Richard O’Rawe, was IRA public relations officer in the H Block during the Hunger strike.
Writing on Ed Moloney’s blog ‘The Broken Elbow’, O’Rawe this week says he believes Gerry Adams not Margaret Thatcher must carry blame for most of the deaths during the hunger strike.
According to O’Rawe:
An offer was made to a committee headed up by Gerry Adams which would have gone some way to meet the prisoners’ demands i.e., prisoners could wear their own clothes, prison work would be “educationally based” and [they] would be segregated from loyalist prisoners in Long Kesh.
Danny Morrison delivered the British offer to the prisoners’ O/C (Officer Commanding) Bik McFarlane on July 6, 1981.
McFarlane, in turn notified O’Rawe, who said there was enough in the offer to end the hunger strike.
Within 24 hours, a ‘comm’ was received from Gerry Adams saying the offer was not acceptable and did not validate the deaths of the four hunger strikers.
A further six men died before the strike ended on October 3.
O’Rawe asserts that Adams and his committee should accept culpability in the deaths of those men and should be honest in their account of the strike.
Meanwhile, Gerry Adams in today’s Impartial Reporter says he was “very philosophical” about Mrs Thatcher’s death and could “forgive” her.
“It isn’t up to me to forgive her for what she did to the prisoners; that’s up to them and their families. I can forgive her, because I think we have to be about forgiveness. I can forgive her for anything that was done to me under her rule and I don’t have any problem with that – I actually believe in forgiveness. I just know as an individual; hatred or failure to forgive is most corrosive to the person involved as opposed to the perpetrator who mightn’t even be conscious of what you are thinking about him or her.”