1981 Hunger Strike: A Case to Answer


WAS THERE A DEAL? ask the Irish News in its two part special on the Hunger Strike. Today’s issue is damning, featuring commentary by Deputy First Minister and, according to the Ed Moloney’s Secret History, Chief of Staff of the IRA at the time of the hunger strikes Martin McGuinness, who admits to his role as the Derry messenger between Mountain Climber Brendan Duddy and the Belfast cadre of Adams, Morrison, Gibney and Hartley. Former Hunger Striker Laurence McKeown also weighs in, shedding little light on the details but muddying the waters on the rhetoric. More significant are the contributions from former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald, who believes the IRA vetoed the deal with the British despite the prisoners’ willingness to accept – which he reveals the Irish government was aware of at the time because of a mole they had inside the prison. Hugh Logue of the ICJP, who were at the time of Joe McDonnell’s death negotiating a parallel offer similar to the one between Thatcher and the Adams committee, also weighs in, asking why the outside leadership held out at the expense of the lives of the hunger strikers. Richard O’Rawe, whose book Blanketmen opened up this appalling vista, gives an overview of how the debate has progressed and supports the call for an independent inquiry into events, describing the seeking of truth as a “sacred duty”. The contributions that focus on the families of the hunger strikers are very emotional, as the anguish of their loss is palpable. The Dohertys are hurt by the allegations of the needless death of their son, and want the issue laid to rest, while the O’Haras and Devines, also upset by the issue, want to get to the bottom of things and know the truth of what happened. The late Brendan Hughes, who led the first hunger strike in 1980, touched on this when speaking to Spanish academic Rogelio Alonso: “I’ve spoken about this to people and I’ve always been advised by people like Jim Gibney, Danny Morrison and others that it would be too hurtful for the families of the dead hunger strikers to tell the truth. But that was the other attempt to bury the truth.”

As Sarah Brett concluded on Radio Foyle this morning, after interviewing Irish News Editor Noel Doran, “This isn’t going to go away.”This special investigation by the Irish News contains a huge volume of material, which Slugger will be sifting through more in depth in the coming days.

Comprehensive archive site on the events of the Hunger Strike: July 1981

Cartoon kindly provided by John Kennedy

Earlier on Slugger:

Gerry Adams and Kieran Doherty, 29 July 1981

Prolonging the Hunger Strike: The Derailing of the ICJP

Updated Timeline and Upcoming Discussion Brian Rowan and Brendan Duddy to speak at Feile

Gulladuff: More Heat Than Light Gerry Adams meets with some of the families of some of the hunger strikers.

Gerry Adams to meet Hunger Strikers Families; Inquiry Sought Families of the hunger strikers call for a public inquiry; Adams arranges meeting

“This is a huge opportunity and I feel there’s a potential here to end this” Bik McFarlane miraculously recovers his memory and completely backtracks on every denial he had made previously, while also making up new, contradictory details never before mentioned

“I will not be attending and will not send a representative” Gerry Adams refuses to attend public meeting about the hunger strikes; extremely revealing discussion in the comments section

1981 Hunger Strike Truth Commission Includes text of British document of July offer and transcript of Willie Gallagher’s speech at the Derry meeting

The Truth is a Heartbreaking Thing Initial summary of Derry meeting

Upcoming Debate: “What is the Truth Behind the Hunger Strike?” Announcement of public meeting and note of Radio Foyle debate between Raymond McCartney and Richard O’Rawe (also discussed on The Pensive Quill: A Shifting Narrative)

When in a hole… Contrasts between Danny Morrison’s position and previously published accounts of the time

What were the hunger strikers told? Questions emerge that cast doubt on what the hunger strikers knew when about what negotiations were being conducted on their behalf by the Adams subcommittee.

“Let’s have the whole truth” – Danny Morrison and Richard O’Rawe statements

Did Thatcher Kill All 10 or Only 4? – contains statements and interview excerpts

  • KieranJ

    Absolutely. Blame the Irish people; hell it was their fault.

    Poor Mrs. Thatcher was simply trying to see what these poor internees wanted. Such a grand lady.

