Open Letter to Adams, Morrison, Gibney, McGuinness, Hartley and McFarlane

A reader of TPQ asked that this item be reproduced. It is an open letter from O’Hara and Devine families to key Provisional figures in control of the 1981 hunger strike. It appeared earlier in Republican Socialist News on the 13th February 2012.

We welcome the fact that Danny Morrison has broken his silence and has given some insight into the events of the first week of July 1981 concerning the hunger strike in Long Kesh. In that light we would like to ask a few questions in the hope of getting answers that may finally put to rest the events surrounding the tragic deaths of our loved ones.
Danny has stated that he relayed the contents of an offer to the PIRA prison OC, Bik McFarlane, on July 5 1981.

Richard O’Rawe, the prison PRO, has said that Bik sent him down a comm detailing what was on offer, and that he said to Bik “Ta go leor ann” (There is enough there). This has been verified to some of our families by two ex-Blanketmen who had been there on the wing and heard the words. Also, Bik himself, in a press interview in 2009, finally admitted he had had a conversation with Richard, and that he thought the Brit offer was “amazing.” In light of this, we must assume that Bik made his and Richard’s views known to their outside leadership. What we would like to know is:

 Q1: Why was this not accepted?

Q2: Who, on the outside overrode Bik’s authority?

Q3: Why was the Hunger Strike allowed to continue, on direction from the outside (not the POWs)?

Q4: Mrs McDonnell asked Gerry Adams to save her son’s life to end to the Hunger Strike by ordering the POWs off it. Mr Adams’ reply was that he did not have the authority to do this. Who had the authority (Brendan McLaughlin was ordered off it due to his medical condition)?

Q5: Why was the IRSP (who were joint participants in the Hunger Strike) not informed about the offer through Mountain Climber?

Q6: The British sent you their offer (to be released upon the ending of the Hunger Strike) in the form of dictated statements on the 6th and 20th of July. Why were these statements never shown to the POWs?

Q7: Who took the decision to withhold the statements from the hunger strikers and the prison leadership?

Q8: On the 29th of July, Gerry Adams told the mother and father of Kieran Doherty, and the hunger strikers, that ”there was no deal on the table, no movement of any sort” despite him being at the centre of ongoing communications/negotiations with the Brits from July 4th to July 20th. Why did Adams deliberately mislead the hunger strikers? Did he think that they might call off their fast if they found out what was really happening? We should not forget that four of those men who listened and joked with Adams, went on to die horrible deaths in total ignorance of what the British were offering.

In Danny Morrison’s recent letter he spoke of the “families’ pain”‘. Danny can’t even hope to imagine the pain felt by some of our families. We, the undersigned, believe that the Hunger Strike was prolonged when an honourable settlement was available, a settlement that would have saved the lives of six brave men.

We called for an independent inquiry three years ago, asking all those involved in this matter to attend. Only Richard O’Rawe and the late Dr. Garrett FitzGerald said they would attend. We once again call for on Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison, Jim Gibney, Martin McGuinness, Tom Hartley, and Bik McFarlane to attend. The least we deserve is a reason why they won’t attend, and failing that, they could provide answers to.

Is sinne

Peggy and Tony O Hara, Michael and Louise Devine.


  1. Peggy , Tony, Michael , and , Louise.

    My heart goes out to both your families, and to those families whose sons needlessly died on hunger strike.

    Those who failed to attend , and , you named them correctly! , and please excuse my language, they are all wearing incontinence pants at the moment!!, Never in the History of Ireland has so many been duped by so few, They seem to think as themselves as the , Untouchables, Them days have well gone. They will never incriminate themselves , because they know what would happen to them, they Lied tooth and nail, and are still lying to this very day, I sincerely wish I could assist in your plight for the truth, I would not hesitate to come forward and make myself known publicly, but, those that know the truth have spoken to both your families, lets hope others will come forward with concrete evidence ,"Although it is there in writing". Mountain Climber has said it as it was.

    I wish you all the luck in the world , maybe Adams and Co. will eventually confess.

