O’Rawe’s account confirmed: Hunger Strikers Allowed To Die

Eamon McCann verifies Richard O’Rawe’s account of the 1981 hunger strike in which he alleges that six of the hunger strikers need not have died as the prisoners had agreed to accept an offer from the Mountainclimber, only to be over-ruled by Gerry Adams.

Evidence which has now become available helps clarify a dispute sparked three years ago by the assertion of former IRA prisoner Richard O’Rawe that terms for ending the strike, accepted by the prisoners’ leadership in the Maze/Long Kesh, were rejected by IRA commanders outside. The implication is that the lives of six of the hunger strikers might have been saved if the prisoners hadn’t been overruled.

McCann also confirms Richard O’Rawe’s account on WBAI’s Radio Free Eireann (starts @ 42mins in; right click, save as): “I have confirmation of that. I have spoken to people who are certainly in a position to know what happened, who were in a position at that time to know exactly what was going on … Broadly speaking, the information which I now have, I am absolutely satisfied with, is that in blunt terms that Richard O’Rawe, on the key issue between himself and Danny Morrison and the others, that Richard O’Rawe was right and that those who were arguing against him were wrong.””I think that’s right…that Richard O’Rawe is telling the truth. … I don’t know what the motivation for the rejection, by the outside IRA leadership, for the rejection of the offer, which was made on 6/7th of July, at that time, I don’t know what the motivation was and therefore I can’t confirm the motivation, but I can confirm that it happened, that the prisoners’ acceptance of the deal was over-ruled by the outside leadership.”

“I have also spoken to the ‘Mountain Climber’; … of course, he didn’t know what was going on inside the prison, but the things that he did know and which he’s told me, confirm Richard O’Rawe’s account.”

From the Belfast Telegraph article:

During this period, negotiations being conducted through the Derry man known as ‘the Mountain Climber’ were stepped up.

O’Rawe’s allegation is that an offer from the Foreign Office, conveyed to McFarlane on July 5, two days before the fifth hunger-striker, Joe McDonnell, was to die, conceded three of the prisoners’ five demands and effectively conceded a fourth.

He says that McFarlane pushed a document containing these proposals along a pipe to his cell.

He maintains that it offered that prisoners could wear their own clothes, have remission restored and enjoy more visits and letters — three of the five demands — and that while prison work wouldn’t be eliminated, ‘work’ would be broadly defined so as to include educational and cultural activities. The one demand not covered was free association within the wings.

“It was a fantastic offer. I never expected it,” says O’Rawe. He recalls a shouted conversation between himself and McFarlane, two cells away.

“We spoke in Irish so the screws could not understand. I said, ‘Ta go leor ann’ — there’s enough there.

“He said, ‘Aontaim leat, scriobhfaidh me chun taoibh amuigh agus cuirfidh me fhois orthu’ — I agree with you, I will write to the outside and let them know.”

McCann spoke to a number of people who have confirmed O’Rawe’s account:

… a number of republicans, including former prisoners, have confirmed that O’Rawe did voice the allegations on more than one occasion before publication of his book.

One ex-prisoner who had been on the same wing as O’Rawe and McFarlane and who also claims to have heard the exchange says that, independently of O’Rawe, he broached the subject of the rejected deal with senior IRA figures during the 1990s.

More importantly, the man who was sharing a cell with O’Rawe in July 1981 confirms O’Rawe’s account: “Richard isn’t a liar. He told the truth in his book. I heard what passed between Richard and Bik (McFarlane). I remember Richard saying, ‘Ta go leor ann,’ and the reply, ‘Aontaim leat.’ There’s just no question that that happened.”

O’Rawe’s account of the negotiations as seen from “inside” will not be contradicted by the account from a different perspective contained in the BBC programme to be transmitted tonight focusing on the role of the ‘Mountain Climber’, Brendan Duddy.

And, in what seems to be a recurring problem for the Sinn Fein leadership:

The suspicions which still surround the events and which have damaged the republican leadership in the eyes of many former activists arise, it seems, not so much from O’Rawe’s narrative of what happened but from an adamant refusal on the part of the IRA leadership of the time to admit to serious and, in the end, fatal errors in their conduct of the hunger strike and from determined efforts to blacken O’Rawe’s name in an attempt to obscure the truth.

