‘Thatcher’s Archive Finally Settles Dispute Over Hunger Strike Deal’, Says IRA Prison Leader

On the 32nd anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands after 66 days on hunger strike TPQ runs a feature from elsewhere.

Following the recent disclosures from Margaret Thatcher’s private papers compiled during the 1981 IRA hunger strike while she was Britain’s prime minister, TheBrokenElbow.com asked Richard O’Rawe to assess the importance of what has been revealed and to recall how he got involved in this lengthy but pivotal controversy over a key moment in the Provisional IRA’s history:

The Rock Bar on Belfast’s Falls Road was the place to be on a Saturday afternoon if you’ve a few pounds in your pocket and a penchant for the horses.  I was at the bar on just such a day, buying our company another round of drinks (my generosity was boundless!) when my cousin approached me.  After some small talk, he asked if I would like to participate in an oral history project.  He went on to explain that the purpose of the project was to record for posterity, the participant’s role in the war against the British.

Richard O'Rawe, IRA public relations officer in Long Kesh during the 1981 hunger strike
Richard O’Rawe, IRA public relations officer
in Long Kesh during the 1981 hunger striked caption
My initial reaction was negative and that was where the matter stayed for months.  But a seed had been planted.  Why not, I thought, give my testimony?   After all, it would not be published until after my death and hopefully that would be in the distant future.  Moreover, I would not be identifying comrades or referring to specific operations.

During the 1981 IRA/INLA hunger strike, I had been one of the IRA prison leaders and since my release from prison in 1983 I had told quite a few people that I felt the IRA leadership had mishandled the hunger strike.  But did I want to put that criticism on the record?  No.  Yet something drove me on to do the interviews.  Perhaps, unconsciously, I wanted to get the story out, as I knew it to be.  After all, ten of my comrades and friends had died horrible deaths, and the last six hunger strikers, in my opinion, should not have died at all.

Anthony McIntyre, who we all knew as Mackers, was the researcher and we began the sessions at the start of 2001.  We slowly built up to the period of the hunger strike.  I was still resisting going over the top and telling my version of what happened during that awful period.

In the H-Blocks of Long Kesh, the public relations officer of the IRA prisoners was charged with drafting press statements and advising the prison O/C on policy. Such was the case when, at the start of the 1981 hunger strike, I became the IRA prison PRO. While in that role, I became Bik McFarlane’s closest confidante (Bik had been O/C of the IRA prisoners). Consequently, I had intimate knowledge of the hunger strike.

Mackers and I went through the deaths of our first four comrades: Bobby Sands MP, Frank Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, and Patsy O’Hara.

The ten Republican hunger strikers who died during the 1981 protest. O'Rawe says the last six could have lived had the deal he and prison OC Brendan McFarlane  accepted had been endorsed by the committee which ran the protest from outside the jail. L to r: Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McIlwee, Michael Devine.
The ten Republican hunger strikers who died during the 1981 protest.
But when we got to Joe McDonnell’s death, I broke down. Perhaps it was frustration. Perhaps it was because I had known Joe from before our time in the H-Blocks and had regarded him as a good friend. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t understand how things had reached the stage where he had had to die – especially since Bik McFarlane and I had accepted an offer from the British which should have honourably ended the hunger strike.

I think it was the mere mention of Joe’s name in the context of historical accuracy which triggered the opening of the floodgates: from that point on, there was no holding back. I wanted to tell the truth as I knew it, of what happened at the time of Joe’s death. And so Mackers recorded my story of what happened in July 1981, how I believed senior figures outside the jail had killed off a proposal that would have handed the hunger strikers a famous victory over Margaret Thatcher and saved six of our comrades’ lives.

Afterwards I felt a burning urge to do more than that. The Boston College tape would stay secret for many years but I now wanted the world to know what I knew; I wanted those republican leaders on the outside, who took the decisions that I believe doomed six of my comrades to horrible deaths, to answer for their actions.

