Did Thatcher Kill All Ten, or only 4?

The question over the deaths of the last six hunger strikers still remains. The debate has moved on since the publication of Richard O’Rawe’s Blanketmen, which raised the point that the prisoners had accepted an offer from the British which the outside Republican leadership overruled. When his book first came out, denials from the Sinn Fein camp abounded: there was no offer, there was no deal, there was no conversation, O’Rawe made it all up to sell books. Since then, however, more and more information and confirmation has come out that supports O’Rawe’s contention, and the SF position has moved from total denial to one of agreeing that there was a back channel with Mi6 via the ‘Mountain Climber’ and Brendan Duddy, and that an offer was made and conveyed to the prisoners. But the question still hangs – what happened with the prisoners’ acceptance of that offer/deal? All the irrelevant details explaining the timelines, the different strands of negotiations, who was driving who to the prisons when, avoids the crux of the matter. The prisoners said yes, there is enough there, and the outside said, not quite, which meant six other hunger strikers died. Each argument that the SF camp advances, in the main from Danny Morrison, who is reported to currently be back in their fold, unwittingly gives added weight to O’Rawe’s point. Sooner or later, however, they are going to have to stop the denials and confusion and answer in simple terms. Why were the prisoners over-ruled? And when that answer is given, it had better not be supported by yet more lies.

Background links, statements and information follow the jump.
Update: Statement from Kevin McQuillan in response to Danny Morrison
Update: O’Rawe responds to Morrison, Irish News

1986 excerpt from interview with John Blelloch, Mi5, by Padraig O’Malley (Bobby Sands Trust website)
“The Blelloch Interview”, Anthony McIntyre

Sunday:
‘Adams Complicit Over Hunger Strikers?’
NIO Documents on Sunday Times website
“The Thatcher Intervention”, Anthony McIntyre

Monday:
Irish News: Hunger Strike deal ‘must be disclosed’
Irish Times: SF denies claims on hunger strike deaths
Radio Foyle, The Morning Programme (link lasts a week): Willie Gallagher, IRSP and Danny Morrison, begins @ 8 mins

Statement from Kevin McQuillan in response to Danny Morrison’s comments on Radio Foyle:

During the period of the Hunger Strikes(s) I sat on the Belfast Executive of the H-Block, then H-Block/Armagh Committee. I did so as the Republican Socialist prisoners’ representative. During this I time interacted and consulted with numerous senior members of the provisional movement in relation to the ongoing Prison campaign, and developments therein.

I wish to respond to claims made by Danny Morrison on Radio Foyle, yesterday April 6th 2009. I did take Danny Morrison (as I had other provisional representatives) to Long Kesh in July of 1981.

Whilst I have yet to personally hear the said interview, I am led to believe that Danny Morrison said that I was told of, or was already aware, of a set of proposals that were to be put to the prisoners, and that we had talked of this.

This did not happen. If he had of appraised me of such a serious development, my first point of reference would have been to contact the National leadership of the Republican Socialist Movement, in particular those delegated with the struggle within the Blocks. At no point had I cause to.

Clearly put…it did not happen.

Tuesday:
Irish News: Morrison rubbishes renewed claims of Hunger Strike deal
Bobby Sands Trust: Documents Still Withheld

Thursday:
Irish News: “Let’s have the whole truth about the Hunger Strike”, Richard O’Rawe response to Danny Morrison

IRSP Response to Downing Street Documents 02-04-09

The IRSP believe that these Downing Street documents, at face value, appear to vindicate Richard O’Rawe in the claims he made in regards to this crucial period of the Hunger Strike. These confidential 10 Downing Street letters, which were written contemporaneous, certainly contradict PSF’s version of events from that period. The IRSP have been investigating similar claims that are contained in these documents for quite some time and will be making their conclusions public after examining the evidence in its totality.

Over the past number of days the IRSP has been speaking to relatives of the three INLA Hunger Strikers, ex-INLA Army Council members who were involved in the Strike at that time and also to the then OC of the INLA prisoners about these particular documents. All have stated that they were not aware of the ‘back-channel initiative’ or of an ‘acceptance of the content of Thatcher’s offer but not the tone’ by the PIRA in July 8th 1981 which these documents clearly indicate.

Both the then INLA Army Council and the INLA prisoners OC have stated to the IRSP that if they had have been made aware of the content of these developments at that time they would have ordered the INLA prisoners to end their hunger strike.

Many questions now arise from these documents which only the NIO, PSF, the Mountain Climber and Brendan Duddy can answer and therefore the IRSP would call on all these parties to reveal all the documentation and information that are relevant to this period. The IRSP, on behalf of some of the relatives of the Hunger Strikers, will be seeking meetings with the relevant parties in the very near future.

Michael Devine Junior speaking this morning to the IRSP has stated that -“the families demand and deserve the truth about what really happened during this period. These latest disclosures have added substantial weight to previous claims that the last six hunger strikers lives could have been saved. Did my Father and his five comrades die because a number of individuals didn’t like the tone of Thatcher despite accepting the content of her offer? Why were the families or the prisoners themselves never told about the nature and content of these contacts? I would appeal to SF and the British Government, given their public positions on truth and reconciliation, to tell us the truth and give us closure.”
Willie Gallagher on behalf of the IRSP Executive 02-04-09

Previously on Slugger:
O’Rawe’s account confirmed: Hunger Strikers Allowed To Die (28 March 08)
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.

Hunger Strike Controversy Has Not Gone Away, You Know (17 April 08)
Many background links

O’Rawe and the Derry Journal (18 April 08)
Crucial question still unanswered

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

From the McIntyre interview with O’Rawe:

About the end of the first (1980) hunger strike:

Q: [Gibney] wrote one time that the peace process does not want truth and cannot function with it. Another time he claimed that Bobby Sands wrote out on the evening of the end of the 1980 hunger strike that he would begin a new hunger strike on the 1st of January. Which meant the Brits had no time to renege on the offer they supposedly made to end the first strike. This was an admission that the first strike collapsed and the Brits did not renege. It also means that Gibney is contradicting himself when he wrote in the Irish News that ‘the document could have been the basis’ to end the protest. Why otherwise would Bobby have written out stating his intention to start a new strike when there was absolutely no time to test the Brits for sincerity? I look for the faux pas rather than the intent in what he writes. I am waiting on you to be labelled a securocrat in that column. The problem is that you support the peace process.