Background: Blanketmen, by Richard O’Rawe
Danny Morrison
Jim Gibney
Brendan McFarlane
Brendan Hughes
Interview with Richard O’Rawe

YouTube Clip from Peter Taylor’s The Secret Peacemaker:

  • JD

    The title of this thread is totally misleading, how do you come to that conclusion from the McCann article, what confirmation, where? and be careful your misleading threads also seem to attract other luntics with fantasies to sell judging by your initial poster.

  • Northsider

    Where is the evidence in this piece by Eamonn McCann?

    I just cannot see it and I’ve read it several times, and have watched the programme he refers to.

    Sadly, this makes the inevitable rebuttal all too easy.

    I say sadly, because I have no difficulty in believing that the same Army Council which gambled with so many lives (their own members and their victims) would have any reticence in moving forward their agenda at any cost.

  • Northsider

    Should add: I believe Richard O’Rawe’s account on the basis that he had so much to lose and nothing to gain from coming forward on this. And I heard from several sources that this was something that troubled him for years evidenced by the fact that he talked about it repeatedly.

    I know many on Slugger loathe republicans – and I don’t blame some of them – but O’Rawe is a decent man.

  • JD


    I do not doubt your sincerity, Richard O Rawe is indeed a decent man and a brave volunteer but I am afraid that this totally disputed and still unsubstantiated version of events has damaged his reputation and has led to allegations of book sale strokes.

  • Rusty Nail

    Northsider: The part in bold above shows the confirmation McCann has of O’Rawe’s account, that he has confirmed with a number of republicans that, contrary to assertions made by Danny Morrison, O’Rawe did raise his concerns before the publication of his book. More importantly, McCann has an ex-prisoner on the same wing as McFarlane and O’Rawe who confirms the disputed exchange and also raised the deal with senior IRA leaders himself; and O’Rawe’s cellmate, whom Gibney claimed had never heard anything, confirms to McCann that he did hear the conversation O’Rawe has detailed about the acceptance of the deal, and that O’Rawe is telling the truth.

    Given the onslaught that came from Morrison, Gibney, etc., attempting to rubbish O’Rawe’s account, McCann’s article devastates their claims.

  • smithy

    The dispute between Bik McFarlane and Richard O’Raw is over. Contrary to what Mr McFarlane has said, his colleague, Danny Morrison, is on record as saying that there was an offer (McFarlane has siad there was no offer ‘whatsoever’.) Now we’re hearing, from McCann’s independent sources, that the crucial conversation (which O’Raw recounted in his book) between the two men did take place, after all. Six men dead? For what? For the Armani Brigade?

  • jake

    are you all idiots? – can’t you see the hand of the securocrats at work once again here, turning mccann’s head, impersonating o’rawe’s cellmate and other h-block prisoners just to smear and malign the greatest, most courageous and far-sighted republican leader that ireland has ever had – and so what if the six men did die to get carron elected and sinn fein into election politics, it was their duty to make the ultimate sacrifice for the peace process! beware those who malign our leader – squinter can now tell you what happens when you do!

  • Rusty Nail

    OK. A few housekeeping points. Stick to one name. Play the ball, not the man. Do your best to keep on topic. Thanks.

  • Ex-pow

    I was in the same wing as Bik McFarlane and Ricky O’Rawe when they ran the hunger strike from H3. O’Rawe was the dominant IRA officer. Bik would have been a good Block O.C; Ricky could see the big picture. He didn’t care about rank.

  • Rusty Nail

    If you can stick to one name, your posts will be able to stay up, but if you keep using a different name for each post, they will keep getting taken down.

  • McKelvey

    I don’t think that it is very accurate to suggest, as McCann does, that the Army Council could dictate the acceptability of terms to the prisoners. The Hunger Strikes were organized by the prisoners themselves and only they were in a position to accept or reject any terms on offer. Who in their right mind believes that you can actually order someone to continue a hunger strike? These were desperate men living in conditions that I wouldn’t wish on anyone; they weren’t mindless zombies incapable of independent critical thought.

  • reabhloiddearg

    Check this article for the inconsistencies:


  • Rusty Nail

    McKelvey, from the interview with Richard O’Rawe in the background list above:

    (Anthony McIntyre) Q: I think there is some confusion that you could help clear up. It relates to the decision making process during the hunger strikes. What was the chain of command and what say if any had the prisoners in the decision making process?

