Rowan, Duddy, Morrison

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The Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News both feature articles on the hunger strike issue – more on those later today or tomorrow, time permitting. A comment by Dixie Elliott in the “and ‘Soon’ would have known this” thread is worth highlighting in regards the debate over Danny Morrison’s new claims that he brought nothing from the British into the prison (As he told Rowan, “At the time of my visit to the prison on the afternoon of Sunday July 5, 1981, the British Government had yet to even formulate its position, never mind proposing a ‘deal’.”). It’s a YouTube of Brian Rowan interviewing Brendan Duddy at a Feile debate in West Belfast in August, 2009. Dixie has transcribed the discussion in the comments, you can watch the video embedded below.

From Dixie’s comment:

In an interview with Barney Rowan at Belfast Feile, Brendan Duddy said “that although a document didn’t exist the RM had the detail of an offer, there’s no argument about that. And at that particular point that offer was available to go into the prison and..and whatever.
And what was not available at that time was the document.”

When Rowan asked him did he ‘scribble’ the offer, Duddy replied that he wrote it very carefully.

Earlier Rowan had said to Duddy..‘I think your sort of test which is to get someone into the prison on the Sunday?’

Duddy took a drink of water and pointed to Danny Morrison in the audience and replied…‘Him!’

Duddy went on to say “that the person he wanted to get in with respect to you, Mr Morrison, was Gerry Adams and they said..‘No way is Adams going in’. Right!”

And [he pointed at Danny] “so do not be offended, you were second choice.”

“So I considered a positive way forward to get Danny Morrison in and I was also totally happy that you were well aware of what was being said and what was on offer, so forth. So getting Danny Morrison in was, in my book, a major, major, step forward.”

He went on to say at that particular point of time the real difficulty was that this [meaning a document] particular written piece of paper…[he didn't finish]

He then said he would like to know when the British deposited it.

So Danny sat and listened while Duddy said that he had an offer of which he was well aware what was being said and what was on offer to take into the prison.

Duddy goes on to say, “Danny Morrison went in..”
Rowan: “You outlined the offer?… to the Republican leadership?”
Duddy: “The Republican leadership had the detail of the offer, there’s no argument about that …”
Rowan: “You gave it to Martin McGuinness…”
Duddy: “That doesn’t matter, I’m telling you that the Republican leadership had the detail of that offer and at that particular point, that offer was available to go into the prison…”

Dixie also points out a quote from Morrison in a BBC Talkback interview in 2009:

‘he explained to them [the hunger strikers] what was on offer’, adding ‘by the way, the offer that we were being offered through the Mountain Climber was a bigger and better offer than what the ICJP thought they had.’ He went on: ‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.’

Danny Morrison tells Rowan now, however,

“At the time of my visit to the prison on the afternoon of Sunday July 5, 1981, the British Government had yet to even formulate its position, never mind proposing a ‘deal’.”