placed me with my hands on the jeep, and kicked my legs apart. One of them began searching me, and as he did so he hit me in the genitals with his clenched fist. I doubled up and they told me to get up and into the Land Rover, or stay like that for good.

I was ordered to lie down on my back on the floor of the Land Rover. They took me to the billet at Hastings Street Barracks. At Hastings Street 1 was taken out of the Land Rover and searched again.

They made me sit on the ground, without touching the wall with my back, with my legs straight out and my arms folded. I stayed like that for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then they made me get up, and searched me again. They took me outside and searched me again. Then I was photographed by myself; with a soldier beside me; with a soldier behind me. Because I was not standing straight, I was hit in the stomach with a rifle butt.

They then took details of my family down in a book. Then I was taken out and made to stand in the hall for about an hour. M.P.s began to push me about and stand on my toes. Then one said, "Put on your jacket. You're going for a ride". They took me out, threw me against the jeep, and searched me again. As they did so they nipped my flesh with their knuckles. They told me to get in the Land Rover and sit on my hands. With my feet off the floor. They drove me to Holywood. At Holywood I was taken out of the Land Rover, and searched again. They took me inside and took the same three photographs as they had taken before. I was then left in a room with another lad. I was sitting biting my nails. A R.U.C. man came over and hit me on the knuckles with his baton, and said I shouldn't bite my nails because it was a dirty habit. He allowed me to wash my hands and I suggested I wash my face, but he wouldn't give me a towel to dry my face.

I asked him could I go to the toilet and he said I could but he would not let me close the door and stood watching me.

M.P.s then took me into the big room and made me sit with my arms folded and my legs out straight. I stayed there for about an hour like that and was then taken to the interrogation room. While I was being questioned I was struck in the stomach with a stick, and pulled by the hair and thrown backwards. I was questioned for about an hour and then taken back to the big room with other fellows and told to sit up again in the same position as before. I was not allowed to stand up.

When I had sat for a while I started to fall asleep and an M.P. began to hit me on the back of the neck with a baton. He struck me twice and then told me to stand up.

I was taken back for questioning another three times. On one occasion I was hit on the head with a street directory. Each time I was taken back to the big room. While I was in the big room I was struck and pushed on a number of occasions by both RUC. and M.P.s. Then I was told I was being taken to Crumlin Road. I was told to get into a Land Rover, and kneel down.

I was pushed out of the Land Rover at Musgrave Street Police Station at about 1.30 p.m. by an M.P. who pushed his foot in my stomach. They told me they would be back for me that night.

Signed: John Mateer. 23rd August, 1971.
Witnessed: B. Kearney.


Name: John Murphy.
Address: 45 Clowney Street, Belfast 12.
Occupation: Iron turner in shipyard.
Age: 61.
Health: Suffers from bronchitis.

On Friday, August 13th, 1971, at 5 a.m. approximately, three soldiers kicked back door. I opened it. Previously I had been moving my garbage bin and the lid fell off twice. I was about to go for a walk with my dog before leaving for work at 6.30 a.m.

The soldiers accused me of bashing a bin as is often done in Belfast to warn of military raids. This was totally untrue as I was not aware that there were soldiers in the street. Not intending any disrespect but merely speaking colloquially I said, "I wasn't bin bashing, your head is cut".

They grabbed me, dragged me before the officer in command and said I was bin-bashing. He asked, "Where is Our Lady's Hospital?" He then said, "Take him there". I was raced and dragged about mile to the front of the hospital. There I was made to do 'press-ups', was thrown on the ground and had my face pushed into the ground and stones thrown on my arms as if to break my watch. A soldier put the muzzle of his rifle to the back of my neck. I felt he might shoot me, even if accidentally.

I was then raced back to the Falls Road and thrown over a barricade. I was photographed and placed against a jeep which seemed to have static electricity. At least, I felt a series of electric shocks. The soldiers knew this, as some order was given before it began.

I was then thrown into the jeep. I heard my neighbour, Mr. Magiltons's head being banged against the side of the jeep before he too was thrown in. He lives in my street and is well known to me. On the journey to Girdwood Park Barracks with two military policemen we were both beaten with fists and batons. They threatened to break our toes. They made us sing 'God Save the Queen' twice, which in Northern Ireland is degraded to a party song. A couple of times when passing through Whiterock, Ballymurphy, Ardoyne we thought we might be shot by snipers.

We arrived at Girdwood Park and were thrown out of the jeep. We were made to crawl into the corridor. In the corridor we were forced to stand leaning on fingertips against the wall. I was kicked on the chest and fell on my face. This was repeated until I almost fainted due to my chronic bronchitis. I was then forced to stand straight against the wall with my hands above my head. I don't know how long this lasted but it was witnessed by 3/4 R.U.C. men including a sergeant.

Then I was taken to the gym and sat on a chair facing the wall. One military policeman offered me a cup of tea and a cigarette which I was glad to accept. He took me to the toilet and I also got a smoke.

I was given a breakfast of beans, sausages, tea and bread. After about two hours I, along with 14/15 others, was made to walk around the room. I was breathless and exhausted by this. The military policeman hummed, 'Who'll come into our wee ring', 'Kevin Barry', 'The Soldier's Song', 'The Lily O', as we were walking. I sat down and was given a blanket as I was shivering since I wasn't given time to take any jacket with me. Later they saw that I looked ill and took me to the doctor who gave me an injection which I appreciated very much.

First interrogation: Two Special Branch men and one military policeman present in small room. Samples of dirt below fingernails taken. Given paraffin test on hands and face for evidence of having shot a gun recently. I never fired a shot in my life. They also tested me with the 'Gelly sniffer'. I never saw gelignite in my life. The Special Branch men and the military policeman argued as to colour of gelignite for some time. I said nothing.

Second interrogation: I was taken back to the gym. I sat for some time. Then I was taken to a room with another prisoner. Each of us was questioned by two R.U.C. men in uniform. I was asked if I wished to make a statement. I agreed. I explained how I was about to walk my dog and was removing the bin from back door when seized by soldiers. They then asked, "So you wish to have a solicitor?" I said "No". They asked me was I abused and I said "That is another story". I signed the statement of explanation after it had been read to me. I couldn't read it myself as I had no spectacles. One policeman gave me a cigarette.

Third interrogation: I was taken back to the gym. After perhaps half an hour I was taken to another room with three Special Branch men and they asked me personal details: name, address, job, place of work, ever in trouble with the police before. Then a fourth Special Branch man came and asked me had I a son called John. He said "It must have been the son they were after. Where is he?" I said, "He is in England 13/14 years". They seemed uncertain as to why I was there.

Fourth interrogation: I was taken back to the gym. After a time I was taken to another room. Two Special Branch men were there. I had to make a second statement of explanation. I repeated my former statement. They said, "You will be charged with disorderly behaviour". I said, "I did nothing". They said I used abusive language, i.e. 'Your head is cut', to the soldiers. The two Special Branch men left and another came in. I said, "Who are you or what are you?" He answered, "I'm a detective from Springfield Road Barracks". He asked no question and I felt a compulsive urge to talk, probably due to nervousness. I spoke about many things including my holiday in Canada which ended ten days before. He asked me was I related to Detective Sergeant Murphy. I said, "No". He asked me did I know Constable French from my street. I said, "Yes". The first of the Special Branch men returned. They had a booklet with my statements. One began to read it to himself. He said the military wanted to charge me with disorderly conduct, but that the police had dropped the case.

I was taken back to the gym. A policeman took me out to the porch and said, "Do you know how to go home?" I said, "Yes, get me a taxi". Three or four policemen went into a huddle. They said they would take me to Springfield Road Police Barracks. I said, "It's too far from home, I wouldn't walk that far". They took me to Tennent Street Barracks. After 15 minutes a Special Branch man came and spoke to a policeman. The policeman offered me a lift to Violet Street but eventually left me at home. I got home at about 6 p.m.

As a result of my experiences I shall lose at least next week's wages. Doctor John McHugh, Springfield Road, has given me a medical certificate on grounds of nervous debility. I suffered cuts and bruises to my arms and legs, sleeplessness and a deterioration of my bronchial condition. My wife's heart condition was aggravated and she had to be put to bed for a day. She almost lost her voice. A symptom of her nervous shock. My two sons felt obliged to come on an unscheduled visit which has cost them quite a bit. They come from England.

To the best of my knowledge the information which I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signed: John Murphy. 14th August, 1971.
Witnessed: Rev. Brian Brady.


Henry Bennett,
5 Thompson Street, Belfast 5.
Age: 25.
Occupation: Worker in fertiliser factory.
Dependants: Wife and two children.

At 3.45 a.m., Monday, 9th August, 1971, four soldiers broke down my front door and came upstairs with guns at the ready. There were six soldiers outside.

I was told that I was being arrested under the Special Powers Act. I was given thirty seconds to get a towel and shaving kit into a sandbag which they gave me.

I said, "I'm not the one you are looking for as I only moved into this house a couple of days ago". I showed them a letter to identify myself. I was taken downstairs and made to lie prone on the floor while they radioed H.Q. A little later they said, "Come on, you'll do". I was dressed in shirt, pants, one shoe and one sock. The other shoe and sock were in the sandbag.

I was thrown into a lorry and taken to Paulette Avenue. They called me "A Catholic bastard". They said, "You'll need more than medals and the Virgin Mary to save you".

At Girdwood I was photographed and taken to the gymnasium. I was with what seemed to be hundreds of others sitting on the floor. I was punished for talking. About an hour and a half later I was taken by four military policemen along with four other prisoners. I was forced to run over broken glass and rough stones to a helicopter, without shoes. I spent fifteen seconds in the helicopter and I was then pushed out into the hands of military policemen, I was forced to crawl between these policemen back to the building. They kicked me on the hands, legs, ribs and kidney area. They threw me up the stairs into the building. All the time they kept saying things like, "You are good Catholic dogs and we are your masters". As a result of their abuse I was injured on my sides and face.

I was then taken to another large hall where I sat on the floor in silence. After about thirty minutes I was taken to a room and questioned by two plain clothed detectives. I was told by one detective that I knew members of the I.R.A. in my district. I said that I didn't. I was accused of blowing up buildings and taking lives and also corresponding with people who blew up buildings. They claimed to have proof of this. I was called a fucking Republican sympathiser". This detective left.

