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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 30, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    New perspective on Long Kesh hunger-strike

    Deaglán de Bréadún

     Once more into the blog, dear friends, and a Happy New Year to all our customers. Your comments on the following would be welcome. It’s an analysis piece for today’s Irish Times attempting to put the events of 1981 in perspective. Today, the State Papers from that year are released to public view under the 30-year rule. Now read on:

    THOSE WHO do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. In that spirit, hopefully, our leaders and their advisers will find time to peruse the reports of the 1981 State Papers, released to public view today under the 30-year rule.

    It was, of course, the year when a hunger strike at the Maze Prison, Long Kesh, brought turmoil north and south of the Border. For anyone alive at the time, it will be painful to relive the experience; for those who did not have to endure those stark days and months, it will be an eye-opener to read about them.

    As bad as our political situation may appear now, it was far worse then. Not alone were there serious economic problems, but violence and killing were occurring constantly in the Northern part of the island.

    The award-winning 2008 film Hunger, starring Kerry actor Michael Fassbender, conveys to a new generation the drama and squalor of that prison fast to the death by 10 men whose average age was 25. They were in their teens when the North erupted in 1969.

    In addition to these self-inflicted deaths, there were many other fatalities arising from the Troubles that year: republicans were responsible for 74 of these; loyalists killed 14 and the security forces, 17. One of the most shocking, because of its almost casual nature, was the killing of part-time census-taker Joanne Mathers (25), a Protestant mother of one. She was shot in the head by a gunman in Derry as she helped a householder fill in the census form.

    There was nothing casual about the hunger strike, which was a carefully planned and prepared act of war. On Day Three of his fast, Bobby Sands told Irish Times journalist Brendan Ó Cathaoir that he expected to die for the principle of political status.

    Rejecting the Catholic Church’s moral strictures against hunger striking, he said: “If I die, God will understand.” He added that it was a personal decision to go on the fast. The archives indicate that he rejected an order from Pope John Paul II to call off the protest.

    A week before the hunger striker died – according to an internal British memo passed on to the government in Dublin – the pope’s secretary, Fr John Magee (more recently and controversially bishop of Cloyne) delivered a personal message from the pontiff “telling Mr Sands that it was his duty to stop”.

    Although then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher took a very hard line publicly against granting the hunger strikers’ demands, the British government appeared to adopt a more conciliatory approach in private.

    Charles Haughey was in power for the first six months of 1981 before being ousted in a general election by Garret FitzGerald at the head of a Fine Gael-Labour coalition. As taoiseach, Haughey persuaded Marcella Sands, a sister of the hunger striker, to make an application to the European Commission of Human Rights to intervene in the crisis.

    The following day, British ambassador Leonard Figg personally delivered a message from his government to the Department of the Taoiseach welcoming such an intervention. In the event, Bobby Sands refused through his lawyer, the late Pat Finucane, to see commission representatives unless republican leaders were in attendance. This was not acceptable and the initiative collapsed.

    When FitzGerald became taoiseach on June 30th, he also got involved in efforts to avert the deaths of further prisoners.

    He backed a sustained attempt to achieve a settlement by the Catholic hierarchy’s Commission for Justice and Peace. But this was stymied by a curious British decision to enter parallel behind-the-scenes negotiations with republican leaders.

    The two channels fell foul of one another, but the FitzGerald government continued its efforts. On July 21st, with six prisoners dead, government press secretary Liam Hourican argued internally for a sharp public critique of the British government for its failure to heed advice on a resolution.

    But this was three days after ariot outside the British embassy in Ballsbridge. Government secretary and the State’s top civil servant Dermot Nally warned that the coalition’s stance on the strike was becoming indistinguishable from that of the IRA.

    Nally was concerned that the prison protest would spread to this jurisdiction: “What do we do if Portlaoise erupts?” He cautioned that a major public row on this issue between Dublin and London could endanger the long-term interests of both.

    The preoccupation with the hunger strike distracted the Haughey and FitzGerald governments. Nevertheless, there are strong echoes of current concerns at European level in the minutes of a private meeting in Bonn on March 31st between Haughey, who was still taoiseach at the time, and German chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

    A public split had emerged between Schmidt and Thatcher in the previous week at a European summit in Maastricht when the German chancellor accused the British prime minister of betraying a promise to agree a common fisheries policy.

    Foreshadowing the current divergence between British and German policies at EU level, Schmidt complained to Haughey about Thatcher’s attitude at the summit and her overall approach to European issues.

    The Germans were concerned, even at that stage, about how much the community was costing them. And Schmidt bemoaned the fact that tax increases were being imposed on his people to pay for a budget refund to Britain.

    He said his French counterpart, Giscard d’Estaing, took a similar view. He told Haughey that the European community was “not a nice club just now” and “the mood had become quite ugly”.

    Back home, abortion made its way on to the political agenda in 1981. Campaigners were concerned that the existing statutory criminal law would not be sufficient to prevent abortions being carried out in Ireland. They demanded that a specific ban be inserted in the Constitution.

    Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agreed to this but, after the general election, the coalition’s attorney general, Peter Sutherland, quickly made his objections known to FitzGerald.

    A letter outlining Sutherland’s objections to an anti-abortion amendment is contained in files which have been released to the National Archives.

    “It is my opinion that the right to life has been clearly enunciated by the courts and that, in the circumstances, the constitutional amendment is unnecessary,” Sutherland wrote to the taoiseach on August 28th, less than two months after the coalition had taken office.

    A constitutional ban was approved by referendum in September 1983 although Sutherland opposed the formulation as flawed and the subsequent Supreme Court ruling in the X case of 1992 appeared to vindicate this.

    Thirty years on, our political leaders can at least draw satisfaction from the success of the Northern Ireland peace process, despite some continuing dissident violence. Although important then, European issues are completely dominant now but the Schmidt-Haughey exchanges show that Britain’s semi-detached approach is nothing new. Abortion continues to rumble on as an issue but with nothing like the potency it had in the early 1980s.

    What lessons can be learned? The contrast in the Northern Ireland situation then and now shows that problems can be resolved or at least placed on the road to resolution if politicians have sufficient courage and persistence. If the same qualities are applied to our economic difficulties we may yet succeed in overcoming them.


    Deaglán de Bréadún is an Irish Times Political Correspondent

     P.S. There’s more on the State Papers at www.irishtimes.com

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Strikes me those deaths were as ”self-inflicted” as Jesus Christ’s was. In that He could have saved Himself any time He chose, He knew what was in store if He persisted with His course, but He used His death to create a powerful unstoppable Message of Redemption; His Death hurt nobody (physically, at least) but Himself; yet was a colossal act of resistance against Man’s Inhumanity to Man.
      Whether you are a Republican or not; whether you believe in Christ’s ”Those who are not against us are with us” or Bush’s ”Those who are not with us are against us” (diametrically opposed meanings and sources), you have to agree with the unimpeachable morality of the hunger strikers’ actions with regard to their ”self-inflicted” deaths; regardless of any crimes and/or immoral acts they might have as individuals committed up to that point.
      Under Brehon Law anyone with a grievance had the right to subject themselves to starvation outside the abode or dwelling of the person with whom they had the grievance until either the wrong was redressed or death ensued. Thus in Ireland the hunger-strike is time-honoured and established by ancient custom. Furthermore, hunger is a powerfully evocative concept to Irish people, given what this country endured during the many famines of the 18th and 19th centuries, including an Gorta Mór. All in all, the hunger strikes imo were about the most moral action the IRA ever undertook. Possibly the only moral action, at least up unto the point of their courageous decommissioning, but of course that would depend on whether you are a Republican or Nationalist or neither.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Joanne Mathers was actually 29, Deaglán. While I was checking your article I came across the CAIN website wherefrom I got her age (I presume it correct because she’s 29 on a couple other sites as well).

      For that matter the average age of the 10 hunger strikers who died was 26 (rounded up from 25.7). If you add in the ages of the other three IRA men whose deaths were other-inflicted in 1981 the average age of the IRA dead rises to 27 (rounded down from 27.08)

      And the average age of Catholic civilians (non-IRA/INLA or other militant group or security force) who died by violence in 1981 was 23. There were 15 of them that I could find.