A: Firstly, let’s look at what Gibney said in the first part of his 11 May article. In relation to the Brit document that was delivered to the hunger strikers after they had come off the 1980 strike, he said, ‘hours before the document arrived the strike was ended rather than let Sean McKenna die. The document could have been the basis on which the prison protests ended. However the document was an offer from the British to the prisoners not an agreement. There is a huge difference.’ How right he is! But if there was no ‘agreement’ between the two parties at the end of the first hunger strike, then how could the Brits be accused of ‘reneging’ on an agreement? That’s why Bob immediately wanted a second hunger strike. He knew there was no agreement. We all did. The first hunger strike collapsed. The Dark told the Daily Mirror, that the boys had indicated they were not prepared to die. So all this stuff that Big Laurny McKeown is going on about, you know, the ‘we wanted to avoid a repetition of what happened at the end of the first hunger strike, when the Brits reneged on a agreement/deal,’ is pure bullshit. Understanding that is crucial to removing the gobbledygook that Laurny, Morrison and Co. have thrown up to cloud the issue in the second hunger strike. They are talking what Mick Collins called ‘ballsology.’

Q: It seems that you are right and that once again Gibney has put his foot in it. I have written elsewhere that the need to have firm guarantees on any offer from the Brits was understandable but not because of what happened at the end of first hunger strike. 1980 failed before the Brits made any offer that needed to be guaranteed. If the leadership is inaccurate about the ending of the 1980 hunger strike then its account of the 1981 hunger strike depreciates in value.

About the chain of command between inside and outside the prison:

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?

A: Anyone listening to the likes of Laurny 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 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.

Q: It certainly reveals the true nature of the balance of power between the leadership and prisoners. I consistently argued within the prison in the mid-1980s that the jail leadership was a mere extension of the outside leadership into the ranks of the prisoners. Its primary function was to represent the interests of the leadership against the prisoners and then only to represent the interests of the prisoners against the regime. They did both quite well.

A: Bik was Adams’ man. When Bik spoke, Adams spoke. Everybody knew that. The hunger strike was in safe hands when Bik was in control. The frustrating part in all of this is that the likes of Laurny and Bik know the score. But rather than confront the leadership and ask for an account as to why their last six comrades died, they feel a perverse duty to defend that leadership. It’s part of the shameful cover-up to protect the leadership from acute questioning. The first four lads knew the score. They accepted that there was little chance of them surviving. But Joe reaching critical point was different. And this was eating away at me. What made it all the worse was that people were running around as if the history of the hunger strike was a beautiful box of chocolates wrapped in roses. I knew that the roses were nettles, there to jag your finger if you tried to open the box. Everyone could look at and admire the chocolate box but no one was ever really allowed to open it up and look inside to see what was really there.

Regarding the IRA Army Council’s role

Q: There are many memorable pages in your book. It is a moving account of how naked men for years defied a vicious and brutalising prison management working for the British government to brand the mark of the criminal on republicanism. But the real point of controversy is your assertion that the Army Council stopped a deal being reached that would have delivered to the prisoners the substance of the five demands. Army Council people of the time seem to dispute this. Ruairi O’Bradaigh, for example, is on record as saying that the council did no such thing although he does state that your claims must be explored further. It seems clear that he suspects you are right in what you say but wrong in whose door you lay the blame at. What have you to say to this?

A: At the time we had no reason to believe we were dealing with any body other than the Army Council of the IRA. What reason was there to think otherwise?

Q: And not a sub-committee specifically tasked with running the hunger strike?

A: Whether they called it a sub-committee or not, we were of the view that everything went to the Army Council. Nobody led us to believe any different. Did you think any different?

Q: At the time, no.

A: We all felt it was the Council. Brownie was representing the Council and he wrote the comms. Why would we think we were dealing with anything less than the Council when he was the man communicating with us?

Q: You might not wish to say it but for the purpose of the reader – and this has been publicly documented in copious quantities – Brownie is Gerry Adams, who was a member of the Army Council and the IRA adjutant general during the hunger strike.

A: I have nothing to add to that.

Q: But do you still hold to the view, despite the protests from O’Bradaigh, that the Council actually prevented a satisfactory outcome being reached?

A: No, I do not. Army Council was the general term I used to describe the decision makers on the outside handling the hunger strike. I was not privy to Army Council deliberations. But I believed they were the only people who had the authority to manage the hunger strike from the outside. So it seemed safe then to presume that when we received a comm from Brownie it was from the Army Council as a collective.

Q: But what has happened to lead you to change your mind and accept that the Council may have been by-passed on this matter by Gerry Adams?

A: I have since found out that people on the Army Council at the time have, after my book came out, rejected my thesis and refused to accept that the Council had directed the prisoners to refuse the offer.

Q: Bypassing the Council as a means to shafting it and ultimately getting his own way would seem to be a trait of Gerry Adams. Do you believe then that the bulk of the Council did not approve blocking an end to the hunger strike before Joe McDonnell died?

A: Absolutely. The sub committee managed and monitored the hunger strike. Given that comms were coming in two and three times a day it is simply not possible to believe that the Council could have been kept informed of all the developments. Could the Council even have met regularly during that turbulent period?

Q: Could they not be covering for their own role?

A: I have not spoken to any of the council of the day. But those that have claim that they appeared genuinely shocked that my book should implicate them. And they do allow for the possibility that the wool was pulled over their eyes by the sub-committee handling the strike.

Q: So what do you think did happen?

A: As I said in my book, Adams was at the top of the pyramid. He sent the comms in. He read the comms that came out. He talked to the Mountain Climber. As I said earlier, we know that he, and possibly the clique around him, decided to reject the second offer, at least, without telling Bik what was in it. Nobody knows the hunger strike like Adams knows it. And yet he is maintaining the silence of the mouse, the odd squeak from him when confronted.

Here’s what he said in relation to the Mountain Climber in the RTE Hunger strikes documentary,

‘There had been a contact which the British had activated. It became known as the Mountain Climber. Basically, I didn’t learn this until after the hunger strike ended.’