  • Mike

    Thousands of innocent people murdered and maimed by this “movement”, and yet all this navel-gazing and agonising from its members, supporters, ex-members and erstwhile supporters, over seven of its members (and three members of a sometime-allied “movement”) who starved themselves to death.

    Priorities, eh.

  • Only Asking.

    I’ve read the Irish news, and other than MMcG revealing he was the conduit, there really isn’t much more to it. Yes they all weigh in with their opinions, but the opinions are predictable. I can’t see that theres any thing more added from the irish news, though I haven’t listened to radio foyle, but unless I missed something, theres nothing new.

  • Souldn’t comment – shouldn’t

    Just goes to prove – nothing is as it seems.

    Sinn Fein clearly became a political and electoral force through the hunger strikes. The current leadership was built on the back or some may now say graves of the hunger strike and like the DUP leadership, maybe they let things go to bolster or underpin their own positions.

    But questions are being asked and individuals will have to answer!

  • Sammy

    Daming? What was daming in the Irish News today -Nothing! The people that think there was a deal still think there was a deal. The ones that don’t think there was a deal still don’t think there was a deal. Nobody has produced a “smoking gun” 7 of the families wanted nothing to do with this-is it any wonder. Why do you dismiss McKeown but hang on every word from O’Rawe?

  • Brit

    What Mike said

  • J Kelly

    sammy are you also starting to see a pattern to rusty’s blogging…

  • Only asking.

    It isn’t that the IN is not interesting, its very interesting. Kelly’s piece, and the inside of the first page are excellent analysis of the situation. I like kelly because he tells of his emotions to it, O’Rawe mainly outlines what happened from derry onward, and even Fitzgerald has published that stuff before….

    This can drag on and on, but unless something gives there isn’t going to be a soloution, or a new truth uncovered, not unless something is unearthed to prove things one way or the other…

  • Surely the main development today was Garret FitzGerald saying (a)he believed, as Taoiseach at the time, that there was a deal which was acceptable to the prisoners but was vetoed by SF and (b) he knew about it because Dublin had a mole in the H Blocks. It’s pretty hard to place these points in the `nothing new there’ category.

  • Only Asking

    Old hack, fitzgerald already published that stuff in his autobiography…. thats not new. I though Logue did a good commentary on it. In fairness to the IN, they did try to give a balanced view.

  • Sammy

    oldhack

    They key word in the FitzGerald article is “believe”-He ain’t got no proof. I believe many things-it does not make them true !!

  • Dixie

    In todays Irish News McGuinness wrote that he would encourage people to read the book Ten Men Dead. I have done so several times and this part which has been highlighted before sticks out…

    To Brownie from Bik Sun 26.7.81

    The climate now is ripe to make significant progress and establish a firm base down there which is a necessity for future development and success in the final analysis.

    ”To allow opportunities to slip by [opportunities which may not present themselves again] would be a grave mistake. We are examining the possibility of contesting elections and actually making full use of seats gained-ie participating in Dail. Such an idea presents problems within the Movement. How great would the opposition be and what would be the consequences of pursuing a course which did not enjoy a sizeable degree of support?”

    Then compare that to what Adams [Brownie] wrote in An Phoblacht-Republican News on March 1, 1984, three years after Bobby Sands started his Hunger Strike…

    He revealed that the main effect of the Hunger Strikes was to fast-forward the move towards electoralism. He said that, “It made it easier to argue for an electoral strategy within Republican ranks,” he also admitted that had been his ambition and goal for some time.

    Did six men die to ‘fast-forward the move towards electoralism?’

  • Only asking

    Dixie that allegation is already out there, its not that I don’t believe it, but it’s in the public domain and theres still no one side with the monopoly on this thing.

  • Rory Carr

    We might have expected to have some independently minded commentator to introduce this discussion on the Irish News special, someone for example who might subject anything new that might have been revealed to a careful amount of scrutiny, someone who had demonstrated in the past their own open-mindedness on serious allegations against the integrity of named individuals, instead we get “Rusty Nail”, a determinedly anonymous yet persistent weaver of the most scurrilous attacks over a sustained period on the very individuals that we are asked to judge.

