‘Hooded man’ litigant charged with helping IRA

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney

A Belfast man who is taking the Government to the European Court of Human Rights for alleged torture has been charged with assisting dissident republican terrorists.

Kevin Hannaway, 67, of Colin Mill in Belfast, and four-co-accused were charged in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Monday evening.

He was one of four men and a woman arrested on Saturday in Dublin in an operation led by the Special Detective Unit, the Emergency Response Unit and the Crime and Security Branch.

Mr Hannaway was one of the ‘hooded men’ interned in 1971.

Yesterday evening he was charged with knowingly rendering assistance to an unlawful organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army or Oglaigh na hEireann, on Friday and Saturday.

His co-accused Edward O’Brien, 41, of Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, Dublin, and Eva Shannon, 59, of Oakman Street, Belfast, are charged with the same offence on the same date.

David Nooney, 52, of Coultry Green, Ballymun, Dublin, and Sean Hannaway, of Linden Gardens, Belfast, were each charged with membership of the IRA on Saturday.

A detective told the court that, when Hannaway was formally arrested in Clondalkin, Dublin, the reason for the arrest was explained to him and he was cautioned. The accused replied: “I understand.”

The judge remanded the five in custody to appear before the court again on August 17.

Lawyers for the ‘hooded men’ were granted leave to seek a judicial review at the High Court in Belfast in June.

They are calling the PSNI chief constable, Northern Ireland Secretary and Department of Justice to account over alleged failures to order a full inquiry.

The 14 men claim they were subjected to torture techniques after being held without trial in 1971.

International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney – the wife of Hollywood star George Clooney – is part of the legal team taking the ‘hooded men’ case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The case centres on 14 Catholic men who were interned – detained indefinitely without trial – in 1971. They said they were subjected to torture methods including hooding, being held in stress positions, exposure to white noise, sleep and food deprivation as well as beatings.

The men were hooded and flown by helicopter to a secret location, later revealed as a British Army camp at Ballykelly, outside Londonderry.

They were also allegedly dangled out of the helicopter and told they were high in the air, although they were close to the ground.

None were ever convicted of wrongdoing.

The Irish government has announced that it would request a revisiting of a 1978 ruling by the Strasbourg court that they were not tortured. New material has emerged, suggesting that the UK withheld vital evidence.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director of Amnesty International, recently urged a human rights compliant investigation by the UK into the ‘hooded men’ case.