Hooded Men case in High Court finishes

By Ann O'Loughlin

High Court proceedings brought over the Government's consideration of an appeal against a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to the Hooded Men has ended and is to be withdrawn.

On Tuesday, the Irish Government confirmed it will refer last March's decision by the ECHR that 14 men in Northern Ireland were not tortured when detained by the British Army in 1971 to the Grand Chamber.

The announcement of the appeal to the ECHR's Grand Chamber of a ruling made last March came a day after a daughter of one of the men, Mary McKenna, whose late father Sean McKenna was one of "the hooded men," brought proceedings against the State.

She had sought an order from the Irish High Court compelling the government to urgently inform her if the State intends to appeal the ECHR's finding to the Grand Chamber.

Her case centred around her concerns that the State had earlier indicated it would only make a decision to appeal the ECHR on June 19th next, the day before time ran out to have the case referred to the Grand Chamber.

A press conference by some of the 14 men last March.

The timing of the decision she feared was to close to the ECHR's deadline.

The case returned before the High Court today when Leanora Frawley Bl told Mr Justice Seamus Noonan that in light of the Government's decision to appeal the proceedings were moot and are to be withdrawn.

The matter was adjourned to a date in July when any issue concerning the legal costs can be dealt with.

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