Boston history project
Sir, – Despite an avalanche of evidence to the contrary, Danny Morrison (May 21st) continues to argue that he did not bring in a British offer when he visited Long Kesh on Sunday, July 5th, 1981. Here’s what Brendan Duddy (the trusted intermediary between the British government and the Adams/Morrison committee) had to say about the events of July 5th, 1981, in an interview with journalist Brian Rowan at a conference in west Belfast in 2009: Rowan: “So you scribbled the offer down?” Duddy: “Yes.” Rowan: “You then communicated it to the republican leadership?” Duddy: “Yes.” Rowan: “I think your . . . your sort of test, which was to get someone into the prison on the Sunday?” Duddy (pointing to Danny Morrison in audience): “Him.”
Speaking directly to Mr Morrison, Mr Duddy went on to say: “And I am totally happy that you were well aware of what was being said and what was on offer and so forth.”
A video-recording exists of this conference and what Mr Duddy said about these seminal events. But could he have made it any plainer? Demonstrably, Mr Morrison was well aware of what was on offer before he went into the prison on July 5th, 1981. Is he now admitting that he did not relate the offer to the prison leadership and the hunger strikers? If not, why not? Considering that it was their lives on the line, were the hunger strikers not entitled to know what Mr Duddy had relayed to Mr Morrison and his IRA committee?
Mr Morrison also says: “Nor were these claims made in the original text of Mr O’Rawe’s book, the manuscript of which he brought to me at my home around 1999”. Again, Mr Morrison is factually incorrect. I brought a manuscript entitled Boyos to him in 1999, but this was a biography of my childhood in the Falls Road area of Belfast and the narrative ended on August 15th, 1969. In fact, I did not begin writing Blanketmen until late 2001. Why Mr Morrison should remember something that did not happen is a matter of conjecture. – Yours, etc,