  2. Wouldnt it be a wonderful thing to see and hear that Peggy O Hara and the Devine families and indeed the other hunger strikers relatives be finally allowed to let their loved ones rest easy,that someone from those dark days who was privee to the thinking of that group around Adams come forward and tell the truth,even in the face of overwhelming evidence these people keep stump, then as we witness the antics of those people of no principle,indeed Tombstone Hartley admitted such many years ago that he had no principles,in the subservient and embarrassing grovelling to both the brit government and their new found allies in the dup,one can forgiven in thinking that this is some weird dream where nothing is really what it seems,how else could men and women who suffered so much alongside those hero,s become the modern day tormentors of fellow comrades,then we realise that its Irish history repeating itself and like anything that becomes polluted the scum rises to the surface, wishing peace and justice to all the families of our republican dead but I for one wont be holding my breath for it .

  3. My god, how depressing and infuriating that these families are left begging for answers and those named - who certainly have the answers - continue to pretend they don't even exist.

    The media are jumping all over the family of Jean McConville in their quest for answers - they of course deserve at least that, but it seems like they've no interest in highlighting the plight of our hunger strikers families who were sold out by 'our own'.

  4. belfastbookworm

    'The media are jumping all over the family of Jean McConville in their quest for answers - they of course deserve at least that, but it seems like they've no interest in highlighting the plight of our hunger strikers families who were sold out by 'our own'.

    The media are state controlled, like it or not. Not undermining Adams and Co. at this stage is consistent Brit tactics from as far back as surrender and regrant and then reneging on the agreements; it's their standard formula for success. SF are serving what's left of their purpose. Sit back and ENJOY the show, when the time is right they will be cast aside as the judas selfservers they are.

    If the hungerstrikers families begin a public campaign for truth from the Belfast mafia,[Adams Morrison etc in SF at the time] I for one will be out to show my support.

    Might SF not do the honourable thing all round at this stage and apologise to everyone: the dead of a needless 30 yr campaign, the SDLP for being a cukoo in their nest, and the hungerstrikers who were sacrificed for a disgracefully contrived sympathy vote and last but certainly not least the Official IRA and the Workers party [people like Tom French who are still alive] for getting things totally wrong when the Officials were obviously right, seeing as SF are the new stickies?

  5. So very true Larry Sunningdale for slow learners was a timid description of these conniving bastards..

  6. marty
    it seems to be apology season after all...

  7. Bob doh Brains is giving a talk about the hunger strikes at 6pm in Strabane tonight,wanna bet who,s version of that dreadful time he is going to give,,bet Richard O Rawe was not invited to give the truthful one

  8. Today said it all, supremacy is there game, and, supremacy is there name, Yes, they played hymes, but the labegers made sure they were (donineering) in control, thanks to Adams and Co.
    What a sell out lot they are, unionist got them were they wanted them,under the Union Jack, Jackasses.

  9. Gerry Adams needs to be held accountable for what he did or did not do. He lives in glory, honor and freedom on the bodies of the men he let die and the ones who are suffering and being tormented daily in prison. Again we see him standing idly by while Marian Price is slowly dying in a prison she does not belong in.

  10. unknown

    'Again we see him standing idly by while Marian Price is slowly dying in a prison she does not belong in'.

    That's how he got where he is...that and BBC adoration.

  11. Unkown a cara its "easy to sleep on another mans wounds"


  12. Irish leader Enda Kenny accuses Gerry Adams of leadership role on IRA Army Council
    Prime Minister claims follow Dolours Price interview

    Read more:

  13. Page 122 ten men dead bik in discussions with European Commission were he outlines the conditions for a meeting then goes and tells Bobby Sands in short 10min meeting what's going on and Bobby told bik to stand firm this is a lie.Page 127 bik in comm to brownie says says as you know I had visit with Bob on Saturday no mention of commission at all I had a short yarn with Bob about 10mins when I was leaving Bobby turned and said bik I'm dying and all bik could say was god bless il see ya soon that's some difference.Next day bik receives comm from Liam og 30th 4th it's whatever what was in that comm is when the outside committee had decided to use the hunger strike for there own selfish needs bik replys with these words we know we are talking in terrible cost in men's lives the first four will die and possibly a repetition off next four but high stakes require will demand high price.But if avenues which at one time were not feasible but have now become feasible then we should take them.Only thing they could have talking about is general election scheduled in South and then continuing until the by election after Bobby dies.