‘Hooded men’ were held in Ballykelly

A street protest at Free Derry Corner which took place just hours after the introduction of internment on August 9, 1971.
A street protest at Free Derry Corner which took place just hours after the introduction of internment on August 9, 1971.

Evidence of a secret deep interrogation centre at Ballykelly - used to hold the 12 ‘hooded men’ during internment in 1971 - has been uncovered by researchers from Derry’s Pat Finucane Centre.

Declassified documents prepared just prior to publication of the Compton Report, into allegations of security force brutality on the day of Operation Demetrius, referred to statements from a Col Nicholson which stated: “It was very important to keep secure the location of the centre at Ballykelly where the 12 detainees in question had been interrogated.”

Until the emergence of these documents this week the 12 men held and interrogated from August 9 believed they were held at other centres throughout the North.

Sara Duddy, case worker at the Pat Finucane Centre, said the documents proved that security forces acted in a “deceptive and potentially illegal manner”.