Salins Petition

KRW LAW has been assisting Osgur Breatnach and the other surviving Sallins Men in their campaign for truth, justice and accountability following their wrongful arrest, detention, interrogation – including torture – prosecution and imprisonment after the Sallins Train Robbery 1976.

Today the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and other leading civil society organisations will deliver a Petition on behalf of the Sallins Men to the Irish government demanding a human rights inquiry/investigation into their mistreatment. [See Petition Below]

Attending the presentation of the Petition today in Dublin, Christopher Stanley, KRW LAW (London) said:

“It is an honour to have assisted Osgur Breatnach and the other Sallins Men in the preparation of this Petition to the Irish government.

The assistance of KRW has been offered pro bono.  It has been a project that sits squarely within our portfolio of Legacy work in which we offer legal representation to all relatives of victims of the Conflict – and survivors such as Osgur – across communities and between jurisdictions.  And which will continue.


What is often forgotten or misunderstood is that victims of violence continue to hold mental and physical scars – the pain continues.

Truth-Recovery and Information-Retrieval are mechanism which cannot salve or suture the pain of violence – and certainly not an empty public apology offered by way of a statement of closure – but truth can assuage or ameliorate the pain, the loss and the loss and the present suffering.

This is why this Petition made on behalf of Osgur and the remaining Sallins Men from leading civil society organisations lead by ICCL is important ,

The Petition demands a human right compliant investigation/inquiry into the treatment of the Sallins Men, treatment by state authorities lead by the police, would now, constitute torture.

The process must be independent of the Irish government, it must be judge-lead, it must have powers to compel evidence, it must facilitate and enable the effective participation of the Sallins Men, and it must command international recognition and support.

The process must have powers to make recommendations based on its findings to other state-authorities in terms of potential civil and criminal liability.

Ireland lodged an application with the European Commission on Human Rights on 16 December 1971 – the inter-state case against the UK – regarding the use of torture by British Security Forces in Northern Ireland.

Judgment in this application was delivered by the European Court of Human Rights against the UK in 1978.

The case was revisited by the Court in 2018 following an application by Ireland.

The arrest, detention, interrogation, torture, conviction, and wrongful imprisonment of the Sallins Men happened in 1976.

Last week the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act became law in the UK. The Irish government is considering an application to the ECtHR to challenge the compatibility of this domestic legislation with the ECHR  – as of today’s date of which the UK is still a signatory.

The Petition on behalf of the Sallins Men is laid at the door of the Irish government today in its own right and as a reminder of the human rights obligations owed to the relatives of the victims and the survivors of the Conflict – including Osgur and the other surviving Sallins men – and the human rights deficit the Irish government has failed to address (Or reliant too much perhaps on post-GFA arrangements between Belfast and London) on its own doorstep.”


Sallins Petition Media Event Plan 19 09 2023