IRA ATTITUDE ON H-BLOCK
An Phoblacht/Republican News
September 5th, 1981
To move the British government one would have to move those elements within the nationalist camp whose interest coincide with the interests of the British, and we presume that this would be a most difficult task. And, in fact, that a hungerstrike may merely expose the nature of politics in Ireland and the part played by all tese elements. We thought that this was too high a price.
It is true to say that no one could have clearly foreseen the prisoners having the resilience to continue the hungerstrike for so long. It is an unprecedented phenomenon. If nothing else this is clearly an indication of the suffering endured by the men in the prison and a clear illustration of the degree of their political commitment.
We would, of course, like to see the hungerstrike conclued. We obviously are working towards a principled and permanent end to the Long Kesh and Armagh protests. The prisoners know that their protest is a voluntary one and clearly understand that it can be ended as they see fit. They have shown no indication of ending it it is very understandable that they do not wish to end it because they do not have the basis for a permanent settlement and obviously we sympathise.
The ending of the hungerstrike on its own will not end the problems in Long Kesh and Armagh, no more than an end of IRA activities could end the problem of British involvement in Ireland. The Hungerstrike has obviously increased support for the republican cause. People clearly understand in the 26 Counties the nature of the British government's involvement in this part of the country. The 12 years of black propaganda projecting the IRA as a "terrorist force" has been swept aside by the sacrifice of the ten young men who have been martyred by a British government which can no longer pretend to have a benign interest in the affairs of this country. These has been an increase in national conciousness, especially in rural areas and among young people in urban areas. "
**Last bit of this soon.