    (Richard O’Rawe) A: Anyone listening to the likes of Laurny (McKeown) would think that the hunger strikers had the ultimate say in this. Let’s get real here. Laurny is trying to protect Big Gerry. The foot-soldiers in the trenches never dictate strategy. Why, even the majors and the colonels – in this case, Bik (McFarlane) and myself – didn’t have that power. Tactics come from afar; from people who are removed from the field of conflict, but who have the power to determine strategy. People should read Bik’s comm to Adams on page 336, Ten Men Dead. On that page Bik told the hunger strikers that, ‘I explained the position about my presence being essential at any negotiations …’

    Q: What is the significance of this? Would Bik not have a right, even an obligation to be there?

    A: Let me give you an example which shows the real purpose served by Bik’s presence. It also illustrates their tactic of dictating the ground on which the debate will take place – and they’ve done this rather successfully, I think. Right, they have restricted the whole debate to the four days before Joe died. But 11 days later, the Mountain Climber came back with the same offer. Adams was on the blower to him. Adams told the hunger strikers about this offer when he visited the camp hospital on 29 July, so there is no disputing that this offer was genuine. Yet when the Mountain Climber came off the mountain for the second and last time, Bik didn’t even know what had been rejected on his behalf. This is evident from Bik’s comm to Adams, dated 22.7.81, written after the Mountain Climber had gone. Bik said, ‘you can give me a run-down on exactly how far the Brits went.’ (Page 330, Ten Men Dead).

    Q: This seems to suggest that the prison leadership had a very tenuous grip on the actual negotiations. They left it to outside leaders.

    A: Outside was always in control. Whoever claims otherwise is talking bullshit.

  • McKelvey

    Who in their right mind believes that you can actually order someone to continue a hunger strike?

    You may not be able to order someone to continue a hungerstrike but you can show leadership skills when others are on hungerstrike. It is just typical of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein to coldly calculate that deaths are needed in order to bring his campaign to the next stage, politics.

    It is one thing to give your life for your friends; it is quite another thing for you to sacrifice your friends for your political career.

    That’s why many people regard Gerry Adams as ultimately an evil man when all is said and done.

  • RepublicanStones

    I don’t see the big scoop here. its been widely known for a long time that this could have ended alot sooner, thus saving lives. but whats in dispute is what was on offer and wether or not the ‘Lady’ was for turning at all. It cannot be argued against the fact that the political activists on the outside gained the most currency from their comrades sacrifice. While i do not believe Bobby, Martin, Patsy, Kevin, Francis, Kieran, Raymond, Thomas, Joe and Micheal gave their lives in vain, as it helped refocus world attention on the situation and it is my honest opinion that in years to come, it won’t just be republicans in the north who celebrate these individuals, but anyone who believes in the integrity of the human spirit to do what seems impossible to most, wether they agree with the politics of these men or not. For those who would call it suicide are completely unaware of the situation and reveal more of themselves than they would like. Im sure the sausage supper slags will eventually arrive on this thread if not already, deep down iside those people shame bubbles away.

  • Blanketman

    I spent 3 years on the no-wash protest. I didn’t see McCann there.

  • jake

    blanketman: nor did you see adams, nor gibney, nor morrison, nor hartley – so what’s your point?

  • Michael

    Once again another headline claim without any evidence

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “in other words, that IRA chiefs, for the sake of electoral advantage, allowed a further six hunger-strikers needlessly to die.”

    So who is actually surprised by this? We have to remember these are murdering scumbags we’re talking about here, they’re not like the rest of us, they should all be put in jail until they rot.

  • It is not surprising that the republican leadership outside the jail called the shots during the hunger strike, it was in all probability due to the way the first hunger strike ended. Plus the fact that those on hunger strike were solders. As individuals they could have stood down and resigned from the IRA, that not one of them did, instead they faced a certain death, just shows the calibre of these 10 men and their comrades.

    The problem is not that the leadership read the situation wrong, as there is no shame in that, but that years later they attempted to cover this up by smearing Richard O’Rawe, who is an honorable man. However that this matter has once again raised its ugly head at this time, is undoubtedly because there seems to be a campaign to edge Gerry Adams out. Who and what lays behind this only those involved know for sure.