The other detective said, "He is not nice but you need have no fear of me". He promised me a generous weekly allowance and safe passage abroad if I gave him information about I.R.A. men. Later I was asked personal questions, e.g. "Have you a car?", "Can you drive?", "Where do you work?", "How long have you worked there?" etc. I read and signed the answers to these questions.

I was released at noon the same day on the Antrim Road. Mrs. Rita Mullan, a nurse, gave myself and Elisha Anderson, who was released with me, a lift to my own home in her car. I have since seen my doctor, Dr. J. F. Mellott, 320 Woodstock Road, Belfast 6.

To the best of my knowledge the information which I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signed: Henry Bennett. 14th August, 1971.
Witnessed: Rev. Brian J. Brady.


Paul Enda Corrigan,
Drumbrochas, Macken,
Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
Age: 37.
Occupation: Farmer.

At 4.15 a.m. on Monday, August 9th, 1971, soldiers broke the glass in the door of my home and entered. I was told that I was being arrested under the Special Powers Act. No documents were produced. My brother Aidan asked that I be allowed to contact a solicitor and my Member of parliament. The phone was dashed from his hand. The Army officer refused to identify himself. "Fenian Bastard" was written on a neighbour's house by the soldiers and his milk can was interfered with.

I was brought from my home to Omagh and kept in a room in the Barracks with two other men. We were allowed to talk. I was then told to produce everything and a list was made. I was then brought back to the room which contained 4 or 5 now. I was brought to breakfast and had eggs, beans, bacon and tea. I was refused leave to go to the toilet just before leaving Omagh. At 7.45 a.m. we left Omagh. There were nine in the truck and we arrived at Magilligan Army Camp at 10.15 a.m. We were kept in the truck until 11.30 a.m. We were not allowed to talk, to stand up or go to the toilet.

We were then brought to a hut and two lorry loads, 18 in all, were put into a small room. I was refused leave to go to the toilet. After 20 minutes we were brought out to the open spaces at the back of this hut and allowed to go to the toilet. The previous occupants of this hut had gone to the toilet on the floor of the hut, which was filthy.

After half an hour we were called out singly and our details were ascertained again by the Military and the R.U.C. (who appeared now for the first time). We were searched now by an Army man. We were photographed three times (twice with flash and once without it) standing beside the man who had arrested us, against a wall with our names held above us. We signed for the contents of our pockets. We were taken to the doctor and received a thorough examination. Then we were taken to different huts and mixed in groups of 15-20. The huts were very dirty and contained dirty bed linen. The two detectives asked leading questions like: "What side did you take in the split in the I.R.A.?", "Do you know Cathal Goulding?", "Do you know Rory Brady?"

Detective MacCullen began to talk about religious discrimination. I said, "There is no religious discrimination in the south". Mr.MacCullen said, "The Protestants are such a tiny minority in the 26 counties that they are no threat to the Constitution. If the Catholic minority were as small on this side, that would be a different story."

After interrogation I was brought back to a different hut with those already interrogated. We were left for the rest of the evening. There were 24 or 25 in the hut, which had 14 beds. About 11 p.m. some were brought out and put into another hut.

About 6 a.m. on Tuesday batons were pulled along the side of the hut for half an hour. We washed outside without soap or towel. We were left alone on Tuesday and given three meals. On one occasion coming from the toilet I had my hands in my pockets. The policeman said, "Take them out". I said, "What law am I breaking?" "You have no rights here," he said.

At 11 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10th, 1971, we were called out in batches and handcuffed, and remained handcuffed until 3.30 a.m. On Wednesday, August 11th, 1971, we were brought via Coleraine to Omagh. There we were allowed to go to the toilet and were re-handcuffed and brought to Enniskillen. I was brought home by the police. Why was I handcuffed when I was being released?

This experience was far worse than going to jail. One had a terrible feeling of uncertainty and hopelessness. The whole affair caused great distress and upset to my family, especially to my 73-year-old mother with whom I live.

To the best of my knowledge the information I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signed: Paul Corrigan. 14th August, 1971.
Witnessed: Rev. Denis Faul.


Sean Drumm,
12 Glasmullan Garden,
Belfast 11.
Age: 20.
Occupation: Apprentice.
Health: This boy has a bad stammer.

On Monday, August 9th, 1971, at about 3.45 a.m., soldiers of the Paratroop Regiment took my father (James, 50 years) and myself from our home. I was allowed to dress only in trousers and pullover, over my pyjamas. We were taken in a jeep about 400 yards to the junction of Shaws Road and Stewartstown Road. There my shoes were removed and my hands tied behind my back. I was put into a truck with seven others including my father and three soldiers. We were driven for about an hour (journey normally takes 15 minutes) via Falls Road, Albert Street, Falls Road Whiterock, Ardoyne, Crumlin Road to Girdwood Barracks. At Girdwood my hands were untied. I sat on the floor of the gym with about 150 others for about half an hour.

I was then taken outside with about 7 / 8 others. We were forced to run the gauntlet between two rows of military policemen. I was grabbed, kicked, knocked down, jumped on and trailed into the hall. This left me feeling aches and pains all over. My first interrogation by one Special Branch man came about an hour later. I was asked details about my family, membership of illegal organisations, presence at meetings, political beliefs and my father. I was promised a quick release if I gave information about my father. I was told that I would be better off married and living in England. I was then taken back to another hall about the same size as the first and with a large number of men. I sat on the floor until about 3.30 p.m. I was not abused, but others who were nodding off to sleep were.

After that I was taken with two others to a yard covered with rough stones, broken glass, dirt, branches of trees. I was forced to run across it to Crumlin Road Jail and was struck with batons at the beginning and end of it.

At the jail I was put in a cell with two others and given a prison meal. I was given my shoes. I had two further interrogations like the first. I was struck on the head with clenched fists by Special Branch men when I didn't answer quickly enough.

On Tuesday, August 10th, at about 11.30 p.m., I was thrown Out with about 20 others. There was no public transport and a riot with shooting was in progress. I slept in an entry opposite the jail until about 5 a.m. with another man from Ardoyne (I forget his name). I walked home slowly as I was very sore and got in about 8.30 a.m.

I personally have been made very nervous by the experience and I am afraid to go out if there is the slightest possibility of trouble. I feel my movements terribly restricted. My two sisters and I are living with relatives as we feel the soldiers will come back to our house. My two sisters were afraid to live at home when my father and I were away.

To the best of my knowledge the information which I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signed: Sean Drumm. 13th August, 1971.
Witnessed: Rev. Brian J. Brady.


Gerard McErlean,
36 Sheriff Street,
Belfast 5.
Age: 19.
Occupation: Apprentice.

On Monday, August 9th, 1971, at 4.30 a.m., soldiers broke into the home of McErlean. They ran up the stairs and woke him and his brother, telling them to come with them. They dressed quickly in trousers, pullovers and shoes (no socks). McErlean was pulled by the arm downstairs and put sitting in a lorry. His brother was forced to lie down. They were taken through a Protestant district to Paulette Avenue and there were made to sit on the floor. McErlean was given a blanket. About half an hour later the blanket was taken away and he was taken with five other prisoners and four soldiers on a lorry through Protestant areas. They were subjected to obscenities and threats, e.g. "if the barracks is full we'll have to shoot this lot".

At Girdwood Army Barracks they were lined up outside on wet pavements and their shoes removed. After about half an hour they were allowed inside and six R.U.C. men took McErlean's personal belongings (including his belt), took down personal details. Military policemen photographed him.

He was taken to a large gym where there were a large number of men sitting on the floor. He also sat there and was not allowed to smoke, talk or move. About three-quarters of an hour later he was taken with five others to a lawn in a helicopter. He was forced down on all fours and, accompanied by two military policemen with batons and one R.U.C. man behind, trailed across a field and a concrete area. At this time the military policemen and the R.U.C. man shouted, "Crawl like a dog, you bastard, you are a dog". They also batoned McErlean, who also received cut feet and a bruised knee. He was then put in the helicopter and thrown out almost immediately and dragged on all fours back to the gym. There he was seated on the floor.

About half an hour later his name was called by a member of the Special Branch and he was taken to a room where he was questioned by two Special Branch men. He was then taken upstairs to another hall and made to sit on the floor. A padre came in, accompanied by an officer in the Military Police. The officer said, "Anyone who wishes may see the padre by giving his name to the sergeant". McErlean was disgusted to see a priest mixed up in the brutality. He felt that the padre laughed as they were forced across the obstacle course.

After about an hour he was taken downstairs and given a sack with his belongings. He was forced to run fast in bare feet across an obstacle course with stumps of trees, sharp stones, broken glass and tacks. He was accompanied by military police with dogs barking. As he went through a pile of garbage they shouted, "Go on, you're only garbage".

McErlean entered Crumlin Prison through a hole in the wall. He was taken to a cell with two others. The cell had two beds and one mattress. He was given food which he couldn't eat and later taken to a cell with one other man.

On Tuesday, August 10th, he was kept in the cell all day and given prison meals. In the evening he was taken downstairs, given his belongings and allowed to put on his shoes. He was raced across the field with ten others to Girdwood Barracks accompanied by military policemen with dogs. In Girdwood they were taken to a room with seats and allowed to smoke. An officer in the Military Police gave them a lecture about behaviour. He said, "If we call in your home after dark and you are not in, you will be in trouble. You can get directions for getting home from the military police. It's 'hot' in town tonight. When approaching an Army barrier walk in the middle of the road with hands up."

McErlean was then photographed in a group with about 18 others. A military policeman who had previously been very brutal said, "Thank you for posing. Does anyone need footwear?" They were then marched to the gate. The sentry said, "You blokes aren't going out there! There's a fucking war on out there!" They were forced out by other Military Police onto Clifton Park Avenue at about 11.30 p.m. The bullets were flying. Seven of them made their way to the Imperial Hotel, Cliftonville Road. McErlean stayed the night and returned home by taxi on Wednesday morning, August 11th.

