fellow republican said to me last week that over
the period of Bobby Sands anniversary, the
republican movement had done everything except paint
the Star of David on my windows and daub Juden Raus
on my front door.
laughed when he made that analogy but when I had
time to think about it, I dont think he was
too wide off the mark.
recent attempts to demonise me from on high, the
vitriol, raw hatred and the ferocious endeavours
to destroy my integrity have, in terms of sheer
viciousness, been unprecedented within the republican
same republican pointed out that Freddie Scappaticci
had not received such a battering.
Feins silence on the question of this super-tout
contrasted sharply with their crazed attacks on
my character. An agent, it seems, is better thought
of than a blanketman. Scap apparently had both the
republican movements blessing and its promise
of omerta as he made haste from Dodge,
his saddlebags full of Brit money.
when audacity arose to challenge mendacity, I got
the jackboot on the neck treatment. No
free passage to Italy in my case. But then Scap
was the leaderships man. I was not.
root cause of their anger is that they are losing
the argument about what actually happened in the
days that preceded hunger striker Joe McDonnells
death and they know it. They are losing the argument
wherever they make it, in print or on TV and everyone
can see that.
Bradley, who had previously acted as an intermediary
between the British government and the republican
leadership, has confirmed in a recent RTE documentary
that the Brits had made an offer to end the hunger
strike before Joe McDonnell died.
Morrison has also confirmed that an offer had been
made, most recently when he was interviewed on RTE
Morning Ireland 10 days ago. So has Hugh
Logue who was involved with the Irish Commission
during this part of the prison protest.
this with Bik McFarlanes interview with UTVs
Fearghal McKinney on February 28 2005, on the day
that my book, Blanketmen, was published in
which he responded to a question about the British
proposal by saying that there was no offer whatsoever.
he tried to amend this by saying: There was
no concrete proposals whatsoever in relation to
Morrison and Bradley say there was an offer
as does Hugh Logue but Bik at first said
there wasnt, then that it wasnt concrete.
washes just about as much as we did during the blanket
dirty protest. Bik and Danny should
have got their story right before going public because
they now look downright silly.
is what lies at the heart of the dispute between
myself and those who pretend that the prison leadership
did not convey their intent to settle up and save
is what prompted Jim Gibney to write a
vituperative piece in The Irish News
on Thursday May 11, which is so full of distortions
and mutilations of the truth that it actually takes
the breath away.
wish to single out one of his allegations for special
claimed that the conversation between myself and
Bik in which we agreed the British offer should
be accepted, was not overheard by my cellmate. Does
he have any evidence to back this up?
now challenge him to produce it or withdraw the
no point have I sought to enlist my cellmates
public support for my position and risk exposing
him to the hate campaign that would surely follow
where he to confirm my account.
now that Jim Gibney has brought my cellmate into
this, I strenuously challenge him to provide the
evidence that my cellmate heard no conversation.
I am confident he wont or cant.
is another allegation which is so stunning in its
inaccuracy that it must be answered.
says that for 24 years I never mentioned this offer
to any ex-prisoners. Such a ridiculous statement
could Gibney know the context of conversations I
had with other ex-prisoners over a 24 year period?
And what a selective memory he has!
years ago, when he and I were in Danny Morrisons
company in the Rock Bar, I told him about the British
offer and that myself and Bik had told the leadership
it was acceptable.
fact is, I told many ex-prisoners about this as
many of them, I am sure, can confirm.
keeping the best nonsense to the last, Gibney writes:
ORawe stands alone in this, awkwardly
close to those who stood with Thatcher 25 years
ago this year.
stand with Thatcher? What a strange aspersion from
someone so eager to stand beside Paisley.
one of the blanketmen, I stand with the hunger strikers,
Jim, six of whose deaths in 1981 have yet to be
explained by the leadership of which you were a