1981 Hunger Strike: Adams and the Irish News

UPDATE – This is the introduction to the Adams article as printed in this week’s An Phoblacht:

“Sinn Fein asked The Irish News for a full right of reply and the newspaper agreed. When the response from Gerry Adams was harshly critical of the Irish News itself, the article was blocked. An Phoblacht carries the article below. We are waiting for the Irish News to do the same.”

Interesting that the Stormont Press Officer, who tweeted the same allegation, and the North Antrim MLA, who retweeted it, have both removed their tweets, and the An Phoblacht website no longer carries the Adams article.

It is understood The Irish News was quite keen to publish Adams’ piece, but Sinn Fein withdrew it.

The Irish News’ special investigation on the Hunger Strike has prompted Adams to break his silence on the issue. Unfortunately, he says nothing new, or informative. In fact he actually repeats verbatim points made previously by Danny Morrison, Sile Darragh, and Martin McGuinness – it must be on the hymn sheet passed around Connolly House. It’s understood the Irish News chased Adams for months prior to the publication of their special double issue, being very keen for a one-on-one interview (as they got with former Taoiseach Fitzgerald). Instead, they were eventually given an article from Martin McGuinness. Once the issue ran, it was rumoured that Adams wanted his spake in. Nothing has been published yet, but this piece, tweeted yesterday morning by SF’s Stormont Press Officer Niall Ó Donnghaile, has now appeared in An Phoblacht – and is mysteriously absent from their website (Previously linked live here; it’s currently showing up in Google searches). Ó Donnghaile tweets, “it’s worth noting that despite agreeing to take a right of reply from Gerry, once they got the article the Irish News refused to publish it”, but it is understood that Sinn Fein withdrew the article from the Irish News for revision and have not yet resubmitted it. Its on/off presence at the AP/RN website is puzzling. UPDATE: Ó Donnghaile’s tweets, like Adams’ article, have now been removed from the web. The first tweet said: “reading an excellent article from Gerry Adams in this weeks AP/RN dealing with the Irish News’ recent ‘series’ on the 1981 Hunger Strikes11:25 AM Oct 8th from web”

Update, 10.09.09: North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay has removed his retweet of Ó Donnghaile’s tweet (see comment 3).

As to the content itself – basically, this is just a screed against the Irish News, playing to Republicans’ instinctual emotions – pure propaganda, no substance. It borders on the rant of a madman, taking a splatter approach Slugger readers following certain contributions in the comments section on this subject will recognise. This ‘splatter’ approach desperately throws whatever comes to mind in the hopes that something will stick, even if its only more confusion. It’s an approach that rarely contains any facts or addresses the issue head on. What is remarkable about this piece is the hodge-podge nature of it, how it is cobbled together, literally in some instances, from previous screeds of others. Nothing in it is persuasive or even addresses the core issue: why did Adams and his committee of people overseeing the hunger strike over-rule the prisoners themselves and refuse Thatcher’s offer?

The first paragraph gives a brief history of the lead-up to the hunger strike, then attacks the Irish News over its coverage (The Irish News did give a historical context to the Hunger Strike in its special issue, though one suspects that Adams’ first salvo is more over-arching than focusing on specific complaints about the content of the double issue).

The second paragraph has a go at Garret Fitzgerald, as the previous issue of AP/RN did, throwing in a quote from his 1991 memoirs for good measure. What is funny about this is the position, as if Fitzgerald’s Irish News article was radically different from what he had previously written. It wasn’t. The only thing new in his article was the revelation of a mole in the prison, and the agreement to participate in an inquiry should one take place. His 1991 memoirs are incredibly direct and clear as to what his position was, and his description of what happened in the crucial days of early July – written over a decade before O’Rawe wrote his memoir – starkly shows where O’Rawe was right, and was filling in the story from his own position inside the prison. What O’Rawe added to our knowledge of what happened was the prisoners’ acceptance of the deal. Each viewpoint adds more detail to the picture – most by what they say but some by what they do not. Adams just goes on a rant against Fitzgerald, using the “Everyone’s a bastard except for me” defence.

But he really ups the ranty-ness with his attack on the Irish News in the next section of his article. Playing fast and loose with facts – which the Irish News should be more than able of correcting – Adams again pulls the emotional strings, propping up the bravery of IRA (and, remarkably for him, INLA) volunteers against the Irish News ‘player’. “You must believe me,” he seems to be saying, “because I am standing on these volunteer’s wounds right now!”

Next, he moves onto the claim that the ending of the first hunger strike is why they didn’t accept Thatcher’s offer in early July. Only he doesn’t say, “During the first hunger strike, I was one of the people who were negotiating with the British,” nor does he say that he himself, and those who were working with him in those negotiations, were deeply distrustful of the British – and nor does he support Laurence McKeown’s theory of screw and civil servant rebellion being ‘the’ factor. He also doesn’t support the previous assertion that claims Morrison went into great detail when he visited the hunger strikers. This is key, as what he has written shows that Morrison was very general in his visit, which is what has been the understanding all along:

This was the prisoners’ mindset on 5 July, 1981, after four of their comrades had already died and when Danny Morrison visited the IRA and INLA Hunger Strikers to tell them that contact had been re-established and that the British were making an offer.
While this verbal message fell well short of their demands, they nevertheless wanted an accredited British official to come in and explain this position to them, which is entirely understandable given the British Government’s record.