And so I wrote my first book, Blanketmen, in which I said that the British government had made an offer to end the hunger strike in the days before the fifth hunger striker, Joe McDonnell, died.  (At the request of those involved in creating the archive I did not reveal Boston College’s role in my journey to writing the book) I added that the offer, communicated to Bik McFarlane during a prison visit, had been accepted by Bik and myself because it meant we could end the fast with honour. And I described how a committee, headed by Gerry Adams, had rejected this offer, despite the prison leadership having endorsed it. The message came in a terse comm smuggled into the jail which said that he was ‘surprised’ that we had accepted the offer and that it did not validate the loss of the first four hunger strikers’ lives.

Gerry Adams headed the committee which O'Rawe says rejected the British offer.
Gerry Adams headed the committee

I can sum up in a single sentence the question my book posed to Gerry Adams and his colleagues on the committee: Why had they turned down a deal that we, the prisoners’ leaders, had approved and which would have saved the lives of six of our comrades?

The book’s publication caused ructions, with defenders of the committee lining up in the media to attack me.  Ed Moloney had advised me against publication, saying that I would be savaged by those who supported the Gerry Adams/Sinn Féin leadership.  He had been right.  But I stood firm behind what I knew to be true.  Simply put, I had nowhere else to go.

From the start, those shouting the loudest in defence of the committee, principally Bik and Danny Morrison, were in opposite corners.  While Bik publicly said there had been no British offer ‘whatsoever’, Danny, a committee member, said there had been an offer and it ‘…was a better offer than that which the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace [a body which tried to mediate between the parties] believed they had secured.’  These two positions are irreconcilable and indicative of the malaise that infected the committee’s position.  Of fundamental importance is Danny’s contention that the prison leadership and the hunger strikers ran the fast, and not the committee.  We’ll come back to that.

For eight years now the battle for the truth about the 1981 hunger strike has raged.  I have never altered a word of my account of what happened as I saw it in the H Blocks that awful July of 1981.  In fact, I reiterated and expanded upon my position in my second book Afterlives in 2010.

One by one, my opponents dropped off until only Danny Morrison and I were left.  The evidence mounted in my favour: in 2010, a journalist secured a Freedom of Information request and received a copy of a draft 1981 statement from the British Secretary of State, Humphrey Atkins, in which he outlined the offer.

Also in 2010, Brendan Duddy, the man who acted as intermediary between the British and the committee, authenticated the offer and said that the committee had sent word back to the British that ‘more was needed.’   Then, in 2011, with the publication of the thirty-year government papers and Brendan Duddy’s private records of the exchanges between the parties, and in the face of overwhelming evidence, Danny altered his position and said that there had not been an offer after all.

The irony in this whole saga is that it is Maggie Thatcher, speaking from beyond the grave, who has now proved to be the decisive voice.   Upon her death in April 2013, her private papers were published and they showed that the hunger strikers – by the force of their sheer courage – had broken her resolve.  Amongst her documents is a copy of a letter that is also in the Brendan Duddy files (dated 11.30pm 6 July 1981) entitled HUNGER STRIKE: MESSAGE TO BE SENT THROUGH THE CHANNEL .

The substance of the offer is outlined in this message.  Notably, the message contains amendments to the offer in Margaret Thatcher’s own hand-writing.  Undoubtedly Thatcher’s amendments would have been incorporated in the final text that was sent to the committee (minus her hand-written notes, of course).  The question therefore arises: why would Thatcher bother to amend a text if she never intended it to be read by those with whom her government were negotiating?   At the end of this message there is a very telling paragraph:

‘If we receive a satisfactory response to this proposal by 9.00am on Tuesday 7 July, [a day before Joe McDonnell died] we shall be prepared to provide you [the committee] with an advanced text of the full statement [SOS Atkins’ statement announcing the new prison regime].’

