The Public and the Private

Richard O’Rawe has just published a new book. Its title is Afterlives and was launched in Belfast on Thursday evening. Due to last minute ‘ambushes’ I was dragged elsewhere and had to cancel my planned journey north. Much to my regret, because O’Rawe is a battler who has done much to protect free inquiry from book burners and censors. Each time I have tried to phone him since his line has been engaged. I somehow doubt if it was with callers telling him how upset they were at his new work. They would rather paint on walls.

I have still to get a copy but it is being said that Afterlives is a forensic destruction of the argument that that the then republican leadership has no case to answer over its management of the 1981 hunger strike. O’Rawe sets out his stall in relation to the heated debate generated in the wake of his first book Blanketmen. It was there over five years ago that he first publicly vented grave misgivings about the longevity of the strike, expressing the view that with better management six lives need not have been lost. What he said in Blanketmen he had already been saying in private for years. In fact it was through such claims that I ended up meeting him again after a gap of many years. Our paths for long enough simply had not crossed.

Brendan McFarlane the leader of the IRA prisoners during the 1981 hunger strike has reentered the fray against O’Rawe. McFarlane, while not silent on the issue previously, has not been to the fore of the debate to the extent that some might have expected. The prolix of others who have rejected the O’Rawe claims seems not to have done the trick. Turning up the volume and drowning all else out might have made things loud but certainly not clear. So McFarlane has stepped in to the breach to make up the deficit. No easy task given that O’Rawe in the public mind has taken on the persona of writer in residence in the hunger strike debate, his account the incumbent narrative which others must dislodge if they are to make progress of their own. The once dominant Sinn Fein perspective has been rocked and now struggles to stay on its feet and avoid the telling blows that have so far penetrated its guard.

In literary terms O’Rawe’s reversal of fortunes is akin to the Soviet obliteration of the German Operation Barbarossa. Hit by a seemingly unstoppable Blitzkrieg of ill will and hate salvoes from the minute it emerged out of its birth canal, O’Rawe’s challenging account had to withstand a battle a day. But gradually and against the odds, the besieged author carefully pulled his critics onto the punch and delivered body blows that pushed them back well behind their own lines.

It is with much regret that I have followed Brendan McFarlane’s recent contributions including that in today’s Irish News. He does not seem comfortable in the role. Earlier in the week in the Derry Journal he was adding new detail to the narrative which to have any bearing should have seen the light of day much earlier in the debate. Unlike O’Rawe’s revelations, they seem awkward and grafted on, constructed from the perspective of the present rather than as an accurate history of the past.

I have long regarded Brendan McFarlane as a person of immense integrity who led from the front in the violent crucible of the H-Blocks. His task was onerous and unenviable. I feel distinctly uncomfortable about the position this outpouring of critique has placed him in and have said as much to O’Rawe. Yet the chips fall where they do and the evidence lends itself to no conclusion other than that a deal was offered which was accepted by the prisoners. This acceptance was subsequently subverted by the leadership for whatever reason and the hunger strike carried on with the resulting loss of six more lives.

Today Brendan McFarlane revealed communications written by Richard O’Rawe in his capacity as jail PRO. McFarlane claims these show that O’Rawe while in the prison was not of the view that the British had made any substantive offer. But this is old hat, a repeat of the Danny Morrison venture to Dublin a few years ago to search archives for similar communications. Morrison returned to Belfast and revealed that what he had discovered in Dublin was … Dublin. Few took the Morrison ‘comms’ disclosure seriously, intuitively knowing that the public positions of the day were not what people believed privately. How otherwise could the ‘victory’ parade presumably organised by Morrison and others in the wake of the vanquished 1980 hunger strike have gone ahead? The organisers knew privately that no victory had been achieved but publicly ran with the victory parade anyway.

Brendan McFarlane is an important witness to history. He could do worse than take stock of his situation and render a version of events that, even if at odds with the interpretation of Richard O’Rawe, at least sounds credible. The current narrative he is defending is, as William Sydney Porter might have said, ‘beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.’


  1. Almost finished this book Anthony, not a heavy read by any stretch just a grandchild who demands full attention, this is well worth reading,but if you ask me will it make people think differently about the events around the hunger strikes of 81,my answer would be I think its a case of those who believe Richard,s version will have their beliefs confirmed and maybe a few more will wake up and smell the coffee I hope so,Richard has went through a personal nightmare to deliver this message,and for no personal gain,the best result for all concerned would be imo a republican tribunal where cross examination of all the evidence and those who played a decision making part in this sad and sorry chapter of Irish history, Richard and others have called for this in Afterlives and if Adams and co have nothing to hide then surely they should be all for an independent tribunal where the outcome can finally set the truth free and let those brave mens families have the truth and closure once and for all.

  2. Marty,

    the type of people who will believe the SF line are in general the types who believe decommissioning never happened. For years the balance of power within that narrative construction has been shifting O'Rawe's way to the point where most people seem to accept that an offer was made and that the SF line on it is untrue. However, there are many who still remain to be persuaded that the decision to reject the offer was taken for reasons that would be deliberately harmful to the hunger strikers. Richard who is much more assertive on this point now probably has opinion on his side given the mendacity of the SF leadership on so much else. Ironically, it was probably the way the party covered up for someone the party leader believed was a child rapist, rather than any attachment to republican sentiment, that has pushed people over the line to where they believe the leadership is capable of anything. That sentiment then becomes the prism through which all the leadership actions and discourses are read.

    Richard did go through a turbulent and traumatic time to make his point and this book is a very public statement that the censors and bully boys did not prevail.

    There will be no chance of SF agreeing to the type of tribunal you refer to. They will accept one only if it takes place on the eighth Sunday of the thirteenth month of the year and is chaired by a black Catholic in the KKK who is fluent in Martian.

  3. LOL I think your right (as usual Anthony)

  4. Mackers,
    I totally agree with you that Brendan MC Farlane has found himself in a totally uneviable situation, however, it is one that is very much of his own making.
    He has allowed himself to be used in a damage limitation exercise that now seems less about facts and more about face saving.
    There is something immensely tragic about all of this. Few people would be qualified to speak about the immense and intense negotiations that were at the crux of the hunger strikes.
    Even less would have been privy to the actual knowledge of deals and offers that would have been brought to the table so to speak.
    Therefore, I think Richard has also found himself in an uneviable situation; he was one of the few people who were privy to the inner workings of these tragic events, therefore, if he believes which he does, that a shadow has been cast over negotiations which could have produced a very different outcome, then he is duty bound to speak out.
    All of us believed, that those who were in the inner circle at that particular time, were working diligently and tirelessly to bring the sad happenings to a credible end.
    Like many of the other hundreds of republican prisoners at that time, I genuinely believed that those in the leadership positions were guided solely by the logic of finding the best solution for the prisoners.
    Few of us would have ever ventured the thought, that a political agenda could have been underpinning or at the very worst stalling negotiations that were costing republican prisoners their lives.

