55 Hours Part Four: Wednesday 8 July 1981

A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981. Sunday ● Monday ● Tuesday ● Wednesday Using the timeline created with documents from ‘Mountain Climber’ Brendan Duddy’s diary of ‘channel’ communications, official papers from the Thatcher Foundation Archive, excerpts from former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald’s autobiography, David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead, Padraig O’Malley’s book Biting at the Grave, and INLA: Deadly Divisions by Jack Holland and Henry McDonald, Danny Morrison’s published timelines, as well as first person accounts and the … Read more

55 Hours Part Three: Tuesday 7 July 1981

A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981. Sunday ● Monday ● Tuesday ● Wednesday   Using the timeline created with documents from ‘Mountain Climber’ Brendan Duddy’s diary of ‘channel’ communications, official papers from the Thatcher Foundation Archive, excerpts from former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald’s autobiography, David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead, Padraig O’Malley’s book Biting at the Grave, and INLA: Deadly Divisions by Jack Holland and Henry McDonald, Danny Morrison’s published timelines, as well as first person accounts and … Read more

55 Hours Part Two: Monday 6 July 1981

A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981. Sunday ● Monday ● Tuesday ● Wednesday   Using the timeline created with documents from ‘Mountain Climber’ Brendan Duddy’s diary of ‘channel’ communications, official papers from the Thatcher Foundation Archive, excerpts from former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald’s autobiography, David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead, Padraig O’Malley’s book Biting at the Grave, and INLA: Deadly Divisions by Jack Holland and Henry McDonald, Danny Morrison’s published timelines, as well as first person accounts and … Read more

55 Hours Part One: Sunday 5 July 1981

A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981. Sunday ● Monday ● Tuesday ● Wednesday   Using the timeline created with documents from ‘Mountain Climber’ Brendan Duddy’s diary of ‘channel’ communications, official papers from the Thatcher Foundation Archive, excerpts from former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald’s autobiography, David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead, Padraig O’Malley’s book Biting at the Grave, and INLA: Deadly Divisions by Jack Holland and Henry McDonald, Danny Morrison’s published timelines, as well as first person accounts and the books of … Read more

Rowan, Duddy, Morrison

The Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News both feature articles on the hunger strike issue – more on those later today or tomorrow, time permitting. A comment by Dixie Elliott in the “and ‘Soon’ would have known this” thread is worth highlighting in regards the debate over Danny Morrison’s new claims that he brought nothing from the British into the prison (As he told Rowan, “At the time of my visit to the prison on the afternoon of Sunday July … Read more

Further to Morrison’s attempted revisionism

While Danny Morrison is now claiming that the British had not formulated a position nor proposed a deal at the time of his specially arranged July 5 visit to the hunger strikers and Bik McFarlane, both Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams, in the Irish News in 2009, wrote of Morrison going into the prison to deliver the British offer to the prisoners. “This was the prisoners’ mindset on 5 July, 1981, after four of their comrades had already died and … Read more

Danny Morrison’s Position

Danny Morrison outlines his position to Brian Rowan in today’s Belfast Telegraph: “At the time of my visit to the prison on the afternoon of Sunday July 5, 1981, the British Government had yet to even formulate its position, never mind proposing a ‘deal’.” This is quite different from what is already well documented, both by Morrison himself and in Ten Men Dead, as well as being verified by Brendan Duddy at the Gasyard Debate when he confirmed the content … Read more

National Archives 30 Year Papers – July, 1981

The 30 year papers for 1981 are being released, and they include many documents covering the hunger strike. Here are some quick notes about file PREM/19/506, which covers the period of the early July offer. Specifically, this is a quick sketch of pages 13-26 of the PDF, a telegram that comprehensively details the conversations the Mountain Climber/Brendan Duddy (referred to as “SOON”) had with the British Government, in which he was relaying messages from the Provisional IRA. This is the … Read more

The Smoking Gun

Four documents – 2 double sided pages  – have been made available from NUI Galway’s Brendan Duddy archives that are relevant to the Mountain Climber/Thatcher offer of early July, 1981. They are Brendan Duddy’s notes of the messages he was ferrying between the Adams Committee and the British Government. The first two pages are dated the 5th and 6th of July; the last two pages are undated but relate to the ongoing negotiation; they detail the offer being discussed. The notes … Read more