Full text of statement with Thatcher’s written amendments:

So, if the committee had told the British by 9.00am on Tuesday 7 July that they accepted their offer, the choreography would have been kick-started: the British would have shown the committee Atkins’ statement; the committee would have been obliged under the agreement to ‘advise’ the hunger strikers to end their fast (which I believe they would have done); Atkins’ statement would have been released; Joe McDonnell and the five brave hunger strikers that died after him, would have survived the fast.

The committee’s reply to the British offer was nothing if not stark: ‘The position outlined by you is not sufficient to achieve this [an end to the hunger strike].’

So the committee rejected the offer and Joe McDonnell and the five heroes who perished in his wake, followed to needlessly early graves.

Brendan Duddy - The Derry-based intermediary who said of his efforts to get a hunger strike deal: "The British are asking for their plan to be accepted.  ‘A’ won’t move."
Brendan Duddy – The Derry-based intermediary
“The British are asking for their plan to be accepted.  ‘A’ won’t move.”

What is striking in both the Duddy and Thatcher papers is that the prisoners have no input into what was or was not acceptable and if these papers demonstrate anything it is that Gerry Adams and those around him had absolute control over the hunger strike.  Neither the prison leadership, nor the hunger strikers, were ever shown any of these communications between the committee and the Brits.  In fact, it was not until the 2009 Freedom of Information revelation, that this writer became aware that the British were prepared to release a statement from their Secretary of State containing the offer.

At the conclusion of the negotiations, on 20 July 1981, a frustrated and weary Brendan Duddy observed: ‘The British are asking for their plan to be accepted.  ‘A’ won’t move.’  I wonder if this is the same ‘A’ who went into the hunger strikers nine days later (29 July 1981) and told those courageous men that ‘…there was no deal on the table from the Brits, no movement of any sort.’  I wonder what type of man could look those great men in the eye and not even blink while he proffered such an abominable lie?

‘A’ knows who he is. Does he have the courage to stand forward and explain just why he turned down Margaret Thatcher’s offer and why six more of his comrades had to die?

Margaret Thatcher's private papers show that a deal was offered but rejected. According to O'Rawe the deliberations between Thatcher's office and the committee were kept hidden from the prisoners.
Thatcher’s private papers show a deal offered but rejected. 

In the meantime the Thatcher archive confirms the truth of what happened in July 1981: there was a deal and it was the deal that myself and Bik McFarlane accepted but which the committee threw out.


  1. Rather than Richard O'Rawe securing vindication as a result of the Thatcher papers he improves the quality of the vindication already secured. Even before the Thatcher papers, his account had long since been authenticated. The inconsistencies and dissembling of the Committee guaranteed that much. The book Blanketmen was merely the rope with which the Committee would come to strangle itself.

    Initially in the wake of the Blanketmen there was a window of opportunity for the Committee to have its motives read in a manner that did not view them as necessarily malign. But as time has gone on and lie was stacked on lie the whole enterprise was bound to crumble and now there is nothing that can be proffered in defence of the Committee. The visit to the hospital on the 5th July 1981 was in the full knowledge that by withholding information from the men on hunger strike the effect would be to transform a ward into a morgue.

  2. Richard O'Rawe-

    " The Boston college tape would stay secret for many years "

    No it wont you complete idiot-your tell tales will be in the police eyes soon-

    " Moreover,i would not be identifying comrades or referring to specific operations "

    We will see when your tape is made public how good your word is on this matter-it all falls if one Comrade during the War is named and compromised-

  3. Mackers,
    The people who knew Richard believed him right from the outset. He had nothing to gain by his stance, except admiration for speaking out when others stayed silent.
    It must have been horrendous to have had to carry that burden I.e knowledge for all those years.
    Condemnation of him was swift even amongst those who should have known better. It was a sad truth and a bitter pill to swallow but Richard has been vindicated or rather as you say the quality of the vindication improved.

