Hunger Striker Go-Between Interviewed

May 27, 2009 · Print This Article

The man who acted as an intermediary between the British government and representatives of the leadership of the Republican Movement during the 1981 hunger strike has spoken about the negotiating process he was involved in.

Derry businessman Brendan Duddy, who also spoke at a meeting last weekend organised by the Republican Network for Unity, has stated that “Nothing was ever communicated on paper to the IRA.” He also said that all that was on offer to the prisoners was already published in the book, ‘Ten Men Dead’, and that he agrees with the former leader of the women in Armagh during the 1981 protest who in a letter to the ‘Irish News’ had stated that there was an offer but no deal.

“Sile Darragh got it spot on,” he said.

Brendan Duddy was interviewed by Brian Rowan and the feature is available in full at the website of the ‘Belfast Telegraph’.


3 Responses to “Hunger Striker Go-Between Interviewed”

  1. Gerard on May 27th, 2009 3:14 pm

    He didn’t say that on Saturday Danny, in fact he confirmed the documents that Clarke showed him as being authentic, he also said that four of the five demands were effectively conceded by the british in the offer he communicated to the IRA on the 5th July and he also said he wouldn’t dispute O’Rwae’s version. This is all on video. Duddy seemed visibily shaken when Clarke produced the documents. What’s going on here Danny with your earlier claims that there were no concrete proposals?

  2. Simon on May 28th, 2009 3:02 pm

    The proposals by the British government which were leaked are in no way concrete if the transcripts of the text are accurate. The five demands were not met if you consider the provisos and conditions which are explicit in the non-negotiable text . Alot was left up to the prison and other authorities. It was open to abuse and even if they weren’t actually to be abused in the future (I wish.) the offer was deeply flawed.

    Of course, I can’t speak for anybody who was there at the time but any first year law student or anyone schooled in the art of negotiation would have been extremely wary.

    There are alot of ‘ifs and buts’ but does anybody believe that the republican leadership would have rejected a deal which met the needs of the prisoners for any reason? If they did so for political reasons as some have said would they not have put their political support in danger by allowing the British government to publish the offer shortly after it was rejected saying that it was rejected? That doesn’t make sense.

    If however, they rejected a position which the British could go back on or reneg for their own reasons like in the first hunger strike that is understandable. However, I feel for the families of the people who died. The hunger strikers were the finest people seen in this land for many generations. Their integrity and bravery couldn’t be bested and never will be either. I don’t believe for a minute that anybody who was in charge would have let them die for any spurious reason. It is literally beyond belief.

    Lets imagine a second failed “deal”. How long would the prisoners have protested for political status? How many others would die? The families stepped in and allowed the British to move.

  3. Simon on May 28th, 2009 3:18 pm

    By the way Brendan Duddy also said on Saturday : “I never heard or saw anything which said the substance would be enough to end the hunger strike.

    “The offer most probably came in and to the best of my knowledge the answer was that more had to be done. I believe that the fear was there would be another con job,” he said.

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