Blogging Benghazi from Belfast

Malachi O’Doherty has a direct line to Benghazi, interviewing “an activist in Benghazi who was witness to the protests and the progress of the revolution there”. “Last night, for instance, he told me that he was recommending to protesters that they return the weapons they had captured from the army and trust the local commandos to protect them. Some were following this advice, others were holding onto the weapons, anxious that an army leader who had joined them the previous … Read more

How do you solve a problem like Gerry, part 2

Gerry Adams jumped out of the frying pan of Morning Ireland into the fire at LM/FM. Adams’ follow-up performance on the local Louth/Meath station is so noteworthy that Fianna Fáil have actually issued it as a press release. Have a listen. Adams on LM/FM Rusty Nail

“We on the outside finessed…”

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke observes Danny Morrison’s admission that “we on the outside finessed the sequence of events for the sake of morale” at the end of the 1980 hunger strike. This is a major admission, as it changes the whole narrative that had been pushed for years, and also removes the main defence that the Morrison narrative had employed as to why O’Rawe’s version of events was wrong. Previously, it had been argued that the reason why Thatcher’s July 1981 offer was not accepted was because of British duplicity over the deal secured during the 1980 hunger strike. With Morrison’s admission that no such deal existed, and that the British reneging was a false claim, that argument falls apart.

Read more“We on the outside finessed…”

The “Top Secret” Press Release

One has to admire the sheer chutzpah of Brendan McFarlane. He was in Saturday’s Irish News trying to pass off a 1981 press release as a secret comm reflecting the personal viewpoint of Richard O’Rawe. Mr McFarlane said yesterday he would break five years of silence by producing secret IRA comms written by Mr O’Rawe during the Hunger Strike in which he accused the British government of trying to prolong it. The first first two lines of the original comm read: … Read more

Voices from the Grave

Coming up to the Halloween holiday, some people might be frightened of the idea of Voices from the Grave – but for others, the chance to hear an oral history of the Troubles from the mouths of two (in)famous protagonists, PUP leader and former UVF member David Ervine, and Brendan “The Dark” Hughes, is not to be missed. It had been said of one of the men, former IRA OC and hunger striker Brendan Hughes, that he was ‘not right … Read more

The Shadow Peace Process

Malachi O’Doherty had a very powerful piece on Sunday Sequence this morning; the story of Terry Herdman, a young man shot by the Provisional IRA, whose loved ones are seeking answers. Malachi O’Doherty speaks with Libby Abrams and her daughter, Lisa, Professor Richard English and former IRA Volunteer Tommy Gorman. (Right click, save as for mp3 file) Rusty Nail

Killing Joe O’Connor

Ten years have passed since the Provisional IRA murdered RIRA Volunteer Joseph O’Connor in Ballymurphy. It was 1999 that Mo Mowlam gave a green light for the Provos to maim and murder their own people, when she classified the murder of young Charles Bennett – alleged to have been killed to keep him from exposing corruption – as “internal housekeeping”; the Provos routinely kidnapped and threatened other republicans, justified as necessary action to keep the movement from splitting, in order … Read more

When Talking to Dissidents is Not So Good

UPDATED 16:35 The PSNI is again attempting to use journalists to gather evidence, this time confiscating the phone of freelancer Eammon MacDermott, over allegations he spoke with dissident Republican Gary Donnelly, a spokesperson for the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, recently released from Maghaberry prison and this morning back in court in what seems to be an extreme vendetta against him. This vendetta against Donnelly is now extending to harassing journalists who speak to him in the context of their job. … Read more

Now you want to hear from them?

GFA Enforcers: The Law of the Baseball Bat

GFA Enforcers: The Law of the Baseball Bat The calls for dialogue with dissidents currently being made in support of Sinn Fein’s desire to meet with representatives of dissident groups are audacious in their chutzpah, their breathtaking guile. Brian Rowan and the Andersonstown News, both now supportive of this new initiative of Sinn Fein’s, write as if the recent past, and their participation in it, never happened. The slavish devotion to Sinn Fein and the needs of the peace process, no matter how one day night is day and the next day is night, is breathtaking.

While these overtures for engagement are being played up, it must be remembered that the peace process and its media cheerleaders demanded that any and all dissent be quashed for the peace process to succeed. Censorship abounded; those who questioned SF – on purely intellectual grounds, not in any armed capacity – were to be silenced, their ideas to be kept hidden, denied existence.

Read moreNow you want to hear from them?