So we have confirmation, such that it is, that the hunger strikers themselves were told nothing of substance in regards to Thatcher’s offer. They didn’t know.

Here also, in the next section, Adams sings from the Morrison hymn sheet, going into the song and dance about the ICJP waiting for the NIO to send someone in to explain the offer to the hunger strikers:

“Six times before the death of Joe McDonnell, the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace (ICJP), which was engaged in parallel discussions with the British, asked the British to send an official into the jail to explain what it was offering, and six times the British refused.”

Previously:

Furthermore, if the NIO had really wanted to do a deal, even one based on the ICJP’s proposals, then all it had to do was send in the guarantor to the hunger strikers. Fr Crilly (ICJP) confirmed this on Thursday on BBC Radio Ulster. Six times the ICJP phoned Allison about the guarantor going in, but none ever appeared and Joe McDonnell died on July 8th, followed by five others. – Danny Morrison, March 5, 2005

However, the British would not verify to the hunger strikers their various ‘offers’. Six times they were asked by the ICJP to explain their position to the prisoners and six times they refused before Joe McDonnell died. – Danny Morrison, 2006

Jim Gibney also picked up that baton in 2006: “On the eve of Joe McDonnell’s death the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace six times asked the Northern Ireland Office to put to the hunger strikers what the NIO was claiming to be offering. Six times it refused. Joe McDonnell died and the ICJP left in disgust.”

And Martin McGuinness had it in last month’s Irish News: “Despite being a vehicle for the British government delivering a compromise and avoiding direct negotiations, even the ICJP’s expectations/demands that the British would send in someone to stand over what London was implying in messages was refused six times in the hours before Joe McDonnell died.”

But we know that is all totally irrelevant, a sleight of hand, a distraction. It is even more insulting coming from Gerry Adams, who according to his own autobiography was on the phone negotiating with the British at the time of Joe McDonnell’s death (See Timeline, 8 July). A reasonable person would think that is the sort of thing Adams should be talking about now, not more bollocks about how the ICJP were kept waiting, as if that leaving out the fact it was while the British conducted their secret negotiations with Adams explains why the it was somehow all the hunger strikers’ fault because they didn’t trust the British and the fact the ICJP were kept waiting six times is some sort of perfect example of why. This lame excuse for cover does not wash, Mr Adams.

Adams then again waxes Morrisonesque, in an impressive double steal:

Ex-prisoner Richard O’Rawe, who never left his cell, never met the Hunger Strikers in the prison hospital, never met the governor, never met the ICJP or Danny Morrison during the Hunger Strike, and who never raised this issue before serialising his book in that well-known Irish republican propaganda organ, The Sunday Times, said, in a statement in 1981:

“The British Government’s hypocrisy and their refusal to act in a responsible manner are completely to blame for the death of Joe McDonnell.”

This refrain of what O’Rawe never did, in comparison to all that Morrison did do, surfaces in a number of places, notably in Greg Harkin’s April 2008 piece: “Richard O’Rawe never met with the hunger strikers in the prison hospital, never met with the ICJP and nor was he dealing with the republican leadership outside the prison.” (Harkin’s piece also has the ‘six times’ refrain: “According to the ICJP, whilst Joe McDonnell was dying, the NIO promised the ICJP that it would send someone into the prison to discuss the offer and six times over this two-day critical period the NIO failed to do so.”)

It also appears in the Sile Darragh letter: “Mr O’Rawe didn’t speak to the hunger strikers, didn’t visit the prison hospital or meet the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace.”

And most recently, Martin McGuinness was joining in the chorus: “I would encourage people to read this book and the documents released in 2009 and compare it to the allegations of those who never visited the hunger strikers in the prison hospital, never dealt with the prison administration and the British government or liaised with the ICJP (which, on its terms, to be fair, was attempting to resolve the situation).”

The 1981 nugget first surfaced in An Phoblacht, 2006, with Danny Morrison producing “secret comms” purporting to show that O’Rawe believed there was no deal. These ‘secret comms’ were actually public press statements and in no way indicative of anything other than the propaganda war being waged at the time.

That President Adams is using them today in his first public statement addressing the issue of the Thatcher hunger strike deal is, frankly, pathetic. He should be better than that, his statement should be made up of more than regurgitated half-truths and bollocksology. This is a statement that, rather than showing the confidence of a man who can stand over the decisions he made at the time and is comfortable accounting for his leadership, is the emotional rantings of a madman, desperately cobbling together discredited statements in the hopes that something sticks. He is so desperate that he goes for the emotional jugular as his conclusion, and hides behind the skirts of the families of the hunger strikers who were so cravenly manipulated at Gulladuff.