    Next week: a critical review of Mein Kampf by Nick Griffin.

  • DerTer

    I think Lawrence McKeown is an honest contributor to this Irish News debate, in his piece entitled “Unionists in NIO scuppered deal”. However, the new damascene insight he claims to offer is based on misinformation or a misunderstanding. I quote: “The [TV] producer [said] that everything they had discovered indicated that Thatcher at one point was going to make concessions but that when the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) got wind of it top civil servants…threatened to resign. As soon as he said it I realised it made absolute sense. Of course the civil servants in the NIO (unionists) would be more opposed to any concessions to republican prisoners than the British would. It was personal for them. They lived here. They ran the place. They were the ones who formulated policies and how they were implemented on the ground…”
    The fact is that the NIO was staffed at senior level by people from the UK (what used to be called ‘Home’) civil service – not from the Northern Ireland Civil Service. As a consequence, they were overwhelmingly English (with, of course, some Scots and Welsh), many were here only on temporary secondment, very few had NI connections, and fewer still were native Northern Ireland unionists. McKeown’s take on this is thus an unnecessary digression from the argument about whether there was a deal or not.
    Incidentally, I think his claim that people like O’Rawe are seeking “cheap political gain” simply doesn’t stack up – or at least won’t stack up until McKeown is specific about what he means by that phrase.

  • Only Asking

    DerTer I think thats a misinterpetation of McKeown, he does say something like what is the point? I think he is merely putting forward his thoughts on what is happening NOW out in public view rather than contributing anything from the HS period. I don’t think he can offer anything more on that period, and to paraphrase what he said, those who have made their minds up one way or the other aren’t going to change it.

    I don’t think he was trying to take the focus of the strike, merely to focus on what is going on now, which I think is perfectly reasonable.

  • igor

    Not only were they English Civil Servants but for years they had been carefully trying to draw SF into politics as they saw that the Troubles needed a political solution not a military one. The military could provide pressure on the IRA that would negate them and allow politics to take root but they recognised that there was no simple military solution.

    So they wanted politics and SF to prevail and the hunger strikers served a purpose in that.

    The simplistic narrative that ‘it was the securocrats wot done it’ just doesn’t wash.

  • John O’Connell

    Welcome back, Rusty Nail. You were missed for a while there.

    It is clear that the Antichrist is beginning to suspect that he might be tripped up by this issue and is deputising to Martin McGuinness just in case.

    But the beast has seven heads and ten horns symbolising – for the man who would replace Christ’s ways as Gerry Adams has tried – the seven man army council he controlled and the ten hungerstrikers he sacrificed. Both these elements are symbols for his political power and therefore the answer will not be found in just the six but in all ten men being sacrificed for political gain. Searching for a secret deal is fine but misses the big issue – what legitimacy had Gerry Adams to sacrifice anyone, which is what really happened given that he was the Sinn Fein boss closest to the Maze?

    We cannot see the wood for the trees when we strike out for the secret deal which undoubtedly took place but which can never solve the problem of why all ten and more were lining up to die.

    Who had desensitized an entire prison population through things like the dirty protest when wars shouldn’t be fought by those in captivity because they can be made to suffer.

  • Dixie

    Also DerTer I might add that the concessions on offer on July 5th were conceded with the ending of the Hunger Strike on October 3th…
    Why didn’t Hilditch and the top civil servants resign then?

  • Timpany

    I’m with Mike.

    I don’t give a toss if these people decided to kill themselves because their ‘movement’ shafted them or because they miscalculated and thought Thatcher would buckle when they went up against her government.

    I’d swap them all and ten times their number of their fellows for the life of just one innocent butchered at their hands.

  • Toecutter
  • Brian Walker

    If Garret FitzGerald and so many others were convinced that the Republican movement prevented a deal, why didn’t they say so at the time? Instead they allowed the construction of a republican poltical strategy which was contary to their interests without saying a word. Why? All very odd.

  • Brian Walker

    If Garret FitzGerald and so many others were convinced that the Republican movement prevented a deal, why didn’t they say so at the time? Instead they allowed the construction of a republican poltical strategy which was contary to their interests without saying a word. Why? All very odd.