  5. up to 9th spot..ull be feelin dizzy instead of queezy now

  6. Richard o'rawe is saying that the hunger strikers beat the brit policy in 1981-
    this is his argument,
    i don't know why o'rawe does not keep saying this now that he has
    some of the media's ear

    IRISH political prisoners won-
    they got the demands
    thatcher and her brits lost
    the only difference is that o'rawe
    says that the demands were won after 4 hunger- strikers died,
    not after 10, like the past says,

    i thought BIK caught o'rawe out with those comms-
    BIK says they were secret comms
    o'rawe thought they were public,
    that was his only argument,

    its not nice watching o'rawe make a idiot of himself
    at his book launch he broke down
    it can not be easy to go against dead comrades,

    marty- you say that richard has went through a personal nightmare
    to deliver this message for no
    personal gain-
    which charity is he sending the books profit to.

  7. michaelhenry, I think he is making the donation to the same charity Adams used for his seemingly endless recollections.
    Richard O Rawe's response to Bik was not what you claim, unless I was reading the wrong reponse!
    What he rightly argued was, that the messages in the comms would have been representative of the army line as opposed to his individual interpretation of events.
    I agree with Mackers, that both Richard and Brendan are very credible individuals who have found themselves in an unenviable situation. However only one is a truth teller and the other has allowed the truth to be compromised.

  8. Michaelhenry,

    read the top of the comm and you will see it says 'press statement.' I guess press statements are hardly secret otherwise why send them to the press? You can't really send it to the press and say to the press 'it is secret so you can't read it.'

    The reason O'Rawe doesn't have to say the prisoners won eventually is because it is as useful as saying Wednesday follows Tuesday. Who runs around today insisting Celtic won the European Cup in 1967? Nobody disputes it. It is not a debate. All of us who did the protest and those that followed us know what happened. Status was achieved in all but name.
    Nor has O'Rawe went against dead comrades. Not a word against them. How you reason things can often be funny. Just a pity it is rarely right.

    I think those who went against them are those who abandoned everything the men stood for.

  9. Anthony

    “They will accept one only if it takes place on the eighth Sunday of the thirteenth month of the year and is chaired by a black Catholic in the KKK who is fluent in Martian.”

    That sums it up though I am quite sure if such an event took place they would still manage to distance themselves from any involvement and as per usual only accept credit for that they have done right and blank out the rest for historical purposes.

    I think the leadership rely upon what people don’t know won’t hurt the reformed PRM. If they had substantial evidence to prove contrary to the allegations they are certainly not forthcoming which leaves room for suspicion and speculation.

  10. Michaelhenry,

    "marty- you say that richard has went through a personal nightmare
    to deliver this message for no
    personal gain-
    which charity is he sending the books profit to"

    Writing in last week's Sunday Times, John Burns noted that few books published in N.Ireland secure their authors a four figure sum. He continues, ..'the exception is Gerry Adams, who is apparently able to afford several homes thanks to his writing and of course the average industrial wage he pays himself.'

  11. Anthony,

    "Richard who is much more assertive on this point now probably has opinion on his side given the mendacity of the SF leadership on so much else."

    This debate lends much credence to Schopenhauer's assertion that, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident"

  12. 3rd time sending this in-

    not to be picky AM-
    it clearly states in last saturdays
    IRISH news, page 11 [ cage 11 ]
    that BIK produced secret comms
    which were sent between republicans
    inside the H-blocks and republicans
    on the out-side, why o'rawe would
    lie and call them press statements
    is beyond me, unless he has something to hide,
    this is not about masking the truth
    its about a lie about volunteers
    who died for us, who give everything, even give their bodys to the cause,
    shame on o'rawe
    shame on his lie.

  13. Michaelhenry,

    as you know there is no problem with you sending stuff in at this end. And you have posted stuff more critical as well as more sensible than this one. Lots of people have experienced glitches sending material in.

    If you read the top of the so-called secret comm by magnifying the thing on your computer so that it is legible you will see written on it 'Press Statement' (maybe 'press release' I don't have it in front of me).

    You need to look at things more closely if you want to retain plausibility. Once you read it then show to your readers how O'Rawe is lying.

  14. michaelhenry,
    you can read the "secret" comm yourself but perhaps in your case seeing isn't believing as it doesn't fit in to your narrative but does fit in to O'Rawes. Another own goal by PSF.

  15. Nuala,

    I take the view that Bik has found himself in a predicament. I don’t believe he is the malign character that the Master is. I am halfway through Richard’s book and it is a fascinating deconstruction of the SF case. It is so comprehensively done that it leaves little room for doubt that key figures made a decision that led to the boys dying. And by now it is harder to find mitigation for them in the way we might have a lot of years ago. It is so easy to imagine the Master going from cell to cell with a pillow suffocating his dying comrades but it is much harder to reconcile that image with others particularly Bik.

    The Bik of Richard’s book is not a Bik I can recognise. Where Richard sees ruthlessness I see flaws and human frailty. I think Richard might have had some sympathy for that view had Bik not come out so aggressively against him. The portrayal of Bik in the book is damning. It is not the light I see him in but Richard can only write what he feels to be true. I have often discussed this with him, expressing a different view on Bik than his own. But Richard is convinced, consistent and makes a powerful case.

    I have to confess to a feeling of ‘Bik, what have you done?’ when I was reading through the book. But it was felt more in sorrow than anger. I genuinely do not believe that he set out to let the boys die. I think he was a junior partner in a wider strategic body and in many ways opted out of responsibility by deferring to decisions made by others. I don’t feel he was so committed to republicanism or the ambitious pursuit of power that he would put the boys to the sword to achieve either or both.

    The implications of it all might have struck him later but by that time the Master had sealed his fate. And now as you say he has succumbed to the need to collectively face save rather than fact serve. It would have been much better had he withdrawn and said nothing.