Gulladuff was a masterclass in emotional censorship, politicians blatantly using families’ emotions to call for a cover-up of history. And this is President Adams’ conclusion – to once again use the families of the hunger strikers’ for his own gain. “The families blame the British,” is the logic, “Not me! And so should you….if my lies are good enough for them, they are good enough for the rest of you”.

It may buy him some time among the most faithful of his flock, but it won’t cut any ice with history and his place in it.

An Phoblacht

Sinn Fein asked The Irish News for a full right of reply and the newspaper agreed. When the response from Gerry Adams was harshly critical of the Irish News itself, the article was blocked. An Phoblacht carries the article below. We are waiting for the Irish News to do the same.

The Irish News and Garret FitzGerald’s ‘new memory’ about 1981 H-Blocks Hunger Strike deal – By Gerry Adams

TWENTY-EIGHT years ago, ten Irish republicans died over a seven-month period on hunger strike, after women in Armagh Prison and men in the H-Blocks (and several men ‘on-the-blanket’ in Crumlin Road Jail) had endured five years of British Government-sanctioned brutality.

The reason for their suffering was that, in 1976, the British Government reneged on a 1972 agreement over political status (“special category status”) for prisoners which had actually brought relative peace to the jails.

You would not know that from reading this series in The Irish News.

Nor would you know from reading Garret FitzGerald’s newly-found ‘memory’ of 1981 that in his 1991 memoir he wrote:

“My meetings with the relatives came to an end on 6 August when some of them attempted to ‘sit in’ in the Government anteroom, where I had met them on such occasions, after a stormy discussion during which I had once again refused to take the kind of action some of them had been pressing on me.”

This came after a Garda riot squad attacked and hospitalised scores of prisoners’ supporters outside the British Embassy in Dublin only days after the death of Joe McDonnell.

It is clear from FitzGerald’s interview and from his previous writing that his main concern – before, during and after 1981 – was that the British Government might be talking to republicans and that this should stop.

With Margaret Thatcher he embarked on the most intense round of repression in the period after 1985. Following the Anglo-Irish Agreement of that year, the Irish Government supported an intensification of British efforts to destroy border crossings and roads and remained mute over evidence of mounting collusion between British forces and unionist paramilitaries.

The same FitzGerald was portrayed as a great liberal, yet every government which he led or in which he served renewed the state broadcasting censorship of Sinn Féin. This denial of information and closing down of dialogue subverted the rights of republicans. It also helped prolong the conflict.

The Irish News played an equally reprehensible role.

As far as I am concerned, this newspaper is ‘a player’ in these attacks on Sinn Féin. Oh, but had The Irish News given a series to the Hunger Strikers when they were alive! Instead, at the same time as The Irish News decided to publish death notices for British state forces, this paper refused to publish a death notice from the Sands family because it carried the words “In memory of our son and brother, IRA Volunteer Bobby Sands MP”.

The men who died on hunger strike from the IRA and INLA were not dupes. They had fought the British and knew how bitter and cruel an enemy its forces could be, in the city, in the countryside, in the centres of interrogation and in the courts.

But you would not know that from reading this series in The Irish News.

The prisoners – our comrades, our brothers and sisters – resisted the British in jail every day, in solitary confinement, when being beaten during wing shifts, during internal searches and the forced scrubbings.

The Hunger Strike did not arise out of a vacuum but as a consequence of frustration, a failure of their incredible sacrifices and the activism of supporters to break the deadlock, to put pressure on the British internationally and, through the Irish Establishment, including the Dublin Government, the SDLP and sections of the Catholic hierarchy – although you would not know that from reading this series in The Irish News.

In December 1980, the republican leadership on the outside was in contact with the British, who claimed they were interested in a settlement. But before a document outlining a promised, allegedly liberal regime arrived in the jail, the Hunger Strike was called off by Brendan Hughes to save the life of the late Seán McKenna. The British, or sections of them, interpreted this as weakness. The prisoners ended their fast before a formal ‘signing off’. And the British then refused to implement the spirit of the document and reneged on the integrity of our exchanges.

Their intransigence triggered a second hunger strike in which there was overwhelming suspicion of British motives among the Hunger Strikers, the other political prisoners, and their families and supporters on the outside.

This was the prisoners’ mindset on 5 July, 1981, after four of their comrades had already died and when Danny Morrison visited the IRA and INLA Hunger Strikers to tell them that contact had been re-established and that the British were making an offer.

While this verbal message fell well short of their demands, they nevertheless wanted an accredited British official to come in and explain this position to them, which is entirely understandable given the British Government’s record.

Six times before the death of Joe McDonnell, the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace (ICJP), which was engaged in parallel discussions with the British, asked the British to send an official into the jail to explain what it was offering, and six times the British refused.

After the death of Joe McDonnell, the ICJP condemned the British for failing to honour undertakings and for “clawing back” concessions.

Ex-prisoner Richard O’Rawe, who never left his cell, never met the Hunger Strikers in the prison hospital, never met the governor, never met the ICJP or Da nny Morrison during the Hunger Strike, and who never raised this issue before serialising his book in that well-known Irish republican propaganda organ, The Sunday Times, said, in a statement in 1981:

“The British Government’s hypocrisy and their refusal to act in a responsible manner are completely to blame for the death of Joe McDonnell.”

