Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny to check claims that the Irish government knew of republican prisoners being subjected to waterboarding during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Louth TD raised the subject with the taoiseach in the Dáil.

Adams had written to Kenny previously asking the government to publish the Irish government’s minutes of a meeting between Taoiseach Jack Lynch and the British Prime Minister Ted Heath in late 1972 when it is claimed they discussed the matter.

Kenny confirmed that officials are checking the files.

Speaking in the Dáil, Adams said: “I wrote to the taoiseach recently following revelations that the British army and the RUC Special Branch used waterboarding in the North in the 1970s.

"The Pat Finucane Centre in Derry uncovered British government documents from 1972 which reveal the use of waterboarding as a torture technique and that it was used after the British had claimed to have ended torture.

"Waterboarding is a horrific method of torture which simulates drowning and has been internationally condemned,” said Adams.

“It was one part of a process that also involved the use of other torture techniques, including sleep deprivation and beatings.

Taoiseach Jack Lynch.

Taoiseach Jack Lynch.

"The British government minutes of a meeting between the then Taoiseach Jack Lynch and the British Prime Minister Ted Heath revealed that Mr. Lynch had specially raised a case with Heath in which an individual had alleged that he was the victim of waterboarding.

"This is a very serious matter which demands the fullest investigation by this government.”

Last month, British Conservative MP Bob Stewart said he had been a “kind of a torturer” during his time as a British soldier in Northern Ireland during the 1970s.

He was speaking after President Donald Trump had indicated his possible support for waterboarding in the days after he came to office.


This article was originally published in the Irish Echo. You can read more from them here.