Nov 2, 2009
Judge the hunger strikers on their own brave deeds
Irish News letters page
Manus McDaid, Derry
It is my hope that the recent extensive coverage by The Irish News of the Hunger Strike represents the paper’s contribution to the search for closure on this painful long-running argument about British intentions during the strike.
It is evident that there are those who have simply taken the word of the British on this matter although the British themselves are reticent to speak about it.
There are also some who forget or choose to forget the first Hunger Strike ended when the men on strike took the British at their word.
As I wrote before, these men were double-crossed.
I believe the men who went on the second Hunger Strike were well aware of that.
They were not going to make the same mistake and accept the word of a duplicitous British government. They wanted their demands agreed in writing and confirmed by a British official in person.
This, to my best knowledge, never happened.
I note Mr O’Rawe via one Mr Liam Clarke says the secretary of state “would release a statement” in the event of the Hunger Strike.
This is more British double-speak. Truly, if a British official told me the day of the week, I would immediately reach for my diary.
I believe the men who died on hunger strike knew of the knavery of their opponents who could find space between truth and untruth where they could play with words.
It is here that the fortitude and might of the men on hunger strike ought to be measured, not by a welter of ‘what if’ rhetoric type of questions, nor by those seeking political gain, nor by those trying to make a quick buck out of the sacrifices made in support of their comrades in Long Kesh and Armagh Jail.