But you would not know that from reading this series in The Irish News.

Republicans involved in the 1981 Hunger Strike met with the families a few months ago. Their emotional distress and ongoing pain was palpable. They were intimately involved at the time on an hour-by-hour basis and know exactly where their sons and brothers stood in relation to the struggle with the British Government.

They know who was trying to do their best for them and who was trying to sell their sacrifices short.

More importantly, they know the mind of their loved ones. That, for me, is what shone through at that meeting. The families knew their brothers, husbands, fathers. They knew they weren’t dupes. They knew they weren’t stupid. They knew they were brave, beyond words, and they were clear about what was happening.

All of the family members, who spoke, with the exception of Tony O’Hara, expressed deep anger and frustration at the efforts to denigrate and defile the memory of their loved ones. In a statement they said:

“We are clear that it was the British Government which refused to negotiate and refused to concede the prisoners’ just demands.”

But you would not know that from reading this series in The Irish News.

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

Earlier on Slugger:

1981 Hunger Stike: Feint and Retreat

1981 Hunger Strike: Continued Coverage

1981 Hunger Strike: Deconstructing McGuinness

1981 Hunger Strike: A Case to Answer

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

  • Mark McGreg

    Bloody odd.

    The online version of the article is removed.

    The paper can’t be found for love nor money in Belfast.

    Niall has deleted his tweets on it.

    Why?

    It wasn’t even that different other than maybe making a press officer think that putting the boot into the main ‘nationalist’ paper in the north may not have been the brightest of ideas.

    Anyone give any illumination on this weird book burning by SF? And why it step over into removal of an individual’s twitter entries?

    Talk about overkill, control-freakery.

  • John O’Connell

    Fair play, Rusty Nail. You’re like your name, a sore one to get the wrong side of.

    “Not me! And so should you….if my lies are good enough for them, they are good enough for the rest of you”.

    This sentence just sums up the whole tragic episode. Adams has obviously something to fear in telling the truth and in relation to something of this magnitude the truth can only be that he was systematically sacrificing the hungerstrikers, all of them not just six, fully aware that it was carving out a political role for Sinn Fein.

    I suggest that it was all ten hungerstrikers because if he was behind the scenes negotiating on behalf of the prisoners on hunger strike for Sinn Fein, you can be sure that he was behind the scenes for the entire duration of the hungerstrikes, controlling events.

    If that was the case then he was instrumental in initiating the hunger strikes, both of them, for political gain and he thinks now that he has no case to answer because he was doing as he set out to do. I expect that he thinks that others are now getting all moral on him when he was doing just as any republican leader would do to raise moral and intensify the campaign. He was sacrificing all ten for political gain.

    I’m sorry, Rusty, but I know with a degree of certainty that others may never share that ten is the figure you should be looking out for in relation to Adams, not six. You can argue for six, and I wish you the best in doing so, but he’s always going to get off the hook by suggesting that four died for the cause and the six were just like them in doing so too. There was no difference to him and he would be telling the truth because at the end of the day he sacrificed all ten of them for political gain.

    Adams is seven headed, ten horned beast of Revelation and when you realise what you are up against only the absolute truth will defeat him. Trying to defeat him on moral relativism will not work. You must give him the respect he deserves as perfect delinquent who would sacrifice his own friends, as a delinquent teenager would beat up a weaker friend in order to curry favour with the multitude, and simply not understand why it is wrong.

  • Mark McGreg
  • Brian MacAodh

    what is adams hiding?

  • percy

    nothing like a conspiracy theory

  • Mark McGreg

    percy,

    This was only a poorish entry from Adams into the debate and not a conspiracy until someone decided to remove the article from An Phoblacht and then a SF Press Officer also removed any mentions of it from his Twitter.

    I’m assuming a wiser head realised picking a fight with the Irish News was a poor idea. I’m assuming claims of bad faith on the part of the IN were removed when it was realised they’d be in the public domain and open to challenge.

    I’m assuming SF tried to make this disappear because it was amateurish, weak and leaves a member open to legal action by a newspaper.

    Hardly the strong rebuttal of the Irish News coverage one would expect if SF/Adams/Morrison et al had a strong case.

  • paddy

    the man who led the first strike brendan hughes later called adams n co professinol liars he hit the nail on the head

  • igor

    Moses is obviously receiving instruction on how to handle this one.

    Drafting commandments is hard work

  • Pancho’ Horse

    What exactly is your agenda, Rusty Nail? What are you getting out of this? You are gathering a nondescript crowd of harpies and misfits about you as you push and push. If you can prove that the hunger strikers were used by somebody – by anybody, what good will it do? Who will it harm? Give it a rest. You have long passed point tiresome.