As a result of the treatment he has cuts and abrasions on the feet and knees, he is afraid to go out at night, soldiers and police terrify him. His mother has been on sedatives since. He has seen his doctor and will be away from work for two weeks, will lose wages and will be unable to contribute to the upkeep of his home.

Mr. Gerard McErlean signed a statement to this effect which was witnessed by the Rev. Brian J. Brady, 13th August, 1971.


Noel A. Maguire,
24 Iveagh Street,
Belfast 12.
Age: 20.
Occupation: Student.

At 5.15 a.m. on Thursday, August 12th, 1971, I was arrested at the top of Iveagh Parade. (I was not told why or under what act I was arrested.) I was knocked about during the arrest and made to lie face downwards on the floor of an armoured car.

I was taken to Springfield Road Barracks. I had to stand with hands and legs outstretched for at least an hour. I was forbidden to look right or left, and not allowed to speak to anyone. At one point I was forced to go on my knees and was told to sing the 'Queen'. I said that I didn't know the words, and was allowed to stand against the wall again.

I was then interrogated by a plain clothes police officer and an Army officer. I denied that I had been with the six others arrested and the Army officer accused me of calling the soldier who gave evidence against me, a liar. Also at Springfield Road Barracks they mocked me for having long hair – "Who is the girl at the end?" – and said that they would like to cut off my hair.

I was then taken to Girdwood Barracks and thrown from one person to another until I reached the gymnasium. In the gymnasium I had to stand against a steel door with my hands and legs outstretched. Only my fingertips were to touch the door. I began to shake with nerves and caused the door to rattle. One soldier said that this was making him nervous and that when he became nervous he did things that he wasn't responsible for. Another soldier pressed the barrel of a gun into my face and threatened to blow my head off – this happened twice.

After that they began to take an interest in my long hair. One asked my name, I said "Noel". He said, "Your name is Norma". Once again he asked my name. Once again I said "Noel" and again he said "Norma is your name", so I was forced to say louder and louder each time "My name is Norma".

Then one said, "Let's find out whether he is a girl or a boy". Someone else said "Have you ever shagged girls?" I said "No". He said "You are a virgin then". I said "No". He said "Then you have shagged girls". I said "No". At this he said "You are a shagging bastard". All this time they were pulling my hair and giving me the odd thump. One pulled my head right back and said "You will recognise me again". I said "Yes". He said "You had better, for the next time I see you I'll kill you".

Then I was taken down for photographs. Then I was put against the wall again, and one soldier grabbed my hair and asked me did I want a crew cut or standard. I said "A standard". He then asked me did I want a shave. I said "Yes". Then he began cutting my hair, it seemed with a knife. He took me into a wash place and finished the job there, making me kneel down at the finish.

I was then photographed a second time and brought back to the gymnasium where I was told to sit on the floor with arms and legs crossed. One of the Redcaps then came up and said "Well Norma, what is your name?" I said "Noel". He said "Oh, you are a fucking boy now." Then he went on.

Another Redcap came along and asked me if I had any complaints. I said "No". He said "Not even about your hair?" I said "No". He said that if I had any complaints I would have to make them there, I couldn't make them outside. He said that I wouldn't be hurt, that I had already been processed.

Then there was a forensic test. The man conducting it asked me if I had my hair cut by the soldiers. I said that I had. He said that I looked better with my hair cut and that I had been saved the price of a haircut.

Back then to the gymnasium and eventually about lunch time we were given a meal (stew). I spilled some gravy from the cardboard plate and after the meal I asked for something to clean it up. I was forced to sit on top of it myself. I was told to ask a corporal, "Corporal, please take my plate back to the kitchen." The answer was, "Get up off your fucking arse and take it back yourself".

The general idea was to have as much 'fun' as possible at our expense. Then I was told to brush the floor.

Some time after that came the first interrogation at Girdwood. Questions were something like "What Company are you in?" "Who is your officer in command?" I was repeatedly told to tell the truth. The general impression was that I was telling lies if I didn't give the answers they wanted to hear.

Then I was brought back to the gymnasium where once again I had to sit upright with legs and arms crossed. At about 7.15 p.m. we were given chairs but were not allowed to sleep. If you dozed off, you were taken to a wash hand basin and told to wash your face. Around this time we got another meal.

A policeman whom I know came across and asked me if my people knew that I had been lifted. Later he got in touch with my mother to tell her.

Nothing else of note happened on Thursday or Friday until the second interrogation when it was suggested that I had been shooting at soldiers. I was told in very forcible terms to tell the truth. "They didn't want the walls to be painted red." Also one of the interrogators took a knuckle-duster out of his pocket and slammed it on the desk. The young detective was sent out to bring back a damp floor cloth. "I don't want the floor to be messed up." I was asked how long I had been using a gun and who taught me. I was hit across the face with his left hand clenched. He also hit me a couple of times with the knuckle-duster around the body. That interrogation lasted a long time – 1½ hours approximately. At the end I was told "That's you over the wall for five years."

I was released on Friday, August 13th, 1971, at 6 p.m. I was not given transport home and there was no public transport available. My torture was more mental than physical and has left me nervous. During my detention the authorities at Springfield Road Barracks refused to tell my mother anything about me except that I was held under the Special Powers Act. At Girdwood I was asked my religion and my request for a solicitor was refused.

To the best of my knowledge, the information which I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signed: Noel Maguire. 16th August, 1971.
Witnessed: Rev. Anthony McLaverty.


Patrick Shivers,
Trea Gardens,
Age: 40.
Occupation: Plasterer.
Family: Wife and 5 children (Tony, 8 yrs.; Pearse, 5 yrs.; Brian, 6 yrs.; Diarmuid, 2 yrs.; Mark, 10 weeks).
Additional details:
Wife epileptic.
Baby 7 weeks premature and has been ill from birth.
Baby rhesus negative – has attended R.V.H. Belfast for transfusions and checks.
Brian has chronic bronchitis.
Family as whole nervous. Husband born in Scotland and went to school there. Was previously interned 1958-59.

Statement by his wife.
On Monday, 9th August, there was a knock at the door at 4.55 a.m. Both my husband and myself came downstairs. Voices were shouting to open the door. We realised it was the Army. Arrested Patrick under Special Powers Act. My husband was given five minutes to dress, after which he was taken away, marching down the street. No force was used at any time during this arrest. I was not told where my husband was being taken to nor why he was being taken.

First information I got as to my husband's whereabouts was on Wednesday morning from another detainee who had been released, D. McCloy. He had been seen at Magilligan Camp.

On Friday, 18th August, I heard from relatives of other detainees that they had been officially notified of the detention of their relatives. I immediately contacted the C.R.A., Marquis Street, who contacted the Ministry of Home Affairs who informed them that they had no record of a detainee called Patrick Shivers. Crumlin Road jail stated that he was not there. On Saturday evening Kevin Agnew, Solicitor, Maghera, contacted R.U.C. Ballymona, to be told that Patrick was on the Maidstone. On Monday morning I received official notification that my husband had been detained in Her Majesty's Prison, Belfast. I immediately rang the Crumlin Road, inquiring if my husband was there. They first said "Yes",only to contradict this a few moments later. I expressed dismay at this news. I was advised to ring the Ministry of Home Affairs. I spoke to a Mr. McMillan who told me that Patrick was in the Crumlin Road. Two and a half hours later I rang the Ministry of Home Affairs again asking them to confirm their previous statement and they repeated, "His place of detention is the Crumlin Road" and that on receipt of an application a permit would be issued to visit him. When, through the C.R.A. clothes for my husband were delivered to the Crumlin Road jail the authorities there refused to accept them, saying that there was no Patrick Shivers there. I received the visit permit on Wednesday, 18th, and I visited Patrick in Crumlin Road today, 19th August, between 2.15 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.

He of his own accord told me what had happened. He said that on Tuesday, 10th, he had been taken from Magilligan Camp with head covered with a sack or bag. He was taken by helicopter to an unknown destination. For a complete week he received no food, was not allowed to sleep and was continuously interrogated. He was made to stand with his arms stretched out and legs spreadeagled for hours on end until he collapsed. This happened several times. He was alternatively kicked and pushed and when he lost consciousness he was revived to begin the whole thing over again. A doctor attended him from time to time and took his blood pressure. He lost consciousness on many occasions and became convinced that he was dying. He was variously photographed in the nude in various positions. Questioning continued without ceasing.

On Tuesday, 17th, arrived at the Crumlin Road from an unknown destination and was put in a cell and remained there until the following morning. During the week he lost a stone in weight.

My husband has had no complaints since he arrived at Crumlin Road jail. He emphasised that he had no idea who interrogated him as his head was always covered. He has still received no change of clothing since his arrest nor has he received any toilet requisites. The only organisation my husband has connection with is the C.R.A., and is known in the area for his abhorrence of violence.


Statement by Mr. Gerry Campbell.
62 Willowvale Avenue,
Belfast 11.
Age: 33.

At approximately 4.30 a.m. on 9th August I was awakened by noise of battering on door. I went down to find the front door broken in and an officer and soldiers in the hall. He asked me if my name was Gerard Campbell, and if this house was 62 Willowvale Avenue. I told him yes, I am Gerard Campbell. He said he was there to search the house. I asked for warrant. He said he didn't have one. I said, "I'm afraid you can't search the house." Then he said, "Under the fucking Special Powers Act I can do anything." He said, "We'll start upstairs." I preceded him and two soldiers upstairs. My wife and four children were still in bed upstairs in three bedrooms. I asked him where he wanted to start searching. He said, "The main bedroom." He said to me, "Get dressed."

I asked him why he wanted me dressed to search the house. At that he handed me a slip of paper saying I was arrested under the Special Powers Act, and told me to ask no more questions. He would give me two minutes to get dressed or take me away as I was. I dressed. The officer and soldiers did not search the house. I was taken outside the front door, my hands tied behind my back and walked 300 to 400 yards to a waiting Saracen. I was thrown into the back of the Saracen which already held four other prisoners. The Saracen then moved off and drove to the corner of Stewartstown Road and Shaws Road which seemed to be the rendezvous point for all those arrested as there were three or four troop carriers (lorries), Saracens and jeeps about.

