Martial Law in Ireland

The Irish Independence Film Collection
Directed by:
British Pathé
Produced by:
British Pathé


1 min 11 sec
Silent with English Intertitles

This newsreel shows very rare scenes inside the first concentration camp where members of the Sinn Féin party were treated as prisoners of war.

Ballykinlar Internment Camp was the first mass internment camp to be established by the British in Ireland during the War of Independence. Situated on the County Down coast and opened in December 1920, it became home to hundreds of Irish men arrested by the British. Often, they were interned on little more than the suspicion of involvement in the IRA.

Held for up to a year, the interned men were subjected to often brutal treatment and poor quality food in an attempt to break them both physically and mentally. They established a small community within the camp in order to share knowledge and skills and stave off boredom.