On the morning of 3 October 1975, having just left his home in Castletroy near Limerick, Herrema was abducted by Provisional Irish Republican Army members Eddie Gallagher and Marion Coyle. The kidnappers demanded the release of three IRA prisoners, including Rose Dugdale.
After a massive security operation, the kidnappers were eventually traced on 21 October 1975 to a house in Monasterevin, Co Kildare. After a further two-week-long siege, Herrema was released, shaken, but unharmed. He left Ireland soon after.