In 1971 myself and thirteen other Irishmen were tortured in Ballykelly British Army base. Four of our number lost their lives as a result of what was done to us, while those of us who did survive struggled in silence for many years, The physical and psychological trauma that we endured is shared by the thousands of other who were subjected to severe mistreatment by the British State in the decades since.
It is only in recent years that the case of our small number, who became known at the “hooded men” was brought to wider public attention. This was in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Jim McIlmurray, the Rev. Monsignor Murray, solicitors Darragh Mackin and Peter Corrigan, and also many others who encouraged and supported us.
When we agreed as a collective to bring our case before the European Court of Human Right each of us gave our word that despite our differing political views today, and to maintain the unity of the hooded men, we would keep our principled campaign against the use of torture outside of the realm of modern day politics.
Unfortunately it has become clear that a small number of us have taken it upon themselves to directly involve Sinn Féin with our campaign for justice, so as to associate that political party with the cause of the hooded men. This unfortunate decision has left me with no choice but to make public the fact that this small number of hooded men do not speak for me; they speak only for themselves. Furthermore, the Sinn Féin party never has and never will speak on my behalf.