He didn’t learn what? About the contact and the offers, or the Mountain Climber euphemism? If he’s saying he didn’t know about the offers, then why did he show the offer to the Father Crilly and Hugh Logue in Andersonstown on 6 July 1981? And if he’s saying he didn’t know of the Mountain Climber euphemism, I’d refer your readers to Bik’s comm to Adams on pages 301-302, Ten Men Dead, where Bik tells Brownie, who is Adams, that Morrison had told the hunger strikers about the Mountain Climber: ‘Pennies has already informed them of “Mountain Climber” angle…’ So he knew about the Mountain Climber euphemism, and he knew of the offers. As a defensive strategy, this lurking in the shadows, this proceeding through ambiguity, can only work for so long. At some point academics and investigative journalists are going to ask the searching questions and Gerry Adams is not going to be up to them.

Q: Are you now suggesting that Adams may have withheld crucial details from the Army Council?

A: I don’t know the procedural detail of the relationship between Adams and the Army Council. What I do know is that my account of events is absolutely spot on. You said yourself on RTE on Tuesday that there was independent verification of the conversation between myself and Bik McFarlane.

Q: Indeed. I think you realise there is a bit more than that. As you know I have enormous time for Bik. It goes back to the days before the blanket. But I can only state what I uncovered. I am not saying that it is conclusive. These things can always be contested. But it certainly shades the debate your way. If Morrison and Gibney continue to mislead people that there is no evidence supporting your claim from that wing on H3 I can always allow prominent journalists and academics to access what is there and arrive at whatever conclusions they feel appropriate. That should settle matters and cause a few red faces to boot. We know how devious and unscrupulous these people have been in their handling of this. They simply did not reckon on what would fall the way of the Blanket. Nor did I for that matter. A blunder on their part.

A: If the Army Council say they received no comm from us accepting the deal, and also say that they sent in no word telling us effectively to refuse the deal, then I think the only plausible explanation is that those who sent in the ‘instruction’ to reject the Mountain Climber’s offer were doing so without the knowledge or approval of the Army Council.

Q: When you say ‘those’ you presumably mean Adams and Liam Og who was also sending in comms coming to the prison leadership?

A: Yes.

Q: Liam Og has been identified by Denis O’Hearn, author of the biography of Bobby Sands, as Tom Hartley. It appears that Hartley was privy to every comm between the leadership and the prisoners.

A: That would be the case.

Q: How can we be sure that Adams rather than Liam Og was responsible for withholding information from the Army Council?

A: Because, while we might not know the procedural detail, Adams had a relationship with the Army Council that was vastly different from Liam Og. You point out that this is well recorded in public.

Regarding the crux of the matter:

Q: If you absolve the Army Council of the day, as a collective, of responsibility for sabotaging a conclusion to the hunger strike that would have saved the lives of six men, who do you hold responsible?

A: Maggie Thatcher had the responsibility for bringing this all to an end.

Q: But given that she made an offer, which would have brought it to an end, and which was sabotaged, who then on the republican side, if not the Council, was responsible?

A: You are trying to tie me down.

Q: I should not have to. You should be telling us directly if as you say you believe in our right to know.

A: Let’s put it like this. The iron lady was not so steely at the end. She wanted a way out. The Army Council, I now believe, as a collective were kept in the dark about developments. The sub-committee ran the hunger strike. Draw your own conclusions from the facts.

Q: What could be the possible motive for Adams and the sub-committee wanting to prolong the hunger strike?

A: I don’t know for sure. I can only speculate and this time it would be wrong for you to try to nail me down on what is only opinion.

Q: Yet one way of reading your book is to see the decision to sabotage a successful conclusion to the hunger strike in the context of Sinn Fein needing to strike while the electoral iron was hot.

A: I floated it as a possibility, yes.

Q: John Nixon from the 1980 hunger strike team was very forthright in asserting this perspective on the RTE documentary.

A: John Nixon demonstrated that it is probably the most persuasive argument made in relation to the longevity of the hunger strike. The absence of an Army order to end the hunger strike, when it was blatantly obvious that nothing more was to be got from the Mountain Climber, reinforces this opinion. It is impossible to believe that Gerry Adams did not see the bigger picture and did not realise how omni-important Owen Carron’s election was to the future of republican strategy. He would have been a fool not to. And Gerry Adams is no fool.

Q: But being a fool not to see the electoral opportunity does not mean that it is ethical to follow such a premise to the point of allowing six comrades to die in order to fulfil the potential of that opportunity?

A: It would be an absolute disgrace if it were the case that six men were sacrificed to bring Sinn Fein onto the constitutional altar. I just find it impossible to believe that any republican would let six of their comrades die so they could work partition.

Q: But the logic of your book is precisely that?

A: It is one of a range of possibilities. I am not going to be dogmatic on it. I can only state what I know and anything after that is speculation. I know that there was an offer made and somebody outside rejected it.

Further reading:

Irish News: Allegations of a rejected deal spark fury among republicans (1 March 2005)
Irish News: Was my father’s death PR exercise? (1 March 2005)
Irish News: Monsignor Faul regrets his ‘late intervention’ (1 March 2005)
Irish News: Hunger strikers’ lives not sacrificed — family (2 March 2005)
Daily Ireland: Hunger Strikers Story Brought to Book, Danny Morrison (2 March 2005)
Irish News: Hunger strikers’ deaths must be fully explained, says author (3 March 2005)
The Guardian: Hunger strike claims rile H-block veterans (4 March 2005)
Daily Ireland: McFarlane denies Hunger Strike deal was struck (4 March 2005)
Irish Times: Hunger strikers wanted more than vague promises, Danny Morrison (5 March 2005)
The Village: H-Block Hypocrisy (12 March 2005)
The Village: For the cause or caucus, Hugh Logue (ICJP) reviews O’Rawe’s Blanketmen (19 March 2005)

  • willowfield

    Thatcher didn’t kill any of them. Each one voluntarily elected to decline the food that was offered him.

    As has been rightly said so often, that was a choice not given to the many victims of the death squads to which the hunger-strikers belonged.

