A senior Irish government official believed John Hume wanted internment brought back to tackle IRA violence, official papers reveal.
Just two months before he became SDLP leader in 1979 and 10 days after Lord Mountbatten's killing and the Narrow Water massacre, the Londonderry politician reportedly suggested a return to detention without trial.
Documents released from the Republic’s National Archives show Irish diplomat David Neligan believed Mr Hume supported the controversial tactic to lock up suspected terrorists.
In a briefing note on the meeting, the civil servant warned colleagues that Mr Hume's controversial stance had not been thought through.
“His (Mr Hume's) thoughts were evidently running towards the idea of internment as a solution to the IRA violence.”