My hands were untied. I was put standing up against the Saracen car and searched. All my personal belongings were taken from me – money, cigarettes, etc., and put into a bag. My shoes and socks were also taken off. Then I was tied again, hands behind back, and a rope stretched from hands up round neck with loose end to railings. I was put into back of troop carrier then with five other prisoners. The troop carrier moved off down Andersonstown Road as far as Andersonstown Barracks, then turned back up the Glen Road again and went up Monagh Road, while we were going up Monagh Road the people of Turf Lodge began throwing bottles and stones at the troop carrier. I was lifted and thrown to back of lorry and made to stand at opening at back as a shield, all the while being beaten by batons from behind and my feet being deliberately trampled on. The soldier standing near me put his gun to my head and said "If there's any shots fired mate, I'll blow your fucking head off and nobody will know who done it."

I was struck by a couple of stones in the chest and shoulders before the people recognised that it was a civilian in the back of the truck and stopped throwing. The lorry by now had slowed almost to walking pace. The soldiers in the truck were shouting and receiving messages all the time from the driver in front. The driver was warning them where the crowds were standing – "On your left" or "on your right". I was twisted around accordingly to face the missiles.

When the people recognised it was a civilian and stopped throwing missiles the soldiers shouted abuse at them "Fenian fucking bastards". "scum", etc.

The lorry turned down Springfield Road. On its way past the Springfield Estate there were other crowds out. I was again used as a shield on the back of the lorry in a similar manner to the previous occasion and again struck several times with missiles before the people realised there was a civilian behind being held to the rear of the truck. The lorry once again slowed almost to walking pace. One of the soldiers shouted "Give it to the fucking bastards" and the soldier with the rubber bullet gun fired about three rounds into the crowd.

The lorry cut up West Circular Road and out onto the Crumlin Road. Again going down the Crumlin Road towards the jail the crowds were on the road. They grabbed me again and used me as a human shield. I was struck only once on this occasion. Once again the people stopped throwing. The lorry proceeded to Girdwood Army Barracks. We were taken out and brought into a hallway. Army, R.U.C. and Special Branch seated and standing behind a table took name and address and photograph. We were then brought into a gymnasium and made to sit on the floor. We sat there for about l½-2 hours and were not allowed to move. The Red Caps came in and picked men out in batches of six. They were taken outside. About five minutes later they came back crawling on their hands and knees, with clothes awry and obviously exhausted and short of breath. One of them told me (George Shannon) he had been thrown on to a helicopter, then thrown out again and made to crawl all the way back to the gym on hands and knees, all the time being kicked and beaten with batons about the body by Redcaps. I saw this repeated about five or six times while I was there. Then Harry Taylor, Special Branch, brought me in for interrogation. He asked me to give information about guns and ammunition dumps. I told him I was refusing to answer any questions until I had seen a solicitor. He said that if I did not answer questions he would hand me over to the soldiers and "You'll be glad to answer any questions when they are finished with you." I still refused to answer the questions and he said, "I'll see you get 10 years in Rathlin Island." He called two R.U.C. policemen and told them to take me away.

They ran me up the stairs, one holding each arm to another large room where there were about 50-60 detainees sitting on the floor. I was told to sit down on the floor with them. I was there for about an hour and a half to two hours. We were guarded by R.U.C. and Military Red caps who were all the while being abusive to the detainees. While I was sitting on the floor I saw a friend of mine – Paddy McGeough – being thrown into the room where he fell on the floor beside me. He was obviously hurt and I asked him what happened. He told me that two R.U.C. men had pinned him to the wall outside the door, stood on his toes and then kicked him on each leg before throwing him into the room.

Taken out in batches of six for a cup of tea; tea in dirty mug. Refused tea. After about another hour – having seen others taken out for helicopter "gauntlet run" – which I myself was lucky to escape – I was taken with five other detainees to be transferred to Crumlin Road Prison. We were not told where we were going.

We were made to run at a trot to outside building and there we saw what was known as the "obstacle course" – it was about 300 yards of varying surfaces. The first was rough shingle which cut your feet, the next was bricks upended. Then a rubbish dump with tree stumps, branches, rotting vegetation, broken boxes and broken glass – all the way being shouted at, beaten with batons and snapped at by R.U.C. dogs in control of Red Caps. Then we were flung at a hole in the wall which led to Crumlin Road jail. During this time the difficulty was keeping your feet. Some fell in front of me and I could see them being kicked into a standing position.

One man behind me – Joe McFaul – was severely beaten all the way across and right up to the prison gate. The soldiers shouted at him, "You're a petrol bomber."

We were then put into the prison and put into cells in "B" Wing. There were four in one cell until 9.0 a.m. when two were taken out. The food was terrible. I ate no food for two days. We were refused toilet facilities, refused exercise, still no shoes or socks or cigarettes.

I asked three times to see governor but was refused by R.U.C. men who seemed to be in control and gave warders orders. The man in my cell, Jim McCabe, Inkerman Street, was called out on Tuesday night. I could hear column of men being marched towards Girdwood and being shouted at to "march at the double". I knew subsequently they were being released.

When I was on my own I was visited twice more by R.U.C. men for interrogation and I still refused to answer more questions other than my name and address. When I asked for solicitor and protested at my illegal detention they laughed and walked out.

The next morning I was taken to "C" Wing where I have been detained ever since.

Mr. Campbell gave this statement which was taken down in dictation.


Mr. McClean, a known member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

Mr. McClean was arrested at 4.30 a.m. at his house in Beragh. He was first taken to Omagh and then to Magilligan Camp in Co. Derry. He and other prisoners were kept in a van from 10.15 a.m. till 1 p.m. and were refused permission to go to the toilet. He was kept in a hut all day and given no exercise being only taken out for questioning.

On August 11th he and other prisoners were awakened at 4 a.m., given breakfast and then handcuffed and a bag put over their heads. They were taken to a waiting helicopter, in which they travelled for about one hour. On arrival they were taken to what Mr. McClean describes as a torture chamber.

All clothes were taken from him and he was given a pair of Army overalls. He was then stood against a wall in spreadeagle fashion until he collapsed. After the first time he refused to do this again and so he was caught by his arms and legs and bounced up and down hitting the ground with his rectum. Rolled back and forth on the ground hitting his head each time. Carried on somebody's back and then allowed to drop onto the ground. Punched in the stomach. Arms stretched back. Two arms were pulled back straight and he was kicked in the back. Forced to do the splits in a sitting position and head forced down with someone sitting on his back. Put flat on his back and his legs forced apart and he was kicked in the testicles. His arms were placed behind pipes and an attempt made to stuff him down behind the pipes. His head was bumped on the floor, causing dizziness. His head was slapped with an open hand. He was drummed behind the ears with someone's knuckles. His chest hair was pulled. He was choked by having his nose, mouth and throat held. Arms were wound like a windmill. He was thrown over a form with his head down first, then his feet were put down and he was let slide up and down on his spine. His hands and arms were beaten against the ground. Fingers were stamped on. He was laid on the ground – legs pulled up over his face and a man's weight was pressed on top of him. He was numbered or marked with blue die. Handcuffed and hung up with feet just touching the ground for he doesn't know how long.

The purpose of these tortures was obviously to make Mr. McClean talk about the Civil Rights Association, alleges Mr. McClean.

Mr. McClean stated that he was questioned approximately eight times and he was told that he was telling nothing but a pack of lies. As well as the above tortures Mr. McClean also states that he was treated roughly at all times, being made to wear a boiler suit and a bag over his head. He remembers the sound of compressed air escaping, the moaning of other prisoners, an execution order being given, the death service played to him, mobs singing, what he took to be the noise of a firing squad.

He occasionally got a drink of water and attempts were made to force slices of dry bread down his throat. On either Sunday or Monday, he states, he got milk and cereal and rice which he was unable to eat. He states that he was given tablets prescribed by a doctor who usually revived him when he passed out. He was unable to go to the toilet and wet himself on a number of occasions and then had to sleep on it.

His boiler suit was changed on either Monday or Tuesday.

Mr. McClean had no idea where he underwent his ordeal.

On Tuesday, August 17th, when Mr. McClean arrived at the Crumlin Road Jail, he had to spend a number of days in the prison hospital.


Edward Campbell,
645 Springfield Road,
Age: 19.

I was arrested on Monday, August 9th, 1971, at 4 a.m. by a group of six or seven soldiers in uniform, at the above address. Those present at the time of the arrest were Raymond Kennedy (aged 19) and Mary Dodds (aged about 18). Raymond Kennedy was staying with me as the rest of the family were on holiday. Mary Dodds lives on the Antrim Road and was afraid to go home and asked to stay the night. Raymond and I are members of a musical group and Mary is a friend of another member of the group. We had been playing at the community centre until 11.30 p.m.

Raymond and I were told by a couple of the soldiers to get our shoes and clothes on. We were then surrounded by the soldiers and told to "move". We were not told we were being arrested nor was the Special Powers Act mentioned.

The soldiers had prised the door open quietly and I was not aware of their presence until their voices wakened me. They said they were looking for someone called "Fox". On being told that there was no one of that name in the house they said "Is this Campbell's?" and on being told that it was, they said "You two (myself and Kennedy) will do".

We were brought to Henry Taggart Memorial Hall on foot. We did not resist at any stage, nor were we abused on the way to the hall.

At the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall we were asked to remove our shoes and get into an Army lorry. I was the first to enter. I was dragged in by soldiers and thrown to the far end of the lorry on top of several other people who were already there. We were all lying face downwards on the floor of the lorry. We were hit with batons as we were being ordered to lie down.

The lorry moved out and we were raised to our feet and placed against the canvas side of the lorry. One soldier was heard to say "If any of your mates throw stones you're the ones will get it". After we got through the crowd we were thrown to the floor again. While the lorry was still travelling, I was pulled up by the hair and a soldier told me to sing 'God Save the Queen'. I refused and was hit across the head with a baton and thrown to the floor. 1 was hit on the head again and told to keep it down. The soldiers began to sing the 'Sash', beating time to it on our heads with their batons. They called us Fenian bastards, told us that where we were going we would be getting porridge for the next ten years and told a Mr. Gerry Adams that his daughter was a "Mad Shag" and that they had photographs of her with Green Jackets.