  • Dave

    Amateurish, sure. But how sophisticated does propaganda have to be when it is aimed at ordinary voters? Not very. Most Irish people, apparently Europe’s most educated, just voted for the Lisbon Treaty was they were led to believe that it was an economic recovery/fiscal stimulus package rather than a treaty concerned with reorganisation of the EU. As long as Adams implies that everyone who doesn’t buy into his sanitised version of events is a puppet of British Intelligence and that British Intelligence is actively trying to undermine Sinn Fein by promoting this story, then that’s what folks will take from his propaganda, amateurish or not. Sinn Fein, you see, valiantly overcame opposition from British Intelligence to their ambition to assist with the administration of British rule in Her Majesty’s legitimised dominion of Northern Ireland rather than were actively assisted by British Intelligence toward that goal. Do voters want to accept that the main nationalist party is led by British agents to promote a British constitutional agenda and that they unwittingly or otherwise voted for them? No. They have an inbuilt bias to believe his amateurish propaganda.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Europe’s most educated electorate … the price of everything and the value of nothing. It’s hard to disagree with you, Dave, as usual.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Oh, and by the way, Dave, can I compliment you on the size of your remuda?

  • Dixie Elliott

    You are gathering a nondescript crowd of harpies and misfits about you as you push and push.

    Posted by Pancho’s Horse

    I’m one of those you described as being above, as are the other former Blanket Men which includes a former Hunger Striker. And lets not forget the Families of Micky Devine and Patsy O’Hara…

    Now I’m not hiding behind a shitty name on a forum I’ve gone public with what I have to say.

    Perhaps Pancho’s Horse you could have the balls to call us that using your own name instead of hiding, then everyone can take you seriously!

    Oh I don’t mind those using pseudonyms who at least can put up a serious argument in defence of Adams and I have no problem debating with them. But I’m not willing to listen to cowardly snipers who for all I know could be Brit agents insulting us who were there.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Which are you,. Dixie, a harpie or a misfit? I must have missed the other blanket men and hunger strikers and families etc who have contributed to Slugger. Maybe you have nothing to lose by going ‘public’ but some of us still are reluctant to do so. And I repeat. Why are yous doing it? What is your agenda? And I am not defending Adams – I am defending the men who willingly gave their lives in the fight against the English and their running dogs.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Just of interest for those who like to throw up about MI5 agents etc.

    Sure aren’t PSF sitting on a Policing Board that gets ‘regular briefings from MI5’?

    Transfer of National Security to MI5

    On 24 February 2005 the then Secretary of State, Paul Murphy announced that, during 2007, the Security Service (often known as MI5) would assume lead responsibility for national security intelligence work, thus aligning the arrangements in Northern Ireland with those that apply in the rest of the United Kingdom. It was stated at the time that this transfer for responsibility will in no way diminish the role of the PSNI in intelligence gathering in areas other than national security, nor on its ability to mount executive policing operations, make arrests or take forward prosecutions.

    Since the announcement, the Policing Board has received regular briefings from PSNI and the Security Services.

    http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/index/faqs/mi5.htm

  • Dixie Elliott

    Pancho’s Horse as I said when you have the balls to post under your own name, then I’ll take you seriously.

    I am a former Blanket Man who was on that leadership wing, I shared a cell with Bobby Sands and Tom McElwee, what did you do besides hide like a coward and try and smear us?

  • Henry Joy

    Pancho’s Horse, eh ?

    Or a pantomime horse ? Sounds more accurate to me.
    So which half of you is Gerry, and which half is Danny Morrison ? Do tell us. Some horse **** you’re peddling…..

  • Rory Carr

    “As to the content itself…., playing to Republicans’ instinctual emotions – pure propaganda, no substance. It borders on the rant of a madman, taking a splatter approach Slugger readers following certain contributions in the comments section on this subject will recognise. This ‘splatter’ approach desperately throws whatever comes to mind in the hopes that something will stick, even if its only more confusion.”

    Well done, Rusty, in writing the above you have succinctly described your whole approach in this nasty little campaign by embittered failures to discredit the Republican leadership you deeply resent for its success in winning the overwhelming support of northern nationalists and rejecting your own introspective, nit-picking lack of vision. You must have been looking in the mirror while penning those words.

  • Engineer

    Whatever happened to the Republicans’ desire for ‘truth recovery’?

    Are some truths too naked to deal with?

  • Pancho’s Pantomime Horse

    Dixie & co, I don’t know where you got the idea that I was trying to smear you. I have the utmost respect for anybody who goes on stailc ocrais. I would not have the courage to do it. My point is – why harp on about this? If you or others did not come into the limelight on the Adams gravy train and you feel left out, then leave the Hunger Strike out of it. Leave it above party politics. My attitude is – where were all the whingers up until now? Are they using this Rusty Nail horses**t to get at Adams? Pick something else. Had yous not got the guts to speak up before? Sure yous could have used a pen name.

  • east tyrone remembers

    From a Tyrone point of view we had no idea that there was a possible deal on offer that may or may not have saved the lives of 6 hunger strikers. This should be explored in full and if need be there should be a full Republican inquiry. This is not about SF bashing or Gerry Adams bashing but if he was behind the rejection of the possible deal then he should be prepared to take the full brunt of any wrath. Again from a Tyrone perspective if it does come out that 6 men died for party politics it begs the question what else were the then leadership prepared to do to gain a political foothold?

