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News :: Politics
Gerry Adams and Co. Turn Backs on The Hunger Strikers
24 May 2006
Sitting in Stormont a denial of the H-Block hunger strikers - Ó Brádaigh
Sitting in Stormont a denial of the H-Block hunger strikers - Ó Brádaigh

"The bogus claim made by the Provos that the Stormont Agreement of 1998 was a logical succession to the hunger-strike deaths of 1981 was equivalent to the Free Staters' assertion that the 26-County State arose out of the Easter Rising of 1916," said the President of Republican Sinn Féin, at a 25th anniversary commemoration of the death of hunger-striker Raymond McCreesh at his grave in Camloch, south Armagh on Sunday, May 21.

Both claims were fraudulent, he said. The partitionist and collaborationist 26-County State came from England's alternative to the All-Ireland Dáil of 1919-22, ie the Westminster parliament's Government of Ireland Act of 1920. That state arose out of the defeat of the independence movement of 1916-23.

Likewise, the present Six-County Statelet, with or without Stormont, was an instrument of continued British rule in Ireland and a denial of all Raymond McCreesh, Bobby Sands and their comrades suffered and died for.

To accept partition and administer British rule here was a base betrayal of the hunger-strikers' sacrifices and agonising deaths. Those who denied by their actions the noble ideals sought in the H- Blocks of Long Kesh in 1981 should have the honesty and decency to stay away from the hunger-strikers' graves.

No man or woman could serve two masters. Those who now proposed that young Irishmen should don the uniform of the Black- and-Tans advocated something totally counter to the stand of men who died rather than wear the English convict garb. The former comrades of the hunger strikers who advocated joining the British police and persecuting their own people should remain silent in their shame.

Raymond McCreesh and his comrades in Long Kesh, on the other hand, were honoured around the world in every continent as fearless anti-colonial and anti-imperialist fighters who had reached the highest points in moral as well as physical courage. All honour to them today!

Now some of those who would not give even a cup of water to those struggling for Irish national independence down the years, were climbing on the bandwagon of material gain and self- aggrandisement. It was a far cry from the beds of pain of the hunger strikers in the H-Blocks to the comfort of ministerial seats under British rule in Stormont and the cosiness and luxury of heavily-subsidised English offices in Westminster.

It is not in accordance with the facts for establishment figures to allege that the hunger strike introduced the Republican Movement to electoral action. The Movement had been involved in elections in the 'teens, the '20s, the '30s, the '50s and the '60s of the 20th century, often with great success.

Paddy McLogan was elected for South Armagh in 1933, and Phil Clarke and Tom Mitchell for Fermanagh-South Tyrone and Mid- Ulster in 1955. These successes did not lead to parliamentary involvement in Westminster, Stormont or Leinster House.

It was the change in leadership in the Movement in the 1980s that caused the re-direction into acceptance of the status quo by those who sought to capitalise on the sacrifices of the hunger strikers for ignoble purposes. They betray the hunger strikers while using the names of the hunger strikers.

Along the way they signed away political status - or "Special Category Status" - for Republican prisoners. The Stormont Agreement of 1998 marked the end of such status and the re- commencement of the prison struggle.

Today the rights won by the hunger strikers are denied to political prisoners. Those who opt for the Republican wing in Maghaberry prison are refused freedom of association. They are on 22-hour lock- up and 18-hour lock-up on alternate days.

They are forced to eat meals in cells containing toilets, that is, eating in the bathroom. Education is confined to one afternoon per week, so it is a choice between fresh air and education.

Some warders engage in sleep deprivation techniques at night. Embroidering handkerchiefs is the only handicraft allowed. Visitors, ranging from priests to pensioners have been denied visits because an alleged "drugs dogs" singled them out.

Visitors who wore Easter Lilies were denied entry to the jail and prisoners who wore them were sentenced to three days on the punishment block and not allowed out of their cells at Easter. Yet pro-British poppies were available from the prison shop in November.

Irish culture is not recognised and those who sit in Stormont are silent on prison conditions. Their silence damns them. They have turned their backs on what the hunger strikers stood for.

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Re: Gerry Adams and Co. Turn Backs on The Hunger Strikers
24 May 2006
Oh fook yah. Real people need real lives. the Ira has looked at Reality. The people want peace.

Go to Eire yerself you fooking bloke and blw yerself up ya fooking foony.