Dr Tiede Herrema was born on 21 April 1921 in Utrecht, Holland. He graduated in mechanical engineering in 1945, and gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Psychology in 1951. He continued his studies in psychology and sociology and gained a PhD in 1959, his dissertation dealing with the rehabilitation of handicapped people. Herrema married in 1948 Engelina Elizabeth Borren and has four sons. His distinguished career in industry spanned 37 years (1946-1983) and covered all aspects, including production management, general management and industrial relations.
In 1973, Herrema was appointed managing director of Ferenka Ltd., and in September of that year he moved to Ireland with his wife Elizabeth and their two youngest sons to take up a position in the newly constructed cord manufacturing plant at Annacotty. Two years later, on the morning of 3 October, Herrema was abducted on his way to work by IRA leader Eddie Gallagher and his accomplices Marion Coyle, Brian McGowan and John Vincent Walsh. The objective of the abduction was to secure the release of three republican prisoners, including Dr Rose Dugdale, by whom Gallagher had a son. Herrema’s status as manager of a large multi-national corporation was hoped to bring international pressure on the government to yield to the demands.
For the next two and a half weeks, Herrema and his captors moved from location to location, and their whereabouts remained unknown until 21 October, when Herrema, Gallagher and Coyle were traced to a house in St Evin’s Park, Monasterevin, County Kildare. On the evening of 7 November, after prolonged negotiations directed by Chief Superintendent Laurence Wren, during which a minimum amount of food was allowed into the house, the kidnappers surrendered and Herrema was released after 36 days in captivity. He was later to attribute his survival to his strong physical fitness and his concerted efforts to befriend his captors to make it harder for them to kill him.
Archival History ↴
Papers received from Dr Tiede Herrema in Holland in two shipments on 3 October (two boxes) and 16 November (one box) 2005. P22/198 (photograph album) was presented by Herrema to Sean Dolan, Chancellor of the University of Limerick, at an unknown date. Chancellor Dolan presented the volume to Special Collections on 18 November 2005. Formally donated to the University of Limerick Special Collections by Dr Tiede Herrema at a reception in his honour on 18 November 2005.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Herrema, Dr Tiede (1921-) ↴
The collection comprises correspondence, press cuttings, press releases, reports, TV and radio broadcasts and photographs which reconstruct in considerable detail the events surrounding Herrema’s kidnapping and release, and the subsequent trials of his abductors. Included among these items are police surveillance tapes recorded during the siege at Monasterevin, and interior photographs of the house in which Herrema was held captive. Also included in the collection are correspondence, press cuttings, speeches, reports, photographs and audio-visual material which illustrate Herrema’s career prior to and following his kidnapping, and his personal interests in later life. These items, in particular the considerable amount of material relating to Herrema’s appearance in the media, reflect the dramatic way in which the kidnapping changed the course of Herrema’s life.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
All items have been retained except for multiple sets of press cuttings and other duplicates, which have been destroyed.
Further accruals are possible.
Documents have been arranged into five series to reflect the chronology of Herrema’s life (his activities prior to the kidnapping; his kidnapping and release; the trials; his activities after the kidnapping; and acquisition history). Thereunder, documents have been divided thematically and/ or by type, and thereunder chronologically by year.
Conditions of Access & Use
Unrestricted access to most items. Some items contain personal information and are closed until 2041 to protect individual privacy. These items have been identified in the descriptive catalogue.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Standard copyright regulations apply to all items. For photocopying or reproducing material, please consult with the staff.
Material Language Script
Predominantly English and Dutch; also some items in German, French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Irish.
Characteristics Tech Req
Mainly paper documents and photographs in good condition. Items P22/139-141, 143-148, 156, 263, 406-407, 413, 424 and 427 require a cassette player to access the information they contain. Items P22/138, 197, 301, 390, 396, 421 and 437 require a VCR player to access the information they contain.
A hard copy of the descriptive catalogue is available at the University of
Limerick Special Collections.
Archive Web Link →
Colm Connolly’s book Herrema: Siege at Monasterevin (Dublin: The Olympic Press, 1977), was written using police surveillance tapes, copies of which are included in this collection (P22/143-148).
Descriptive Control Area
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions