REPUBBLICANI SCOSSI DALLE VERITA’ CHE STANNO DIETRO ALL’HUNGER STRIKE DEL 1981
Il Londonderry Sentinel ha pubblicato ieri un articolo sulle osservazioni di Gregory Campbell, ministro del DUP, dopo il meeting ‘What’s the truth behind the 1981 hunger strike?’ organizzato dal Republican Network for Unity, lo scorso week end al Gasyard Centre di Derry.
Campbell ha dichiarato come sia risultato chiaro al termine dell’incontro in cui è stato dimostrato che lo sciopero della fame avrebbe potuto essere sospeso prima della morte del 5° prigioniero, che il Seinn era disposto a tutto pur di perseguire una strategia politica.
La documentazione presentata e le dichiarazioni che ne sono seguite hanno infatti dimostrato l’esistenza di una proposta del governo Thatcher che avrebbe soddisfatto 4 delle 5 richieste degli hunger strikers. Proposta che sarebbe stata accettata dai prigionieri, nella persona dell’allora OC Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane (che continua a negare il fatto), ma rigettato dalla leadership dell’IRA all’esterno. Tutto questo non può che confermare quanto già rivelato da Richard O’Rawe, ex prigioniero dell’IRA, nel suo libro del 2005.
Brendan Duddy (Mountain Climber), ha affermato la veridicità del relazione equa e precisa presentata al meeting da Liam Clarke (giornalista del Sunday Times). Il documento sostiene che l’IRA ha accolto la sostanza di una offerta di fine sciopero della fame, ma ha contestato il tono.
Anche Gerard Clarke, uno IRA prigioniero, si è sentito in dovere di prendere la parola e sostenere che la conversazione tra O’Rawe e McFarlane ha avuto luogo. Egli ha detto: “Io non avrei dovuto sentire quella conversazione, ma mi trovavo in una cella vicina. Non ho detto nulla per quasi trenta anni. Ma, lo dico ora che la conversazione si è svolta”.
Willie Gallagher, dell’IRSP, ha inoltre affermato che rilascerà presto la registrazione di un colloquio tra due fonti ‘anonime’, a conferma che quella conversazione è realmente avvenuta.
Tra le conclusioni di Gregory Campbell rilasciate al Londenderry Sentinel, trova spazio anche questa: “Avrebbero potuto essere molti di più di dieci morti, visto che i prigionieri aderivano allo sciopero della fame in onda dopo onda. Non sapevamo che dieci sarebbe la cifra finale”.
Questo ed altri articoli a venire, nsieme alle documentazioni attualmente rivelate, li potrete trovare nella sezione “The Truth behind the 1981 Hunger Strike“.
Republicans rocked by hunger strike claim (Londenderry Sentinel)
Londoderry’s DUP minister, Gregory Campbell has said a republican meeting at which claims were made that the 1981 hunger strikes could have been halted before the fifth man died, shows the length to which the republican movement were prepared to go to pursue a political strategy.
Mr Campbell was speaking after a meeting at the Gasyard Centre last weekend heard allegations that an offer, alluding to granting four of the five demands of the hunger strikers, was communicated to the IRA inside the Maze, days before the death of Joe McDonnell.
But, there are allegations that the offer was rejected by the external leadership of the IRA despite being accepted within the prison. In the event, five more hunger strikers died.
Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara had died before Joe McDonnell-Martin Hurson,Kevin Lynch,Kieran Doherty,Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine, died after McDonnell.
The claims are centred on a 2005 book by Richard O’Rawe-an ex-IRA prisoner, who acted as public relations officer in the Maze. He has contended for many years that he and the IRA commander inside Long Kesh, Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, discussed the government’s document and agreed there was enough content to halt the strike. McFarlane susequently denied that such a conversation ever took place.
The weekend debate was also attended by businessman, Brendan Duddy, said to be the ‘Mountain climber’, who ferried messages between the IRA and the government.
Mr Duddy was asked by journalist Liam Clarke if a document he had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, outlining what would happen if the IRA called off the protest, was one of the communications he passed to the IRA.
Brendan Duddy said: “What Liam Clarke has is a fair and accurate report. I don’t disagree with the content.”
The document claims that the IRA had accepted the substance of an offer to end the hunger strike but objected to the tone.
The audience and panel also heard from Gerard Clarke, an IRA prisoner, who claimed the conversation between O’Rawe and McFarlane took place. He said: “I wasn’t supposed to hear that conversation, I was in a cell nearby. I haven’t said anything for nearly thirty years. But, I am saying now that conversation took place.”
Another former IRA prisoner, Gerard Hodgkins said that after initial scepticism he has become convinced by Richard O’Rawe’s claims.
Leading IRSP member, Willie Gallagher, said that his organisation were also initially sceptical. But, after approaches from members of the INLA hunger strikers’ families and ex-prisoners the party has come to believe the conversation about the acceptance of an offer took place. Mr Gallagher also said that he will release a taped conversation in the near future between two, as yet, unnamed sources, that will bolster claims the conversation took place.
Gregory Campbell told the Sentinel: “Being from the unionist community I was unfamiliar from a republican perspective about what went on at that time. But, from what I have read about this meeting and the wider subject, it demonstrates to me is that the republican movement were prepared to sacrifice their own people because they were viewing a long term strategy.
“They were prepared to put them out on a limb, which should tell a few people that may be prepared to get involved what they may face.
“It was a very traumatic time. They were attempting to hold the government and Margaret Thatcher to ransom. It could have been many more than ten that died, after all they were joining the hunger strike in wave after wave. We didn’t know that ten would be the final figure.
“It was a state quite close to anarchy. There was widespread rioting and mayhem on a daily basis. It got worse as these guys died. The tension was horrific.”