  4. Michaelhenry,
    This might be your genuine belief. But then how do you reconcile it with your party asking people to inform on Republicans?
    You still have informers in the higher echelons of your movement. We have a few known ones in Belfast who now act as councillors and community activists!
    In man of war man of peace it has been suggested that Adams himself gave information which was later retracted?
    Michael when throwing stones it's always better to firstly remove yourself from a glass house

  5. MH-

    As you well know, the naming and compromising of 'comrades' went on for the greater part of the 'dirty' war in secret with British intelligence!
    Furthermore, as a direct result of these 'behind the scenes' activities PSF were all to glad to accept Sunningdale Mark II and why the PIRA decommissioned!!

  6. What kind of man is 'A'?

    Maybe a paedo facilitator and protector?

    I hear they get burried these days with military honours.

  7. Good for you Richard O'Rawe!

  8. MH
    you just get more rediculous the more you go on. Humour liveth.

  9. From Paddy Browne:

    This is my tribute to Bobby, which I have posted. RIP Bobby as Republicans our hearts bleeds, at the revelations that have come to life, that your death and that of your comrades was not in vain, but 6 could have been prevented.

    I am glad that Richard has finally been vindicated, but my heart and my mind will be forever haunted by the fact that so many yound men died inside and outside of goal: to bolster the political agenda of the individuals, known as the Commitee, otherwise known as, Adams, Hartley and Morrison.

    It took a monster to die (Thatcher) to reveal that there were more monsters involved than her alone. God bless you Richard O'Rawe for maintaining your position, the one of truth

  10. I applaud Richard for coming forth and setting the truth out there for all to see. Perhaps more people will see that A does not deserve the position he is in, cant be trusted and has done more harm than good.

  11. Fionnuala-

    "how do you reconcile it with your party asking people to inform"

    Asking but not telling the tale-thats politics-some difference to those that have already named Republicans to the papers-Boston college-the Police-Can you name Republicans who were named by Sinn Fein-if not keep typing in your glass house-

    The author of man of war man of peace had no problem with the RUC during the war so said that others talked to cover his own hide-

  12. There you go. Now, how can these people deny this was the case to their "grassroot mandate".

    I have heard the saying "life is cheap" in a war situation, but these volunteers were prepared to die for their cause, and the faith they had of their leadership.

    Bring a tear to your eye, the betrayal inflicted on one group of human beings to another of their supposedly own. Some people are simply, rotten.

    By in contrast, I definitely did not or could not rationalise the PIRA campaign or strategy, but these men did not deserve to die the way they did at the hands of their supposedly guardians. I would say the same if these men would have been loyalists.

    Horrific. Rotten.

  13. Michaelhenry.
    I know a raid was carried out in Belfast last year on a Republican home and I know Sinn Fein were given prior knowledge.
    Why do Adams and McGuinness issue statements calling on their party and supporters to inform, if it's only tongue in cheek?
    Are we to believe they are even more ludicrous than they portray themselves?
    Surely you must recognise the difference between historical data and information supplied for actual arrests.
    I was being kind about Adams. The book actually states he made a statement and the statement contained information, the author may or may not have had an agenda but the priest who read it had not.

  14. MH

    I've had some good craic with ye on FB before I shut it down to concentrate on my mid-life-crisi university exams...I believe you to be great craic. But honestly, you are doing yourself no service ranting on there incoherently..i'm totally gazumped at WTF you are on about.

    GIVE YER HEAD A SHAKE!! you have me shaking mine to try and clear the yer crap out of it.

  15. As for the hunger-strikers, it seems pretty clear that the prisoners were fighting an internal war in jail concerning conditions and status whilst the 'committee' were cynically playing a game of raising emotions for electoral purposes. That might explain why they controlled negotiations.

    Would it be too big a leap to suggest they are also responsible for many young men following the footsteps of the blanketmen into jail needlessly too?

  16. Larry,

    I couldn't make any sense of it either.