  • Sean

    I think its very clear there was no deal on offer there was a potential for a deal but only if the prisoners blinked first and stopped the hunger strike. Some one said no they wanted a solid written offer and hatchet face wouldn’t write it down because that would constitute evidence

  • Dicksie

    Dixie are you really feel that insecure and unloved that you feel compelled to remind everyone of the fact that you once shared a cell with Sands every time Rusty posts some more allegations?

    Also, your sanctimony on the whole posting under a pseudonym issue is disgusting. Remind us, what were you imprisoned for?

  • what’s the point

    truth seeker(a misnomer by any stretch)said:

    19.this continuous rehashing by rusty is getting boring.

    ”Yes the Adams click lied but this forum will be the last to be first with the news when it eventually breaks.

    Boring, inane, repetitive shite allied with the ranting of that fuckin looney anti-christ, o`connell the lover of lucifer……

    This site resembles Goebbels office in Berlin!”

    Posted by Truith seeker on Oct 10, 2009 @ 11:33 AM

    Who is forcing you to read these threads-why not just avoid the rusty nail threads if you are that bored? Or is your contributions solely designed to deflect from the real truth you so desperately are not seeking.

  • John O’Connell

    Boring, inane, repetitive shite allied with the ranting of that fuckin looney anti-christ, o`connell the lover of lucifer……

    See Rusty, the real fear of those at SF HQ is about my stuff. If you can tie Adams into the deaths of the hunger strikers for political gain, It verifies my position that Adams fulfills all the relevant prophecies for the seven headed, ten horned beast.

    The power of the beast is given in the description in Revelation: seven heads represents the seven heads of the army council symbolising vicious violence for political control.

    But ten horns represents the ten hunger strikers which gave the beast his power and they symbolise his political power over the people. The people are brought on board, because you can’t rule without the people, by a powerful delusion and the delusion is that Adams is some kind of God who men willingly sacrifice themselves for his cause. The reality of course is somewhat different in that the men were sacrificing themselves for the good of all their people not for Adams’ one-sided political ambitions.

    Adams of course continues on with the credit he gets from the hunger strikers sacrificing themselves for him. But the truth lies in wait for him that he used the men for political gain. He used all the ten men because he thinks that that was the right thing to do, but he is caught out by the British of all people offering him a deal that would have stopped the deaths after four men.

    The deaths of the last six give us an insight into the deaths of all ten hunger strikers, and his subsequent choreography demonstrates beyond all reasonable doubt that he has no answer about the six, only a vague muttering that all ten chose to die for the cause and they knew what they were getting themselves into. They all wanted me to be a politician at a time when I wouldn’t have won a council seat in Strabane.

  • 3,949 votes

    aye so Strabane is an SDLP heartland and Grissly’s most pressing concern is John O’Connell

  • Dixie Elliott

    the Hunger Strike was called off by Brendan Hughes to save the life of the late Seán McKenna. The British, or sections of them, interpreted this as weakness. The prisoners ended their fast before a formal ‘signing off’. And the British then refused to implement the spirit of the document and reneged on the integrity of our exchanges.

    Gerry Adams

    Why do Adams, Morrison etc keep peddling the lie that the Brits reneged on an offer made at the end of the first Hunger Strike in 1980?

    For those still in doubt below is the offer made by the Brits in full.

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE PROTESTS END
    From NIO

    On the fourth of December the Government set out clearly what is available to all prisoners in Northern Ireland prisons.

    2. We hoped that this would bring an end to the protests. Two more weeks have passed. The protests continue. Those on hunger strike are two weeks nearer death.

    3. Their demand for political status is not going to be granted. The European Commission of Human Rights has considered the case made to it by the protesters for political status, and has rejected it. The Commission asked the Government to keep the humanitarian aspects of the prison regime under continuing review. The Government responded positively to that request with the changes on nine specific points which I set forth in detail in my statement to the House of Commons on 4 December. It is our concern that these protests and the hunger strike should not lead to pointless deaths. To the protesters and those on hunger strike I want to say:

    “There is no reason to go on. The Government has made its response. I want to spell out for you and your families what will happen when the protests end.”

    4. First of all, any such prisoner will be put into a clean cell. If, as I hope, all prisoners end their protests, we shall have the task of cleaning up all the cells right away and this would take a week or ten days.

    5. Within a few days clothing provided by their families will be given to any prisoners giving up their protest so that they can wear it during recreation, association and visits. As soon as possible all prisoners will be issued with civilian-type clothing for wear during the working day. From then on, as I said in October, denim prison uniform becomes a thing of the past for all prisoners.

    6. They will also immediately become entitled every month to eight letters, four parcels and four visits.

    7. Prisoners who end their protest will be able to associate within each wing of the prison blocks in the evening and at week-ends. If large groups of prisoners cease their protest simultaneously, a few days may be needed for cleaning up.

    8. We want to work out for every prisoner the kinds of available activity which we think suit him best – work (including of course the work of servicing the prison itself), vocational training and educational training. Again if groups of prisoners come off the protest together, getting this programme organised will take some time.

    9. On the question of remission – and this will be of special importance to the prisoners’ families – provision already exists for lost remission to be restored after subsequent good behaviour. We shall immediately start reviewing each case individually.