    He knows the truth of what went on and has to live with the consequences. But I don’t believe he was the villain of the piece but rather someone who was swamped by the times he found himself in and who lost the run of himself.

    If you have not read Richard’s book, then do so as soon as. It is utterly compelling. I sat on the floor of a train this evening and never took my eyes off the pages once until my stop. It is like a thriller. Different from Blanketmen but as good as if not better.

  16. Mackers,
    I have not read the book yet. I intend to buy it this week on my day off.
    I don't know either Bik or Richard, I have spoken to the latter a few times but I could not describe him as someone I knew. Albert knows both men quite well and as quite high regard for both of them.
    Mackers, a few years back I remember reading a comment that you had made on the 'Blanket' in relation to the disagreement between Richard and Bik.
    Paraphrasing, You wrote something along the lines, that you believed both to be people of high integrity and each could possibly be the victim of personal interpretation in relation to events.
    Richard O Rawe has been incredibly brave, few would have done what he done.
    I believe Bik finds himself in a very precarious situation with the leadership of the movement.
    People can be reduced for hero to zero in a blink. Few who have crossed the Master have been able to remain within the confines of the republican movement.
    There would be no way back for him if he conceded an inch.
    Adams is a bare faced liar, a man like that is hardly going to insist on the truth, unless it is his truth.

  17. Mackers, I would just like to add, that once more you have gave very fair comment on all of this.
    This must be incredibly hard for people like yourself, I know it is something that a lot of people have difficulty with.
    Decent people can become totally unscrupulous when self preservation becomes the order of the day. There is no-way, even if it is glaring, staring and obvious is any of them going to agree with Richard, it would be political suicide.
    They are all lumped together, content in the knowledge that lies, cover up, deceit and revisionism is more beneficial to their band of followers than the truth.

  18. I haven't read his books yet but what hes saying is basically Thatcher was responsible for 4 deaths and the great leader for 6? I despise everything about Gerry Adams-his constant lying, monstrous treachery and arrogance. But these allegations are so serious I can't believe if this is true it would have taken 27 years to come to light. Let 6 young men die of starvation so that we can increase our electoral strength? If true totally revolting and beyond evil. Guess I will have to wait to read the book.

  19. Mackers thers no need to sit on the floor of a train..they are fitted with for the book, i think SF are lucky that the majority of people have had enough, don't think i could endure it. Probably like a Le Carre novel...5000 pages of shite.

  20. Larry, I would have had to sit on someone's knee then! The train was packed.
    How you reach that conclusion about the book is beyond me. Why would it be 5000 pages of crap?

  21. 9.20am Mackers, it cud be 'uni fategue'..but sittin thru an entire book to see if Bic said this or did he maybe/possibly/cudda/mighta but maybe will deny it anyway..oh aye and at this stage..what odds..? SF leadership turned out to be same as FF FG SDLP DUP OU TORIES+LABOUR bottom line is Anthony 10 men died totally needlessly not six. i wont be buyin a book to read about inhouse trivialities at this stage.

  22. BTW ur welcome to my seat on the train anytime mackers..coz ur older than me lol...

  23. Larry, I don't share your view that this is in house trivial stuff. I think that is to trivialize serious history. I take your point about ten men dying needlessly as I can see how an argument can be made for that. I think Richard O'Rawe is doing what any good historian does - he lays it out on the dissecting table. If you change your mind read it and marvel at the surgical precision he brings to bear on his dissection of the once dominant narrative.

  24. The 10 who died on hunker strike for the 5 demands got the 5 demands
    10 died, but their comrades lived in conditions which the 10 died for

    don't know how anyone can call themselves republican yet lie and say that the hunger strikers died
    needlessly- it was their sacrifice
    not mine not yours- their's.

    larry hughes- whats wrong with le carre novels- they are a books book

  25. Agree fully from a historical perspective. It is essential that future generations and scholars have the truth and alternative historical data to that of the 'Adams family' PR gunk. On that score it's good that people of significant caliber are providing the material. I'm not in the frame of mind to trawl through it just now, may consider it in the future. I was involved in the 1981 protests on the 'outside' and ended up on the 'inside'. I know where we've all been parked and what for....boggall. maybe when Adams is in a ditch around about Forkhill i'll find inspiration to get outa bed and go buy the book.

  26. I think the main thing that came out of both the books is the overwhelming need for a republican tribunal with cross examination of all evidence and particapants in the events surrounding the 81 hunger strikes,Bik may be a nice guy,and I,m sure Ghenghis Khan had his good days, but the book is not about the personalities involved but rather their actions or inactions,it looks certain to me that Mc Farlane and Adams committee deliberately allowed six brave men to die in order to advance psf in the political field,the evidence points that way, so I think there can be no other way of resolving this issue other than a thorough republican tribunal our own Saville inquiry, I think this is what we should be concentratng on and pushing for and not be sidetracked by personality issues.

  27. Nuala you can have my copy hon if ya want

  28. Marty lets be honest, in the 1981 mindset, had ten men been prepared to die as they were in the 'Pearse' spirit to ignite the flame for a push to finally break the British connection no one would complain. To hear that Adams+co. had no bigger agenda than taking over the SDLP mantle 'in' Stormont is pathetic. Ther's no need for any's a whitewashed wall and a firing squad they need. Ghengis khan was a decent spud and never afraid to buy a pint!

  29. Michaelhenry Le Carre's books are books book???
    I get the destinct impression you have read the entire collection and are still none the wiser...

  30. Larry, I disagree with you entirely, if they are guilty of this and I believe they are, then they should be held accountable.

    Ryan had it not been for people like Brendan Hughes other horrendous secrets would have remained hidden.
    When there is a closing of ranks and minds, walls of secrecy go up and their word prevails.

  31. Fionnuala i dont see how they can be held responsible. Even if some forum was available to nail them what would come of it? Being realistic, they are unashamedly self serving creepy crawleys who have got away with the dirtiest low life scam in Irish history. They have the morals and integrity of a sewer rat. No revelation impacts upon them. They blackmail people to vote them into stormont with the fear of an alternative to the peace process. It is correct that they be exposed as often as possible, but i truely see any enquiry idea never gettin off the ground. Maybe a dummy mock trial could be put together for a country wide theatre performance. That's the only way i see it getting done.

  32. michaelhenry is there any particular reason why you would vote SF rather than SDLP? just curious.

