Stumbling & Bumbling

Guest writer Thomas Dixie Elliot examining the paucity of Danny Morrison's version of events for July 5th 1981, when Morrison took an offer from the British into the prison.  

Danny Morrison, writer, political commentator and former director of publicity for Sinn Féin in an Aussie bush hat, was recently interviewed by Michael Reade. Or rather he went walkabout, as they say Down Under.

This whole interview was another classic example of 'put that gun down Danny before you shoot yourself several times in both feet...' In this case the gun being a microphone.

The first half contained nothing other than people attacking, singling out, opposed to and vocal in their criticisms and denunciations of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein.

"Anti-peace process Danny. You forgot to use fecking anti-peace process." I can hear Gerry shouting at his substitute from the dugout ...

Any new director of publicity for Sinn Fein should take note.

Then Danny stumbles off into the Hunger Strikes and this is when the shooting really begins ...

He claims Richard O'Rawe wrote a book and 'made allegations that there was a deal agreed between the British government and, and Sinn Féin...'

Richard O'Rawe said nothing of the sort: he said the British made an offer to end the Hunger Strike which Bik and himself agreed contained enough to end it and sent word outside to that effect.

'and particularly Gerry Adams ordered the prisoners to, not to accept it', continued Danny.

Again Richard didn't make that claim: he stated 'a comm came in' which stated, 'that more was needed.'

'Whereas I was in the prison on, on a particular day in July*, 1981 and...' said Danny,

  • *That day was July 5th a Sunday.

And he continues...

But the whole premise of Richard O'Rawe's book and his allegations is that I'm bringing a deal in. Whereas no offer had yet been made. And in fact no offer was made until Monday night, half past eleven Monday night, thirty six hours, thirty-six hours later. But in O'Rawe's book he has Gerry Adams ordering the prisoners not to accept this offer on Monday afternoon.

Thats not what Brendan Duddy said at Belfast Feile while Danny sat in the audience failing to contradict what he was saying ...

In an interview with Barney Rowan at Belfast Feile Brendan Duddy said:

that although a document didn't exist the RM had the detail of an offer, theres no argument about that. And at that particular point that offer was available to go into the prison and...and whatever. And what was not available at that time was the document.

When Rowan asked him did he 'scribble' the offer, Duddy replied that he wrote it very carefully.

Earlier Rowan had said to Duddy.."I think your sort of test which is to get someone into the prison on the *Sunday?"
  • * Note: "on the Sunday?"

Duddy took a drink of water and pointed to Danny Morrison in the audience and replied ..."Him!"

Duddy went on to say 'that the person he wanted to get in with respect to you, Mr Morrison was Gerry Adams and they said.."No way is Adams going in. Right"!'

And [he pointed at Danny]:

so do not be offended, you were second choice. So I considered a positive way forward to get Danny Morrison in and I was also totally happy that *you were well aware of what was being said and what was on offer, so forth. So getting Danny Morrison in was, in my book, a major, major, step forward.

*Note: 'you were well aware of what was being said and what was on offer, so forth.'

AND on Talk Back:

‘Morrison said that he explained to them [the hunger strikers] what was on offer’, adding ‘by the way, the offer that we were being offered through the Mountain Climber was a bigger and better offer than what the ICJP thought they had.’ He went on: ‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.’

This isn't, to quote Danny, 'hitting you with detail and overwhelming you...': this is hitting you with facts and your own words.

'But we wanted it guaranteed' said Danny on Talk Back.

And that's exactly what the Brits were doing on the Monday when the British were preparing the Draft Statement with Thatcher's handwritten amendments.

This draft statement is what Danny is using to claim... 'And in fact no offer was made until Monday night...'

Again I'll refer you to Brendan Duddy at Belfast Feile and Danny himself on Talkback in regards to the 'offer' which he took in on July 5th, a Sunday.

The fact is that if someone, who had the facts of the Hunger Strikes to hand, were interviewing Danny I'd say it would be a case of Danny pulling off the mike and accusing the interviewer of ambushing him.

However what seems to be missing from all this is the comm or comms from Bik to Adams in reference to the offer Brendan Duddy said he gave to Danny on that Sunday July 5th. Bik now admits there was something... 'And I said to Richard, this is amazing, this is a huge opportunity and I feel there’s the potential here [in the British offer] to end this.'

Although there is a comm in Ten Men Dead in which Bik refers to meeting the 'Commission' (ICJP) on July 5th there, incredibly, is no comm in which Bik tells Adams about the potential to end it. I believe this 'missing' comm is the key to what happened on that occasion and for that reason I believe it won't see the light of day otherwise they'd be able to at least explain why it has either been withheld from David Beresford, the author ... or worse.

The rest of the interview had Danny, Gerry's substitute, dribbling through his own defence to score a few more own goals in regards to whether the boss was or wasn't in the IRA.


  1. Against my better judgment I try and listen to Morrison but find myself drifting away usually out of the predictable boredom that develops with the drone of his narratives.
    The same narratives they continue presenting with the amendment that they alone are the truth and the light which is now the gospel according to SF.

    Would it make a difference now to their committed electorate if they broke the news that they got it wrong?
    It just defies logic that they are continuously right on everything and everyone else is wrong and worse the sickening slimy line that every republican that disagrees with them is anti-peace which is enough to make me laugh coming from the former bought off warlords.

    Taken from the book of excuse and denial the gospel according to SF.

  2. His mate Mac Tires on the other thread telling who would ever listen that MARTY with a prawn cocktail in 1 hand and a ballot paper in the other hele lead them to the promised land.Wasting cnuts.

  3. Now, now, Billy, you will get yourself a red card when Mac returns from his electioneering.
    We have arrived in the Promised Land the Banquet was to honour the victorious SF.
    After reading what Villiers or Countess Villainess had to say it certainly sounds like some are guaranteed to be delivered right in front of a Diplock Judge.

    I thought they would have waited a few months before they start in with the dirty Banquet deals.

  4. now danny was only in the kesh for a visit that day Dixie, just a visit to see the place. how dare you extend that to him coming in with the offer to see if we would accept it.

    the big mistake danny made that sunday in july was in telling bik what was on offer (he didn't tell the hunger strikers) because then bik told Richard and the rest is history....

  5. We all know what happened and Morrison and Co need to be made to address this at every opportunity..they shouldn't be allowed to walk around unhindered by this. Young men lay starving themselves to death supported by their comrades living in their own filth and Morrison and Co only saw them as means to and end and we whinge about blanket men never shirked your beliefs when you faced down the crown so why do you sit inactively now? The republican movement belongs to you, it's time to take it back and redeem what is rightfully yours.

  6. The republican movement belongs to you, it's time to take it back and redeem what is rightfully yours.

    Niall, the major issues in republicanism today result from an elite presuming to own republicanism (and a constituency that confrered ownership to them), wouldn't you think? As noble sounding as your point is, because we are talking about heroes here,there is a flaw, because unless everyone claims some small ownership stake in republicanism, subversion could happen again. I liked your point on another thread about ‘you being the hero for not selling out’ though, seems truer than this comment.