Take the ending of the first hunger strike, we all knew it ended because the Dark told Sean McKenna that he wouldn't let him die.
Coming near the end of it three men, one being Raymond McCartney, told the Dark they were coming off it. The Dark saw Sean being wheeled out and asked the medics where they were taking him. They said outside to die. The Dark said he was not willing to watch Sean die then see the hunger strike fall apart anyway so he ended it.
There was no offer later reneged on by the Brits.
One only has to read any of the books like Bobby's autobiography or Ten Men Dead to see that Bobby returned to our wing that very night and told us in Irish that we had got nothing. He was then taken round the other blocks by the screws to inform the OCs of this.
Now tell me this, if the Brits had made an offer why did Bobby return and tell desperate men who were waiting on him back in the blocks that we had got nothing instead of saying that the British made an offer lads lets see if they are as good as their word.
Even Jim Gibney let it slip that Bobby had written a letter that night which he later sent outside telling the leadership he intended embarking on another hunger strike.
Why do that if there was even the slightest hope?
Father Meagher received a document from a courier at Belfast airport just as the hunger strike had ended and delivered it to Adams.
It contained nothing other than prisoners could wear civilian type clothing during the working week.
They had their civilian type clothing thrown back at them because it was another form of prison uniform.
At the recent funeral of a former blanket man, Mags Quigley, I asked some blanket men did they also remember men telling the Dark they were coming off the first hunger strike. They all agreed that was right. In fact one told me that Tomboy had told him that. While another said he remembers Pickles talking with him about it.
I'm not criticising men for not dying I'm criticising them for running with something everyone else knows to be a lie.
The lie wasn't even my problem. It was the fact that they let The Dark carry the can because others including McCartney were saying he took the Brits at their word and ended it.
Adams put the blame squarely on the shoulder of The Dark.
Even more shocking was Bernadette McAliskey's passing of judgement on The Dark when she stated that she would have let Sean die.
How the hell did she even know what was going on at the time never mind pass such a judgement on a great Republican leader, Brendan Hughes?
The Dark in fact replied to it saying that he had promised Sean he wouldn't let him die and had he done so he would have been guilty of murder.
I'm certain of one thing and that is: if Dark had been O/C instead of Bik six brave men would not have died. He would have accepted the July 6th offer made by a broken Thatcher, which included 'wearing our own clothes at all times, not as a privilege but as a right'.
He most certainly would not have let Adams do what he did from the outside, overrule the offer, saying it didn't go far enough.
Four brave lives was far enough. Those brave souls had broken Thatcher's resolve.
Bobby's election victory had smashed criminalisation in the eyes of the world as had the massive funerals.
The election victories of Kieran Doherty and Paddy Agnew in the South and others coming close sent shockwaves through Leinster House and also smashed the claim that we were criminals.
When Richard O'Rawe released a statement on July 4th pulling back from political status and stating that all prisoners could avail of the Five Demands, Thatcher had her way out and on July 6th she set up a line of communication via the Mountain Climber, Brendan Duddy.
The Home Office intended using the NIO and ICJP / the SDLP and the Church negotiations as a smokescreen to hide the fact that she was in contact with Adams and McGuinness aided by Ted Howell. The ICJP would take the credit for ending it but who cared as long as more brave men didn't die.
Adams decided that this didn't go far enough.