Declassified Documents

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  • Use of "torture" in 1971/ 72 was "a political decision"

    This letter, written 31 March 1977, explicitly states that torture in Northern Ireland was a political decision made by then Secretary of State Lord Carrington.
  • Report from Dr. Denis Leigh regarding the death of Sean McKenna

    Medical evidence linking premature death of one of the "Hooded Men", Sean McKenna, with his treatment during "interrogation in-depth" at the hands of RUC Special Branch under the instruction of the British Army.
  • Secretary of State's Rules of Engagement in Northern Ireland

    A memo from a private secretary to the Secretary of State in 1975 suggesting that the SoS would like to see '...some form of dispensation permitting the Forces to open fire in an emergency without fear of subsequent legal action.' The author speculates that compensation claims by the relatives of...
  • British army 'covered up' UDR units links to UVF

    The investigative website, The Detail, in co-operation with the Irish News, published a numbers of articles based on documents uncovered by the PFC at the National Archive in Kew. The declassified documents concern security investigations into loyalist infiltration of 10 UDR, the Belfast city...

Declassified Documents

  • Visiting card for Long Kesh

    This is a visiting permit for HM Prison, Maze (Long Kesh), signed by the prison governor, Robert Truesdale allowing Merlyn Rees, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Stanley Orme and Donald Concannon, Ministers of State, to visit Gusty Spense, UVF leader, on 12 July 1975.
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  • NAI, Department of Foreign Affairs, 2003/17/406, Extract from Report of the ECHR: Ireland v UK, 25 January 1976

    A deliberate decision was taken by the RUC, the British Army and politicians to present the bombing of McGurk's Bar, Belfast on 4 December 1971 as an IRA 'own goal' despite reliable evidence, both eyewitness and forensic, to the contrary in the immediate aftermath. It is an entirely credible proposition that the disinformation campaign that emerged in the aftermath of...
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  • CJ4-1919 - First page of notes from meeting between Minister of State Stan Orme with UVF leaders on 15 May 1974

    The meeting of Stan Orme with UVF leaders on 15 May was just one of several that took place between the NIO and UVF during the month of May 1974. This particular meeting took place as the UVF was being de-proscribed and made a legal organisation. Orme informed the delegation that the order had been taken through the House of...
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  • FCO87-1207 - Telegram to FCO from Sir Leonard Figg, British Ambassador to Dublin, re proscription of the UDA, 2 February 1982

    In this telegram, Figg reported Irish media reactions to Andy Tyrie's statement that the UDA was a counter-terrorist organisation that would be prepared to pursue terrorists across the border. He was clearly anxious that Tyrie's statement had, once again, put UDA proscription on the political agenda.
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  • CJ4-830 - Memo to Bill Webster from James Allan, 14-05-1975

    1975 was the year of the second IRA ceasefire when sectarian murders of Catholics was very much on the increase. Allan was worried about the alienation of the Catholic community, the rise of international pressure and the sensitivities of the Irish Government and the Vatican. He noted that 'the Catholic population (and indeed some Protestants) believe that there must be...
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