  • Democratic

    The title of this thread is both misleading and libelous – Thatcher did not KILL anyone – If anyone has any information to the contrary then they should produce it…..not giving into political demands upon threat of taking ones own life does not murder make…..

  • alan56

    Dangerous language indeed in the title. Could be asked did ‘Adams’ kill them?

  • CS Parnell

    Thatcher didn’t kill any of them, as has already been said. Incidentially, neither did Adams, they killed themselves.

    In the interests of truth, rather than any defence of Thatcher, that needs to be said again and again and again.

  • willowfield

    Poor Rusty Nail. In his desperate attempt to make some kind of perverse political point in the title, the actual subject of the thread appears to have been lost.

    Could have made for an interesting discussion, too.

  • CS Parnell

    Forget the ludicrous headline, look at the ludicrous discussion. The issue that is being debated here is whether the republicans were right to abandon physical force, just neither side is prepared to state it in those terms and so instead argue of the bodies of the martyrs (their terms).

    Back in 1981 Adams wasn’t any more of a partitionist, or whatever the ultras want to call him now, than any republican. He saw politics as part of the strategy to widen “the struggle”.

    So, entirely within their own logic, the republican leadership were entitled to use one part of the struggle to help another. What was the big deal? The whole 5 demands/POW thing was a tactical issue in any case.

    Now it has been “revealed” that physical force was a failure (though some are still struggling to learn from the last 90 years of Irish history and some never will) we are having an argument about something else entirely dressed up as though it was a fight about the hunger strike.

    It’s cheap and nasty. Anthony McIntyre, not someone I agree with but whom I respect, ought to do better than be part of this.

  • piebald

    didn’t this “debate” take place a couple of years ago ?

    what new information has come to light in the meantime ?

    I can’t see anything new here …

  • Dylan

    The hunger strikers who died were brave men, of this there can be no doubt, even from those on the Unionist side and those in the media who constantly strive to blacken the name of Republicanism. Whether or not S.F could have prevented their deaths is neither here nor there, after the events of recent years who would be surprised that senior members of S.F were up to dirty tricks? The reality is Thatcher could have prevented even one man dying ( and a lot of ensuing political violence on the streets) by showing humility and leadership, instead she choose a stance of warmongering and obstinance and undoubtedly weakened the British cause Internationally. in the end the men who died will be remembered by Nationalists/Republicans as brave and astute soldiers who hastened the onset of peace and took a calculated stand against centuries of oppression and imperialism long after S.F have been completely subsumed by the State they claim to oppose. I’m neither a Republican fanatic nor a S.F voter, however I am aware that if you go to nearly any country in Europe, or North or South America, or Africa or any of the Arab states and speak of the hunger strikers then International opinion is favorable from even the most placid citizen-something that cannot be said of the Unionist/Loyalist cause or indeed the British State.

  • ngg

    the hunger strikers were pathetic scum. the world is beeter off with them in the ground and now provos stand back in shock at accusations of ira colousion in the deaths.

    is all the other dead catholics buried with an ira bullet not proof enough that the provos never cared about ireland or irishmen?

    all they wamt is power. and they didnt even get that.

  • Dylan

    Re: “ngg”

    Ultimately the P.I.R.A campaign was about driving out the British and uniting Ireland. The British turned it into a dirty war of that there can be no doubt. However the issue here is the hunger strikes and the point I strived to make is that any man prepared to starve himself to death in defence of his home and community is a braver man than most. ” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13. by the way “ngg” learn how to spell mate.

  • Democratic

    The hunger strikers were very brave and strong in their views – of that there can be no doubt – rightly or wrongly (and I know where I stand) – However Maggie didn’t KILL any of them no matter how anyone may choose to portray it!

  • willowfield

    DYLAN

    The hunger strikers who died were brave men, of this there can be no doubt, even from those on the Unionist side and those in the media who constantly strive to blacken the name of Republicanism.

    Brave they may have been, but more importantly they were wrong, irresponsible, and guilty not only of serious crimes, but of perversely attempting to turn morality on its head by turning themselves as the perpetrators of suffering into the victims.

    Whether or not S.F could have prevented their deaths is neither here nor there, after the events of recent years who would be surprised that senior members of S.F were up to dirty tricks?

    Many people would be surprised to know that PSF withheld the possibility of a deal in order that they could sacrifice lives for electoral gain.

    The reality is Thatcher could have prevented even one man dying ( and a lot of ensuing political violence on the streets) by showing humility and leadership, instead she choose a stance of warmongering and obstinance and undoubtedly weakened the British cause Internationally.

    The reality is that the hunger-strikers themselves could have prevented even one man dying by not going on hunger strike.

    in the end the men who died will be remembered by Nationalists/Republicans as brave and astute soldiers who hastened the onset of peace and took a calculated stand against centuries of oppression and imperialism long after S.F have been completely subsumed by the State they claim to oppose.

    What nonsense. The onset of peace was not hastened by providing a shot in the arm to the perpetrators of terrorism. Nearly fifteen more years of death and suffering ensued from the hunger strikes.

    The hunger strikers were not and are not remembered as “soldiers” by anyone other than the apologists for “republican” murder.

    “Oppression” and “imperialism” had nothing to do with it. In any civilised society, if you commit a serious crime you are expected to endure the consequences, i.e. prison.

    I’m neither a Republican fanatic nor a S.F voter, however I am aware that if you go to nearly any country in Europe, or North or South America, or Africa or any of the Arab states and speak of the hunger strikers then International opinion is favorable from even the most placid citizen-something that cannot be said of the Unionist/Loyalist cause or indeed the British State.

    Nonsense. The average person in any other country doesn’t give two hoots about Ireland or Northern Ireland. That there are some, largely ignorant, people who sympathise with “republican” terrorism is – to use your phrase – neither here nor there.

    As for international opinion – perhaps Islamic fundamentalist states such as Iran and Libya may speak highly of the hunger-strikers, but the vast majority of all other states was and is supportive of the UK government.

  • redhugh78

    Is it any co-incidence that this story re-surfaces by selectively leaked documents in the run up to Easter when Republicans re-dedicate themselves to the re-unification of Ireland.