  33. you asked larry-

    SINN FEIN are an all IRELAND party
    the stoops are a six county party

    SINN FEIN supports equality
    the stoops don't- they still take the oath

    the s.d.l.p backed the police when cops took the oath to the crown and they had the english crown as their symbol
    new p.s.n.i members don't take the oath now, and if you look at there badge that aint the english crown
    its a mickey mouse crown,

    the s.d.l.p supported the police when they went on joint patrols with the armed brit army
    SINN FEIN supports the police when they patrol alone,

    the s.d.l.p is just on 6 couty
    police boards
    SINN FEIN are on 32 county police boards.

    bit of a difference-

  34. Larry, they are accomplished liars, however, if we all turn a blind eye because mud sometimes washes off where does that leave us?
    I was in prison for the duration of the second hungerstrike. I like everyone else believed every single thing the leadership of the movement told us.
    It was like a slow drip feed waiting on news, waiting on a breakthrough, waiting on a solution but there was just death after death.
    Now a very credible source has said, 'I know some of these deaths could have been prevented' Well, I think we are perfectly entitled to hear what he says.
    I doubt if a person such as Richard O Rawe would produce 5000 pages of shite. I thought your discription of anothers person's efforts was a bit derogatory to be honest.

    michaelhenry, 'the stoop party' what a cheek. The SDLP never pretended to be anything other than what they are now.
    Your party has sold more principles than the SDLP did in its entire history.
    Why do you keep banging on about the oath, its okay to sell out and compromise as long as they do not take an oath. They take the money and the shite so who cares if they take the oath?

  35. Michaelhenry, it seems you have a preference for a Disneyland police force to the RUC. Even a six county Disneyland force?

    You'll be telling me next you believe the Unionists are Irish, whether THEY like it or not?

    The RUC men who operated the shoot to kill incidents required no British army help at the scene in Lurgan commiting the actual murders. They are no doubt PSNI men now.

    Being a 32 county party doesn't make Stormont any less British, whether WE like it or not.

    If FF enter the northern scene, as they indicate they might..will that confuse you further?

  36. Fionnuala, I wasn't refering to the effort or integrity of the author. I was indicating I couldn't drag myself through endless denials and gobbledy gook from the SF propagandists. Never intended an attack on O'Rawe. Just get the feeling the read could be like floggin a dead horse. Just my impression of the subject matter.
    Yes Michaelhenry, stand beside the chief constable and recruit touts publicly then stand firm on the 'oath'. You gotta be confused because you're sure as hell confusing me.

  37. Larry, I think to hear Richard's version of events it would be well worth the read. From those who have read it, I hear it is an invaluable book. I totally misinterpreted what you wrote and I apologise for that.

  38. Fionnuala
    Not sure if the link below will help but I can’t find the oath.

    You have to excuse Mickey, as he is fixated on the illusive oath overlooking the fact that it is the Police Service of Northern Ireland but in his mind that is close enough to a one Ireland police force.
    After all what’s in a name or an oath.


  39. Fionnuala never any need for an apology. I need to proof read a bit more because black and white print doesn't always convey the true sentiment intended. I will get a copy and read it after skools finished. It will look well beside Dr McIntyres signed book [when i get over that way] next year and the 'voices' etc. I'm one of those people who is either unable to put a book down after the 1st chapter or it's already in a bottom drawer somewhere.
    Yes I think Michaelhenry is in the Disneyworld Party. Sure he'll do no harm there...

  40. Fionnuala,

    Section 38 of the Police (NI) Act 2001

    38 (1) Every police officer shall, on appointment, be attested as a constable by making before a justice of the peace a declaration in the following form-

    "I hereby do solemnly and sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully discharge the duries of the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all individuals and their traditions and beliefs; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof according to law."

  41. good man robert- no oath to the crown now, im glad you are happy

    i think fionnuala wants to read the anti- catholic oath that the r.u.c used to make and which most of the mps at westminister still

    larry asked me for differences
    between SINN FEIN and the stoops-
    i was going to post the oath for
    fionnuala, there are two, but both amount to the same thing
    perhaps robert might like to tell us the wording.

  42. Robert, thank you, I don't know why Sinn Fein would have a problem with that, I don't see why any British minister would have a problem with that.

    michaelhenry, unless I am mistaken a war was not fought over anti-Catholic legislation.
    Most people in the ranks of the IRA could not have given a stuff about Catholicism, I know the burning of Catholic homes ignited another dormant flame, however no-one engaged in a war to remove an anti-Catholic oath. The SDLP could have done that for us, we did not need a thirty year war to obtain that.

  43. Michaelhenry,

    "good man robert- no oath to the crown now, im glad you are happy"

    I merely cited the oath for Fionnuala's perusal, I don't know how you can draw a conclusion on my sentiment from that.
    Anthony previously provided a pointer in regard to your not reading material closely enough before commenting in order to retain plausibility.
    If you apply a little more diligence in reading the oath it's
    signifigance may become apparent to you.
    The main proviso of the Act is as follows, 'Every police officer shall, on appointment, be attested as a constable by making before a justice of the peace a declaration in the following form-'
    Who appoints Justices of the peace?
    The Lord Chancellor nominates candidates for appointment by the Crown.
    There is no requirement for an explicit declaration of allegiance to the Crown by appointees given that in swearing any oath before a representative of the British Crown they are implicitly declaring and affirming their allegiance directly to Her Majesty by declaring to discharge all duties in accordance with British Law.
    The principle here is much the same as Anthony, again, pointed out to you in that,"The reason O'Rawe doesn't have to say the prisoners won eventually is because it is as useful as saying Wednesday follows Tuesday."

  44. now robert is saying that the
    PROVO and i.n.l.a prisoners won their demands against that brit
    traitor thatcher

    only o'rawe and the reporters to say so now- maybe tomorrow.

  45. Michaelhenry,

    as a matter of interest how is Thatcher a Brit traitor? Heard her called many things but not that. In his latest book Richard O'Rawe makes it very clear that the hunger strikers bested Thatcher.

  46. Robert

    My sympathy I thought the actual jokes today were funny but this exchange between you and Mickey has me laughing.
    No good deed goes unpunished the thanks you get for being helpful.

    “now robert is saying that the
    PROVO and i.n.l.a prisoners won their demands against that brit
    traitor thatcher”

    I think “the Brit traitor Thatcher” needs no explanation the best line ever printed.
    Apparently Mickey has not figured out you are a unionist I suggest next year the Orange Order parade through his house as a reminder that Ulster is still British.

