July 1981


Uncovering the Truth About the 1981 Hunger Strike

Oliver Hughes letter in Derry Journal

Propaganda on hunger-strike
Derry Journal, 30 June 2009
See also Bobby Sands Trust: Hunger Strikers’ Families Speak Out


The recent meeting between familes of the hunger-strikers and Gerry Adams was a very emotional and difficult occasion for all of us, particularly in light of the allegations coming from Richard O’Rawe and the IRSP. All of the family members who spoke, with the exception of Tony O’Hara, expressed deep anger and frustration at the ongoing allegations created by O’Rawe.

Tony O’Hara’s suggestion that we should meet with Richard O’Rawe and Willie Gallagher got no support and we asked Tony to express to Richard O’Rawe and Willie Gallagher our wish for them to stop what they are doing and to give us peace of mind.

The account of the meeting published by Willie Gallagher is inaccurate and offensive.

Our loved ones made the supreme sacrifice on hunger-strike for their comrades. They were not dupes. They were dedicated and committed republicans. We are clear that it was the British government which refused to negotiate and refused to concede their just demands.

Our Francis was a soldier and he went on hunger strike for five just demands. That decision was his and we admire his courage and are proud of him and stand by his memory and will not let it and the hunger-strike period be sullied by the likes of Liam Clarke and the Sunday Times and others.

Those who are now trying to say that Mrs Thatcher was interested in giving in to the prisoners’ demands are talking rubbish. The British pretended they were going to do a deal in Christmas 1980 and we all know what happened there.

From all that I witnessed and heard from the prisoners, comrades on the outside always followed the men’s wishes and worked day and night to defend them and help them win their demands.

It is disgraceful what is going on from people none of whom I ever met or heard of before, people like Richard O’Rawe who publishes a book which the Sunday Times serialises. This is the same Sunday Times that called Francis Hughes and Thomas McElwee and the other hunger-strikers ‘criminals’ and ‘terrorists’.

I’ll not be listening to their propaganda.


Oliver Hughes


Sourced from the Derry Journal

Category: 2009, Derry Journal, Families, Media, Statements

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A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981.

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