    We have all the so called dissident ‘republican’ scribes falling over themselves to say ‘we told you so!’ to try and besmirch the republican credentials and create suspicion and un-certainty within main stream republicanism.

    I wonder who’s agenda that serves?

  • Dylan

    Re;”Willowfield”

    The hunger strikers took a stand against many hundreds of years of brutal oppression and in this respect they were completely justified in what they did. They are no different than the United Irishmen or any other oppressed people who decide to take a stand. You say they were “wrong”, in what sense? The British presence in Ireland is illegal, immoral and unethical, the religious conflict here was a direct result of their “divide and conquer” policy, even as a symbolic gesture the hunger strikes were morally justifiable. Tellingly no Loyalist ever took such extreme measures as to starve himself to death, righteous anger is a very powerful thing and a trait both Loyalists and the British lack. To speak of Islamic fundamentalists is spurious to say the least and perhaps representative of the mindset that cannot differentiate between terrorists and freedom fighters, as an Ulsterman, and Irishman, I am proud of my fellow Countrymen who had the courage of their convictions to take a stand against Imperial occupation and discrimination. One must only look at the International explosion of fury directed at the British (even amongst peaceful countries like Norway and Canada) in the aftermath of the hunger strikes to truly see where the world’s ire was directed. “Willowfield” I suggest you educate yourself on the International reaction to the events and the conditions that led to them in the first place. In the end, as Zapata said “it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”

  • CS Parnell

    Dylan,

    I don’t doubt the hungerstrikers were all brave men. Quite literally suicidally brave.

    But their deaths weakened the “British cause” not one iota, as semonstrated by the fact that 28 years later it is still the union jack that flies outside the City Hall and not the tricolour.

    Changing that – or even getting to the point where both flags fly – will require persuading some of your fellow country men that it is the right thing to do. Killing them, their relatives or yourself will not.

  • Harry Flashman

    Can the moderators not change this heading?

    No matter what your opinions of the rights and wrongs of the Hunger Strike it is absolutely absurd to predicate the discussion on how many hunger strikers were “killed” by Margaret Thatcher.

    The simple and astonishingly obvious answer to the ludicrous question is that Margaret Thatcher didn’t kill a single, solitary Hunger Striker.

    I am surprised that such a fatuous headline is being used for a thread on Slugger.

  • willowfield

    Re. “Dylan”

    The hunger strikers took a stand against many hundreds of years of brutal oppression and in this respect they were completely justified in what they did.

    They may have seen it in such self-regarding light, but there can be no justification in the perpetrators of suffering seeking to portray themselves as the victims. They participated in their perverse action purely of their own volition and nobody killed them.

    They are no different than the United Irishmen or any other oppressed people who decide to take a stand.

    That is not true. They are very different to the United Irishmen and “other oppressed people”: The United Irishmen’s rebellion, for example, took place in a pre-democratic era, where peaceful avenues for affecting change were not available to the vast majority of people. That said, the modern “republican” hunger strikers do have much in common with the sectarian slaughter that was sadly a significant part of the 1798 Rebellion.

    The fact that these “republicans”, found guilty of serious crimes, considered themselves to be “oppressed” merely emphasises the self-regarding and self-indulgent nature of their actions.

    You say they were “wrong”, in what sense?

    In the sense that it was wrong to seek legitimation for their crimes by means of emotional blackmail.

    The British presence in Ireland is illegal, immoral and unethical, the religious conflict here was a direct result of their “divide and conquer” policy, even as a symbolic gesture the hunger strikes were morally justifiable.

    First, the “British presence in Ireland” is not and was not “illegal”.

    Second, it was not, at the time of the hunger strikes, “immoral and unethical”.

    Third, even if we were to accept such a simplistic assessment of the causes of the “religious conflict here”, that would not justify the self-regarding and unjustifiable attempts by the hunger-strikers to seek to legitimise their crimes by emotional blackmail.

    Fourth, the hunger striker were not justifiable on any ground, including that of being “a symbolic gesture”.

    Tellingly no Loyalist ever took such extreme measures as to starve himself to death, righteous anger is a very powerful thing and a trait both Loyalists and the British lack.

    The actions or inactions of “loyalists” is not relevant to the merits or otherwise of “republican” actions. Any righteous anger (or – what you really mean – self-righteous anger) was misplaced and, in any case, offers no justification for such provocative emotional blackmail.

  • willowfield

    “Dylan” contd

    To speak of Islamic fundamentalists is spurious to say the least and perhaps representative of the mindset that cannot differentiate between terrorists and freedom fighters,

    It is not “spurious”: both the Iranian and Libyan regimes which supported violent Irish “republicanism” are characterised by Islamic fundamentalism. It is relevant to the discussion to point that out, since these are the only states of which I am aware who gave support to the hunger strikers. Your disingenuous trumpeting of such support among the “international community” therefore required this to be pointed out.

    It does not follow that mentioning the above fact means that one possesses “a mindset that cannot differentiate between terrorists and freedom fighters”. No reasoning has been provided to back up such a crazy assertion.

    You might, however, wish to note that “terrorist” and “freedom fighter” are not mutually exclusive terms; and also that such a semantic debate has no relevance to a discussion about the hunger-strikers.

    as an Ulsterman, and Irishman, I am proud of my fellow Countrymen who had the courage of their convictions to take a stand against Imperial occupation and discrimination.

    Happily, the majority of Ulstermen and Irishmen took a contrary view and opposed terrorism in all its forms. We are in a better place now because of that. Those who wished death and destruction on their fellow citizens were ultimately forced to retreat from their fundamentalist positions and accept the reality of the will of the people.

    One must only look at the International explosion of fury directed at the British (even amongst peaceful countries like Norway and Canada) in the aftermath of the hunger strikes to truly see where the world’s ire was directed.

    To what such “explosion of fury” do you refer, and why did this arise only in the “aftermath” of the hunger strikes [sic]? As noted above, the vast majority of the world had and has no particular interest in Northern Ireland, other than the desire to see peace: a peace which has been achieved following the ending of the “republican” terror campaign.

    “Willowfield” I suggest you educate yourself on the International reaction to the events and the conditions that led to them in the first place.

    I await with interest your education of me in respect of the “International [sic] reaction” to the events. As for the conditions that led to them, I require no education as I am fully aware of them.