  47. Anthony, 'the hunger-strikers bested thatcher' no way could I go along with that and believe it in my heart. Thatcher was having her pound of flesh for Airey Neave and Mountbatten etc. Being as big a fascist as any Nazi she let ten die needlessly, just as it now seems, so did SF.
    The hunger-strikers didn't imo best anyone and the 5 minor demands they were seeking were phased in AFTER the protest was defeated and families were prepared to take no more.
    That would be my take on it. From my recollection of prisoners stories, it was when prisoners came out from behind the doors and faught for segregation that things began to fall into place.
    The hungerstrikers it seems were the meat in a sanwich between Thatcher and Adams. When the Tories stubbornly saw the protest out they eventually conceeded favourable conditions for ALL prisoners.
    Of course, had a deal been on the table after 4 deaths and the 5 demands or similar been conceeded, that would place a different complexion on the outcome. But that didn't happen and my recollection at the time, as one family after another intervened, was that the Brits had won...AGAIN.
    There was no victory in it.

  48. Tain Bo,

    The party commissars have indoctrinated him beyond the reach of reason.

  49. AM-
    thatcher said that the RA was playing their last card and that there was no way the prisoner's
    would get the demands- crime is a crime not political it is crime was
    her words, but she betrayed her words and the prisoners got what
    the hunger was for- o'rawe says it was after 4 died, history tells us it was after 10 died-
    the smart ass reporters never say that thatcher turned traitor to her word or to the laws which were changed to allow the 5 demands
    reporters can not have it both ways

    even you say AM that o'rawe said that the hunger strikers bested thatcher- to do so makes thatcher
    a brit traitor.

  50. tain bo- you are like AM, marty and
    fionnuala, larry etc - fly's in my
    ointment- joke

    the orange order parade's in donegal, on some beach- suppose you
    think that there should be british again.

  51. Mickeyboy the beach is Rossnowalagh, just outside Ballyshannon,where your ex pm Mr T Blair friend of Gerry and Martin and mass murderer spent many a happy day,As for being flies in your ointment your problem is mo cara your not fly enough to see the bigger picture,

  52. Michael

    I regret that I had to inform you that Ulster is still British maybe if you apply the ointment properly it will cure whatever ails you.
    A question if I may what has a fine upstanding citizen such as you cavorting with the rogues you frown upon.
    No hard feelings Michael it’s just banter nothing personal.

  53. Michaelhenry,

    The five demands were not actually won as such although that did not lessen the victory.

    At the end of the blanket protest there was no real sense of victory. More a sense of relief that we had got our own clothes.

    We were still required to work but that was done away with after the escape.

    The full remission was never restored. I think half of it was restored.

    Nothing was gained on parcels. It remained the same.

    Free Association (our euphemism for segregation) was won at the end of 1982. The Loyalists claim they won that which is partly true. They did assist but republicans were the driving force.

    As the years moved on things were won incrementally. There were republicans in the prison who argued that this could have been achieved anyway without the hunger strikes. I am not convinced of this. And in that sense they might feel the men died needlessly and they would not be lying, as you suggest, in stating their view on it.

    Others are of the view that all that was won at the end of the hunger strike was what was won before it reached the mid point. In their view six men died needlessly. Some go further by extending this to argue that 4 died to win the demands and 6 died to further the political career of Adams. Again no question of them lying if it is what they genuinely believe. Just as there is no question of you lying if you believe it was necessary (the opposite of needless) for ten men to die. Judgements in all of this may be dubious and open to question but that is a far cry from each side screaming liar at the other over what is a matter of interpretation.

    The real victory in 1981 lay in the effective bestowing of political status on the prisoners when Bobby was elected. That was when the hunger strike could have been ended and in my view should have been. But I didn’t think that then.

  54. Ryan,

    Richard O’Rawe explains some of the reasons behind the late blooming of the story.

    ‘Let 6 young men die of starvation so that we can increase our electoral strength? If true totally revolting and beyond evil.’

    Up until recently I had serious reservations about that line. But I think there is nothing else to conclude. It is now a matter of how far we extend the culpability. For now I see nothing that would allow me to conclude that there was more than one person who knew the game plan from start to finish. And he done the hunger strikers in. The rest may have come to a realisation later and have not been frank about what went on. But that does not implicate them in the big one – the planned deaths of six hunger strikers.

  55. Larry,

    'the hunger-strikers bested Thatcher' no way could I go along
    with that and believe it in my heart.’

    Of course these things are more often than not a matter of interpretation. But I could not go along with the view that the protest was defeated. Not because I was in it. I was in the IRA and know only too well it was defeated.

    As I said to Michaelhenry earlier, the victory really lay in the political significance of the hunger strike in terms of it effectively smashing criminalisation. The Brits never conceded a specific political label that we could wear like a number plate but it was a zero sum game – we either won by forcing their hand or we died in the attempt. Either way it was a serious political victory over Thatcher.

    ‘the 5 minor demands they were seeking were phased in AFTER the protest was defeated’

    There are a couple of things objectionable in this. Our own clothes a ‘minor demand’? It was the one significant demand upon which every thing else stood or fell. Interestingly Denis O’Hearn in his book on Bobby takes a different but nonetheless challenging line on this. I don’t agree with him but that’s beside the point. Without the clothes, because of the discourse we had created and the impact it had on us, we would never be regarded as political prisoners. With them we would, even if everybody else got them. Psychologically, publicly, politically the defining mark of the IRA and INLA being criminalised was the uniform.

    The clothes were brought in while the protest was going on. It did not end until a year later. They were brought in after the hunger strike ended. But each of us there knew that no matter what happened at that point (before the strike ended) that we would be getting the clothes once it ended. There was no doubt. And that crucial demand had been won by the hunger strike, not thrown in as a goody bag by the Brits once it had ended.

    The protest then went through a process of change. And Seanna Walsh who became O/C must be given a lot of credit for this. It continued in the protest blocks which were used to send Trojan horses (task force we amusingly called it as a take on the Malvinas conflict) into the conforming blocks to build up a beachhead to push for segregation. That was secured by November 1982. The Brit way around it was not to introduce it in Magilligan or the Crum. This allowed them to deny it.

    I take your point about feeling the men died needlessly but that does not mean the protest was defeated.