      And the average age of Protestant civilians (non-UDA or UVF or security force or other militant group) who died by violence in 1981 was 34 (rounded down from 34.625). There were 7 of them that I could find.

      And the average age of British Army personnel (religion unknown to me) who died by violence in 1981 was 24 (rounded up from 23.75). There were 8 of them that I could find.

      And the average age of RUC members (religion unknown to me) who died by violence in 1981 was 33 (rounded down from 33.375). There were 8 of them that I could find.

      And the average age of UDR members (religion unknown to me) who died by violence in 1981 was 38. But there was only one of him.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      It’s a slow day at work today. I did up a little spreadsheet of all who died (that I could find on various websites) in 1981 by violence or self-starvation. I could send it on if you want. PArity of Esteem. I should list them all.

      Name Age Cause of Death Source of Death Religion Organisation
      Sands, Bobby 26 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      Hughes, Frances 25 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      O’Hara, Patsy 23 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      McCreesh, Raymond 24 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      McDonnell, Joe 30 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      Hurson, Martin 29 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      Lynch, Kevin 25 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      Doherty, Kieran 25 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      McElwee, Thomas 23 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      Devine, Michael 27 Starvation Self Catholic IRA
      Maguire, Charles 20 Bullet BA Catholic IRA
      McBrearty, George 24 Bullet BA Catholic IRA
      Gilvarry, Maurice 24 Bullet IRA Catholic IRA
      Trainor, Patrick 28 Bullet IRA Catholic Civilian
      McNally, Patrick 20 Bullet BA Catholic Civilian
      Brown, James 18 Crushed/Run Down BA Catholic Civilian
      English, Gary 19 Crushed/Run Down BA Catholic Civilian
      Whitters, Paul 15 Bullet BA Catholic? Civilian
      Livingstone, Julie 14 Bullet BA Catholic Civilian
      Duffy, Henry 45 Bullet BA Catholic Civilian
      Kelly, Carol Anne 12 Bullet BA Catholic Civilian
      Lynch, Joseph 33 ??? RUC Catholic Civilian
      Barrett, Danny 15 Bullet BA Catholic Civilian
      McCabe, Nora 30 Bullet RUC Catholic Civilian
      Doherty, Peter 36 Bullet BA Catholic Civilian
      Canning, Liam 19 Bullet UFF Catholic Civilian
      Maguinness, Peter 41 Bullet RUC Catholic Civilian
      Stronge, Norman 86 Bullet IRA Protestant Civilian
      Mathers, Joanne 29 Bullet IRA Protestant Civilian
      Guiney, Eric 45 Crushed/Stoned Mob Protestant Civilian
      Guiney, Desmond 14 Crushed/Stoned Mob Protestant Civilian
      Smyth, John 34 Land Mine IRA? Protestant RUC
      Bradford, Robert 40 Bullet IRA Protestant Civilian
      Campbell, Kenneth 29 Bullet IRA Protestant Civilian
      Bagshaw, Michael 25 Landmine IRA ???? BA
      Bulman, Paul 19 Landmine IRA ???? BA
      Gavin, Andrew 19 Landmine IRA ???? BA
      King, John 20 Landmine IRA ???? BA
      O’Neill, Michael 34 Bomb IRA ???? BA
      Winstone, Grenville 27 Land Mine IRA ???? BA
      Barker, Philip 25 Bullet IRA ???? BA
      Dean, Gavin 21 Bullet IRA ???? BA
      Dunlop, Colin 30 Bullet IRA ???? RUC
      Ellis, Philip 33 Bullet IRA ???? RUC
      Vallely, Samuel 23 RPG IRA ???? RUC
      Beck, Alexander 37 RPG IRA ???? RUC
      Wood, Andrew 19 Land Mine IRA ???? RUC
      Harpur, Thomas 30 Bullet IRA ???? RUC
      Stronge, James 48 Bullet IRA ???? RUC
      Robinson, Mervyn 47 Bullet IRA ???? RUC
      Smyth, John 34 Land Mine IRA ???? RUC
      Robinson, John 38 Bullet ??? ???? UDR

      Note: I have not distinguished between lead and plastic for bullets. Also average age of RUC officers killed adjusted to 33 (rounded down from 33.4444) owing to having John Smyth initially classified as Civilian. Also where I cite IRA as Source of Death there may be INLA involvement.