A soldier told me that he did not like the shape of my nose and hit me across the face with his baton. I was lying face up and another soldier shone a torch in my face. He saw a Celtic crucifix round my neck and said, "You have a f . . . cheek to wear that" and pulled it off. I was again hit on the back of the head. I saw stars. This was the worst blow I received. Another soldier shouted "There's the two bastards that play the guitars (myself and Raymond). At this stage a number of soldiers pulled Raymond's shirt up and spat all over his back. The soldier nearest me commenced to hit me across the fingers with his baton. He then removed a bullet from his magazine, making sure that I saw him doing so. "What was this doing in your pocket?" He put the bullet into my pocket and took it out again. I did not answer. He said the same thing to another prisoner. He put the bullet back in the magazine. Next he grabbed two fingers on my right hand and bent them backwards saying, "I'm going to break these two fingers, you little bastard. You're going to enjoy this, aren't you."

Someone shouted, "Everybody out". We were lifted up. I was hit again. The force of the blow threw me across the lorry. I was taken out of the lorry and brought into a room with a desk. The room was a corridor with a part divided off. In this room I was brought to the desk. An R.U.C. man asked for another photograph. The blood was wiped off my face first. A second photograph was taken.

Our pockets were emptied and our belongings put into a green bag and labelled with our names. (Our names had been taken by a soldier outside the Henry Taggart Hall.) I was brought into a hall and made to sit on the floor. There were very many others in the same hall. We were surrounded by military police with machine guns. (It was only later that I knew we were at Girdwood.) I was here until about mid-afternoon. My name and Raymond's were called out. We were brought into a room and interrogated by two men in plain clothes. We were asked full particulars: names, address, occupations, etc. We were asked if we were members of the I.R.A. We were sitting during this interrogation which lasted about two minutes. We were then brought upstairs. We sat on the floor in a room upstairs for about two hours. Names were called out from time to time. We found out later that these people were being released. We were given tea to drink but nothing to eat. This was the first time we had been given anything to eat or drink. I had earlier asked for a drink of water but was refused.

While in this room I saw an R.U.C. man stand on the toes of a young fellow and then bash his head against the wall. Another prisoner came in limping. Four others who called to this man were brought out by Military Police and made to run up and down the corridor while Military Policemen beat them with batons. One of these men had no shirt on and I saw the red marks on his back.

We were eventually brought back to the hall and made to sit on the floor. We were given something to eat in dirty mess-tins. This consisted of bits of beef, beans and weak gravy. We were given half a plastic container of tea to follow.

I was called to another room. Here I was interrogated sitting on a chair by three men in plain clothes. They all had Belfast accents. This interrogation lasted a long time, perhaps two hours. I was asked the situation in Belfast, what I thought about the soldiers, the police, if I had been asked to join the I.R.A., had I attended any funerals of people who had been shot, if I was a member of any political party or Republican Clubs, who my mates were at primary school, grammar school. I was asked for my solution to the situation here, whether I could speak Irish, why I left the Merchant Navy. They said that they had heard people had been brought home to take part in the I.R.A. Campaign.

Towards the end they said, "You have lived in Ballymurphy for sixteen years. You are bound to know people in the I.R.A. If you tell us their names there will be no more questions and you will be able to go home. If you do not tell us their names you will be interned for six years. You are on the brink of your life. It's up to yourself." When I replied that I did not know anyone in the I.R.A., they said that was my bad luck. They could do nothing about it. They told me to think hard. This was not like other times. I would be held for six years. I was told that internment meant being "isolated from society". At the end I was told I would be locked away for a long time.

I was brought back to the hall and given two blankets and a towel. I was also given a pair of army socks and made to take off my own. We were given canvas to lie on. We were told to get stripped for a shower. We all stripped and while waiting to enter one of the two showers were photographed by soldiers. Some of us were marked. Some had towels round them. Two fans were turned on and cold air blown round us from both ends of the hall. There was no soap for the shower. I was in for only a minute. The water was luke warm.

We were told to lie down, the lights were kept on and the soldiers kept talking all night. We were wakened by soldiers, plain-clothes men and R.U.C. men every time we fell asleep. We were asked our names on each occasion. We were told to get up early in the morning and brought in to get washed. We were only allowed a minute to do so. About an hour later we had breakfast – corn-flakes with watered milk, hard beans and sausages with tea but no bread. We sat for many hours and were then made to walk round the hall, our right hands on the shoulder of the man in front. We sat down again. Men with a growth were given razors to shave. Later we were brought outside and allowed to smoke one cigarette. We kept walking round in circles. Soldiers in uniforms pretended to set dogs on us, pulling them back when they were within a foot of us.

We were brought in again. A number of men asked for stomach powders. A doctor was brought in. I had had a heat rash for two days and asked the doctor to examine it. He brought me outside. I remained there for about an hour. The doctor (a man in army uniform) brought me into a room and told me I had venereal scabies; all the hair would have to be shaved off. He said neither the soldiers nor the prisoners wanted to catch the disease. I said I did not want my hair cut as I played in a group (my hair was growing down to my shoulder). The doctor said the rash went up to the top of my head and the hair would have to come off for the proper treatment. A soldier shaved my head with scissors and razor, using cold water and soap. It did not hurt at the time. Other soldiers and R.U.C. men watched and jeered. One police officer said if he had his way he would make us all report to the barracks every week to have our heads shaved instead of interning us.

The doctor returned and said he had made a mistake. The rash did not go up my neck. He had mistaken it for bruises. He remarked that some soldier must have had a good time. (I am in doubt as to whether he was a doctor at all. He appeared to be very young and did not have the manner of a doctor. He was more like a first aid man. Since being released another doctor has told me there is no such thing as "venereal scabies", and that I did not even have scabies. The doctor also said there was no justification for cutting my hair. He described the whole affair as a monstrosity.

I was painted with a white lotion from the head to the knees. (All body hair had been removed including pubic hair.) I was naked all this time and was very cold. A kindly corporal gave me cigarettes. I was dressed in army clothes – socks, trousers, underpants, vest, shirt and jacket, all many sizes too big, although smaller sizes were available. I returned to the hall. The occupants had been told in advance that my hair had been removed for medical reasons.

About two hours later we were given our bags back and told to put our shoes on. We were told that when our names were called out we were to shout out our dates of birth. Twenty-two names were called out including mine. We were brought outside and made to stand in a line until it was dark. This was about an hour. We were told we were to be released. The corporal who had given me the cigarettes brought me behind a Saracen and gave me my own clothes. He also gave me 2s. for the bus fare. I was brought back to the line. A man in plain clothes said that if we were seen again we would be lifted again and not allowed out. Other soldiers told us we better get out of the country or we would be shot. The soldiers were not "messing about" any more.

The gate was opened and we were told to go out. A sergeant told myself and Raymond that we should leave the country as there was no future here. He said that we looked intelligent and should get a good job. He said there was no future in this country for lads of our age.

As we left there was shooting going on in many parts of the city. I was unable to go home on account of the shooting and went to my uncle on the Ormeau Road who collected me outside the International Hotel to which I had walked. My uncle collected me about 11.0 p.m.

As yet I have brought no claims for damages against the security forces. The plans of the music group to which I belong have been upset. It will be difficult to get engagements as we are now classed as I.R.A. suspects. I will also be handicapped by the loss of my hair. Wherever I go people are looking at my shaven head. The hair beginning to grow is causing irritation. I also suffer cramps and aching muscles as a result of the blows I received.

I give permission for this statement to be published. To the best of my knowledge the information which I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signature: Eamonn Campbell. Witness: Brendan McMullan (Rev.).
Date: 18th August, 1971.


Elisha Anderson,
75 Vulcan Street,
Belfast 5.
Age: 55.
Occupation: Retired for 2½ years.
Health: Chronic heart condition.

On Monday, 9th August, 1971, at 4.30 a.m., soldiers broke down the door, rushed into my home and said, "You are arrested under the Special Powers Act." They also arrested my sons Paul and Brendan.

I was given 30 seconds to dress in trousers and shirt, no socks or shoes. They threw a sandbag over my head, but I threw it off as I couldn't breathe.

I was taken in my bare feet by Saracen to Paulette Avenue barracks. There I was made to sit on the floor, look front and remain silent. Five more prisoners were brought in, one man had a dog.

About 5.30 a.m., I was taken with five or six others to Girdwood Park Army barracks. On arrival I was photographed by R.U.C. men and had personal details taken. They removed my watch, handkerchief and rosary beads from me. I was then taken to a large gym and sat on the floor with perhaps 150 to 200 others.

Probably about 9.30 a.m. I was taken to another room for questioning by two Special Branch men, a third Special Branch man was behind. They produced photographs of 30 years ago and the record of my imprisonment and internment during the years 1939-45. They questioned me on my past record. I was asked about another son who left home over a year ago. I signed the answers to these questions. I was not given an opportunity to read the answers.

I was then forced to walk up two flights of stairs to another room. This was very painful as I was breathless due to my heart condition. In this room there was a large number of men sitting on the floor.

I felt so bad, I asked for a doctor and a chair to sit on. I was given a chair. The doctor arrived about on hour later. He examined me and took a piece of glass from my foot. I had been dragged across the broken glass of the broken door in my home. He gave me two tablets for my heart condition.

Despite my breathlessness I had to climb another flight of stairs to a small room where there were two others – one had asthma (Mr. Elliman, Falls Road) and the other was blind. We all sat at a table.

After about an hour, Mr. Elliman and myself were released with 8 to 10 others. We were given our personal possessions and escorted to Antrim Road gate.

I had to walk in my bare feet along the Antrim Road which was covered with broken glass and in full view of the public. I got to a friend's house about half a mile away with difficulty. He gave me boots and socks. A nurse, Mrs. Rita Mullan, took me and another released man, Mr. Bennett, home. I got home about 12 noon.

Apart from getting glass in my feet, the experience has aggravated my heart condition of 2½ years. I have hardly slept since. My wife has suffered quite a bit from hysteria since I and my two sons were taken away.

To the best of my knowledge the information which I have given above is a true and accurate account of what happened.

Signed: Elisha Anderson. Witness: Rev. Brian J. Brady.


Mr. G. (name and address held by Northern Ireland Association for Legal Justice).

