So asks the Sunday Times headline this morning, after accessing NIO papers which confirm Richard O’Rawe’s account of an offer being made via an MI6 back channel approved by Thatcher that the prisoners accepted and could have saved the lives of 6 hunger strikers. So why did the Adams team scupper the deal? Because they didn’t like Thatcher’s ‘tone’? Was that reason enough for six men to die? Former hunger striker Gerard Hodgins says, If I had had the full facts at the time that there was a deal on offer I definitely wouldnt have had anything to do with the strike. The INLA lost 3 volunteers on this hunger strike, 2 of them after this deal had been, according to O’Rawe and now given weight by the Freedom of Information release of papers detailing the offer, accepted. Willie Gallagher, IRSP spokesman says: “Both the then INLA Army Council and the officer commanding have stated to the IRSP that if they had been made aware of the content of these developments at the time, they would have ordered the INLA prisoners to end their hunger strike.” Read the full documents on the Sunday Times website. [pdf] Papers suggest IRA subbed a conciliatory offer from Margaret Thatcher to ensure Sinn Fein by-election win to Westminster: Was Gerry Adams complicit over hunger strikers? by Liam Clarke. See also:
ORawes account confirmed: Hunger Strikers Allowed To Die (28 March 08)
Eamon McCann verifies Richard ORawes 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.
Hunger Strike Controversy Has Not Gone Away, You Know (17 April 08)
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