    Still Gerry Adams is a big boy and in his day he has often played dirty, fast and loose and once he put his head in the English tigers mouth, he can hardly complain if he gets it bitten off, for such is a political life.

  • Mick Hall

    Still Gerry Adams is a big boy and in his day he has often played dirty, fast and loose and once he put his head in the English tigers mouth, he can hardly complain if he gets it bitten off, for such is a political life.

    I sense that Gerry Adams is going soon too. Others are getting that feeling, but the mainstream media are ignoring it. My belief is based on the fulfilment of a prophecy about the beast (Adams) and the false prophet (Paisley) whose names come at 666. I copy it below.

    What will herald end of Adams and Paisley ?

    In reply, John O’Connell said, “I think that the prophecies point to an unpleasant good-bye gift from Adams and Paisley. That may mean some violence. This comes from the verse, “he [i.e. the Antichrist] once was, now is not, and yet will come” (Rev 17:8). The Antichrist who “once was, now is not” is a reference to the fact that Adams was acting once as the Antichrist (i.e. during the Troubles) and “now” is no longer acting in that way. “Yet will come” indicates that before the prophecies will end, he will return to being the Antichrist. This was always going to happen as no-one insisted on Adams repenting of his past. But the question is, when will the prophecies end?”

    John’s answer to that question was detailed. “Interpreting the next verses gives a timescale for the fulfilment of the prophecies. “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings,” (Rev 17:9). The seven hills symbolise Rome, built on seven hills, so the author of Revelation is attacking the Roman Empire. The comparable empire in our context and era is the British Empire and the city comparable to Rome is London. So the seven kings come from London.

    “Those kings are described as “Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come” (Rev 17:10). Coincidentally during the Troubles, the Troubles being the key timeframe, five London PMs have fallen: Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher, and Major. “One is,” or the sixth PM, must refer to Tony Blair under whom much of the changes to the North took place. The other who has not yet come is remarked: “…but when he does come he must remain for a little while” (Rev 17:10). I think that this must refer to Gordon Brown who won’t be PM for long by this account.

    “The fact that Blair is referred to as “one is” demonstrates that the major prophecies occur under his rule while he “is”, and also while the Antichrist “is not” (see above), which happens at the same time, i.e. at present. But the whole sequence of verses, ante-ceded with the proviso, “This calls for a mind with wisdom,” (Rev 17: 9), making them the most mysterious verses in the Book of Revelation, also signals that the whole framework will have outworked itself by the time of the seventh king, “who has not yet come, but when he does come he must remain for a little while”.

    So when Gordon Brown, the seventh king elect, stops being PM, which won’t be long according to the prophecies, Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams will be disgraced and in turmoil, or “thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Rev 19:20). The intriguing question is what happens under Gordon Brown that leads to this outcome.”

    See my website -click on my name.

  • Cousin John: Well done. I thought they had silenced you but no. You stand up there with all the greats: Dan, Dave and Mick.
    Have you found Berie in Revelations yet? How about Duddy? And gerry’s wife? is she the great whore of Babylon? Any predictions for this afternoon’s fottball matches?

  • Cousin Dave

    As you will probably understand, neither Gerry nor Collette would be all that important in the grand scheme of things. Gerry may be the Antichrist but that doesn’t make him important. It just makes him bad. Who is Berie?

    But you’re wrong about one thing: God hates the English establishment, not the Irish.(From your link to website).

    But I can categorically deny that Mrs Adams is the whore of Bablyon. See Below:-

    Queen Elizabeth II

    The woman sitting on the beast in the Book of Revelation (Rev 17:3) is the most vivid image of evil womanhood in the Bible. She is said to be the Whore of Babylon, a prostitute of prostitutes.

    But who is she?

    The Whore of Babylon is just that, the female ruler of Babylon. The evil empire, Babylon, has an even more potent ability to do evil than the Antichrist. That is the way it must be. Babylon is mirrored on the Roman Empire, and the Whore could well be a man or a woman.

    But the gender chosen by the author of the Book of Revelation is the female one. That is the prophecy and thus we should be guided by it. The Whore is a woman. Moreover, when the prophecies are fulfilled, the Whore is to be a woman. The central coincidence therefore is that the ruler of Babylon is a woman and not a man.

