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1975: IRA kidnappers release industrialist

A Dutch industrialist kidnapped by the IRA more than a month ago has been released.

Dr Tiede Herrema's freedom came after a two-week siege by police of a house in County Kildare in the Republic of Ireland.

Dr Herrema, chief executive of the Dutch-owned Ferenka factory in Ballyvarra, County Limerick, was abducted on his way to work on 3 October.

His kidnap caused outrage and thousands marched through the city of Limerick to condemn it.

For several days it was feared Dr Herrema was dead but more than two weeks later he was traced to the house in Monasterevin, County Kildare.


"I see them as children with a lot of problems"

Tiede Herrema

The IRA members holding him, Eddie Gallagher and Marion Coyle, demanded the release of three republican prisoners being held in Limerick jail.

However, the authorities refused to grant any concessions to the pair and Dr Herrema was eventually freed unconditionally.

He was released tired but unhurt and his captors were taken into custody.

In spite of fears that Dr Herrema's ordeal would traumatise him, he looked calm and collected at a news conference soon after his release.

He showed reporters a bullet from the gun which had been held to his head - it had been given to him as a souvenir by Eddie Gallagher.

Dr Herrema said there had been a few occasions when he had feared for his life, particularly in the first 48 hours after his abduction.

But he did not hate his captors who were the about the same age as his son, he added

"I see them as children with a lot of problems. If they were my own children I would do my utmost to help them," he said.


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