The Times today reports on the first documents released under the Freedom Of Information act. Contrary to popular belief, and Gerry Adams’ writing, it seems that the decision to let hunger strikers die had been taken as far back as December 1975, as Officials foresaw the 1981 Hunger strikes.Whitehall’s secret plan to let the IRA hunger strikers die.
Also revealed is that passports for travel between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK were proposed by six MPs including Ian Paisley, Enoch Powell, William Whitelaw and James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, as the Government prepared to update its Prevention of Terrorism Act in January 1976. The Act, which was first passed as a response to the Birmingham bombings of November 1974, had to be renewed every 12 months to continue as law.
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