Further to Morrison’s attempted revisionism

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While Danny Morrison is now claiming that the British had not formulated a position nor proposed a deal at the time of his specially arranged July 5 visit to the hunger strikers and Bik McFarlane, both Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams, in the Irish News in 2009, wrote of Morrison going into the prison to deliver the British offer to the prisoners.

“This was the prisoners’ mindset on 5 July, 1981, after four of their comrades had already died and when Danny Morrison visited the IRA and INLA Hunger Strikers to tell them that contact had been re-established and that the British were making an offer.” – Gerry Adams

“According to our critics, the hunger strikers, on whose behalf we were acting, should have accepted an ‘offer’ which came to the prisoners and us, via a phone-call from a British official in London, through the intermediary (since identified as Brendan Duddy – an honourable man), to myself, to a phone-call to Gerry Adams, and in a verbal message to Danny Morrison to the prisoners.” – Martin McGuinness

Both men place Danny Morrison in the prison on the 5th of July specifically to deliver the British offer. Obviously, a position had been formulated and a deal proposed. In regards to the document detailing the phone conversations between the Mountain Climber/SOON and the British, the paragraph being referred to, paragraph 22 (page 19), describes McGuinness arriving around 2:30 pm to see Brendan Duddy. He asked what the current British position was. The British explained that it was ‘important before drafting any documents for consideration by Ministers’ that the British should ‘possess the Provisionals view’. Their view, of course, could not be known until after Morrison returned from delivering the offer to the prisoners and was debriefed. McGuinness told Duddy their views would be relayed to the British ‘after discussion in light of Morrison’s visit’.

It wasn’t until 1am on the 6th of July that the Provisionals’ view was relayed. No ‘final position’ could be obtained from the British because the Adams committee had attached the condition that they see the draft proposal before it went public. In the event, Adams was on the phone with the British making changes to the language of the draft when Joe McDonnell died. (see John Blelloch, and Gerry Adams, Before the Dawn, page 299) A final position would never be forthcoming.

  • Decimus

    Alfie,

    Anyone reading the two accounts above, both from the same paper, can draw their own conclusions. My reading is that O’Rawe has laid out his case in forensic detail, and has laid out the contradictions in Morrison’s position in the same manner.

    Morrison’s case can be summarised thus: “Rant rant rant, Thatcher murdered them, rant rant rant.”

    Given the importance that modern Irish republicanism has put on the hunger strikes, and their legacy, it is surprising that so few people from that constituency seem to be interested in what O’Rawe has to say.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Brendan Duddy has released further notes online. Perhaps he or a close family member haven’t taken kindly to the Adams’ committee trying to smear him…

    http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/duddy/web/

    They show that far from the negotiations ending on the night of Joe McDonnell’s death that the Brits were still trying to reach a settlement up until July 20th.

    If you bypass the actual notes themselves until pol35/166 [19] the notes are in document form and easier to read.

    What is not easy to read is the following…..

    “The position has gone dead. Neither side can nor will move. Everyone is tired. Time is running out. It is 1:33 am July 20th 1981. I am almost defeated. I can’t move forward. The British are asking for their plan to be accepted.

    “A” won’t move. Noel is saying he is finished for all time. I am so tired. I can’t save Kieran Doherty’s life. It is so tragic. It is regrettable that a solution does not seem to be possible. 2:25 am July [20th]…”

  • Decimus

    Dixie,

    Who would “A” and Noel be?

  • Dixie Elliott

    “The position has gone dead. Neither side can nor will move. Everyone is tired. Time is running out. It is 1:33 am July 20th 1981. I am almost defeated. I can’t move forward. The British are asking for their plan to be accepted.

    “A” won’t move. Noel is saying he is finished for all time. I am so tired. I can’t save Kieran Doherty’s life. It is so tragic. It is regrettable that a solution does not seem to be possible. 2:25 am July [20th]…”

    “…They asked what the situation was and Gerry (Adams) said he had just told all the stailceoirí (Hunger Strikers], including Kieran, that there was no deal on the table from the Brits, no movement of any sort …”

    July 29th.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Well we can only quess who “A” is and Noel was a Derry man who was assisting Duddy.

  • Decimus

    Dixie,

    Taking an educated guess could “A” be Adams?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Decimus

    “The British are asking for their plan to be accepted.”

    “A” won’t move.”

    An educated guess would say in all likelihood it would be.