  • trusty snail

    Thank you for this week’s (T)rusty (S)nail Hunger Strike expose-roll on next week-I can’t wait for the next groundhog day.

  • Dixie

    Brian Walker surely it was in their interest to have PIRA/PSF move from violence to electoralism and political conformity?

    And as we’ve seen PSF have never come close to threatening the Southern Status Quo have they?

  • Dave

    Keep up the good work, Rusty.

  • Only Asking

    And as we’ve seen PSF have never come close to threatening the Southern Status Quo have they?

    Dixie, why would they? Thats totally akin to shitting on your own door step, that was the bolt hole, where they ran to.

    Brian Walker makes a fair point.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Brian

    My thoughts exactly, makes you ask more questions about the morality of Garrett Fitzgerald if he did not speak up to save Irishmen, who faced a hideous death, from being used as pawns.

    Garrett Fitgerald – the wisest fool in Christendom

  • igor

    Awww come on Brian. It was all part of the great game. You never give away just what you do know as your opponents might start to ask, why? how did they know that? Sit, watch, listen and learn.

    Also remember that the great Irish objective was not reunification or to support the Shinners. It was to prevent the contagion spreading south

  • Dread Cthulhu

    igor: “Awww come on Brian. It was all part of the great game. You never give away just what you do know as your opponents might start to ask, why? how did they know that? Sit, watch, listen and learn.”

    That is the problem of good intel… you can’t use it too often without burning your sources, unless you can create a scenario that would convincingly explain how you came to know what you know.

    igor: “Also remember that the great Irish objective was not reunification or to support the Shinners. It was to prevent the contagion spreading south.”

    Comme ci, comme ca. I’m certain they’d take the territory, were there some way to leave the problems with the UK. The problems, alas, lived there on both sides of the peace line.

  • John O’Connell

    Brian

    If Garret FitzGerald and so many others were convinced that the Republican movement prevented a deal, why didn’t they say so at the time?

    Garret realised that he was effectively dealing with the IRA and he knew that they don’t play by any rules. Accuse them and they’ll lie. Catch them red-handed and you’ll be in danger for your life. What do you do with an organisation that relies on terror to get its way? You could only push them back into terror, instead of letting them see that they might get their way through other means.

  • Danny O’Connor

    I believe Hugh Logue.

  • Robbie

    ‘I’ve read the Irish news, and other than MMcG revealing he was the conduit, there really isn’t much more to it…the opinions are predictable. I can’t see that theres any thing more added from the irish news’

    The problem with this is that Fitzgerald has echoed the statements of Richard O’Rawe and Anthony McIntyre among others who have tried to probe this area and been rewarded for their investigations, memories and insights with smear and intimidatory campaigns from (this is really) ‘predictable’ sources. Whereas O’Rawe and McIntyre are deemed fair game for this type of attack – for some reason – Fitzgerald might carry a little more eminent – Southern? – clout. It will be more difficult for the puggish Maskey(s) and glib Morrison (no United Ireland any time soon with this calibre of person at the helm) to discard and demean Fitzgerald.

    At least more on this area will come to light; if history is not explored thoroughly and diligently – as McIntyre and O’Rawe have tried – massive elisions and fallacies will persist.

    Secondly, it is factually wrong to suggest that Fitzgerald mentioned this anywhere in his autobiograpy. He infers some activity and negotiation between prisoner groups but nothing of the above.

  • DerTer

    Danny

    I agree. Hugh Logue’s contribution was truly impressive. Logue, Fitzgerald, the meeting in Derry, the SF counter-meeting with the families, Rusty Nail’s persistence etc etc do begin to paint a picture of serious wrong having been done.

  • John O’Connell

    You could only push them back into terror, instead of letting them see that they might get their way through other means.

    I might add to my above comment on the Provos that did not get their way in the end but were easily manipulated into believing that everyone was afraid of them so no-one would betray them.

    In my opinion they were betrayed into believing that a united Ireland was a matter of some good tactics away. John Hume may have given this impression but Hume never feared them and would never have been concerned that their goal would not be fulfilled. His goal of a shared space and future remains the only show in town, and their goal remains a pipedream that no sensible human being in the Nationalist community would wish upon the south and consequently Sinn Fein will never achieve it.