  17. I don't know about anyone else but I have shed many bitter tears over this, for Ricky O'Rawe and for all our hunger strikers whose lives could have been spared. As amerikan born Irish I once believed strongly in what Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness were campaigning for over here and I supported our Irish Republican cause for many years now, however I could from here. I even read every single book Adams ever wrote and I thought he was brilliant. However, over the years,since decommissioning, I have become increasingly disturbed by the Adams camp and no longer support him and Sinn Fein's role in Ireland any more whatsoever. When Ricky first began telling about the brits being willing to work a deal with our lads to end the hungerstrike I just intuitively knew Ricky was telling the truth. It made no sense for him to lie, he had nothing to hide, unlike Adams. I can only imagine the pain and extreme sorrow all of this causes Ricky and the families and friends of our hunger strikers, and for all of us who love our Ireland and believe I the true tenets of Republicanism. How can Adams or McGuiness sleep at night? How can they go on living with themselves? It would seem they have no consciences...

  18. Fionnuala-

    " I know that Sinn Fein were given prior knowledge "

    So the PSNI is telling tales to Sinn Fein now-not the other way about-

    Maybe you can tell Larry and AM what we are on about as they seem to be provisionally stumped-

  19. Michealhenry
    I think more a case of cooperation working hand and glove, mutually assisting each other.
    Mc Guinness and Adams are encouraging people to inform ,are you saying they are only pretending?
    What if one of the followers isn't picking up on this sketch and actually picks up the phone and reports Republicans for whatever are they informers?

  20. What would Michaelhenry actually know about 'the War' to be able to rant at anyone who's laces he couldn't tie in regards to it?

    He's clearly an example of the calibre of politicians in SF who learn what to think in the manner a dog is taught to sit when told.

    I swear I've never heard such a load of nonsense as that he tries to pass off as political debate.

  21. The suffering, agony, dedication and courage of Hunger-Striker, Bobby Sands and his comrades who followed him in 1981 made thousands and I, a new generation of Irish Republicans who swore to do our upmost to secure territorial, social and economic freedom of Ireland and her people.

  22. Dixie- MH's comments are shocking reflection of the current thinking within the current PSF collective..and to coming out with such nonsense today above all days!!
    MH - I attended the Bobby Sands Commemoration in Enniskillen hosted by the local 1916 society.
    32 years ago I witnessed the moment Owen Carron won the by-election for F/St. My one abiding memory from that day was not the crowds or the fact that the seat had been won, BUT the electric atmosphere of hope and desire for change that filled Enniskillen's Gaol Sq.
    32 years on, as the main speaker Tommy McKearney rightly pointed out, the issues of British colonial interference in Irish affairs that existed in '81 STILL remain. In 2013, Derry the scene of bloodshed and mayhem on Bloody Sunday has been transformed to become the UK City of Culture & Fermanagh is set to host the G8 as part of the UK.
    So MH, I ask you as a representative of PSF, can you outline in layman's terms (not Blairite spin!) the tangible progress that has been made by your party towards the fulfillment of the political aspirations of the Irish Proclamation since the 10 unselfish sacrifices of'81 which provided the political platform for your party??

    p.s. I must commend the organisers for their efforts in putting together a very fitting tribute to the people's own MP! Beir Bua!

  23. Fenian-

    " The main speaker Tommy McKearney "

    Is the independent minded Tommy now in the 1916 societys as well-

    " provided the political platform for your party "

    The political process started before the Hunger-Strikes but the 10 did help Sinn Fein in elections in the 6 and some areas in the 26 which build a base which rose to the 32 county support which the party now has and which will grow-

    You dont seem to be happy with the end of the act of union or the 1920 goverment of Ireland act Fenian so i wil ask your own question to your good self-what have you or those you support achieved since Bobby Sands death-its been 32 years you know-you have bound to have got something-anything?-

  24. MH-

    Tommy McKearney was a guest speaker which does not necessarily mean he is a member. As for his personal involvement within the societies you would be best to address that question to him personally.

    The aims of the Proclamation have yet to be fulfilled by any Irish government. After O'Brodaigh was unceremoniously dumped from the PSF leadership Marty told the audience that he and his party would take them to a United Ireland..So where is it??