  • Decimus

    Dixie,

    Then that makes it fairly clear where the decisions were being made and by whom. It strongly reinforces the O’Rawe version of events.

  • Decimus

    Btw close reading of the remainder of the notes should make it fairly clear exactly who “A” is.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Regarding “A” earlier in the notes between the 19th and 20th July it states….

    “8:45pm
    Crisis!

    Danny Morrison took suddenly ill and “Ma A?” is not acceptable to go into the prisons. No one else is acceptable.

  • Decimus

    Danny Morrison took suddenly ill and “Ma A?” is not acceptable to go into the prisons. No one else is acceptable.

    Dixie,

    The two people who were deemed unacceptable to go into the prison were Adams and McGuinness were they not?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Decimus

    Yes thats right.

    However Adams was allowed into the prison on July 29th along with Owen Carron and this is what Laurney McKeown said of the visit on page 236 of his book….

    “On their way out of his cell Doc’s parents met and spoke with Gerry, Bik and the others. They asked what the situation was and Gerry said he had just told all the stailceoirí, including Kieran, that there was no deal on the table from the Brits, no movement of any sort and if the stailc continued, Doc would most likely be dead within a few days. They just listened to this and nodded, more or less resigned to the fact that they would be watching their son die any day now.”

    This is incredible in that during the above visit neither the Hunger Strikers nor Big Doc’s family knew of, nor were told about what was on offer since July 5th.

    As Pat Beag McKeown said to Bik at the time; “How can the Brits know what we want when we don’t even know?”

  • Decimus

    This is incredible in that during the above visit neither the Hunger Strikers nor Big Doc’s family knew of, nor were told about what was on offer since July 5th.

    Dixie,

    Looking at it now with hinsight it is interesting that Carron was brought into the prison. He was elected just the next month.

    The facts speak for themselves. Morrison by his own admission entered the prison with an offer from the British on the 5th July. This offer was turned down. Fifteen days later we hear that “A” won’t move. We also learn that “A” is not allowed into the prison as he is unacceptable. We know that Adams and McGuinness were deemed unacceptable.

    On the 29th Adams and Carron are allowed in and tell the prisoners that there is no deal. On the 20th of August Carron is elected. The day that Devine the last one died.

    It is not rocket science.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Danny Morrison recently said in the Andytown News…

    “On Monday at 11.30pm the telephoned British offer did not address the issues of work or lost remission. We sent a message back, as had been agreed we could, about these omissions. The return call said that there would be no changes and that they were closing down the contact. ..”

    However Adams in his own book said that when Joe died on July 8th he was on the phone to the British…[therefore still in contact]

    According to Duddy’s notes he [Adams] was asking to be allowed into the prison.

    And according to the notes the Brits came back on July 11th and were in contact up until at least July 20th.

  • Decimus

    Dixie,

    The lies are building up on top of each other for them.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Incredible!!

    Given what I posted above last night challenging Danny Morrison’s claim that “On Monday at 11.30pm” the British return call said, ” that there would be no changes and that they were closing down the contact. ..”

    He is now saying in todays Irish News that “At 5am, as Joe McDonnell died, the message we recieved, which speaks for itself, was as follows; ‘We [The British] cannot contemplate the proposal for two documents and now therefore the exchanges on this channel [are] to be ended.’

    He is now saying it ended on the morning of July 8th.

    Hows he going to explain that according to Duddy’s notes that the contact was still open on July 11th up until July 20th at least?…[the ending of Duddy's recent notes.]

  • Decimus

    “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”

  • Gerry J Foster

    I look forward to what Morrison says in tomorrows Irish News, even if it is just to see if he has changed his version yet again.
    Also I am guessing that Morrison is being used so much in case somebody else has to fall for Adams, and it looks like Morrison is going to be the fall guy.
    Adams has went silent on the issue again seeing as these papers of Duddy’s are very telling and do not fit in with Adams’s few versions of July 1981.
    Hope Morrison is good at falling………..

  • Decimus

    Also I am guessing that Morrison is being used so much in case somebody else has to fall for Adams, and it looks like Morrison is going to be the fall guy.

    Gerry,

    That is feasible. He never returned to the top of the pack after he got out of the clink.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Mick Hall has written an impartial piece worth reading on his blog…

    If the Thatcher government were serious about the July 5th offer to end the hunger strikes, why did they not then just publish their proposals about clothes, remission, etc.

    http://www.organizedrage.com/#!/2012/01/if-thatcher-government-were-serious.html

  • Alias

    “If the Thatcher government were serious about the July 5th offer to end the hunger strikes, why did they not then just publish their proposals about clothes, remission, etc.”