    As we are living through the age of the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation, we are bound by logic to seek a woman who is typical of the kind of woman who the Bible would define as a prostitute.

    But she must be a woman. She must be there both to guide women away from her and serve as a warning to men.

    There is only one woman who serves this joint purpose in our sphere here in Northern Ireland. Within the context of the English-speaking world being the power that is known in the Book of Revelation as Babylon, only the British Queen can be seen as the Whore of Babylon.

    She is the Head of State of the British nation, and of the Commonwealth of Nations, the former colonies of the British Empire. She exerts influence far and wide on many men and women who look up to her in all her splendour.

    ‘That is the way,’ they say, as they look at the Queen of England with all her wealth and money, and castles and estates, palaces and servants.

    But Jesus is ‘the way, the truth and the life’. The two ways are in competition. The British Queen serves the god of money in her escape from reality. Jesus serves the natural way of the strong human being in his modest life and the absence of possessions. Jesus serves God.

    Everything taught to children about Christ and the Christian way is destroyed by those who honour the British Queen. She is the epitome of emptiness and thoughtlessness as she lives in the privileged world surrounded by material possessions and money.

    In her heart she boasts,
    ‘I sit as Queen;
    I am not a widow,
    And I will never mourn.’ (Rev 18:7)

    The pertinent coincidences here are that she is a queen, and that she is not a widow. She is devoid of emotion, so she will never mourn, another coincidence, as she embraces the world she inherited, a desert in the middle of a famine of human love and goodness.

    Most importantly of all, the British Queen has no soul. She is empty. Her spirit is dead. She is death warmed up. Examining her speech, one has to conclude that she speaks without love. She has nothing in her heart.

  • McKelvey


    If we’re to take these quotes at their word, We must be prepared to believe that Lawrence McKeown – a highly intelligent man who spent 5 years on the blanket and 70 days on hunger strike and only survived it because his parents took him off of it while he was in a coma – is protecting a leadership, which includes Gerry Adams, that was allegedly willing to allow him and others to die so that they could secure electoral advantage at a time when support within the Republican Movement for electoral politics was limited and by no means settled.

    I’m sorry but that is more of a stretch than I am prepared to make.

  • McKelvey

    John O’Connell, I thank you for brining some well needed light-heartedness to what can sometimes be a rather dour blog.

  • jake

    McKelvey: there is the small matter of Lornie’s 25k p.a. european-funded, peace process-inspired, gerry adams-derived job for him to consider – you shouldn’t be surprised, history is full of examples of people lying to protect leaders and by so doing also themselves

  • USA

    That bible guy needs to consider medication.

  • Bakunin

    The bible guy kills god.

  • Bakunin

    Has the Adams leadership ever told the truth about anything?

  • Bakunin

    Has the Adams leadership ever told the truth about anything?

    He certainly didn’t reveal this episode in his memoirs:-

    Gerry Adams’ secret fear or the origins of the peace process revealed

    I was a student at university in Galway this time twenty-two years ago when I had the most amazing spiritual experience that any human being could have. While writing an essay as an entry to the UCG Philosophical Society’s competition, I felt the most amazing sense of peace descend on me. I felt an absolute sense of love for all people and an overwhelming sense that I was loved too. I was filled with love.

    My essay concerned two babies, whose nametags were switched at birth, and who grew up in families that opposed each other, one a republican and the other a loyalist. These two children ended up murdering their natural fathers in violent incidents during the Troubles. The moral of the story was straightforward, I felt, and in a philosophical sense it meant that all violence was futile and that sectarian violence was simply patricide – or a desire to simply end the human race.

    But the feeling of love would not go away after I wrote the essay. I felt that I was in the midst of something really profound and my mind began to search for what that overwhelming significant matter could be. Then it struck me.

    It was like lightning struck me. It was to do with the other part of a calculation a friend had shown me in my days at St Columb’s College as a fifteen year old. That calculation worked out the name of Ian Paisley at 666. I had checked the references in the Book of Revelation at that time and I knew that there were to be two beasts.

    “Gerry Adams! It has to be!” I roared to myself in the kitchen of the small flat where I had my experience of great love and peace.