    'but the 10 did help Sinn Fein in elections' , R U having a laugh MH?? The sacrifices of the '10 men' provided the foundation for your party and it's ironic that 32 years on U don't even have the guts to acknowledge that fact!! One wonders is it guilt because of so much promise that now too has turned to dust??

    ---its been 32 years you know-you have bound to have got something-anything?--- I do in fact have something to take MH, Connolly was right!!
    “If you remove the English Army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle., unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs”.

    Yesterday's commemoration, to paraphrase Pearse, was a genuine attempt by the 1916 Societies to keep faith with the past and preserve our Republican traditions for the future. Not an enviable task given the hames your leadership has made of things.
    And to highlight your party's á la carte approach to Republican traditions and principles compare and contrast the the objectives outlined in the following extract from the ORIGINAL Sinn Féin's 1914 election manifesto with the political stance of the class of 2013.
    "Sinn Féin gives Ireland the opportunity of vindicating her honour and pursuing with renewed confidence the path of national salvation by rallying to the flag of the Irish Republic. Sinn Féin aims at securing the establishment of that Republic. (1) By withdrawing the Irish representation from the British Parliament . . . (2) By making use of any and every means available to render impotent the power of England to hold Ireland in subjection by military force or offensive." .

  25. cont'd...
    This poem was read out yesterday MH - how ironically fitting it!

    The Rhythm Of Time

    There's an inner thing in every man,
    Do you know this thing my friend?
    It has withstood the blows of a million years,
    And will do so to the end.

    It was born when time did not exist,
    And it grew up out of life,
    It cut down evil's strangling vines,
    Like a slashing searing knife.

    It lit fires when fires were not,
    And burnt the mind of man,
    Tempering leandened hearts to steel,
    From the time that time began.

    It wept by the waters of Babylon,
    And when all men were a loss,
    It screeched in writhing agony,
    And it hung bleeding from the Cross.

    It died in Rome by lion and sword,
    And in defiant cruel array,
    When the deathly word was 'Spartacus'
    Along with Appian Way.

    It marched with Wat the Tyler's poor,
    And frightened lord and king,
    And it was emblazoned in their deathly stare,
    As e'er a living thing.

    It smiled in holy innocence,
    Before conquistadors of old,
    So meek and tame and unaware,
    Of the deathly power of gold.

    It burst forth through pitiful Paris streets,
    And stormed the old Bastille,
    And marched upon the serpent's head,
    And crushed it 'neath its heel.

    It died in blood on Buffalo Plains,
    And starved by moons of rain,
    Its heart was buried in Wounded Knee,
    But it will come to rise again.

    It screamed aloud by Kerry lakes,
    As it was knelt upon the ground,
    And it died in great defiance,
    As they coldly shot it down.

    It is found in every light of hope,
    It knows no bounds nor space
    It has risen in red and black and white,
    It is there in every race.

    It lies in the hearts of heroes dead,
    It screams in tyrants' eyes,
    It has reached the peak of mountains high,
    It comes searing 'cross the skies.

    It lights the dark of this prison cell,
    It thunders forth its might,
    It is 'the undauntable thought', my friend,
    That thought that says 'I'm right! '
    Ohh the sands of time!

  26. Btw, MH- You have yet to answer this:

    As a representative of PSF, can you outline in layman's terms (not Blairite spin!) the tangible progress that has been made by your party towards the fulfillment of the political aspirations of the Irish Proclamation since the 10 unselfish sacrifices of'81 which provided the political platform for your party??

    U R some boy for the counter-questions..Surely 32 years on and the political mandate that has been gained, you should be able to respond without the Blairite spin?

    'While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction.' ~James Branch Cabell~

  27. I forgot to mention.

    -The political process started before the Hunger-Strikes but the 10 did help Sinn Fein in elections in the 6 and some areas in the 26 which build a base which rose to the 32 county support which the party now has and which will grow-

    In 1983 Seamus Kerr won a seat to Omagh district council the fisrt PSF seat to be won in the North for 50 years... the 10 were more than just a help, they were the launch pad!

