High Court proceedings brought over the Government's consideration of an appeal against a decision of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the ‘Hooded Men’ are to be withdrawn.
Yesterday the Government confirmed it will refer last March's decision by the ECHR that 14 men in Northern Ireland were not tortured when detained by the British Army in 1971 to the ECHR's Grand Chamber.
The announcement of the appeal of the ruling comes the day after Mary McKenna, the daughter of one of the ‘Hooded Men’, Sean McKenna, brought proceedings against the State.
She had sought an order from the Irish High Court compelling the Government to urgently inform her if the State intends to appeal the ECHR's finding to the Grand Chamber.
Her case centred around her concerns that the State had earlier indicated it would only make a decision to appeal the ECHR on 19 June next, the day before time ran out to have the case referred to the Grand Chamber.
She feared the timing of the decision was too close to the ECHR's deadline.
The case returned before the High Court, when Leanora Frawley BL told Mr Justice Seamus Noonan that in light of the Government's decision to appeal the proceedings were moot and are to be withdrawn.
The matter was adjourned to a date in July when any issue concerning the legal costs can be dealt with.
The Government brought a case against the UK over the men's treatment, but the ECHR in 1978 found the men's treatment while inhuman and degrading did not constitute torture.
In 2014, after new information was disclosed by RTÉ that was not previously available to the ECHR that showed the UK knew of the long-term effects the interrogation techniques used on the men would have, the Government requested a revision of the 1978 decision.
Last March the ECHR refused that request.