  56. I agree with your last comment Anthony but I wonder who planted the idea ,was it his own or was he advised by more devious and heartless elements from within the brit establishment,he is cunning,and clever, but imo he has been guided and coached by those same people to the point where we are today,

  57. Marty,

    Yes it it the conclusion I have arrived at. It can not be proven in a court of law but on the balance of probability (which is how civil courts operate) I accept that he did it. The rest of what you suspect we might never know. I have never felt he was an agent as such in the pay of the Brits. But the only consideration he would have for not being one would be ambition - how would if enable or restrict his political career. Nothing to do with the morality of the issue.

    How long have we seen this at play?

  58. AM-don't want to sound like a broken record- just enjoy debate

    the demands came after the hunger strike ended- thats war politics,
    thatcher got to keep the mainland
    brit happy when they thought they were the victors- and the brit news headlines were that thatcher won,

    later- quietly the demands came into the prison such as own cothes and 50% remission
    the PROVO'S still needed prison work for a short while- to gather
    information for the great escape,
    i bet BIK and the lads got some bad manners for doing this task,
    after the great escape the PROVO'S
    no longer needed prison work, so it was done away with,

    some things are just plans- some take weeks to accomplish- others take years and decade's.

  59. I see, the was the most important then. Possibly another driving factor in the protest was the mindset in the early '70s of victory '72/73...4,5,6,7 etc in which ultimate victory was thought to be not only possible but close?
    On reflection, a more ratioal approach in conjunction with the loyalists may have brought about the same results without deaths being necessary.
    The 1981 Hungerstrike rejuvenated the war, but in an unexpected direction; electioneering within a 6 county settlement. Well done F AFF Gerry..i suggest.

  60. Michaelhenry,

    there was a mixed attitude to work. Because its abolition was one of the demands it was hard for us to be seen to want it. Yet it had tremendous value in terms of escape potential. After the 83 escape there was still a sizeable section of opinion that thought we should stay at work even though the administration banned it. Even in the workshops no work was done. Every thing was sabotaged. The Blanket protesters never got their full remission back. I think it was half of it - ended up 75%. The rest were eligible for 50% But that was reduced in 88 after the Ballygawley bus bomb if I remember correctly. It was brought back in after the ceasefires

  61. The Public and the Private


    ‘This must be incredibly hard for people like yourself, I know it is
    something that a lot of people have difficulty with.’

    It is not ‘incredibly hard’ to be blunt about it. Long ago I suspected the worst about the motives of the Master and whatever emotional difficulty I had with this or that shafting I have long come to be philosophical about it. I first expressed reservations publicly in Fortnight around the end of 93. So since then I have grown less shocked by each new revelation. He is just one of those people in life of whom we can justifiably expect the worst. Nothing can get in the way of ambition: raped children, mothers of 9, devastated families, hunger strikers, absolutely nothing. There is no one or nothing he will not shaft.

    ‘They are all lumped together, content in the knowledge that lies, cover up, deceit and revisionism is more beneficial to their band of followers than the truth.’

    I think this is now self evident.

    I have always liked Bik. I do not think he is a treacherous schemer in the league of the Master. I think he has been wrong in his handling of this issue but I do believe he did his best to win that protest. I think he loved those men and I do not think he was knowingly party to a decision to let them die for political gain. It is worth bearing in mind that at that time the Master was Adj General and seriously thought of as a great army figure and not a SF chancer. None knew what he was capable of in terms of sheer malevolence. Had I have been in Bik’s position at the time and the Master told me the deal was not enough I would have believed him and would have deferred to his judgement on the basis of a belief that he calculated that there was much more to get. Then the moment had passed. Bik, I felt, made a foundational error and has had problems since. If in maths your first calculation is 1+1 = 3 then no matter how brilliant your subsequent calculations, you will reproduce that foundational error right throughout your structure.

    Without question Richard has been very brave. He has persevered in the knowledge that he would be hounded. There is no doubting his account of events. There is room to doubt his interpretation as to why it happened as that is speculative. But I don’t doubt for a minute that it is speculation well grounded. As I said earlier, on the balance of probability, the Master done the boys in. I am convinced he did and don’t care in the slightest what people think of me for having that view. He done them in.

    I am very careful with my words here. I know Richard refers to the committee and the collective responsibility that flows from that. But I am not levelling any accusation against Bik, Bangers, Gibney, Hartley. I have said to Richard and anybody else that listens that I have never believed that any of them deliberately set out to do the boys in. I might have serious issues with some of them on what has happened to the movement and on their explanations for the hunger strike. But I cannot reconcile myself to the idea that they done them in.

  62. I detect a great deal of emotion in your last post Anthony, I to believe the bearded one ,however he came to the conclusion,ie,. with or without outsde agencies guidance,was the main player in prolonging the hunger strike and resulting in the needless deaths of a futher six brave men,his committee however are not stupid or gullible men nor is Bik,they could not have failed to realise the consequence,s of their decision to withhold that vital piece of information from the men on hunger strike,ie the offer that the mountain climber delivered.I believed that the bearded one and his committee took that decision in the full knowledge that the results would be dead men and political gains,maybe and quite possibly thats why the books by Richard has rattled them so much ,had they thought they had got away with imo murder,I truly believe this issue is to serious to be let go and I think it does need a republican inquiry open and accountable,and the full A/C of the time needs to give their is a heartbreaking time in our history and I think we owe it to those men to set the truth free however unpalatable that may be to some,

  63. Yes Michaelhenry some do take years and decades, like how to hell can you assist the brits to get the IRA to enter Stormont and accept partition. Who'd ever have thunk it eh r kid?

  64. I remember Thatcher droning on in her depressingly patronising tone that the prisoners were being allowed to die by ruthless evil me in the IRA. Something along those lines. I thought how patronising this bitch really is. Crazy to think she may have been telling the truth.
    I remember on the mixed wing in transit to the republican wings after the crum in 1988 one of the UDR 4 and a few huns were talking about hawks and doves in the IRA and that there was potential in the air for peace. I laughed into myself and thought what a bunch a wankers....looks like every arsewipe knew except the IRA there's internal security for ya!!

  65. I can understand you getting emotional Mackers having been in the midst of it all. I'm just miffed at all the energy i wasted chuckin stones. Still i don't respect SF leadership these days. No respect and awe for that mob, they are even lower in my estimation than the SDLP and Garret Fitzgerald in those days gone by. At least fitzG had the excuse of knowing for certain his granny's name was 'NORMAN' the rest of us were motivated by a sense of injustice i think.
    Cheer up big man, don't stress over bob-a-jobs!!

