The Nightmare of the H Blocks: What the British Knew in 1981

Former blanket man Thomas Dixie Elliot with a letter that featured in the Irish News on the 9th May under the title 'Nightmare of the H Blocks' and in the Derry Journal on the 10th May under the title 'What The British Knew in 81'.

The recently released Thatcher Foundation Papers reveal that Humphrey Atkins in a communiqué to Thatcher on July 6th, two days before the death of Joe McDonnell, indicated that:

The Provisionals need to settle the prisons problem on terms they can represent as acceptable to them if they are to go on – as we know some of them wish to do – to consider an end of the current terrorist campaign. A leadership which has ‘lost’ on the prisons is in no position to do this.

Clearly the British were correct in July 1981 given that those running the Hunger Strike from the outside, Adams, McGuinness, Morrison, Hartley and Gibney were later to the fore in the Peace Process. And clearly they knew then what the Hunger Strikers and volunteers of the IRA didn’t know, that an eventual ceasefire and movement towards politics was in the minds of those trusted to find a solution to the nightmare of the H-Blocks.

Would anyone have willingly died had they known what the British knew?


  1. Dixie,

    good letter. It is not going to go away.

    Big Frank - 32 years dead today

  2. It most certainly is not going to go away and I sincerely hope not, like a wee jack russel at the start biting at the heels of those hoping to silence it with a few few nasty kicks,Adams and his cronies who are responsible for the needless deaths of those brave men on hunger strike are now coming face on with a huge bull staff called truth and no fancy maneuvering or weasel words will free them form the fact that truth hurts..

  3. in: a farther shore, in the chapter on the hunger strike, gerry adams concludes:

    "a happy ending, finally, eventually, it seems to me is more important then a tell-all story now." pg. 5.

    the genie is well and truly out off the bottle and time for adams to come clean and tell the "tell-all" story now.

    we deserve it, our people deserve it and the people who have been lied to for so long deserve it.

    the tell-all story now, it seems to me, is more important than trying to sustain a crumbling myth.

  4. And they are still walking about denying everything, even with the Proof which has been seen through the Thatcher Foundation Papers.

    They know what would happen if they came out and admitted the truth, they will take it to the grave before admitting the Murder of those ten brave hunger Strikers for there own political gain. what a bunch of low life.

  5. Dixie-

    It was always going to come down to this-

    " Would anyone have willingly died had they known what the british knew "-

    The 10 Hunger-Strikers in 1981 died for the 5 demands for their Comrades-no amount of Dixie's will ever change that fact-

  6. Thats the whole point Mickeybroy six of the the ten deaths could have been avoided,had Adams and his cronie cabinet not been playing god,the evidence is there read Carrie,s excellent 55 hours,if you havent and it is obvious that you havent read Richard O Rawes Blanket Men.

  7. PSF is full of michaelhenrys so we can only expect the same sheepish mentality from that quarter.

    If michealhenry had read the letter and the other similar comments in the documents in regards to the desire of certain members of Adams kitchen cabinet for a ceasefire and a move towards politics; he, were he capable of moving outside of Groupthink would be wondering who among that group was keeping the Brits informed.

    When you consider, as I did, that it was later the same group of people who moved the PRM towards politics and the eventual peace process. Then the Brits were 100% correct back then.

  8. Dixie

    you are correct about michaelhenry. Good spud as he is politically he is like the rest in SF, deliberate amnesia and can't bear the thought of removing the blinkers for fear of being blinded.

    I met great people down the years, but the fact remains even those you considered rock silid friends cease contact if you desist from swallowing the SF garbage and even look like you can think.