  • Sean

    John do you need a few extra pounds for your meds you seem to have gone off them

    Squeaky wheel starts this thread over every couple of weeks maybe he is relying on the old saying “If you say it loud enough and often enough then it becomes the truth”

  • Reader

    KieranJ: Poor Mrs. Thatcher was simply trying to see what these poor internees wanted.
    Internment ended in 1975. The hunger strikes started in 1981.
    You would think that a Republican would know those dates.

  • Only Asking

    The problem with this is that Fitzgerald has echoed the statements of Richard O’Rawe and Anthony McIntyre among others .

    Fitzgeralds’ book came out in 1991 richard O’Rawes book came out in 2005, so if anything Fitzgerald made this known before O’Rawe, not the inside knowledge but his role, I don’t see how he is echoing anybody.

    Secondly, it is factually wrong to suggest that Fitzgerald mentioned this anywhere in his autobiograpy. He infers some activity and negotiation between prisoner groups but nothing of the above.

    I’m not sure what you mean by nothing of the above.

    Here is the autobiography article

    http://www.longkesh.info/1991/10/24/solution-sabotaged-garret-fitzgerald-1991/

    here is the IN article

    http://www.longkesh.info/2009/09/28/irish-news-special-issue-deal-with-british-government-vetoed-by-ira-says-fitzgerald/

    Theres no contradiction between the two, and the only new insight is that there was inside contact for the irish government, but not who or what was said. The autobiography is much more detailed account.

    At least more on this area will come to light;

    I think the paper dealt with that too. The man in charge of the prison is dead, Prior and others dead and thatcher is in no state to give any insights, and unless papers are released it’s stale mate. Who else is there not mentioned in the paper that could give insight without the papers being released?

  • John O’Connell

    Only Asking

    Who else is there not mentioned in the paper that could give insight without the papers being released?

    You’re right. You could never expect honesty from Gerry Adams and yet he is your leader, I expect. What kind of people inhabit the Republican Movement. How does Adams hold it all together? It can never be any more than a criminal conspiracy, where those involved are brought deeper into the criminality the more senior they get.

    Is there any point in talking about a united Ireland while all we would be doing is bringing a morbid disease to the south that would result in the inferior being regarded as superior along the lines of the emperor’s clothes tale?

  • KieranJ

    Reader says Interment in northern Ireland ended in 1975. I say the name was simply changed to Diplock Courts. Same thing. Throughout history they were also known as Star Chamber courts.

  • Only Asking

    You could never expect honesty from Gerry Adams and yet he is your leader

    He ain’t my leader John, lol.

    Have you ever met him John, you have such strong opinions on him? I think you should meet him, you might end up liking him, I hear he is very affable.

  • John O’Connell

    Only asking

    Bertie Aherne tells us that he is cold and calculating if you read today’s Irish News.

    I mean we’re actually talking about him in this thread lying to six men on hunger strike in order to create a career opportunity for himself in politics. He betrayed them then and he ultimately betrayed them later by signing the Good Friday Agreement.

    More than anything, he betrayed the republican movement by using all the hunger strikers to his advantage in the middle of a campaign he knew could not be won and that would and did result in defeat, whatever he wants us to believe.

  • Sean

    So now john you are the arbiter about what is or is not true

    I guess being the son of god and all you are uniquely positioned

  • Only Asking

    Yeah Bertie did say that, but one persons opinion is only one persons opinion, and as for lying to six men on hunger strike, that hasn’t been proven one way or the other, and although i believe there was a deal done, I’m not so sure that he lied. There may be detail in the mix IF all information comes out that show he merely made a faulty decision rather than outrightly lied.

    I think thats an awful big jump to take on the evidence so far. I think most people like the families are torn over this John.

  • John O’Connell

    Only Asking

    although i believe there was a deal done, I’m not so sure that he lied.

    Well, that is a little contradictory, don’t you think. Even if he didn’t lie at the time, he repeatedly lied about there being a deal to the press and media until Richard O’Rawe forced him to cough out the truth. That was after he was involved in trying to badmouth Richard O’Rawe.