    I set down the same numeric alphabet, and calculated Gerry Adams’ name at 666. It was the icing on the cake. I now had an equation to back my essay up. My thesis, which in large part was the SDLP thesis, was being validated by God.

    I never had any doubt that the SDLP thesis was Christian in orientation, or that the republican campaign of violence was evil in orientation. But now I had the proof. I tried it out on a few people, mainly Sinn Fein members at UCG and they were very interested (and worried). It seemed that I had something on them.

    But it only impacted on them. It never impacted on others because others didn’t consider themselves to be doing anything wrong, as opposed to the Sinn Fein members who were assisting the IRA in their campaign of violence. I was left in no doubt that my discovery had gone straight to Gerry Adams.

    It wasn’t long before I heard from Sinn Fein. Others may make up excuses but I know that the attack on our home, smashing several windows, in August 1986 was a warning from Sinn Fein. But it was too late. Their war was over. I had taken out their king and all good chess players will know that that is the game over.

    Within months of that time, Gerry Adams was sending signals through Fr Alec Reid that he was prepared to end the IRA campaign. My experience had sown the seeds of doubt in Adams’ mind and unnerved him completely. He didn’t want to be the Antichrist. More accurately, he didn’t want to go down in history as the man who was regarded as the Antichrist.

    In Spring 1987, a year after my experience, the peace process began in earnest with talks between John Hume and Gerry Adams arranged through Fr Alec Reid, and so the history books record a rational explanation of the ending of the IRA campaign.

    No-one – especially not republicans – really wants to contemplate the possibility that something got to Gerry Adams to make him decide finally, after months of dithering, to give up the violence.

    That something was God. Gerry Adams was confronted with what he had become by God – through me, his instrument – in 1986 and he very quickly developed a yellow streak. They say that Gerry Adams was never all that hot about the war and that has led to all kinds of speculation that he was a top level agent of the British and so on.

    But I can end that speculation. Gerry Adams finally came to the conclusion that the war had to end when he realised that history will record him alongside Ian Paisley as the one of the two beasts of Revelation.

    God had hit the Republican Movement at its weak point. It was thought that Sinn Fein was impenetrable because of its egalitarian structure which meant that Adams could have been replaced if got to. But the republicans had made a big mistake. They had relied heavily on Adams to fight their case in the public domain so he came to matter more than all the others. God got to Adams and it was checkmate.

  • So: God v The Bearded One. Truly an epic struggle. Is Paddy Power taking odds on who the eventual winner will be? Gerry reminds me of Kim Il Sung who fought an averqe of 15 gun battles a day with the Japanese who occupied Korea. Gerry’s life has been as eventful and if the kids of West Belfast contented thesmelves with writing poetry in his honour, there would be no crimes against persons, only crimes against poetry. Of course, as Gerry’s close friend putts from the rough, Gerry is another enabler. Remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. Nurders living in their own sh@t indeed.

  • McKelvey

    “McKelvey: there is the small matter of Lornie’s 25k p.a. european-funded, peace process-inspired, gerry adams-derived job for him to consider – you shouldn’t be surprised, history is full of examples of people lying to protect leaders and by so doing also themselves”

    Throughout this whole so-called controversy, no one has questioned Lawrence McKeown’s integrity – as it is unlikely that any republican would, no matter what they may think of Gerry Adams and the Republican leadership – and here you are calling him a liar and moreover stating that he is lying to protect himself, but I’m not surprised; history is full of examples of people clutching at straws to make failed arguments.

  • Bakunin

    Three cheers for John O’Connell!!

    As I always say, if God existed, it would be necessary to abolish him/her!

    “Being filled with love” — I like beer as well.

  • Cousin John is a straight shooter

    “God got to Adams and it was checkmate.”

    God’s nutting squad got to others. Do we have any agreement on who whacked Sands’ mate, Denis Decommisioner Donaldson? So many men,so few bullets.

  • Bakunin

    Stakeknife right through the heart.

  • But who was the real Stakeknife and was he revealed in Revelations? Gerry Adams and friends gave Kreddy the thumbs up. And that should be good enough for the rest of us.
    As regards O’Rawe, I think Cousin John is on the money. God works in mysterious days. He also works in very mysterious ways. But usually not on a Sunday unless the armed struggle dmeands it. God is old fashioned, the Irish equivalent of the stiff upper lip.