      Srces: http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/chron/ch81.htm ; http://operationbanner.com/roh/search.asp

      May they all RIP.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Total IRA/INLA Deaths 1981: 13
      Youngest: 20
      Oldest: 30
      Av Age: 27

      Total Catholic Civilian Deaths 1981: 15
      Youngest: 12
      Oldest: 45
      Av Age: 23

      Total Protestant Civilian Deaths 1981: 6
      Youngest: 14
      Oldest: 86
      Av Age: 40

      Total British Army Deaths (in NI) 1981: 8
      Youngest: 19
      Oldest: 34
      Av Age: 24

      Total RUC Deaths 1981: 9
      Youngest: 19
      Oldest: 47
      Av Age: 33

      Total UDR Deaths 1981: 1
      Age: 38

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Apologies if I left anyone out or got any facts wrong. I don’t think I did. But if I did no offence whatsoever intended.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      When the hunger strikers started to die, a couple armchair republicans from my town called to my dad’s workshop and told him to shut down business for the week. The boyos were in the process of hanging black flags made of binsacks from the telephone poles in our town when they called by. My dad told them that he would if they would promise not to collect their dole the next Tuesday. He had a hammer in his hand and casually tossed it from palm to palm while he told them this. They went away and didn’t come back. Later, I went out on my bicycle with my hurley and standing up on the pedals I flew down our road smacking the black flags off the poles where I could reach them. I felt awful, really really awful, when I got to the end. A feeling like a black wind in my stomach took hold of me. Only other time I had that feeling was one time I said to a friend of mine a pilot that I didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God (As I didn’t at the time). Writing out all those names reminded me of how numb we used feel when the news would come on between Harbour Hotel and Dear Frankie with announcements about bombs going off in Belfast and bodies turning up in Derry ditches hooded slashed and dumped. The same way I feel numb now when I read and hear about some bit of dirt and filth about our crooked politicians and bankers and Elites; about yet another report detailing the rape and abuse of children. Writing out those names allowed me to feel something for each one of those Dead that I should have felt years and years ago only we were all too used to it and all too numb. Every one of them was a human being with a stream of consciousness and family friends colleagues and loved ones who were hurt beyond words by their deaths, just as Mary and Joseph and His apostles were hurt beyond words by the death of Christ. We all bleed red, whatever colour our politics religions and beliefs may be as Shylock said if you PRiCk us do we not bleed? Guess we’ve come a long way in a short time really. No longer having each day to hear the lists of cowardice inhumanity rapine bravery courage and sacrifice read out on the radio. But still feeling numb only in different ways. Happy New Year. May it be a better one than those we’ve had already.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Btw there’s something wrong with the comments facility on the article itself as there is on all the other pieces in Opinion where comment is invited from readers of late. For some reason it won’t let you log in with your Facebook account. Don’t know why. Tried OpenID the same. So won’t be bothering to comment there anymore. Just throw the odd one at these blogs instead where you don’t have to bother with logins and crap.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Er John – are you actually trying to compare Sands to Jesus? Really?

      Then you link the stupidity of Sands and his Sinn Fein IRA colleagues to Brehon Law?

      I can only assume you’d had too much access to the sherry over Christmas.

      What we can now see if that the IRA campaign was for nothing because when they were defeated what was on the table was Sunningdale.

      So all the murders, all the robberies, the drugs, the prostitution, protection rackets and God knows what other crimes in Ireland and elsewhere, not to mention the so called ‘socialists’ claiming every penny and cent from Irish, British and EU taxpayers – which we can only assume is then used to pay some sort of pension system to the murders and scum who were involved – with no proof ever provided where the money goes, was all for nothing.

      And the myth of Bobby Sands being some sort of hero was just that – a myth. As big a myth as the SF/IRA claim that the island of Ireland was once some united all Gael nation or that people in the South want to be united with the North.

      It’s galling enough that the normal people among us have to accept the likes of McGuinness and Adams are walking the streets as the price of peace but it really is too much that we are also expected to pander to people who now want to stay in denial about how stupid and utterly wrong they were to support the violence unleashed on innocent people by SF/IRA to now keep justifying what they did as it was for some ‘moral cause’ – it wasn’t moral. It was as bad as the SS or the KGB or any other vile facist terror group.