  • Only Asking.

    Well, that is a little contradictory, don’t you think.

    No, john, you are implying he knowingly lied, rather than made a faulty decision or some other mistake, and then again it could be something else in the mix entirely. Even Adams is innocent until proven guilty.

    he repeatedly lied about there being a deal to the press and media until Richard O’Rawe forced him to cough out the truth

    He hasn’t coughed out anything, or met with O’Rawe or anyone else except the families in private.

  • joeCanuck

    Rusty,
    You have been pushing this nefarious “conspiracy” theory for quite a while now.
    It would help people like myself to judge your bona fides if you would reveal just exactly who you are.
    You seem to be mainly an apologist for Margaret Thatcher.
    You weren’t a member of the FRU, were you?

  • Reader

    KieranJ: I say the name was simply changed to Diplock Courts. Same thing.
    So, in your view, Michael Stone was never properly convicted of the Milltown murders – he was in fact an internee?

  • TOSM

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend, eh John?

  • John O’Connell

    Only Asking

    He hasn’t coughed out anything, or met with O’Rawe or anyone else except the families in private.

    You make him sound so principled. I’ll have to disagree with you on that. Gerry is just a likely lad, a chancer, and a hollow disciple of nothing in particular. He is without substance.

    He finds himself as leader of the Nationalist people because they turned to him for brawn, as that is what he offered them, just as bully boys are popular in a school where bullies from another school were threatening.

    Nationalists have been trying to sanctify their choice ever since but all they’re getting is that the myths aren’t true. They even starved their own men to death to get into politics. Instead they’re back to the truth that they chose bullies to fight their battles and the chickens will soon come home to roost.

  • Only Asking

    He hasn’t coughed out anything, or met with O’Rawe or anyone else except the families in private.

    You make him sound so principled

    No John, I’m simply trying to be acurate.

  • seamus friel

    The funniest post on this is John recounting what Bertie Ahern thought of Adams . I’m no fan of Adams but my God! Bertie being taken seriously about anything- The Minister of finance with bags of cash in his house but no current account who just kept changing his story every time a new fact was uncovered about the cash he stashed. Why don’t we ask John DeLorean for his views on financial probity . It would be about as credible as Bertie’s view on anything!!!. As for that woolly self styled intellectual Garret Fitzgerald suddenly his amnesia has lifted after all these years. VERY VERY strange.

  • Robbie

    Bizarre, Only Asking. My hardback edition of All In A Life contains no mention of this chapter – there is an entirely different stretch of material on the pages (pp.367-71) quoted from your link. Something of the link appears later, far later in the book I possess. I was under the impression, when I began reading the Irish News this morning, that Fitzgerald was revealing something relatively new. Perhaps this is not the case, but I should warn other readers that certain editions of All In A Life have no mention of this excerpt as credited on pages 367-71.

    As for ‘new things coming to light’ who knows what correspondences or sources will emerge down the line? But, one thing is certain; they will. There are plans for the Easter Rising in the roof of a house in Dublin somewhere that might lend a ‘definitive’ tag to a future history, despite the best efforts of Charles Townshend.

    And Jim Prior isn’t dead, Only Asking (not that there’ll be much more to come from him on the subject, which I’m sure he’s fine about).

  • Robbie

    ‘I’m no fan of Adams but my God!’

    I’m guessing you are. I would say John’s probably spot on about Adams.

    ‘Bertie being taken seriously about anything’

    To paraphrase you I’m no fan of Ahern but his work on the Peace Process wasn’t joking about; most would view it as his saving grace in some respects. But it’s well-known Ahern hates Sinn Fein and something Unionists have just figured out up here. Can you blame him/them?

    ‘As for that woolly self styled intellectual Garret Fitzgerald suddenly his amnesia has lifted after all these years.’

    Fitzgerald was always, and still seems, pretty smart, writes his books still. Can’t be too woolly. Thatcher said something similar about him, preferring wily businessman Haughey (know who’s the more respectable out of Fitzgerald, Haughey, and Thatcher – it ain’t the latter two). He’s a self-styled intellectual in the same way Adams is a self-styled constitutional nationalist!