    In the end, as Zapata said “it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”

    Even better to live on your feet. No need for anyone to die. Shame on you for supporting unnecessary and unjustifiable death.

  • Scaramoosh

    One is reminded of the infamous posters that sprung up along the broder and in Newry and Dundalk at this time; “Wanted for murder: Maragret Thatcher.”

    I do not recall the iron lady suing for libel.

  • Harry Flashman

    Margaret Thatcher murdered no hunger strikers, if you have proof to the contrary no doubt you can share it with us.

  • willowfield

    I do not recall the iron lady suing for libel.

    Whom would she have sued?

  • Democratic

    “Wanted for murder: Maragret Thatcher.”
    Quite ironic posters perhaps – considering the sentences for conviction being served by a number among the hunger strikers – The “esteemed” Mr McFarlane who actually did murder people springs immediately to mind…..

  • Blinding

    I just wonder is there a little bit of get Gerry in this for his not quite being prompt enough(and not condemning enough) with his statement over the two murdered soldiers.

    On the issue itself it can be probably argued from now until doomsday without any agreement.

  • redhugh78

    Maggie thatcher did’nt murder anyone on the Belgarano either did she?

  • redhugh78

    Last post should read Belgrano.

  • picador

    Maggie murdered a hell of a lot of people in this country. Loyalist still have the guns from the South African arms shipment.

  • PaddyReilly

    But their deaths weakened the “British cause” not one iota, as semonstrated by the fact that 28 years later it is still the union jack that flies outside the City Hall and not the tricolour.

    As a matter of interest, could someone tell me does the Union Jack still fly over City Hall in Londonderry and Newry? I forgot to look last time I was there (Newry). In fact, I didn’t get off the bus. But I don’t remember seeing any Union Jacks.

  • willowfield

    Maggie thatcher did’nt murder anyone on the Belgarano either did she?

    The question of whether the sinking of the Belgrano was unlawful is entirely irrelevant to the subject under discussion.

  • IStillHateThatcher

    The woman deserves her curent illness, made no attempt to rescue a situation from which she was suffering politically throughout the world. Despite international pressure, she let 10 men die. Im not saying she killed them, but she had the power to stop them having to make the ultimate sacrafice for the rights of their fellow countrymen and internees.

  • willowfield

    Nobody had to make the ultimate “sacrafice”: each hunger-striker made a conscious decision to do so – they were not forced.

    Also, they were not “internees”, so it was not possible for their “sacrafice” to have been on behalf of any fellow “internees”.

    Finally, the hunger strike was nothing to do with rights in the first place. It was about seeking to legitimise the crimes for which they had been convicted.

  • alan56

    Any national leader can prevent people dying by giving in to the demands of those who would use violence or the threat of it to get their way. Are we really saying that is what she should have done. However much people may disagree politically I think gloating in someone’s illness is stooping a bit low.

  • redhugh78

    ‘Maggie thatcher did’nt murder anyone on the Belgarano either did she?

    The question of whether the sinking of the Belgrano was unlawful is entirely irrelevant to the subject under discussion. ‘

    I beg to differ,I am not debating the lawful/un-lawfulness of the sinking of the Belgrano,I am using it as an example of how Thatcher may not have directly murdered the hungerstrikers but as a result of her intransigence and decisions she is ultimately responsible.
    She was the British PM of the time,
    The buck stops with her.

    p.s it was thatcher who gave the go ahead to sink the Belgrano even tho she was well aware the ship was 370km outside her own declared exclusion zone.

    In her own words ‘Murder is Murder is Murder’.

  • Jimmy

    Its unlikely PSF would admit to the accusations from O,Rawe.
    One things for sure, I like many others would never believe a single word that comes out of thier (PSF) Mouths ever again.
    Is that proof they lied on this occasion? who knows.
    However they have been proven beyond doubt in many instances before that they would lie through thier teeth to suit thier own agendas.
    They even sold every Republican principle away and spun it as a victory. If they could do it with that, they could certainly have done it with the Hunger Strikers.
    Sorry but I just cant give Morrison and PSF the benefit of the doubt anymore.

  • willowfield

    REDHUGH78

    I beg to differ,I am not debating the lawful/un-lawfulness of the sinking of the Belgrano,I am using it as an example of how Thatcher may not have directly murdered the hungerstrikers but as a result of her intransigence and decisions she is ultimately responsible. She was the British PM of the time,
    The buck stops with her.

    Absolute nonsense. The two situations couldn’t be more different: the Royal Navy was ultimately under Thatcher’s control as prime minister. In stark contrast, she had no control over the hunger strikers. The hunger-strikers’ decision to decline food was their own decision – Thatcher had no authority over them: she could not order them to eat.

    In her own words ‘Murder is Murder is Murder’.

    And choosing to starve oneself to death is choosing to starve oneself to death.

  • Mark McGregor

    Unbelievable comment trend on this thread.

    Rusty has presented an excellently linked and referenced thread on the growing debate on events around the Hunger Strike and the increasing discomfort of some families, prisoners and the IRSM over how SF/PRM managed the information flow and possibly allowed more to die than would have if everything was in the open.

    The title to me is perfect. This is all about an republican discussion and Maggie Thatcher is seen as the villian of the piece within Republicanism, she was accused of murder and torture in numerous pieces of republican literature, propoganda, speeches and articles. For Rusty to challenge that narrative with a question framed in republican language seems perfectly valid and cutting to the core of an issue being debated by republicans.

    Did the PRM extend the strike beyond the point of achieving it’s state objectives to achieve other unassociated objectives?

    That’s the question. That’s what the numerous links all relate to and that in uncompromising republican language is what the title refers to.

    There is no point on getting hung up on differences over how the IRA and hunger strikers are perceived, or how Thatcher is treated by republicans when the substance of this blog is so substantial.

  • Reader

    Mark McGregor: The title to me is perfect.
    It depends. The title was certain to bring unionists into the discussion, wasn’t it?
    With a different title, Rusty Nail and you could have watched the Dissident vs. Adamsite slugfest that the substance of the topic deserved.