  28. Fenian-

    " In 1983 Seamus Kerr won a seat to
    Omagh district council the first "

    In 1979 Volunteer Jim Lynagh won a Sinn Fein seat on Monaghan district
    council-maybe you should learn about all Ireland politics some day-

  29. MH- the word NORTH is clearly visible in my comment! Still R not learning form your mistakes of NOT reading the small print that U's done with the GFA agreement!

  30. btw MH U still haven't answered the question I put..

    So, do I take it that U have no response??

  31. MH- Just to re-iterate a couple of FACTS (they are such irrefutable thing!!) about the Irish political landscape in 2013.

    Partition STILL exists and the British government is STILL interfering (directly/indirectly) in Irish affairs BOTH sides of the border.

    There are TWO political entities in existence. One is firmly part of United Kingdom thanks to the GFA triple-locking partition and the other, a pseudo 26 county Republic, is about to loose it's sovereignty to Brussels within the centenary of it's formation.

    So MH less of the Island of Ireland self-delusional political spin.

    God Bless Us & Save Us!! And U's can't even get that right! Ireland geographically actually consists of island(S).

    Well if certain schools of thought on the course of recent Irish history are to be given credence even the calibre of Jim Lynagh & his Loughgall comrades may well have been expendable to maintain partition??

    If that was indeed the case why should be surprised that the likes of Marian Price has been thrown to the proverbial wolves??

  32. From Paddy Browne

    Richard O Rawe will be remembered as a true and honest freedom fighter both inside and out side of Gaol. I salute you Ricky for standing true to your Republican principals.

    You are an inspiration to all, your honesty will touch people throughout the world, for many generations to come.

  33. Richard will go down in history as the man who spoke the truth,and , exposed the Liars . The committee will go down in history as the biggest liars allowing six brave men to die just for Political Gain and clout.

  34. The fact that subsequent British administrations haven't used this evidence of the Committees manipulations, as a means of embarrassing and undermining it's members is interesting.

    They could have leaked these documents to journalists over the last decade and a half to prevent the rise of PSF as the main Nationalist Party, but didn't. Is this because they prefer PSF in this role over the SDLP?

    Common sense would suggest so. Following the same logic, you wonder what asset there is in PSF that makes them so useful to London.

  35. Thomas,

    "They could have leaked these documents to journalists over the last decade and a half to prevent the rise of PSF as the main Nationalist Party, but didn't. Is this because they prefer PSF in this role over the SDLP".?

    You said this statement, and I said earlier in a post that, the rise of PSF certainly looks like CIA sponsored, sealed and delivered. I believe that London played a secondary role in all this, I cannot prove it, but perhaps the Irish American political elite believe PSF, are simply much more in line with their view of Ronald Regan political republicanism than the so called social reformers of the SDLP.

    Proof is certainly in the pudding, if you look at the PSF austerity measures, attempts in reduction of corporation tax for international/national businesses, and their ruthless leadership style of neo liberal conservatism.

    Also, politics is business, business is politics, as far as the capitalist right U.S.A and U.K see it, with the U.K so inter dependent on the U,S,A for practically everything in their economy. London is happy enough with this arrangement, the same way they were happy enough to let the Russians and later on the yanks take a lead during World War ii, from 1939 to 1944, only to enter the war when it was formality for the Germany to surrender.

    One thing is for certain, bearing in mind both the USA and the UK need to be in a state of perpetual war, or threat of war for their economies to survive, with the military output produced and exported around the globe. It might be best for the U.S.A and the U.K government to support the rise of PSF in the north and south,so if they come to power will be in fact just another puppet funded sate for the for the two allies. Makes sense really. When you see the protection that is being applied in relation to Adams, McGuiness in relation to their role over the last 40 years and especially with the Richard O'Rawe, hunger strikes et al.

    Something bigger is at play, as the old saying goes, "lets get them elected and the future belongs to us".

    Perhaps this logic could be applied to your finishing sentence, food for thought.

    Following the same logic, you wonder what asset there is in PSF that makes them so useful to London.