      Simple as.

    • jaygee says:

      Unfortunately the hunger strike cannot be viewed in isolation from what went before and what followed. The actions of PIRA leadership is questionable in some respects. For instance, was Thatcher offering concessions in private which would have met the demands of the strikers, or did men die to ensure the election of Owen Carron? There appears to be testimony to this effect from a dead former PIRA leader.
      If the focus of all wrongs and activity was the North (and despite all the efforts so far, there is still a lot to do to secure permanent and stable community) why has the leader of Sinn Fein left and found a seat in the Southern Parliament and why did his colleague seek the Presidency of Ireland ?

    • RPE McCarthy says:

      You have a number of points in your peripetetic tour through 1981. I think what struck me most was five years ago during the 25th anniversary I had occasion in the summer and winter to be in rural Kilkenny about 10 miles outside Kilkenny town and also in Belfast later that year. That both Kilkenny (I hasten to add one or two rural roads) and the Newry bypass of the M1 were blanketed (pardon the pun) in black flags really brought home the depth of feeling that must have been felt in 1981. My instinct is that the only good shinner is a dead one but I only remember the end of the troubles – Greysteele, Canary Wharf, Birmingham 6 & Guildford 4 and Enniskillen. My personal expereinces and the history I have read is to altogether too recent. What it probably highlights best however is that hasty reactions are rarely useful in the long run.

      A further point worth noting is just how far the Catholic church’s stock has fallen. In this context, I wonder whether the specific wording used by the current Taoiseach in response to Cloyne, may in fact be the prism through which its vertical decline in influence and genuine social and cultural centrifugal importance will be viewed. Kenny talked of the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism of the RC church. Looking back at 1981 and comparing to events today I think if we were to have a debate on abortion, there would as many secular anti-abortion voices coming forth which would arguably be more listened to than religious ones. This is not to denigrate the noble faith of the many that believe. Merely to observe, in a rather crude manner, how radically our society has changed since the Brendan Smyth affair and all that followed it.

      Finally, we have little englander mindsets in Europe threatening its future. I think the key difference here is that at the time Conservatives still had quite a few seats in Scotland and the odd one in Wales and devolution had not happened. Britain itself was emerging from an IMF rescue plan and Thatcher genuinely argued for Britain and very definitely did so in line with British opinion. Currently, Sarkozy and Merkel are not arguing in any way in line with a unanimously accepted point of view in France or Germany. Only the Netherland and Finland are. Cameron is also confusing his role as PM of the UK with PM of the Home Counties, a position that has not yet been created. The narrowness of his political spectrum is being exposed and could yet spell the death knell for the Scottish Act of Union among other changes.

    • Good to get those comments, clearly from people who weren’t born or were very young at the time of the hunger-strike. You are right about the age of Joanne Mathers being 29, John. There were a lot of awful events that year but this one stands out. See http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/03/18/calls-for-new-investigation-into-joanne-mathers-murder-increase/