  • ngg

    dylan

    im not your mate. unlike you im a busy person and type fast. if you want to lionize killers because they were stupid enough to kill themselves as well that is up to you.

    the hunger strikers died for publicity, nothing else. they died because even more cowardly killers told them too and refusing would not be in the interests of thier families, better a dead hero than a live traitor.

    as for the british turning it into a dirty war, i cant be bothered to defend our troops, save to say at least we had a legal system and didnt push mothers and children into hidden graves in the hills around ireland for “crimes against ireland”

    allso its pretty pathetic to quote scripture in defence of these scum. Jesus never shot soldiers first, did he? he taught peace and turning the other cheek, not the ballot box and armalite.

    it says nothing for you or your intelligence that you cant see the difference between the two. you are clearly a provo supporter which makes you as bad as them. i hope you get the chance to enjoy thier “justice” someday.

    cant fault your spelling though genius.

  • Mark McGregor

    Reader,

    I think opening up a discussion to Slugger that mainly impacts on republicans with republican language gives unionism a chance to see a debate separate from them. Unfortunately the inability of some to see past republicans using republican terms has meant unionists have derailed the thread with pointless discussions on the legitmacy of republican struggle etc.

    As for me, I’m still not buying what is being sold by O’Rawe and the leaks but I think a well linked thread like this is something missing from most of the debate on this. Face up to it, counter it, challege it, dismiss it as black ops, agree with it, disagree but don’t ignore it is my view.

  • nic

    Dylan does hit at least one nail on the head though when he goes on about the “International” interest.
    The hunger striker story can indeed bring celebrity status in Irish bars around the world where locals drop in for ze krak and ze wunderfool romantic Irish wildness.
    It’s easy to confuse the free beer and attention with actual sober majority opinion or (in your wildest dreams) official support for the hunger strikers methods or cause.
    Meanwhile back in Norniron, it’s very relevant because the hunger strikes is the mythology that led to electoral gains and boosted recruitment.
    The more Rawe and Co. chip away at the romanticism, the better the future looks for the coming generations. We have enough false martyrs and con men in this country’s history already.

  • Reader

    Mark McGregor: Face up to it, counter it, challege it, dismiss it as black ops, agree with it, disagree but don’t ignore it is my view.
    Unionists who might have an academic or voyeuristic interest in the subject – and there may be many – will despair that it has become a propaganda battle ground between republican factions. At this point, if the truth ever comes out of this topic, it will be a pure accident, and no credit to the factions involved.
    As for “republican language” – are you really suggesting that nationalists would stay out of a topic started using “loyalist language”? After all, challenging other people’s unstated assumptions (their tribal language) is one of the more worthwhile aspects of debate here – far better than disparaging their identity or faith.

  • The hunger strikers were completely culpable in their own deaths. To impute blame to Margaret Thatcher is unjust for she did not force any of them to die. That some commentators should describe these men as brave is a matter for great regret. Suicide is never a brave act, it is a grave crime against the moral law and shows a shameless disregard for the welfare of one’s family.

  • Brian MacAodh

    I don’t think Margaret thatcher killed any of these 10 hungerstrikers, directly or indirectly. Many innocent people died as a result of her policies, however. She is a murderr in my book.

    “Suicide is never a brave act, it is a grave crime against the moral law and shows a shameless disregard for the welfare of one’s family.”-What moral law is that? The one defined by the Catholic Church? Give me a fucking break.

    they undertook this incredibly slow, painful death in an attempt to help the plight of their fellow inmates as well as to protest their status as mere criminals (the two are, obviously, not mutually exclusive).

    These people knew well the suffering their family would undergo, please don’t belittle their decisions.

  • Mark McGregor

    Reader,

    I’m suggesting that Rusty has opened up a very difficult debate for republicans to a wider audience with a comprehensive series of back links. It’s a shame that such a well delivered piece is being side-tracked over sensitivities on the ‘feed’ line and I’d suggest some are seeking to keep focus on that hand-bag fight to deflect from a difficult subject matter.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Did the PRM extend the strike beyond the point of achieving it’s state objectives to achieve other unassociated objectives?

    I’m not totally sold, but I can say I don’t have my doubts. I would like to thikn they died for more than electoral success….

  • UnrepentantFB

    i’ll think you will find that Maggie Thatcher DID kill these 10 brave men. it was not suicide, they could have stopped had they have been granted their BASIC demands….Why should they have to endure criminalisation, they were not criminals, they were soilders! and ‘CS parnell’ …Not only did they weaken the “British cause” but they also taught the Republican people alot, and made way for where we are today, the British government now know how determined, strong and passionate irish republicans are!

  • i’ll think you will find that Maggie Thatcher DID kill these 10 brave men. it was not suicide, they could have stopped had they have been granted their BASIC demands….Why should they have to endure criminalisation, they were not criminals, they were soilders! and ‘CS parnell’ …Not only did they weaken the “British cause” but they also taught the Republican people alot, and made way for where we are today, the British government now know how determined, strong and passionate irish republicans are!

  • HeadTheBall

    as Zapata said “it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”

    In the Marlon Brando film, possibly, but that statement was in fact made by La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibarruri), Spanish socialist of the Civil War era, who, sadly, ended her days as a Stalinist lap-dog in the USSR.

  • CS Parnell

    Unrepentent — physical force republicanism has consistently failed the people of Ireland over the last 75 years. In that time it has delivered nothing but misery.

    Tell me one thing it has got that could not have been delivered earlier, and without bloodshed, by peaceful means? There is nothing at all.

    The hunger strikers (whose bravery I don’t dispute, but it’s a bit bloody stupid to mistake their bravery for some sort of blood lust from Thatcher) died for nothing. Nothing at all.

    But within the republican framework whether Adams (and the others like O’Braidaigh who were also in the leadership at that time) had every right to ask them to die for votes. After all THE WHOLE HUNGER STRIKE WAS A QUESTION OF TACTICS!

    Do you think if Thatch had said on day one “right boys, here’s your five demands granted” the North of Ireland would not be part of the UK today? Of course it would be, because it was about tactics, not delivering a united Ireland. People were asked to die for tactical reason.

    What is happening now is that nearly 30 years after the event people are saying “ah but it was the wrong tactics”.

