The Blanket

Remembering the Hunger Strikes


A response to an article in the Strabane Chronicle

Willie Gallagher • 5 March 2006

When these 'prominent' speakers, that SF's Nigel McDermot mentioned in your paper last week, give their revisionist analysis of this historical period will they inform their listeners of how and why the Provisional Republican Movement (PRM) continued on with Maggie Thatchers criminalisation policy directed against INLA prisoners in the H-Blocks from the mid-eighties up until 1994 when the INLA prisoners were forced to leave the republican wings?

Will they include in their lectures of how they used and abused the position of INLA prisoners, including the three INLA hunger strikers, particularly in the USA when SF collected at least tens of thousands of dollars on 'behalf' of INLA prisoners and their families and kept the money?

Will they tell us how and why they criminalised, demonised, slandered and undermined INLA prisoners, including once again the three dead INLA hunger strikers, and abused their families?

Will they acknowledge and explain why INLA prisoners were politically persecuted by the PRM in the H-Blocks after the deaths of the three INLA hunger strikers?

In light of the recent revelations of MI5 infiltration of the leadership of the PRM since shortly after the hunger strikes, do they accept the possibility that this criminalisation campaign directed against the Republican Socialist Movement (RSM) was a part of MI5 policy and administerd by the leadership of the PRM inside and outside of the prisons?

Will they acknowledge that this campaign still continues to the present day?

SF should do the decent and honourable thing in acknowledging these grevious errors and also desist from using the three dead INLA hunger strikers in their various agendas, as the three would be turning in their graves at the use and abuse of their deaths!!!

I hope you allow me space in your letters page to respond to Sinn Fein's Nigel McDermot in relation to 'Remembering the Hunger Strikes'. I am an ex-INLA prisoner who spent a total of 18 years in prison and was the INLA prisoner spokesperson on the outside from 1996 to 2004. The above comments would, I believe, accurately reflect the feelings of all ex-INLA prisoners.







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