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Desmond, if you would care to read my comments again you’ll see that a) I was at work (in an otherwise deserted office) when I wrote them and reasonably therefore might be excepted to be sober, which I was/am; and b) that I didn’t compare Sands’ LIFE to that of Christ, but rather his death, in a most specific manner, listing out the parallels. Now unless you’re a gnostic or some other who has read the Apocrypha (in particular the ”Gospel of St. Thomas” and the Pools or the Sparrows section) you will, as I do, believe that Christ never hurt so much as a fly in His life (and no, I don’t know where He got the breakfast of fish He was cooking on the fire of small coals on the shore of the Sea of Tiberius when He appeared to some of His Disciples after His Resurrection but it doesn’t mention He caught them Himself). I doubt any other human being that’s ever lived could be said the same of, we all of us in some way cause what Gandhi would call ”Himsa”, death and suffering, even if only treading on the ground and squashing the small creatures that live there inadvertently. So of course I am not comparing Sands or anyone else’s life to that of Christ. I do think my saying that Sands’ and his colleagues’ deaths have certain parallels with that of the Redeemer is valid, for the reasons I outline. They were, ultimately, non-other-regarding acts of protest against Man’s inhumanity to Man. They required enormous personal courage to carry through with. They required enormous tolerance of pain. They required enormous personal conviction. And, they required a great degree of love. For their fellows and their causes. LAstly, I don’t really like sherry. I find it too sickly sweet. Oh, and I didn’t ”link” Brehon law to any form of ”stupidity”. I never mentioned the word ”stupidity”. You did, and it’s clear that your opinion differs from mine in that you think Sands (and his fellow hunger strikers) were stupid, and I think their action, sacrificing themselves for a greater cause and a protest against the inhumanity of their treatment and situation while yet hurting nobody but themselves, was entirely noble. We’ll agree to disagree so ok? Happy New Year. May you find all happiness health and prosperity therein.
      Deaglán, I read the link. My stomach turned. I hope Ms Mather’s family find peace and conclusion through the activities of the HET. Ultimately, perhaps even through some form of forgiveness of those who murdered their loved one. Senator Gordon Wilson showed the way in that and look what he (the real hero of the Peace Process imo) achieved. I don’t think I could forgive such a thing, but then none of us know what we would do in such an appalling context do we? Happy New Year to you also and thanks for your many excellent and interesting articles. Hey Jaygee. Good to see ya me oul’ sailor. I often miss the Breaking News bb and the old cast of characters thereon. Happy New Year to you also. And to RPE. Now I’m going to have a beer for New Year’s Eve, the sun being over the yardarm presumably even though there’s no sign of it in the sky, and contemplate with trepidation my giving up smoking forever in 9 houurs time. Well. 8 hours. and 21 minutes time. Haven’t we few enough problems really when you think about it?

    • Happy New Year to you too, JO’D, me oul’ flower.

    • jaygee says:

      Happy New Year John and all the old pals on the News poll. Still enjoy reading your stuff.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      @12 but John they didn’t sacrifice themselves for the greater good because no good came of what they did.

      When the IRA was defeated the deal it accepted was exactly the same as Sunngindale so all of its campaign was for nothing and all of those deaths were for nothing – it would be interesting to go and check what the families of up to now – how many are in jail, involved in drugs and crime and how many are being paid off with the pensions paid from the millions claimed in expenses and allowances from the taxpayers of the ROI, NI and the UK.

      There is nothing even remotely similar to the life and death of Jesus and those in the IRA. 99.99% of people who have lived don’t go through life causing death and ‘Himsa’ – they go through life working hard and living it the best they can. No doubt failing along the way but trying their best all the same. Whereas your IRA heros were full of evil without an ounce of humanity and the fact those still around refuse to admit what they did shows they haven’t earned the right to be forgiven.

      People like you with your opinions on SF and the IRA shouldn’t be allowed a free pass and need to be challenged everytime you try to justify what they did. I’m quite happy to accept the price of peace is that people get to walk the streets but I do draw the line in being expected to allow those people pretend that what they did didn’t happen or that they didn’t have a choice or are not responsible.

      But Happy New Year to all.

    • JO'D says:

      Hmmm. Is that you Bhumpkin Bob? Nah. You always spelled it flow_yer. Forget it Deaglan just reminiscing is all. Happy New Year. I’m still off the fags. How much is the pool in the CAGE up to now?

    • Darragh says:

      Good auld Des, never one to let the actual content of a post get in the way of his own message.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      @17 – the post was just a rehash (no offence Deaglán) of various pieces of information based on the release of the 1981 state papers, none of which comes as a revelation.

      I was responding to John who made a link between Jesus and Bobby Sands! Also, those of us who don’t worship at the altar of 1916 are as entitled to express our opinion as those who do and it’s even more important we do as the orgy of denial steps up a gear as we get nearer to 2016.

      I feel it’s important that when people start talking about the ‘noble’ hunger strikers etc that they need to be challenged at every turn.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      You don’t think that the self-sacrifice of Christ and the self-sacrifice of the hunger strikers might not be equated in terms of the love that Tolstoy and Gandhi averred was the only effective resistance to violence Desmond? That young man who set himself and consequently the Arab World alight there recently might beg to differ.


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