    Well, they are right in one sense: because the whole physical force thing was a failure. It failed in the civil war. It failed in the 30s. It failed in the border campaign. It failed in “the longest war”.

    Republicans need to face up to that enormous truth and stop squabbling about the relatively minor issue of what were the right tactics in 1981.

  • CS Parnell

    In the Marlon Brando film, possibly, but that statement was in fact made by La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibarruri), Spanish socialist of the Civil War era, who, sadly, ended her days as a Stalinist lap-dog in the USSR.

    No, she outlived Franco and returned to Spain to chair the first session of a freely elected parliament.

  • Dave

    “Bypassing the Council as a means to shafting it and ultimately getting his own way would seem to be a trait of Gerry Adams.”

    Not much has changed then.

  • redhugh78

    “Suicide is never a brave act, it is a grave crime against the moral law and shows a shameless disregard for the welfare of one’s family.”

    What a load of crap, the hungerstrikers died because it was the only weapon left to use against the attempt to criminalise the republican struggle/pows.

    It is still a load of crap in the context of ‘normal’ suicides(forgive the analogy).

  • Richard James

    I find myself agreeing with Mark McGregor.

    The issue Republicans have to face is could a deal have been struck earlier?

    Did Adams and co prolong the strike for electoral gain? If so was were they right or wrong to do so?

    From a Republican perspective couldn’t it be the argumed the deaths of the hunger strikers, and the victims of sectarian attacks by their supporters, is more ‘legitimate’ if it advanced their cause politically rather than these lives being wasted over a dispute on clothes?

    Taking up the logic of some Republican posters if ten Loyalists were to go on hunger strike unless Sinn Fein gives up on a united Ireland can we blame Adams for their deaths?

  • DC

    Well all we can do is read between the lines, but the sadness of such potential waste of life can only really be matched by the political arrogance.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Be careful folks,political careers and holiday homes in Donegal are built on such.
    Brownie is Gerry Adams,that couldn’t possibly be true because Gerry was never in the IRA.

  • DC

    Danny,

    Whoever thought that men above us could be bought, what else can we say? They brought in Legislation to kill the Irish nation and Christened it democracy – that doesnt mean a thing to me (while the power’s locked away?) and we’re sending back babies to Hell at McDowell’s command, and we’ll sell half the country to Shell at a stranger’s demand, they celebrate wealth that we’ll never see, give unionised workers the sack, the key to success is the sweat of an immigrant’s back – it’s the sweat of an immigrant’s back (Polish-Catholic?).

    And there’s wise men who tell us we’re not to look into the past, but for Princess Diane they lowered the Irish flag to half mast: we don’t want Saints or Scholars just euros, pounds and dollars (Ciaran Murphy you fuckin’ massive legend!).

  • Harry Flashman

    “Maggie thatcher did’nt murder anyone on the Belgarano either did she?”

    No, Maggie Thatcher did not murder anyone on the Belgrano, to the best of my knowledge no one was murdered on the Belgrano.

    Just for the record the General Belgrano was a battle cruiser of the Argentine navy crewed by Argentine sailors at a time when that nation was already at war with the UK. Sinking armed enemy ships in time of war is not murder last time I checked.

  • willowfield

    MARK McGREGOR

    The title to me is perfect. This is all about an republican discussion and Maggie Thatcher is seen as the villian of the piece within Republicanism, she was accused of murder and torture in numerous pieces of republican literature, propoganda, speeches and articles.

    “Republicans” need to be challenged to get out of their self-indulgent comfort zones and face the reality of their crimes and take responsibility for their own actions.

    As I noted above, poor Rusty’s title has destroyed the chances for a discussion of the substance of the article. More fool him.

    BRIAN MACAOHD

    they undertook this incredibly slow, painful death in an attempt to help the plight of their fellow inmates as well as to protest their status as mere criminals (the two are, obviously, not mutually exclusive).

    And what was this “plight”? They committed crimes, were caught, tried, convicted and sentenced. Prison was the consequences of their actions: a much more favourable plight than that suffered by many of their victims.

    As for their status as criminals: if you commit a crime, you are a criminal. They chose to commit the crimes.

    UNREPENTANT FC

    i’ll think you will find that Maggie Thatcher DID kill these 10 brave men. it was not suicide, they could have stopped had they have been granted their BASIC demands….

    They could have stopped at any time, “basic demands” or otherwise. They could also have chosen not to start: the decisions were all entirely theirs. Thatcher could not force them to eat.

    Why should they have to endure criminalisation, they were not criminals, they were soilders!

    If you commit a crime, you are a criminal. Designating oneself a “soldier” does not remove oneself from the jurisdiction of the criminal law.

  • Rory Carr

    “There is no point on getting hung up on differences over how the IRA and hunger strikers are perceived, or how Thatcher is treated by republicans when the substance of this blog is so substantial. – Mark McGregor (my emphasis).

    You forgot to add, Mark, that the length of it was so long, not to mention the wordiness of it being so wordy.

    However, I do agree with your main point that the contraversiality of it is indeed contraversial.

  • ngg

    can we dispell the old lie that ira volenteers were/are soldiers.

    where were their uniforms when they walked up from behind a policeman and pulled the trigger?

    how many prisoners did they take? not counting the ones they robbed then buried in an unmarked grave and “forgot” .

    what other army gets its soldiers to walk into fish shops with bombs?

    under the rules of war a soldier captured in civvie clothes gets tried as a spy, yey provos demand thier “rights” when in reality the only right they deserve was a firing squad.

    the ira do not deserve respect or admiration. they are the same brand of irish republican cowards that has been on this island for many years.

    the hunger strikers were one of the best examples of the “poor fenian” mentality.

    never aceppt responsibility, allways blame and never forgive. thats the provo creed. and its seen in this thread in spades with scum still hating thatcher, i bet she doesnt give a fuck about any of you.

  • Paul McMahon

    NGG,

    Most of the above could also be applied to Robert Nairac. Are you then suggesting that he wasn’t in fact a soldier and, consequently, shouldn’t have been afforded military burial, military admiration, hero status etc?

  • HeadTheBall

    CSP

    “..she outlived Franco, etc”

    Thank you. I am mightily pleased to learn that (I genuinely did not know).