In August 1971 a policy of arrest and imprisonment without trial, known as Operation Demetrius, was introduced in Northern Ireland against those suspected of IRA and terrorist involvement.
In December 1975 after four years this policy of internment was finally lifted.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Merlyn Rees announces an end to internment in Northern Ireland.
I think the ending of internment will take away the greatest emotional weapon that the provisional IRA ever had.
Rees sees this as the first step towards peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. On the future for Northern Ireland he says
There will never be any hope of a stable society in Northern Ireland unless there is the involvement of both communities.
Reacting to the ending of internment former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and Chief Executive of the Stormont Government Brian Faulkner comments
Internment was only introduced because there was no other option.
Faulkner was responsible for the introduction of internment in 1971.
As part of the agreement to end internment, those who had been detained without trial, the internees, were released from prison.
An RTÉ News report by John O'Callaghan broadcast on 5 December 1975.