- This is a reply I made to Jude Collins in his blog in regards to the recently released documents on the Hunger Strike which once again Morrison and company use a certain Sir John Blelloch to back them up in their denials. Collins refers to 'opponents of republicanism'......
“Opponents of republicanism.” – Republicanism as in those who toast the British Queen and chase her offspring for handshakes every time they show up in Ireland?
I was on that wing with Bobby Sands as was Richard O’Rawe and I’d firstly like to know what you were doing at that time Jude which might give you the right to refer to anyone, especially those of us who were there, as “opponents of republicanism”?
Let us now deal with Blelloch. The Irish News carried an article today on the documents released this week in regards to a memo from Stephen Leach of the NIO to Blelloch. In the memo it is confirmed that ‘Adams told the ICJP in confidence about the ‘Mountain Climber’ and indicated that a ‘good offer’ had recently been received via this channel.’
If this was the case why did the likes of Bik tell Fergal McKinney, then a reporter, that there was no offer whatsoever? Why did Danny Morrison repeatedly deny the existence of an offer? Surely Gerry would have told them there was indeed a ‘good offer’ instead of letting them get caught out lying?
Danny and company lied - they even used the Blelloch document, released a few years back, to back up their lies.
However in the recent document we can see that Blelloch knew very little about the ‘Mountain Climber’ back channel. In a note he stated that … "I did not myself believe that there were in effect two government positions, one being deployed by the NIO and one by somebody else.”
Surely anyone having read Ten Men Dead would see that there was indeed two different positions, the negotiations between the NIO and the ICJP and on the other hand the negotiations between the Foreign Office/Thatcher and Adams through the back channel, the ‘Mountain Climber’.
Not only does Leach confirm that Adams told the ICJP about a ‘good offer’ but David Beresford includes this fact in Ten Men Dead. Therefore, despite what Blelloch believed, there was indeed two government positions and this hardly puts him in a position in which anyone, like Danny Morrison, can rely upon to back him up.
Now if Adams believed that the offer he received via the ‘Mountain Climber’ was a ‘good offer’ it stands to reason he would have passed it on to the OC on the inside which was of course Bik, who originally told Fergal McKinney that there was no offer whatsoever.
Despite Bik’s initial denials he in fact later stated in the Belfast Telegraph… “And I said to Richard (O’Rawe) this is amazing, this is a huge opportunity and I feel there’s a potential here (in the Mountain Climber process) to end this.”
So despite the claims to the contrary there was an offer on July 5th, days before the death of Joe McDonnell, and of course Bik discussed it with Richard O’Rawe and would have sent word outside. Richard said they accepted that offer and other prisoners in cells near them backed this up.
So who rejected it. And why?
Ten Men Dead was written largely relying on comms between Bik and Adams yet on the date of that offer and days after there is no comm between the two discussing this offer. In fact the only comm on or around that date refers to a meeting with the ICJP.
Why is the July 5th offer comm missing from Ten Men Dead as it was surely of great importance?
Finally the Irish News article states that an MI6 agent, Michael Oakley, was the ‘Mountain Climber’, whether or not this was Blelloch’s belief is not made clear. However all concerned, including Martin McGuinness, agree that the ‘Mountain Climber’ was indeed Brendan Duddy a Derry business man. Duddy backed Richard O’Rawe up in Derry’s Gasyard Center and stated in Belfast having pointed out Danny Morrison in the audience that he, Morrison; was tasked with taking the offer into the prison.