    Because their public position was that they would not negotiate with PIRA and ilk. Indeed, they specifically stated that the ‘discussions’ would come to an immediate end if word of them leaked out and that they would deny that any discussions ever took place.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I have a piece pending with Mick that addresses issues relating to the Duddy papers.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Because their public position was that they would not negotiate with PIRA and ilk. Indeed, they specifically stated that the ‘discussions’ would come to an immediate end if word of them leaked out and that they would deny that any discussions ever took place.”

    Which is totally irrelevant and meaningless.

  • Decimus

    “Because their public position was that they would not negotiate with PIRA and ilk. Indeed, they specifically stated that the ‘discussions’ would come to an immediate end if word of them leaked out and that they would deny that any discussions ever took place.”

    Which is totally irrelevant and meaningless.

    Pat,

    I don’t know how you come to that conclusion. You need to remember that in 1981 PIRA were slaughtering British citizerns in the street. Men, women and children. Two years earlier they had murdered Lord Louis Mountbatten, a war hero and statesman, along with an old woman and a fourteen year old child.

    The notion that the government would be sitting down for cosy chats with such people about how comfortable they could make prison life for them would have been unthinkable. It might well have been enough to bring the government down.

    It is clear that far from ‘killing’ the hungerstrikers in fact Margaret Thatcher was making every effort, and taking huge political risks, to keep them alive. It was the leadership of PIRA which wanted them to die and which thwarted all efforts to stop that from happening.

    The information which is now in the public domain makes that blindingly obvious.

  • http://www.organizedrage.com/ Mickhall

    “The notion that the government would be sitting down for cosy chats with such people about how comfortable they could make prison life for them would have been unthinkable. It might well have been enough to bring the government down.”

    Decimus

    Well that is all right then, the deaths of 61 people, 35 civilians, weighed less heavy on the Thatcher government than the ghastly women’s reputation as the Iron Lady.

    It is nonsensical to claim her government could have fallen, not least because as far as the British Labour Party and the rest of the Westminster Parties was concerned, they operated a bipartisan policy over the six counties. Indeed at this time, the shadow LP northern Ireland secretary went into the Maze and told the hunger strikers they should give up their fast, as they could not expect any help from the Labour benches.

    Indeed the truth of this pudding is in its eating, when the Thatcher governments eventually made major concessions to the republican and loyalist prisoners, it did not raise so much as a murmur in the media and amongst the political elites.

    As far as the north east of Ireland was concerned, from over looking decades of sectarian Unionist rule, Bloody Sunday, mass internment, shoot to kill, Gibraltar, etc, etc, these reprehensible political elites at Westminster, whether Tory or Labour, and their intel gofers, were truly all in this together.

    Besides if the provo leadership and Thatcher government had done a deal to end the H/S it would have quickly become public knowledge. The only reason I can see why they wanted this back channel kept quiet, was their fear it might fail, and that is what why they did not want it revealed. (until a time that is, when it would be to their advantage)

  • http://www.organizedrage.com/ Mickhall

    Dixie Elliott has a moving article piece about why he supports Ricky O’Rawe here,

    http://is.gd/hW4rHJ

  • Alias

    On the contrary, Pat, it is central to why the ‘discussions’ were clandestine and conducted through distant intermediaries on the strict condition that they remain secret.

    The Iron Lady’s public stance was “We will not negotiate with terrorists.” That stance remained during her entire tenure as prime minister. At the end of her reign, when Mandela visited the UK in 1990 and suggested that her government talk to PIRA, that stance was again presented in public: “We do not negotiate with terrorists and have no intention of negotiating with the IRA or their political wing.”

    She could not have revealed that she was talking to PIRA without revealing herself to be a liar and a fraud.

  • Alias

    One other point, the principle of not negotiating with terrorists is universally held. Some governments may engage in it as the UK did with PIRA pre-Thatcher but on condition that a ceasefire is in place. If a state breaks that principle it risks losing more than is at stake in one particular example of terrorism.

  • SteadyEddie

    No disrespect to Mick Hall’s blog site but Dixie’s story should be published else where as well. Those who oppose R. O Rawe’s account of the HS dealings claim that Richard is doing it for money, and he and others have chips on their shoulders or its a personal thing with G Adams the target. Some would even go as far to make out that people are raising the issue because they have been ‘turned’.

