Friday 20 April 2018

James Downey: New light on how IRA hunger strikes led to rise of Sinn Fein

Gunmen fire
a volley of shots
over the coffin of
Bobby Sands in
1981
Gunmen fire a volley of shots over the coffin of Bobby Sands in 1981
James Downey

James Downey

ALL through the spring and summer of 1981, Irish ministers and officials monitored events surrounding the H-Blocks hunger strike -- often hour by hour -- with frustration, dismay and fears for damage to relations with Britain.

Their reactions and analysis are recorded in state papers made public for the first time in the National Archives under the 30-year rule.

The hunger strike began on March 1, 1981. Bobby Sands became the first prisoner in the Maze (Long Kesh) H-Blocks to refuse food.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss