July 1981

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Uncovering the Truth About the 1981 Hunger Strike

Radio Free Eireann interviews Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Partial Transcript of Radio Free Eireann
Saturday November 14, 2009 @ 1:16:20 in the show.

John McDonagh (John) of RFE interviews Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (ROB).

John: Yeah, we’ll be getting back I guess…I had two questions but I’m gonna have to limit it to the one. And just sitting listening to Ruairi going through his history which is really the history of the Republican Movement here in Ireland or just Irish history for the past sixty years. And he was talking about the talks that he had with the British.

But also there’s been a controversy now and its opening up old wounds particularly for the families of the 1981 hunger strikers. Now The Irish News has been running a series of articles who are involved with the negotiations and everything that was going on back in 1981 and Richard O’Rawe, who’s written a book about that time frame, and he was a top member of the IRA within the prison, is questioning why the hunger strike went on for so long and so many people had to die.

And Martin Galvin was kind enough to send me two of the questions that he wanted Ruairi to ask.

And I’m just gonna read them on behalf of Richard O’Rawe, it said:

Ruairi, in a recent Irish News special series on the hunger strike, Martin McGuinness confirmed that he received an offer from the British government on the fifth of July, 1981, which he said he passed on to Gerry Adams in Belfast. This is know as the Mountain Climber offer. As President of Sinn Fein at the time, did Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness or anyone else in the hunger strike committee make you aware of the existence of this offer?

ROB: No.

I was President of Sinn Fein. But Dr. Garret Fitzgerald has gone on the record saying Gerry Adams was President at the time. But, no, I was.

And I had no knowledge of any such offer; and nor had Sinn Fein in general….and not alone that….I believe that the Army Council of the IRA weren’t aware of this offer, either.

And I have gone on the record as saying that. And it has been published in The Irish News, the nationalist daily paper in Belfast, in The North, in that regard.

And I sent another letter to the effect that during the interview Richard O’Rawe’s name wasn’t mentioned by me, nor indeed by the interviewer.

So that’s where it is.

Is there another question that John has?

John: No. And I think Ruairi did follow-up on it asking whether the Army Council did know on that.

[John signs off goes on with show, thanking WBAI for its archives that allows listeners from all over the world to hear the show. Clips and pictures will be up on irishfreedom.net.]

Ends @ 1:20:00

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


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