On Monday, 5th August, at 4.30 a.m., I answered a knock on the door of my mother's home to find a group of soldiers. The officer asked for my elder brother. I said he was not in. He searched the house for him and did not find him. He said, "If I cannot take him, I shall take one of the boys." My other brother asked him under what authority he was acting. He said he was not obliged to answer any of his questions. He asked which of us was coming. He decided to take my brother who was there, but when he was upstairs preparing, he changed his mind and decided to take me. He gave me 15 minutes to prepare.

When I was ready, I was put into a jeep and brought l½ miles along the Sandholes Road. We stopped there for an hour. I got into a different truck. The two McGurks from Gortreagh joined us there. The truck went to the Dungannon Road, and we were kept there and photographed. Another prisoner joined us there. After about half an hour we were brought to Armagh and after certain formalities we were brought to Ballykinlar, arriving there about 11 o'clock. I got tea and two sandwiches of bacon and egg and a cup of tea in Armagh.

When we got to Ballykinlar I was made to stretch on my toes at an angle against the wall with my feet as far apart as possible and searched by military police. They were very aggressive, shouting commands. We were made to sit facing the wall of the hut outside on the ground for ten minutes. Then we were ordered to go into the hut. There were 20 of us and five or six military police. We were ordered to sit facing the inside wall of the hut for ten minutes. At ten minutes, or about that (I had no watch at the time), we had to sit with hands raised above our heads, or clasped on top of our heads, or to lie on our backs for ten minutes. We had to kneel touching the wall for ten minute periods and on our "hunkers" with head up and our hands up behind our back as much as possible, and various other torturous exercises. They made us do these exercises for about four hours and we were not permitted to look around at each other. If I did not hear the command, they said, "Are you deaf, you cunt ye?" Other expressions were used, "Are you fucking deaf?" We were made to call out our numbers in rotation for ten minutes, I to 20, and then 20 back to 1 for a further ten minutes. We got a meal at 2.00, either a cup of stew or a cup of tea plus two sandwiches. I cannot remember which. Two had to share a mug the first time. One was at 2.00 and the other later in the evening. We took our meal sitting on the floor covered with black dust. After the meal we were taken out for a run in the yard for ten minutes; if you slipped they cursed you. We came in, and the torturous and humiliating exercises began again and continued for several hours. I felt numb with despair, my throat was as dry as could be. I got water when I asked for it. On one occasion while I was taking a drink, he grabbed the cup from me saying, "Are you going to drink it all?" They let us go to the toilet.

After the second meal at about 6 or 7 the exercises went on for a while, I don't know how long. We were left then and I slept badly.

I must mention that I got medical examination on Monday at about 4 o'clock.

On Tuesday a Military Policeman entered at about 7.00. More torturous exercises for l½ hours approximately until we got a meal, a cup of tea and two sandwiches.

More exercises for two hours, getting more torturous. At about 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I could bear it no longer and was driven to fake a faint to get released from the torture. I screamed as loud as I could when they lifted me. They carried me out and one of them said, "You are fucking putting it on; you were examined by the doctor." They set me on the grass and I continued screaming. He said "Do you want to be closed up by yourself, if you don't stop?" I did not stop. They took me into a hut by myself and threatened to throw a bucket of water on me and then threw it on me. I continued screaming long after they left. I was there for three quarters of an hour. They came back for me and took me to the exercises again for three hours. We did some sweeping outside.

Then, about ten o'clock they took us to a room and got nice, gave us paper, cigarettes and good tea and a young soldier said we had had "Standard Army procedure". "We have got to keep you fit."

At about 10 p.m. I was taken home by Detective Sergeant Earls.

I was interrogated on Monday afternoon by Sergeant Earls of Cooks-town. He was nice and did not ask many questions, except, "Was I involved in any activities, I.R.A., etc.?" He asked me a few other questions. He told me if I could tell him where my brother or Paddy Mullan was he would let me home.

In some of the huts I was in during the two days I was in I was in the company of Michael Harvey of Pomeroy and Patsy McGurk of Kildress and Eugene Quinn of the Rock.

A signed statement to this effect was given by Mr. G., and witnessed by Rev. Denis Faul.


Statement by Elizabeth Brady concerning her son M. Brady.
84 McDonnell Street,
Date of arrest, Monday, 9th August, 1971.

I received word on Wednesday, 18th August, with a permit to visit my son. I went to the prison with a parcel. He was already seated at a table and there was a board in front of his legs (I don't know whether the board was placed there or whether it was actually part of the table). His eyes were dazed looking and he was extremely pale and was fidgety and working his hands a lot. He said that they had made him run over broken stones and glass and that "they made us run an obstacle race over the broken glass". They asked him to sing "God Save the Queen" and when he said he didn't know it they said they would teach him and they put him over it word for word until he did know and could sing it.

They put him up against a wall, which looked like a firing range, he thought that they were going to shoot him and he said that his legs "turned to jelly".

The doctor says that there is still glass in his feet and the doctor said not to worry as it would work its own way out.

He said that "There's things happened that I can't tell you", and he mentioned the cigarette burns on the other lads.

While we were talking the prison warden sat beside us at the same table. My son said that this all happened at Girdwood Barracks and that it was the military did it. The wardens weren't bad to them.

We were searched going into the prison. I had just collected my pension and she said, "I see someone's got plenty of money".

A statement to this effect was signed by Elizabeth Brady.


Mr. S. Name and address held by Northern Ireland Association for Legal Justice.

At 4.30 a.m., August 9th, 1971, I was arrested at my home by soldiers. I was barely given time to get my clothes on and then I was rushed down the street with a gun pointing at my back, though not actually touching me. We were loaded into a personnel carrier and brought to Albert Street. We were ordered to stand there in the yard and then we were brought in one by one into a small room and searched. All our belongings were taken off us including our shoes, but we were left our clothes and socks. During this time I got a thump from a baton on the knuckles and a couple in the stomach. We were left standing there in the yard for half an hour on wet ground in our socks.

Then we were loaded into a 3-ton lorry with no seats and brought to Girdwood Barracks. Each prisoner was guarded by a soldier. One of the soldiers (with three stripes) ordered that if anyone shouted or screamed or even tried to speak to any of the soldiers on the way, they were to be hit and hit hard. In the trucks our hands were tied behind our backs, not with rope but with cloth strips. At Girdwood we were taken out and given the sandbag in which our personal belongings had been put. Our hands were still tied. We were then lined up and brought in. We were given a white card with our name and addresses on it, and the place and time of arrest. My photograph was taken. Then my belongings were taken away again, I was brought into a room with my hands still tied and was made to sit on the floor for about fifteen minutes. Then I was taken into a room and interrogated for about an hour, I should think. During this interrogation I got a blow on my head above my right ear from the fists of my interrogator – a Special Branch man in plain clothes. I was stunned by the blow. I was called a "Fenian bastard, a Fenian cunt, and an I.R.A. bastard" and so on. The language was really rough.

But the worst was still to come. I was brought out and a rope was tied round me under my armpits. This was attached to a helicopter standing there – one of the big troop-carrying ones. The helicopter suddenly rose taking me with it, hanging underneath it. I don't know what height it went up, it seemed to me a couple of hundred feet. I could hear the voices of the crew above me shouting, "How do you like that Paddy? – you fucking bastard". This lasted several minutes, maybe fifteen – it seemed like hours. I was finding it difficult to breath. Then the helicopter came down and when it was about 15 feet or so above the ground – I can't be sure of heights, but it seemed very high to me – I was suddenly dropped to the ground. I had my legs lifted, and took the shock on them when I hit the ground. Luckily the ground was soft and grassy. I was completely winded, but I was immediately pounced on by two military policemen who frogmarched me across the field. One of them had his hand at the back of my neck forcing my head down and making it very difficult to breath, and when I stumbled or slipped I was hit with batons. I was brought back into the big room again. Two military policemen brought me running at the double, up the stairs, down again, up the stairs again and down again several times till I was in a very bad way from lack of breath. When I stumbled I was hit or kicked.

In the room a big R.U.C. sergeant ordered me to sit on the floor. Then I was told to get up and move, then to sit again, to move again, and we were kept moving. We were not allowed to speak, to close our eyes, or even to yawn. If we did we were thumped by a baton or kicked.

At noon, I think, I was taken out, my socks were removed and I was brought with others to Crumlin Road Jail. Two soldiers were in front of us, three at the side and one at the back. We were told to run, but if you got in front of the soldiers in front you were beaten on the shoulders by a rifle butt. This happened to me at least three times. Those at the sides were hitting us with batons, I think, or fists. If one of us fell, the others had to stop on him or over him. We were in our bare feet, and the ground was very rough, sharp stones mixed with glass. At one place we had to stumble over several logs which were very rough. My feet were very cut and bruised as a result. All the time we were being shouted at with really obscene language.

In Crumlin Road prison I was put in a cell with two others. After about half an hour I was taken to see Inspector – who offered me £300 into my fist and £50 per week and a good job or if I preferred free transport out of the country, if I would give names and addresses, where arms dumps were, where officers were hiding, etc. When I asked him was this internment he said "Yes". I told him that I would prefer to be interned. I said "Why don't you intern some of the U.V.F?" He said "Oh, we couldn't do that, they are the people". He asked me would I like a cigarette. I was dying for one, but he wouldn't give me one.

I was sent back to the cell, then taken out and put in another where there was a man who had been asking to go to the toilet for about an hour, he said. He was taken out and then two men in uniform, R.U.C. I think came in and said, "We want to give you something to make you sleep". One had a small glass, like a sherry glass. with a brown liquid in it. The other had a tablet about half the size of an Aspro, but a pinkish colour. I was scared of this, and refused to take it. One of them caught me by the hair and pulled my head back, forced open my mouth, put in the tablet, and poured the liquid down my throat. They then left. I don't know what the stuff was but after about half an hour I began to feel drowsy. I was lying on the top bunk and felt as if the ceiling was coming down on me, and the room getting

smaller. My sight was blurred and everything vague. It reminded me of the feeling of coming out of an anaesthetic after an operation.

I spent the night in the cell. I tried to eat the food we were given, but I couldn't. I took the milk we got. I was there until about 11 p.m. in the prison.