    10. We do not want any prisoners to die: but if they persist in their hunger strike they will not be forcibly fed. If they die, it will be from their own choice. If they choose to live, the conditions available to them meet in a practical and humane way the kind of things they have been asking for. But we shall not let the way we run the prisons be determined by hunger strikes or any other threat.

    11. Northern Ireland prisons are acknowledged to include some of the best in the United Kingdom. The boards of visitors will continue to play their part in maintaining this position. For our part we will, subject to the overriding requirements of security, keep prison conditions – and that includes clothing, work, association, education, training and remission – under continuing review.

    12. It is the Government’s earnest wish that, in the light of these possibilities, all prisoners now protesting in one form or another will bring their protest to an end. In particular, those on hunger strike have nothing to gain by fasting to death. The time to stop is now.

    Northern Ireland Office
    18 December 1980

  • Sean

    John O

    I think SF quite enjoy your craziness as when people with legitimate criticisms try and put them across they just say “you are as crazy as John O” and mute all arguement

  • Dixie Elliott

    On the most important of the Five Demands clothing, the Brits were offering;

    ‘civilian-type clothing for wear during the working day.’

    This was another version of the prison uniform and after that Hunger Strike ended they tried to introduce it and it was rejected by the prisoners as being another form of prison uniform.

    There was no mention of Segregation and everything else on that document was available to conforming prisoners anyway.

    Bobby Sands told the priest, Father Meagher who delivered it to the prison hospital that “it wasn’t what we wanted.”

    On returning to the Blocks he informed the other prisoners that night that we had got nothing and immediately wrote out a comm saying that he would begin another Hunger Strike, this was confirmed by Jim Gibney on Bobby’s 50th Birthday.

    So why keep peddling this lie?

  • truth seeker

    Now I`m being accused of being a PSF supporter!!!

    And because I disagree with the continuous rehashing of a thread devoid still of any content, I shouldn`t post my observances, I should therefore only comment on threads I concur with!!

    As I said unless Rusty has any new evidence or facts from the initial posting of this thread during the Age of the Dinosaurs he should just let go, relax, collect flowers and butterflies, anything but this!!

    The truth is out there but this is the last forum it will appear on.

    Lucifer just f**k off.

  • what’s the point

    self-appointed truth seeker,

    who accused you of being a Sinn Fein supporter? You have contributed ziltch to this debate except to bore us all about being bored. Do us all a favour and take the advice you gave to Lucifer.

  • truth seeker

    Care in the community, what a bummer.

  • denis n

    dixie, arent you going to remind us of what offences you were in the h-blocks for?

  • Agent

    yeah Dix, what’d ya do?! Trace someone’s IP address?

  • what’s the point

    ”9.Care in the community, what a bummer.

    Posted by truth seeker on Oct 10, 2009 @ 05:10 PM
    10.dixie, arent you going to remind us of what offences you were in the h-blocks for?

    Posted by denis n on Oct 10, 2009 @ 05:18 PM
    11.yeah Dix, what’d ya do?! Trace someone’s IP address?

    Posted by Agent on Oct 10, 2009 @ 05:41 PM”

    Talk about anything but the issues on the controversy-run the debate down various tangents and perhaps everyone will be that distracted they’ll forget about the real issues. Get real and grow up.

    I’s not surprising that Adam’s does not want an inquiry into the hunger strike if that’s best he and his script-writers can come up with.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I see some clampet called Dicksie was asking the same question….

    Also, your sanctimony on the whole posting under a pseudonym issue is disgusting. Remind us, what were you imprisoned for?

    Posted by Dicksie

    Well if they must know I was charged with attempting to murder a British Soldier and it’s obviously the same troll asking these questions as is slabbering about IP addresses.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Oh but attempting to Murder British Soldiers is now seen as a crime in the new Thatcher-esque Provisional Sinn Fein and perhaps this is their new Adams-fed mentality at work?

    British sponsored community workers doing over-time.

  • Mark McGreg

    Pancho,

    harpies and misfits

    Profound.

    Which camp do I fall into?

    Seems those arguing on SF’s behalf on this and other threads are going for the man not ball – yet again. Why not just rebut the post?

    But I suppose on a thread that shows SF’s arguments, and presentation of them, have presumably been so lie packed they had to delete them from their party paper website and slash and burn any reference to them from party members what else should we expect from the faithful but more nonsense.

    When I see the Party President having his contribution removed and the representatives suffering the same fate – I think perhaps this coverup is a demonstration of how much weight there is in the rest of their contributions.

    Nobody else but SF and Adams is seeking to hide their previous comment – I find that absolutely telling.

