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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

Gerry Adams launches bid to have his convictions for trying to escape internment overturned

It is Adams’ case that the detention was unlawful, so the escapes could not be.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has launched a bid to have his convictions for attempting to escape prison while interned.

Adams was detained without trial in the 1970s and was convicted of attempting to escape the notorious Maze prison twice in 1973 and 1974.

It is Adams’ case that the detention was unlawful, so the escapes could not be.

Today the Court of Appeal in Belfast heard arguments from Adams’ lawyers and representation for the State.

A spokesperson for the Louth TD said:

“Gerry Adams is appealing the two convictions he received in 1975 for attempting to escape while interned.

“His legal representatives will argue that the convictions should be quashed on the grounds that he was not lawfully detained at the time.

“Detailed written submissions have been made to the Court of Appeal and it is expected that the hearing will last one day”.

Judgement has been reserved and the High Court Judges, who include Declan Morgan the Lord Chief Justice, will give their written judgement at a later date.

Internment was a policy introduced by the Northern Irish government in 1971 which saw 1,800 Irish republicans and 107 loyalists arrested and imprisoned without trial.

It was in place until 1975.

Pictures: Republican fires burn to mark the anniversary of internment without trial

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