    The ‘motivation’ is clear in Dixies article and perfectly understandable. It is also obviously commendable. It is time for the qualities that served the Blanket men so well through 4 yrs of hell to come to the fore again. There can be no sitting on the fence. The time for prevarication is over.

  • http://www.organizedrage.com/ Mickhall

    “One other point, the principle of not negotiating with terrorists is universally held.”

    Alias

    With respect you are wrong, governments have always talked to armed insurgents.

    The British became a past master of such negotiations when the negotiated the empire away, yet somehow remained in control of the new states economies, etc, and lived on friendly terms with the new leaders, who only months before they publicly called terrorists.

    Look at how HMG man managed Nelson Mandela, in the eyes of the Foreign office he went from being a terrorists to a freedom fighter in, well, the blink of an eye. (also take a look at how they treat deputy first Minister McGuinness).

    Both the US and British governments are currently negotiating with the Talaban, there is no cease fire is there?

  • Alias

    Mick, we’re talking about 30 years ago. No British government would be seen talking to PIRA without a ceasefire in place. That is the same pre-condition that was still required for the all-party talks in the 90s – the principle that you do not negotiate with a loaded gun pointed at your head. It was absolutely the position of the Thatcher government. There was no possibility of her government releasing details about their offer to end the hunger strike without declaring that they were talking with terrrists with no ceasefire in place, and thereby scoring a massive own goal while doing untold damage to there interests elsewhere.

  • Decimus

    It is nonsensical to claim her government could have fallen, not least because as far as the British Labour Party and the rest of the Westminster Parties was concerned, they operated a bipartisan policy over the six counties. Indeed at this time, the shadow LP northern Ireland secretary went into the Maze and told the hunger strikers they should give up their fast, as they could not expect any help from the Labour benches.

    Mickhall,

    You reinforce my point. There was a bipartisan policy in Northern Ireland and it was that there should be no deals with terrorists until they gave up their violence. For the Conservative (party of law and order) to announce that she had been negotiating with PIRA would have blown that policy out of the water and could have led to the fall of a government which had not yet received the Falklands bounce.

    I largely agree with Dixie’s analysis btw. The blame lies at the head of the PRM. The dear Leader in particular.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Alias,

    they could have used the cover of the ICJP, something that body asked them to do on numerous occasions.

  • Rory Carr

    It all starts to go downhill, Alias, when a man starts to believe government propaganda.

    “Mick, we’re talking about 30 years ago. No British government would be seen talking to PIRA without a ceasefire in place.”

    Except whenever they do, which is whenever it suits them:

    http://bbc.in/yzk7rN

    In the case of the 1972 meeting at Cheyne Walk between an IRA delegation including O’Connell, Twomey, MacStíofáin and Adams, McGuinness and Ivor Bell and a British delegation led by Whitelaw although an IRA ceasefire was put into operation for these talks which inevitably became public it has to be remebered that initial talks were held between Brit negotiator and Daithi O’Conaill while hostilities continued and further, that when the IRA delegation objected to Whitelaw’s bodyguards being armed and Whitelaw pointing out that the could not have them disarmed, the standoff was broken by the British furnishing arms to the the IRA delegates – and all before Gaddafi had a mind to.

    Even after the post-Cheyne Walk ceasefire broke down over housing at Lenadoon and the war began to hot up, then lines of negotiation remained open with feelers constantly being put out regardless of the front-of-house image of either or both parties.

  • Decimus

    Even after the post-Cheyne Walk ceasefire broke down over housing at Lenadoon and the war began to hot up, then lines of negotiation remained open with feelers constantly being put out regardless of the front-of-house image of either or both parties.

    Rory,

    The key words are front of house. The government could not be seen to be negotiating with terrorists.

  • Decimus

    they could have used the cover of the ICJP, something that body asked them to do on numerous occasions.

    Pat,

    Didn’t the Provos tell the ICJP to get lost at the key moment?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Pat Mc Larnon said….

    “they could have used the cover of the ICJP, something that body asked them to do on numerous occasions.”

    Then Pat what have you to say about this; taken from Ten Men Dead?

    “The Mountain climber had set a strict precondition for the secret talks: If there was any public reference to these negotiations they would immediately end and the government would deny they had taken place…[...]”

    6th July:

    “Gerry Adams sent for the ICJP. Fr Crilly and Hugh Logue went to a safe house where Adams told them about the contact with the Mountain Climber and what the government had been offering and suggested they withdraw because the authorities were using the ICJP as an intelligence feed..[....]”

