Full Calendar


Internment introduced in the North

On the 9th of August 1971, internment was re-introduced in the North with a large wave of arrests and imprisonments in dawn raids. Aimed at weakening the IRA, 342 people were arrested in the initial action, all from Nationalist or Republican backgrounds. Several days of violence and protest followed immediately afterwards.

The policy of interment was continued until December 1975.

This extract from a special supplement to Hibernia on the third anniversary in 1974 describes the events:

After a “dry run” on July 23rd, 1971, the real thing was launched on August 9th. In swoops which netted in all 342 men, radicals, republicans, survivors of the 'forties and 'fifties periods of detention, brothers and fathers of wanted men, and occupants of households formerly occupied by Republicans, were rounded up, and subjected to varying degrees of ill
ireatment and brutality. By the end of the month a hundred men had had to be released because of the gross mistakes made by the British Army and the R.U.C. and nobody seriously disputed the claim of the Provisional I.R.A. that they had lost only 56 men in the operation.

The civil and political implications were immediate. Twelve people were killed in the rioting which accompanied the swoop operation and by the end of August the total dead for the month had risen to 35.
An extract from a special supplement of Hibernia on the third anniversary of the introduction of internment

A poster from NICRA calling for an end to internment:

NICRA Says Release All Internees Loyalist and Republican

NICRA Says Release All Internees Loyalist and Republican

  •  Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association
  •   1974

For more related documents, see the Internment in Northern Ireland subject page.