Tuesday 12 December 2017

State Papers: Claims the late Bobby Sands offered to suspend hunger strike

Independent.ie reporters

STATE papers from 1981 claim the late Bobby Sands was willing to suspend his hunger strike just a week before he died.

The documents, released under the 30-year-rule, state the offer was made to the British Government by the Pope’s secretary John Magee.

The Government papers from Dublin, London and Belfast give an insight into life in 1981 including the H-block IRA hunger strikes in Northern Ireland in which ten men, including Mr Sands, died.

They claim that Mr Sands told Mr Magee, who later became the Bishop of Cloyne, that he would suspend his strike in return for discussions with a British Government official, two priests and three other prisoners as witnesses.

But the British rejected the offer, claiming it was an attempt to open negotiations.

Today, senior republicans, involved in the hunger strike, told RTE radio they had not heard of such offer adding that it went against everything Mr Sands did and said during the hunger strike.

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