We were then taken back to Girdwood Barracks. Two photographs were taken of our group. Then we were released about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10th, 1971. Shooting and bombing could be heard all around. I got a taxi but it couldn't get near my home. I stayed with friends. The following day I went to the hospital in Dublin and had my foot treated. They are still bandaged.

The whole experience was shattering and caused emotional shock to myself and put great strain on my father, mother and family. I would not like to go through it again or hear of anyone else being inflicted with such suffering.

A statement to this effect was given and witnessed by Rev. D. Kelly. The name of the man has been held by Northern Ireland Association for Legal Justice.


The following statement was taken by Oliver Kearney, C.C.D.C. Photographs of the girl's face and legs were taken.

She was sent to the Mater Hospital for examination by Dr. O'Neill at 8 p.m on August 22nd.
When seen by C.C.D.C., the right side of her face was badly bruised and swollen, her right eye was blackened and bloodshot. She had a small bruise on her right knee, a large bruise on her left calf, and extensive bruising on the inside and outside of her right and left upper arms.

I am 18 years of age and I work at Gallaghers.

I left home at about 7.30 p.m. on August 21st, to go to Romano's. It was closed and I went to the Albert Inn. I left about 11 p.m. and about 11.15 p.m. I was in Castle Street on my way home. I was accompanied by Ann B – , Marie McG , Rosaleen McI , Eilish B – and Evelyn M – . I was standing across the road from Ken's Fish Shop in Castle Street, talking to Rosie H Marie Mc , Eilish B and Evelyn M were standing with me.

There was a large crowd of boys and girls gathered outside Ken's. Eilish, Marie, Evelyn and I walked across the street towards the shop.

As we did so a police jeep drove very fast into the street towards the shop, and stopped. About four or five policemen jumped out. They began to arrest and search the boys who were in the crowd, and put three into the jeep.

I said to a policeman, "What are you lifting the fellas for?" He said, "Take yourself off". I said, "I suppose you're lifting them because of what they are". He grabbed me roughly by the right arm, and dragged me to the jeep. He and another policeman caught me by the arms and legs and threw me into the jeep. I fell on my back on the bottom of the jeep, on top of three boys. Almost immediately afterwards, Rosaleen McI was thrown in on top of me. The jeep started to drive off. Then it stopped. The police got out again – I think a policeman had been left behind. There was one policeman left in the jeep. I heard him say to Rosaleen, "Hurry up", or something like that, and he pushed her out of the jeep. The boys and I got up off the floor, and jumped out too.

The crowd in the street were running up towards Hamill Street and so I started running too. When I got into Hamill Street, Rosaleen said, "Stop running". So we started walking.

Then the jeep pulled up on the far side of the road and more jeeps arrived and a large number of police jumped out. A lad walking in front of us was caught by four police and pulled across the road towards a jeep. Rosaleen and I ran over and Rosaleen said, "That fella wasn't doing anything". A policeman hit Rosaleen across the back with his baton. Another one pushed me back.

I said, "Who do you think you're pushing?" The policeman who hit Rosaleen said, "Throw them into the jeep there".

Some policemen grabbed me. One kicked me at the side of the right knee, and I was thrown into the jeep, and I landed on top of them. I said to the policeman who kicked me, "You black bastard".

I started to get up. A policeman hit me on the face five or six times. I started to get up and called him a bastard or something like that. Each time he hit me and knocked me down again. He hit me on the cheek, the nose and the mouth. I don't know whether he hit me with his fist or his baton. Eventually I fell down and he hit me on the left arm with a baton and said, "Now shut up". Then one of the boys on the floor put his hand over my mouth, to stop me squealing.

I then lay still until the jeep stopped, though I heard Rosaleen saying, "Leave her alone", and knew she was in the jeep too. The jeep took us to Musgrave Street police station.

As we approached the barracks a policeman said, 'I've a good mind to turn it over on you and give you something to worry about". I was dazed and not very sure what was happening. The one who hit me took our names and addresses after we had gone into the barracks. We sat there for a long time. My nose, head, eyes, arms and legs all felt sore.

I heard one of the police saying, "Just bring them all up to Holywood and charge them with disorderly conduct".

We were all taken into another jeep and taken to Holywood. I was taken out of the jeep first and into a small room. I was ordered to stand beside a policeman and a soldier took my photograph. I was taken by the police into another room. The policeman told me to empty my bag, and took a note of its contents. I was required to sign my name on two envelopes into which the contents were put.

A woman in civilian clothes took me into another room and she searched my clothing. When I came out of the room Rosaleen and two boys were sitting on chairs. The policeman put me into another room with a chair. I stayed there a long time. Then I was taken into another room, in which there were three or four men in civilian clothes. The girl who searched me was also in the room.

They began questioning me about illegal organisations. This went on for a long time. I was then taken out to the big room. They took my photograph again. Then I was put in a small room. While I was in the small room, I could see the three boys sitting in the big room. A soldier came in with a big black dog. He walked over to one of the boys, with the dog and said, "I don't think this dog likes you". He said to the dog, "You don't like him, do you?" He kept pushing the dog back and forth towards the boy. He did this with all three boys. Then he brought the dog in to me. He pulled the dog out again. Then he went away. Then a policeman who was in the big room ordered the boys to stand up, put their hands on their heads and stand on tiptoes. Then another policeman came in with the two envelopes and gave them to me, and said, "You can go now

We were taken out and I saw Rosaleen again and we were put in a jeep and taken to Musgrave Street.

At Musgrave Street I was charged with disorderly and riotous behaviour. In answer to the charge I said I was not guilty. I was then put in a cell along with Rosaleen and we stayed there about half an hour. We were then taken into the office, signed bail forms and we were released at about 3.30 a.m.

Coming back to Musgrave Street a policeman gave me a cigarette.

This statement was given by Evelyn B – and witnessed by Oliver Kearney.


Statement by Rosaleen Mc –

I am 18 years of age and I am a shop assistant. I was in the Albert Inn on Saturday, August 21st, with Evelyn B and a number of other girls. We left about 11 p.m. and began walking home. We walked up Castle Street at about 11.15 and I went into Ken's Fish and Chip Shop for chips. Evelyn stayed outside with four other girls.

As I came out with chips and fish a police jeep drove into the street and stopped. About four or five police jumped out. There was a crowd of boys and girls gathered round. This is usual on Friday or Saturday night. The police began to pull boys out of the crowd and pushed three boys against the wall from separate parts of the crowd. They searched them and began to take them to the jeep. I was standing eating chips, and suddenly saw Evelyn being thrown into the jeep. I ran over and looked into the jeep. I may have spoken – I don't know. I felt myself being lifted and thrown into the jeep. The jeep started to drive away, but I saw the policeman being pulled out by a crowd, and the jeep stopped. The boys who were in the bottom of the jeep jumped out and the policeman told me and Evelyn to get out because one of his mates had been injured.

I jumped out. The jeep drove away. The boys began smashing windows. I saw Evelyn and the other girls and we began walking up Hamill Street. Then two jeeps drove across the King Street car park and some boys threw stones at them. The jeeps pulled across in front of me. A lot of police jumped out and grabbed a boy walking in front of me, and began trailing him across the road.

Evelyn and I went over and said, "Mister, he didn't do anything". The policeman I spoke to hit me on the back with his baton. I called him a bastard and he said "Throw them in the jeep". Policemen grabbed me by the arms and legs and threw me in the jeep. Evelyn must have been thrown in the jeep because she was in it when I landed in it.

Then a boy was thrown in on top of me. The jeep drove off. I heard Evelyn screaming and saw her head being knocked back a number of times. Then she stopped. I heard a policeman say, "We'll cart them all down to Holywood for riotous behaviour". I said, "Mister, can I have some fresh air, I'm suffocating". The boy on top of me was pulled off. The policeman beating Evelyn pulled me up by the hair and said, "There, you bastard – there's your fresh air".

The jeep stopped at Musgrave Street Police Station and we were told to get out. The boy in front of me was trailed out and thrown on the floor. Evelyn and I were told to sit down. The boys were made to stand up against the wall.

Police took our names. I said I would not give my name and said to Evelyn, "That's the one who hit you". Evelyn said that was all he was good for – beating girls. He said, "Why should I hit fellows when I can hit girls?"

Then I gave another policeman my name and said, "I want you charged". He said, "Don't worry, you'll get your chance to do that – but not here". He went away and came back without his jacket on. He had grey hair, blue eyes and a broad chin. His face was pink. He seemed to be about fifty. He was a broad man about six foot one or two inches tall. He was wearing ordinary size shoes.

They put us back in the jeeps and told us they were taking us to Holywood. When we got to Holywood the boys were taken out one at a time. Then Evelyn was taken. I sat in the jeep a long time – I don't know how long. Then I was taken into a big room with a small room off it. My photograph was taken beside a policeman. Then I was told to sit in a chair. After I had sat in a chair for a while I was told to empty my handbag. They looked at the contents, then let me put the things back into my bag and put it on my shoulder.

Then a W.P.C. came out in civilian clothes. She took me into a small room and searched me. Then I was taken back into the big room and left sitting on a chair. After about 15 minutes they took me back to the front office and told me to write down my name, address, etc. They then took me into a room where there were three men and the W.P.C. They began questioning me for about twenty minutes or half an hour. I was left alone with the W.P.C. Then I was taken out to one of the small side rooms, and I saw Evelyn being taken in for questioning.

I was sitting with my back to the main room, and I heard a soldier talking and a dog growling.

After a long time we were put back in the jeep. When we were getting into the jeep I heard a policeman say, "You've a quare eye. You need a quare steak for that," to Evelyn.

The same policeman said to someone else, "Some bastard has summoned them."

When we got into the jeep the policeman offered Evelyn a cigarette which she took. He offered me one but I didn't want it.

He talked to us in a friendly fashion on the way back to Belfast. When we arrived back in Belfast we were taken into a room and a strange policeman informed Evelyn that we were being charged with disorderly behaviour. I said, "I'm not guilty. I just went over when the fellow got lifted, and told the policeman he wasn't doing anything, and he hit me with his baton and I called him a bastard."

The policeman said he was going to put us in the cells and I started to cry, and he said it would only be for about twenty minutes.