  66. Marty,

    ‘Bik may be a nice guy, and I’m sure Ghenghis Khan had his good
    days, but the book is not about the personalities involved but rather their actions or inactions.’

    It is not the point being made. It is not about personalities but culpabilities and the extent to which they extend. If we recall at the outset the army council were deemed culpable by those who subscribed to Richard’s narrative. Richard, not happy to leave matters there when presented with more evidence placed culpability at the door of the committee. My argument is that the evidence has to be followed and if it shows the committee to have one a power within it with form for hiding material from those he worked with for nefarious ends then the case can be made that the people on the committee may not have been aware of the implications of what they were involved in. None of them are renowned for foresight.

    I am not in the slightest inclined to go in and bat for these people and/or do a damage limitation exercise. And I certainly hope that my friendship with Bik McFarlane is not influencing my perspective. I can only write it as I call it and I can’t in any genuine sense call it that he was party to doing the hunger strikers in. Even the rest of them, whom I have no particular feelings towards one way or the other, do not draw the charge that they were party to doing the boys in.

    ‘it looks certain to me that Mc Farlane and Adams committee deliberately allowed six brave men to die in order to advance psf in the political field, the evidence points that way’

    This is interpretation and not one shared by me. The evidence points to their involvement in a cover up and mishandling of the hunger strike but not wilful behaviour towards the hunger strikers. That is interpretation too.

    ‘So I think there can be no other way of resolving this issue other than a thorough republican tribunal, our own Saville inquiry, I think this is what we should be concentrating on and pushing for and not be sidetracked by personality issues.’

    I think this is fair comment apart from the ‘sidetracked by personality issues.’

  67. Marty,

    I didn’t feel emotional when writing it but there we go.

    The problem is that the hunger strike was run effectively by one man. This is not a new position by myself. I said it to the Sunday Times 5 years ago. Many people, not only Bik, would have felt that there was nothing wrong with the leadership doing the negotiating, not disclosing everything, but always in the hope of getting a better deal for the men, not himself.

    ‘his committee however are not stupid or gullible men’

    They have proven themselves to be wholly devoid of foresight. Morrison, for example, said there would be no decommissioning by the year 3000. Throughout the peace process, even talking to them, I found myself saying, these guys have no clue, they cannot see what is sitting in front of them. They were there for their loyalty not their ability, or at least not for an ability to think ahead.

    ‘I believed that the bearded one and his committee took that decision in the full knowledge that the results would be dead men.’

    I think the case can be made that the bearded one manipulated the situation and his committee to reach that result.

    ‘I truly believe this issue is too serious to be let go and I think it does need a republican inquiry open and accountable, and the full A/C of the time needs to give their testimony. It is a heartbreaking time in our history and I think we owe it to those men to set the truth free however unpalatable that may be to some.’

    Don’t disagree with that.

  68. Anthony didnt Richard say that Bangers went into the prison to talk to the men,armed with the knowledge that the mountain offer was on the table,so can we take it if bangers knew then the others knew as well,if not they should say so, why would tombstone Tom tell Richard never to mention his concerns or he may be shot,this sounds like a man with something to hide,probably lots if you ask me,I think no matter how we kick this issue about the one thing for certain is that Richard has opened a door into events that are of historical importance not just to republicans,but to everyone interested in the events surronding the events of the time,people were injured and killed on the outside as well,I think that the committee has a case to answer,and I include Bik here as well,he to knew of this deal,maybe his only crime was loyality,but I think his loyality should have been to his comrades dying,so therefore I put him in the frame also.this issue should kept to the forefront of republican opinion,untill this matter is resolved once and for all

  69. Marty,

    I know Bangers went into the jail armed with the knowledge of an offer. He might have known all that was on offer or he might not.
    Presuming that he knew it all, he knew the hunger strike was being run from outside not inside and in his elitist fashion could well have said the leadership will decide what is best. But from his perspective the leadership had the right to decide what was the best offer. It does not follow that he believed the leadership had the right to do the boy in for electoral gains. I don't believe that the Master needed to or would have revealed his intentions to Bangers or others. He would have known that he needed to move from A to Z so what he had to do was move his colleagues from A to B and then from B to C, and then ... We know how it works. Tombstone Tom told Richard not to say anything because he knew the outcome. They were involved in a lot of deception and while not for murderous purposes - the Master apart - did they really want to say to the relatives that they were party to decisions that lost six lives and had at the time withheld information from the boys?

    'I think that the committee has a case to answer'

    Indeed it has. It should explain in full. It still does not mean that all on it share culpability to the same extent.

    On all of this I may be wrong. I am probably in a minority amongst those who share Richard's perspective. That is hardly going to annoy me. It does no harm whatsoever for us to challenge each other vigorously. If we all agreed on a line we would be no different from the Shinners. This is all about free inquiry.

  70. Anthony,

    "Yet the chips fall where they do and the evidence lends itself to no conclusion other than that a deal was offered which was accepted by the prisoners. This acceptance was subsequently subverted by the leadership for whatever reason and the hunger strike carried on with the resulting loss of six more lives."

    If this is the case, then the leadership and those who assisted them - including McFarlane - are guilty of wilful disregard for the lives of the hunger strikers. That at the very least.

  71. Alfie,

    I don't agree. I think that is a take that fits if read back the way. But it is much less easily applied if we read it coming forward. The question that needs addressed is what they knew at each stage as it unfolded, not what posterity thinks they knew on the basis of what posterity now knows.

  72. Anthony that is why only an open and transparent tribunal with the power to cross examine all those involved in this issue is so important,innocent men may have a shadow left hanging over their reputations,while the guilty in Mickeyboys words go onwards and upwards!

  73. Marty,

    I agree. Let the chips fall where they will.

  74. Larry,

    I think it is too shallow to clam the boys would have rushed the fences just to push the Pearsean position and nobody would have cared. The boys would have cared if they had have known their efforts were being used for something else.

    ‘They have the morals and integrity of a sewer rat. No revelation impacts upon
    them. They blackmail people to vote them into stormont with the fear of
    an alternative to the peace process.’

    Not much wrong with that.


    You are right. They should not be allowed to avoid accountability. This is big crime in the republican worldview.

    ‘I was in prison for the duration of the second hunger strike. I like
    everyone else believed every single thing the leadership of the
    movement told us.’

