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Government given deadline by court to produce internment files

By Alan Erwin

Published 08/10/2016

The Government has been set a final High Court deadline to disclose documents to a west Belfast woman suing over her internment during the Troubles
The Government has been set a final High Court deadline to disclose documents to a west Belfast woman suing over her internment during the Troubles

The Government has been set a final High Court deadline to disclose documents to a west Belfast woman suing over her internment during the Troubles.

Evelyn Gilroy's legal team revealed that the PSNI and Ministry of Defence were also given 16 weeks to ensure all necessary material was handed over.

Any failure to comply with the order will result in the defendants' cases being struck out, it was claimed yesterday.

Ms Gilroy is involved in a test case that could pave the way for writs from hundreds of others detained without trial. She alleges that she was subjected to inhuman conditions during her arrest and imprisonment in May 1974. She was held for three days in an RUC station before being transferred to Armagh prison, where she was held until Christmas that year, according to her claim.

Internment was introduced as the Troubles raged across the province.

Nearly 2,000 people, most of them Catholic, were held without trial between 1971 and 1975.

Ms Gilroy is seeking damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, negligence, breach of statutory duty and misfeasance in public office. Her legal team returned to court yesterday in a bid to secure discovery of all relevant documents from the defendants.

Issues had been raised about any potential public interest immunity implications.

But outside court Ms Gilroy's solicitor, Padraig O'Muirigh, claimed that the defendants had failed to comply with previous directions to provide the relevant documents.

He added: "The case raises very important issues for a large number of other internees who are awaiting the outcome of this present case before proceeding with their own civil actions."

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