11 January 2006

Extracts from 'BELFAST August 1971: A case to be answered'


by Danny Kennally and Eric Preston (1971)

Treatment of Arrested

This is a sample of signed statements relating to the treatment after arrest of some of the people detained under the Special Powers Act. Copies of these can be found lodged with the Association for Legal Justice, and at the Central Citizens’ Defence Committee.

John Mateer, 54 Raglan Street.
In connection with his arrest and detention on 22nd August, 1971.

My name is John Mateer. I am 18 years of age and I am an unemployed window-cleaner.

At approximately 4 a.m. on the 22nd August, a unit of the Green Howards came to my house. They knocked at the door. My father opened it. The soldiers pushed past him up the stairs and came into my bedroom. They were carrying rifles and batons. One of them said, "Get out of bed you Irish bastard". I said, "What for?" They said, "You’re coming with us".

They told me to put on my boots and jacket and took me outside to the jeeps. They placed me with my hands on the jeep, and kicked my legs apart. One of them began searching me, and as he did so he hit me in the genitals with his clenched fist. I doubled up and they told me to get up and into the Land Rover, or stay like that for good.

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