  • Con O’Jonnell

    “Gerry is just a likely lad, a chancer, and a hollow disciple of nothing in particular”

    Pretty humble station for someone who’s supposedly tha Anti-Christ doncha think John?

    “I’m guessing you are. I would say John’s probably spot on about Adams”

    Spot on about Adams?

    Have you ever read his delusional rants about Adams being the Anti-Christ and the absolutely irrefutable numeric proof that this assertion is based on?

    Sheeesh! I’ll have to go and lie down.

  • Brit

    “If Garret FitzGerald and so many others were convinced that the Republican movement prevented a deal, why didn’t they say so at the time? Instead they allowed the construction of a republican poltical strategy which was contary to their interests without saying a word. Why? All very odd”

    Because it might look like using the deaths of those people, who were lionised by many in NI and beyond, for political purposes and or sullying their memory. Without “proof” to back up the allegations, a proof which is inherently very very difficult to establish, it would have looked like a baseless allegation to discredit Republicans.

  • Only Asking.

    Robbie, could be a later edition,or revised or updated book you have.

    I was under the impression, when I began reading the Irish News this morning, that Fitzgerald was revealing something relatively new

    No even before the paper came out it was possible to predict what was to be said. I thought they may have elaborated, like saying who the insider was for the Irish government in the maze, and it didn’t look like the reporter pushed Fitzgerald on it.

    And Jim Prior isn’t dead,

    No you’re right, he’s not, but is in ill health like thatcher, it’s Atkins and Allison who are dead.

    As for ‘new things coming to light’ who knows what correspondences or sources will emerge down the line?

    Maybe, hopefully, but I’m not confident of it. Duddy has said there are no written notes of any messages he received, he hasn’t anything. If any of the republicans have anything they’re all accounted for, anything underfreedom of information so far hasn’t provded definitively one way or the other, so even if theres anymore to be released it still may not make this a cut and dry case. We shall have to wait and see.

  • Rory Carr

    The introduction to this thread with its weird football match analogy is so bizarre and the continued unsubstantiated mudslinging directed at certain Sinn Féin members so scurrilous yet so unfocused that one begins to wonder if perhaps “Rusty Nail” might be a pseudonym for another blogger with troublesome religious delusions. The series of threads on this matter by the anonymous “Rusty Nail” certainly has much in common with the repetitive, rambling, self-righteous outpourings of a tractatian hellbent (but no doubt heaven-bound) on warning errant sinners of the snares and wiles of John Barleycorn.

    The difference is that there is more than a smell of something downright nasty in the author’s motivations, an intent to sully the struggle and sacrifice of those who died as manipulable fools .

    How interesting then that he attempts to demonstrate the gullibility of the hunger strikers by reference to their very shrewd refusal to be fooled by the Brits into announcing that the hunger strike had been called off before seeing the terms offered by the Brits published in the public arena. That the Brits refused demonstrates the hunger strikers’ good sense, the Brit’s nefariousness and now, Rusty Nail’s Machiavellian tactics in twisting that steadfastness into something completely other.

    Crucially he completely ignores the central point of decision making in the whole process. It was always the case that the hunger-strikers themselves would hold the final authority in deciding if the terms offered by the enemy were sufficient to warrant a cessation and, while they would be guided in that decision making process by the outside leadership, they would not be dictated to by it. On respecting the hunger strikers’ integrity and refusing to dictate to them they incur the wrath and censureship of that master of virtue, Rusty Nail. Heaven help us all!

    Rusty Nail’s whole campaign seems directed by bitterness at the electoral success of Sinn Féin and the failure of himself and his cohorts to make their own feeble voices heard by the nationalist electorate. The electorate clearly are not stupid.

  • Reader

    Rory Carr: The difference is that there is more than a smell of something downright nasty in the author’s motivations, an intent to sully the struggle and sacrifice of those who died as manipulable fools .
    Sorry to butt into this Republican house party. However, it’s no real surprise to outsiders to consider the likelihood that the provo leadership was composed of brutal cynics as well as the traditional coterie of brutal zealots. Nor is there anything new about thinking that the hunger strikers were manipulable fools.
    However, I don’t think Rusty Nail is going that far – what republican would? Instead, surely he thinks they were starved of information and principled leadership at a very sensitive and desperate moment.

