July 1981

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Uncovering the Truth About the 1981 Hunger Strike

‘There was never any deal offered’

‘There was never any deal offered’
Irish Post

REPUBLICAN hunger strike prisoners who died in the Maze prison in 1981 were never offered any ‘deal’ from the Margaret Thatcher-led Government, according to Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane.

McFarlane succeeded Bobby Sands as leader of the political prisoners in the H-Blocks and has vehemently denied suggestions that a strikebreaking deal was put in place by the then-British Government that might have saved the lives of Republican prisoners.

A total of 10 men died on the strike and the story that a deal was rejected by the IRA was widely reported in the media in recent weeks.

The former Officer Commanding (OC) believes that the information is being deliberately fed to discredit Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin.

“There was never any deal,” he said, when speaking to The Irish Post in London over the weekend. “All this information is specifically being used to target Gerry Adams and discredit both him and Sinn Féin. “What it’s actually doing is accusing him of killing the hunger strikers, which is absolutely preposterous.”

He added: “The whole thrust of this is coming from information that certain journalists requested from the British Government. “But the Government and the journalists didn’t release it all — so we’ve actually asked them to publish the whole lot because you will see, through an outline of their own documentation, that they did not have any deal.”

The assertion that there was a deal on the table in 1981 was made by former Republican prisoner Richard O’Raw who was held in the H-Blocks (Maze/Long Kesh) during the hunger strikes.

But leading Republicans have long denounced the testimony contained in his book Blanket Men.

“The British opened the conduit,” said McFarlane. “They said it was to bring about a resolution. But they had to go in with a piece of paper to the hunger strikers and say have a read of it, and ask whether we wanted to accept what they were offering — be it one or two concessions or whatever. “But the British never came in because no deal existed and it didn’t happen.

Sourced from the Irish Post

Category: 2009, Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane, Interviews, Media, News articles, Statements

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SPRING 2013: 55 HOURS
A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981.


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