The nice policeman who came up in the jeep with us told the other policeman about Evelyn's eye and said to us not to worry – that if we needed anything the W.P.C. would get it for us.

Then we were taken to the cell and locked in. After about 20 to 25 minutes we were brought up and told to sign the bail forms. Then we were taken to the door and left outside at about 3.30 a.m. We started walking home. My dress was torn. In College Street North a van from C.C.D.C. picked us up and took us home.

Signed: Rosaleen McI –. Witnessed: O. B. Kearney.
23rd August, 1971.


Mrs. McC –
In connection with the arrest of her husband.

Me and my husband were in bed at five past five in the early hours of Sunday morning, and the next thing I was woke up. I heard the crashing of glass and then it seemed to me as if they were in the house. I wakened my husband quickly and he jumped and put on his . . . No! he hadn't even time to put on his trousers at the time.

The door was not knocked, because I had woke a few seconds before when I heard the English voices outside, but I thought they were just on routine . . . you know, just going round the district. When I woke up I tried to get my husband wakened and when he woke up and before we even had time to get out of bed, the soldiers were in the bedroom. He said to my husband, "Hurry up and get dressed," and he said, "What do you want me for?" And he said, "We're taking you in for questioning." He got up and said, "Will you give me time to get on my clothes." Well, they did give him time to get them on. When we came downstairs, and when my husband bad seen the glass scattered all over the parlour he turned round to the soldier and said, "There was no call to break the window, if you had knocked the door, because my wife isn't well, she's six months pregnant and I have three other children up in the bedroom." The children were in hysterics, squealing all the time.

When the children heard the voices coming up the stairs and the heavy feet on the stairs they woke and started to scream. We came down the stairs and my husband got dressed and went on out, just went with them quietly and said nothing more after that, and that was all that happened. When my husband went out the door I turned on the light in the parlour, and my window in the parlour was completely through right into my sitting room. The glass was scattered all over the place and I had a small coffee table underneath the window and there were no legs on it at all where they had stood on it to get through the window and that was the state. The glass was scattered all over and that was it.

When my husband asked him, "Why did you break the windows?" he said "I will replace those windows tomorrow." That Sunday afternoon the soldiers came back again. They were knocking at the door and I was at my sister's house. I came down the street and he said, "Could we get in to take the frames out of your house to bring them away to fix them?" and I said, "Why did you send for me? Why did you not get in through the window, the same as you came in the first time?" But I opened the door anyway and let them into the house and they took the frames away and they brought back two pieces of hardboard and put them on the windows. And that was that. And they also took the coffee table.

A statement to this effect was made by Mrs. McC and witnessed by Oliver Kearney and Hugh McAreavey.

Mrs. McC 's window was boarded up, she has a receipt signed in an illegible signature, but headed "The Royal Green Jackets", certifying that the window frames and the coffee table have been taken away for repair. She was informed by the soldiers who took these items away that they will be returned repaired on Tuesday, 24th August.

Statement by Joseph McK in connection with the arrest of himself and his brothers at approx. 5.00 a.m., 22nd August. 1971.

"Well I was awakened by the soldiers breaking the door down in the house, and I looked out the bedroom door, it was lying open and I was 1 in in bed and seen a figure coming up the stairs and going into one of the other rooms and I shouted, 'Who's that?' and he said it was the Army. I wakened the other two brothers who were sleeping in the same room, and I told them it was the Army. I thought it was just another search, 'cos they always search our house."

The house had been searched five times previously. The last twice they broke down the door. Nor did the Army repair the door but said that Mr. McK would have to go through the proper channels to have the repair done. Mr. McK woke his brothers and as they were dressing they were told to go downstairs, which they did and sat on the settee. The officer in charge told them to get dressed and took them with them in a Saracen. They were driven to Hastings Street Barracks where they had to stand outside facing the wall whilst they were searched. They had to wait for another half hour or so and they took photographs at the end of the wait, with the soldier who had brought them to the barracks.

Later Major J questioned McK about his brothers. Eventually they were driven, along with others to Holywood Barracks where they were taken into prefabricated huts and photographed again.

They were then moved into a larger room and their pockets emptied and property put into marked envelopes. They were searched again. They were then made to sit and were at this time taken individually to be questioned by the Special Branch. By this time it was about 6.0. At this time they were given a meal and were questioned by the Special Branch again. At about twelve o'clock they were sent to bed.

When they got up the following morning, before washing or eating, they were questioned again by the Special Branch for about 15 minutes. Mr. McK was repeatedly told that he was going to be interned for a period of five years, to which he replied that he had nothing to be interned for as he was not a member of the I.R.A. He was then told that his family were members of the I.R.A., and that he would be interned for this reason.

He was sent to have breakfast. They were "Eggs and dipped bread", which was cold.

At this time they were generally well treated. After breakfast they were allowed to wash and then questioned again by the Special Branch for about twenty minutes.

During these periods of questioning they kept saying, "You're going away for five years because you are a Republican." Mr. McK -denied that he was during the whole of this period. The Special Branch officers then stated that he was withholding information and would, therefore, be interned for five years.

Later he was sent back to the hut and made to clean the floors and brush out the hut. Later he had his belongings returned and was told that no charges were to be brought and was released at approx. 4.30 on 23rd August, 1971.


A statement to this effect was made by Joseph McK and witnessed by Olive Kearney and Hugh McAreavey at approx 5.15 p.m. on 23rd August, 1971.


Report by Mrs. M. C – on the arrest of her husband, Gerard C – .
Names and address withheld by C.C.D.C.
Relatives: Wife and 4 children.
Age: 31.

My husband was arrested at 4.30 a.m. on Monday, 9th August, 1971. They knocked door and my husband went down to answer it. They told him that he was being arrested under the Special Powers Act and they allowed him to dress. It was a foot patrol of two soldiers. and they took him away and were joined by two more, with him in the middle. This was the last I saw of him. I went to C.C.D.C. and they rang Crumlin Road jail, they referred us to Ministry of Home Affairs, Dundonald House, they said there was an application to apply for a permit, in the post. They said they couldn't confirm it was in the post but would get one in due course.

Until Friday, 13th, I still didn't know where he was. The application arrived and was sent off filled in. Permit to visit arrived yesterday morning and I went to visit him yesterday evening. I went up yesterday and brought parcel and he would get the other later (he had got one). He said he sent out three cards but only one was received.

He said that after he got round the corner of the house they put a sandbag on his head and tied him to the back of the Saracen as a human target. They brought him to the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall. We were told later by many people that he was being trailed through Turf Lodge and Ballymurphy. For my sister in Springfield saw him tied up there.

He said he was being badly treated and was trailed through broken glass and stones. (They had taken off his shoes and socks) and he was trailed through Ballymurphy and Turf Lodges (eye witnesses). Then he was taken to Girdwood Park Barracks. He was interrogated by the M.P. and the R.U.C. He said his hands were tied up behind his neck and his feet were tied also. Every time they passed he was kicked and particularly his

stomach. He was on the obstacle course and had to do it over broken glass and stones and barbed wire and tacks. He also saw an old man of 70 doing the course as well and then he was taken out to a helicopter and given the helicopter treatment as well and also the dogs were set on him and he saw dogs nearly take the arm off Mr. F ,and he was saved only by his jacket. (Now in the same cell as Mr. F .) He said that he got everything and more, the whole treatment and that he wouldn't tell the rest. He said they were the masters of S.S. The British taught the Germans how to do their work. He admitted to having the prison doctor and was ordered on a special diet (2 parts of milk per day and cheese) and they said we would bring him up cooked ham and tomatoes, etc. He was seated at the table when I went in and he never moved, only his arms for cigarettes. His lips were shaking and he was nervous and very pale. The Warden was sitting beside us at the same table and he stayed right through the whole time we talked.

He said, "I'm okay now what you can see," and he said, "Tell everybody. Everything they hear is right, it's not exaggeration and worse."

This is a true statement of the account of my husband's arrest and in his own words to me.

This statement was signed by Mrs. C –, written August 19th, 1971, and witnessed by Mrs. Fay McAllister and M. Kearney.


T– L–
Name and address withheld by C.C.D.C.
Belfast 14.
Mr. L – 's statement:

Very nasty, abusive language used. After unnecessary journey over ditches, hills, arrived at Girdwood Park.

Get boots off.

Canvas boots, socks, military, Red Caps produced green bag to put all belongings, searched. Beaten on legs to get them apart. Soldier lifted his foot and crammed boot down on left foot. And moved to same on other foot. Barged about kidneys to R.U.C., Special Branch. Photographed, searched, took keep all money, all possessions, dropped into green bag. Marched into large room, sat alone like men aged 60 to 74. Picked six men, beat them up outside. Name called, brought out, confused him because so many to deal with him.

Detective said, "If you help me, I'll help you. Are you in any organisation?" "No."

"Would you worry if you go for two years in prison." He left; in - came another fellow. He had a detention form doing a bit of doodling. Prisoner showed his foot and asked for medical aid, detective a bit taken aback.

He never said anything about medical aid. Into another room. Red Caps, "Keep your eyes open, don't slouch. All line up." Terrible language used. Underwent questioning for about four hours. I was then given a cup of tea and then escorted to the toilet. In walked a man who said he was a chaplain and an R.C. who said that if they wanted a confession it would be private. He was marched out. Downstairs he was painfully pushed over barbed wire, and then he was painfully greeted by two alsatian dogs. The next man was run down over broken stones. They took him to football pitch and asked him where abouts he came from Ardoyne. They told him soldier was shot. They said to him, "Are you in I.R.A.?" I replied "No."

Then taken to Crumlin Road. The police were there. The warders were very kind. My name taken and then taken to a cell where there were two beds. There were two men already in. One of the men in cell had no shirt or shoes. I asked for medical attention from warder who said a doctor would be round later. I was then taken out of that cell and put into a big cell along with three other men; never got out for exercise and never got a wash. There was no water. Kept in for 48 hours and then let out to make my own way home. Interrogated once.

Full report of injuries in Mater Hospital.

N.B. Also reported that his wife beaten upstairs across stomach, arms, legs, had major operation, womb removed, and has been haemorrhaged ever since. Had to get doctor out.

Publication Contents

CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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