  • John O’Connell

    Rory Carr

    one begins to wonder if perhaps “Rusty Nail” might be a pseudonym for another blogger with troublesome religious delusions

    There is nothing delusional in believing that Gerry Adams is the Antichrist.

    Gerry is AN antichrist at the very least for rejecting the ways of Christ [in opposing imperialism]. His path opposes Christ’s path by accepting the ways of imperialism as sacrosanct and rejecting Christianity as unworkable. So he is opposed to Christ and rejects Christ’s ways. So how could he not be an antichrist. The Antichrist is defined in such literature as the book by that name by Friedrich Nietzsche.

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antichrist

    There’s not a lot of literature on being the actual Antichrist as you may expect so it really boils down to seeking coincidences that tie Gerry Adams to the Book of Revelation.

    I think that people are confused about Gerry Adams. They ask, how could one of the leaders of the Northern Ireland peace process be opposed to Jesus Christ? The prophecies are very clear that there is a time when the Antichrist was not considered to be the Antichrist, so Adams may even be regarded as a good man for a time, but the period does not last forever. 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, or opposed to Christ. That has happened now with his involvement in the cover up of the Paul Quinn murder.

    First of all, I believe that Gerry Adams is the Antichrist because of the coincidence that his name comes out at 666 on my numeric alphabet.

    Second of all, due to another pertinent coincidence his name contains “Adam”, the name of the first man, and from a theological point of view, this adds much to the basis of him being the Antichrist. Adam coincidentally means ‘man’ in Hebrew, and the number of the beast is specifically described as “man’s number” (Rev 13:18).

    These are extraordinary coincidences and not to be dismissed by any means by any wise observer of matters theological. “The apostle Paul wrote: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22). Adam therefore symbolises death, and thus the question must be asked, is there significance to the ‘Adam’ in Gerry Adams’ name? Does Gerry Adams, the effective leader of the IRA’s republican movement, symbolise death?

    The descriptions of the beasts in the Book of Revelation are interesting.

    ‘The inhabitants worshipped the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed,’ (Rev 13:12). Coincidentally, Gerry Adams was shot and wounded in 1984, but recovered. Afterwards he became Sinn Fein president and one of the foremost politicians in Northern Ireland. The use of violence for him is a matter of tactics. That is a matter of fact and record. Gerry Adams has not stepped away from violence. He believes in his own words that “there is a time for peace and a time for war”, mocking the Prince of Peace and equating Christ with the Antichrist, good with evil.

    The first beast, who is said to be the Antichrist, is prophesied to have “seven heads” (Rev 13:1), which is coincidentally the number of heads on the IRA army council, including Gerry Adams’ allegedly.

    “Who can make war against him?” (Rev 13:7). The IRA has been described as ‘the most sophisticated terrorist organisation in the history of mankind’. Their structure makes it impossible for a conventional army to defeat them.

    Gerry Adams fulfilled another prophecy during the run-up to the 2007 Assembly election campaign in the North of Ireland. This involved him requesting the use of Clonard Monastery (and Roman Catholic) church in West Belfast for a political meeting discussing his party’s policy. He still believed that armed struggle was a legitimate means of resolving differences.

    When Gerry Adams took to the altar of Clonard monastery while his beliefs were in conflict with Christ’s teaching, he was proclaiming himself to be wiser than God and better than Jesus Christ. He was in logic proclaiming himself to be God.

    “[The man of lawlessness or the Antichrist] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thes 2:3-4)”

  • seamus friel

    To paraphrase Monty Python ” Gerry Adams is not the AntiChrist, he’s just a very naughty boy!”

  • borderline

    Fitzgerald is a learned man, an academic, a man of letters whom Aer Lingus replaced with a new department and five computers when he left.

    Anyone who thinks that woolly-brained wannabe unionist had secret contacts and a deal on the go during the hunger-strike needs their head examined.

    The daft old bastard wouldn’t know if his hair was on fire.