  • Henry Joy

    In the old Soviet Union, Pravda and Izvestia were the two main state newspapers. Pravda means truth in Russian, and Izvestia means news. The old joke in Moscow was that there was no real news in Izvestia and no truth in Pravda. Adams, Morrison et al are real Stalinists/Goebbelists. Deny, lie, never admit, change the subject, move the goalposts, narrow the agenda, divert, demonise your opponents, avoid facts, challenge-not-accept etc….. ANY SF “inquiry” will be like a Stalin “people’s court,” or Alice in Wonderland, with sentence first, verdict later. Challenge to Gerry and his mates?: have a truly independent open hearing on this, moderated by people who won’t be totally parti pris or actively naive, like Fr. Alec Reid or Rev. Harold Good, respectively e.g. Rev. Dr. John Dunlop or retired C of I Bishop Gordon McMullan and Prof. Bernard Cullen of QUB or Prof. Marianne Elliott of Liverpool University. All four are individuals who are not politically correct or easily flattered by the quango selectors in NI. How about that ? Now that would have some cred. Is SF up for that ? Doubt it. The SF politiburo are control freaks all bent on blaming the Brits as usual and never accepting responsibility for their own actions. Does anybody sensible really think Gerry Adams wouldn’t have had more hunger-strikers die for his own political objectives ? Gerry is cynical enough for that all right. Why would a man who killed people or ordered them to be killed (like Jean McConville) choke on a lie about the hunger strike ? Look at his record……Danny Morrison’s record…..Honest Gerry and Honest Danny ! Oxymorons !

  • John O’Connell

    Sean

    I think SF quite enjoy your craziness as when people with legitimate criticisms try and put them across they just say “you are as crazy as John O” and mute all arguement

    I think that their approach is typical of a party that realises that serious damage is down the line if they ever concede that there is anything to the notion that Gerry Adams challenged Christ during his ongoing leadership of the republican community.

    They can call me crazy all they like on Slugger threads on the Hunger Strike but that’s not how they’re treating me in other spheres or on other threads of Slugger. For example there have been attempts to intimidate me. There have been attempts to prevent the circulation of the small numbers of my books in book shops where they can get away with it.

    They would like you to believe that it is all a laugh but there are sensible ones among the delinquents and they know that if Rusty Nail can take the gloss off Gerry Adams then he will quickly be regarded with suspicion by all and sundry.

    If Gerry Adams goes into notoriety then the Sinn Fein project goes too, and Gerry Adams becomes the de facto Antichrist in all but name and the end is announced of the notion of the oppressed needing to use violence for liberation. Christ’s way is restored and all the Book of Revelation prophecies about Christ and Antichrist are fulfilled. And I’ll be laughing then.

    So, Rusty, you are a highly intelligent person and it won’t be lost on you that this is a fight for survival for all of Sinn Fein, not just Gerry Adams, and therefore there will come a point on this progression from complacency to desperation when they will become so desperate that they will do anything to save their necks. When we reach that stage you will know that they are really powerless behind a facade of being really powerful and like Satan they depend on your fear for their power.

    Or maybe we’ve already won the argument. It’s just a matter of time really before Gerry Adams realises that he’s been beaten.

  • Dave

    “Oh, and by the way, Dave, can I compliment you on the size of your remuda?” – Pancho’s Horse

    Have you been talking to my wife? Hmmmm… not before I look the word up in dictionary.com, as I haven’t a clue what it means.

    In regard to how profound changes are imposed incrementally, by stealth, and sans debate (and how this circumventing of the democratic process is justified as ‘leadership’), there are a few points of commonality between the process of consolidating EU rule in Ireland and consolidating British rule in NI. I wish I had said the following but I borrowed it from an anonymous commenter on Dan Hannan’s blog yesterday (about the ‘secret’ promotion of EU integration against the will of Europe’s nations):

    [i]“First they tell you it can’t happen, then they tell you it isn’t happening, then they tell you everyone knew it was happening and furthermore you agreed to it. This is very much the tactic of the post-honest political process, and is an outstanding example of “Thoughtful Radicalism”. The idea that its correct to bring about change by stealth, without debate, by feeding it to us in stages, while all the time denying the ultimate intention. This is to treat adults like children. 1984 anyone?”[/i]

    In regard to control of PIRA/PSF by British Intelligence, the Shinners had no means of detecting British agents in their ranks since Gerry and Martin appointed British agents to run their Internal Security Unit (which is the unit that had responsibility for detecting British agents within PIRA). The reason Gerry and Martin appointed British agents to run the ISU and failed to rotate them in accordance with standard counterintelligence procedures to avoid long-term infiltration of such a critical role is simply to ensure that PIRA/PSF had no means of detecting British agents, thereby ensuring that Gerry and Martin and all of the other British agents could direct PIRA/PSF with minimum risk of being exposed. Indeed, the only senior British agents that were ever exposed under this regime were not exposed by the ISU but by British Intelligence itself. It is utterly absurd to even attempt to argue that the Shinners were not overrun by British agents since the Shinners had absolutely no means of detecting them, and British Intelligence was spending hundreds of millions on recruiting them.

  • paddy

    adams used to sing a song in the kesh before it was penned was in jail when mrs mc connville was murdered never in the ira wasnt nicked for la mon and didnt encourage the hunger strikers to die former hungerstriker brendan hughes got it right when he called him a proffesinol liar

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick is going to be seriously pissed off with this crap and rightly so. Any chance a couple of you could get a cop on and deal with the topic not bile and counter bile?