    7th July

    “At 8:30pm, however, Morrison and a companion had come without warning to the hotel where the commission had its base. Their attitude was threatening. Morrison said their contact had been put in jeopardy as a result of the commission revealing its existence at its meeting with Allison; the officials present with Allison had not known of the contact.” ***

    “Gerry Adams had received a rocket from the Mountain Climber, that the Foreign Office was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the abuse of confidence by which Allison had become involved. The message said that the line of contact was unknown to ‘the most senior of their people’ and if the confidentiality was abused the secret initiative must be put at risk…[...]

    “Morrison said their contact had been put in jeopardy as a result of the commission revealing its existence at its meeting with Allison; ”

    But as we see it was Adams who told the commission [ICJP] about the contact putting him in jeopardy in the first place….

    *** Garret FitzGerald’s 1991 autobigography, All in a Life, 1991; pages 367 – 371.

  • Decimus

    Pat,

    The facts are very inconvernient for the narrative that you are trying to sell.

  • Decimus

    Louise Devine is now demanding an urgent meeting with Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and other key republicans who ran the hunger-strike from the outside.

    “I want answers. I’m asking them to meet me face-to-face. They owe me that at the very least,” she told the Sunday World.

    “I was just five-years-old when I watched my daddy die in agony in a H-Block slum.

    “I sat on his bed and he couldn’t even see me and my brother because he was blind. I remember the tears running down his face as we left him for the last time.”

    The Devines are the first family of a dead hunger-striker to denounce the Sinn Féin leadership following recent revelations.

    “There’s now a mountain of evidence backing Richard O’Rawe’s claim that the British made an offer effectively granting four of the prisoners’ five demands and that this offer was accepted by the IRA’s prison leadership but rejected by the outside leadership,” Louise says.

    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/breen/arts2012/jan15_hungers-strikers_daughter_blasts_SF___SBreen_Sunday-World.php

  • Alias

    Dixie, as a matter of interest, did Tom ever express remorse to you about the manner of Yvonne Dunlop’s horrific death?

    The part that I can’t fathom is why people who have inflicted such suffering onto others – who joined an organisation for that express purpose – should feel a sense of disappointment that that organisation should regard their lives as being as disposable as the lives of young protestant women.

    Why were the lives of Provos special and the lives of non-Provos disposable? It only seems to be the Provo rank-and-file who feel that, whereas their leadership saw them as expendable.

    Given that British agents in the ISU killed a lot more Provos than 10, I’d have thought it pretty clear by now that the rank-and-file are fodder…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    more silly attempts by you to pad out a post and confuse the issue. The British were in contact with the ICJP. There was nothing at all to stop the Britsh publishing what they had been talking to the ICJP about.

    The ICJP asked them to do it on numerous occasions, the British refused.

  • Terry B

    Pat,
    the silly attempts to confuse the issue are coming from you and Rory. The ICJP contact/initiative was through the NIO whereas the Mountain Climber one was a British Cabinet initiative which the NIO weren’t too happy about as they were kept in the dark by the latter. In fact it was Adams who revealed the Mountain Climber initiative to the ICJP claiming that he had a better offer than they. The Brits knew that Adams was in a better position than the ICJP to end the hunger strike and it’s pretty clear that Adams,Morrison and Bik were hell bent on getting the ICJP offside and made that clear to the Brits. Adams in his haste to inform the ICJP knowingly jepordised the Mountain Climber initiative from the outset by revealing the contact against the wishes of the british for secrecy. The British prevarication with the ICJP/NIO initiative was a direct result of the feed back they were getting from the Adams cabal.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    As stated on this thread I had forwarded a piece to Mick that was an examination of elements of the Duddy papers and that challenged, quite substantially the account put forward by O’Rawe and his cheer leaders. Mick stated at the time he was happy to have an article from me.

    The piece was forwarded last Friday and since then, despite a number of e-mails between Mick and myself the piece has still not appeared.

    I have now asked that the piece be withdrawn for consideration.

    Even a cursory glance at threads started on this subject show that they have been driven by those who support the O’Rawe version of events. I had put forward a piece that went some way in attempting to act as a counter balance to those arguments.

    One of the reasons stated for the delay in carrying the piece was that it was 1200 words. Again, if one was to examine some of the threads that support O’Rawe these can run to double that and seem not to be a problem.

    Tactics of obfuscation and delay are at work here in what I can only conclude is an attempt to censor the piece.