    True. Although I did have suspicions when they blocked the European commissioners coming in days before Bobby died.


    Novel way to look at it. I don’t care for her in the slightest. But do you not think the case can be made that if people swear never to decommission and then do so then they can, by the logic you apply to Thatcher, be accused of being traitors.

  75. Anthony,

    Perhaps that's true; I'm not in a position to argue the point. I'll read "Afterlives" before I make up my mind.

    The sad thing about all this is that, when all is said and done, I fear The Master will go down in mainstream history as a kind of peace-making hero and the rest will be forgotten.

  76. Alfie you are absolutely correct, like paisley Adams wants a sanitised place in the history books. He should be hounded from pillar to post until he's untouchable. So should the rest of that 'leadership' who fell in love WITH THEMSELVES and the sound of their own voices. Get a bus organised for Louth. Get names on the canvass trail to confront this judas. Give them some honest tv profiling not BBC Mi6 promotions.
    I have high hopes for Louth.

  77. Anthony, the point I was trying to make was if the hungerstrikers had been making a 1916 type stand [ as i certainly felt they were in 1981] to propel the struggle forward to victory, then fine. But no way do i believe they were doing it for a few seats in Stormont. They'd surely never have died for that? Would they? That's rhetorical michaelhenry.. please...don't.

  78. AM-

    i don't think that the thatcher sell out can compare with the
    PROVOs decommission- thatcher sold out her stance becuse she was beat
    why else- her and the brits made a war time decision to compromise-
    other's were shot at dawn for less
    "they shall remember them"
    the RA made peace time decision's
    after they won to help the process
    but to answer you-

    decommission means to put weapon's
    beyond use- not to hand them over like the Lvf, stickie's and uda done, i hope the process works, as
    it should- so those weapon's don't
    be brought back into use,

    thatcher will die before her name
    becomes dirt with the brit's- but that is life.

  79. Michaelhenry,

    'don't think that the thatcher sell out can compare with the
    PROVOs decommission'

    That is right. Decommissioning was much more of a climb down than Thatcher ever done. The Provo leadership said it would never happen, either through the back door or the front, as it would be a surrender'

    'the RA made peace time decision
    after they won to help the process'

    They did not announce the war was over until 2005 - they had decommissioned as early as 2001. They lost the war and in return for being participants in an internal solution they decommissioned.

    'decommission means to put weapon's
    beyond use'

    Whatever decommission means they said they would never decommission. They did.

    Thatcher, as much as we despise her, ended up on the winning side. But that's life.

  80. Would someone please let me know what institution Michael Henry is in so I can send him some fruit or flowers . God love him his head must be in severe pain. This man has the inner belief that the Provo’s won the war they beat Maggie ??? and what exactly did happen oh yeah they won the right to hand in guns and bombs and also ???? No that’s all after all the years of mayhem that is exactly what they achieved Gerry let men die so that he could have a look into Stormont and weigh up which room he would like ,sorry I have to stop I feel so fucking sick

  81. Alfie

    ‘The sad thing about all this is that, when all is said and done, I fear
    The Master will go down in mainstream history as a kind of peace-making
    hero and the rest will be forgotten.’

    I am not so sure. When they have no longer a need for him …


    Thanks for the thought but as I said to Marty, I didn’t feel stressed out by it.

    ‘Possibly another driving factor in the protest was the mindset in the early '70s of victory '72/73...4,5,6,7 etc in which ultimate victory was thought to be not only possible but close?’

    By that stage we had entered into the Long War mentality. I think we knew there would be no quick fix even though we hoped for one

    ‘But no way do I believe they were doing it for a few seats in Stormont.’

    I think that is self evident. Not one day was served in jail for Stormont.

  82. you have a friend AM-
    interested thinks that o'rawe is
    telling lies, and that thatcher never give in-

  83. Michaelhenry,

    you are my buddy. I don't need any more!

  84. Mickeyboy with friends like you who needs enemies!

  85. Michaelhenry
    I watched my friends being carried to their grave for the belief they had in Adams and at no time do I remember them saying "sure its all worth it someday we can get Adams and Mc Guniness to hand in our guns and semtex and call republicans Traitors whom dare to fight the brits with armed force". That my man is what the Blanketmen et al have gained for hardship and death. If you honestly believe that people layed down their lives for Gerry and Martin to get into power in Stormont so be it.

  86. Sorry to hear about your loss
    interested- think most on this site knew some of those who fell for IRELAND
    any that i knew did not want to die
    and would loved to be alive to-day
    but they fought on and on till the
    martyr's call,

    some now like to blame ADAMS or
    SINN FEIN- but if you are not in
    their gang then there is nothing to stop you from fighting on, do your own thing old hand, its easy now to fight,

    who did they hand over the guns and semtex to- your words,

    stormont is not the end- i don't
    think it will ever end,
    mr ADAMS is on his way out of stormont for the height's of the dail, thats a all IRELAND party for you.

  87. Interested, on the nail!
    They could have got where they are without any of it. If they had genuine Republican bonefides they'd have dumped weapons and let the SDLP get on with it.
    It has all become the martin and gerry mystery tour and at such a cost and with such shame.
    Westminster WILL follow if Adams gets in at Louth. Thats ok if they want it, but once again they'll lie through their teeth to get there. Feel awful for Morgan, hope enough about dundalk do too.

  88. MichaelHenry
    “Sorry for my loss” that sounds very disingenuous , I think you should take a step back in life and say to yourself what really has occurred over the past 45 years , try this without making any reference to what anyone said or done in that period . Remember back to your school days and what teacher used to tell the whole class on many occasion’s “think for yourself tell me your version of events and not anyone else’s “ . From your replies all I seem to get is the Sinn Fein Party view ,please reply with your own.

  89. Interested Mickeyboys reply will be something on the following line "DOH"

  90. Interested

    Mickey speaks in one view his obsessive impulses make sense to him and his version of Michael Henrys war. I think your challenge to him might cause a meltdown if he actually expressed an opinion other than the questionable party lines.

  91. Larry-

    suppose you can't wait to campaign
    against PAT SHEEHAN in next years
    assemply election,

    interested- thought i was sending my own views to the pensive QUILL,

    A war was fought, the PROVO'S won said war- and now politics is being fought,
    the brit unionist's would not have been caught as much if there was no one on the republican side
    opposed to SINN FEIN-
    every-one has their part to play-

    marty- doh

  92. Interested – you are hardly alone in feeling sick.