Hunger strike author criticises Adams documentary

Former IRA prisoner and Blanketman Richard O'Rawe has slammed a new documentary about Gerry Adams
Connla Young

Hunger Strike author Richard O'Rawe has strongly disputed details contained in a major new documentary about Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

The former republican prisoner spoke out after TV3 broadcast the first half of a two-part documentary on Wednesday made by veteran journalist Vincent Browne.

It has also emerged that during preparation for the programme, Mr O'Rawe terminated an interview with Mr Browne at his west Belfast home.

'Gerry Adams: War, Peace and Politics' deals with the Sinn Féin's leader's life in Irish politics.

Mr Adams is due to be replaced as Sinn Féin president by Mary Lou McDonald this weekend.

A section of the documentary is devoted to the role Mr Adams played in the 1981 hunger strike, which claimed the lives of ten members of the IRA and INLA.

In the past Mr O'Rawe and some republicans have clashed over whether there was a deal on the table that would have ended the deadly fast before the death of Joe McDonnell.

A former IRA prisoner, Mr O'Rawe has previously claimed that republican leaders outside the jail rejected a potential deal.

In his 2005 book Blanketmen, the west Belfast republican, who was the IRA's second-in-command in the prison during the hunger strike, said that a possible deal was accepted by him and north Belfast republican Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane, who was the ‘Officer Commanding' in the jail at the time.

His version of events has been hotly disputed by Sinn Féin.

During the broadcast, it was suggested that an offer of a deal was not made to the late Brendan Duddy, who acted as a mediator between the British and republicans, until July 6, 1981.

The programme uses a diary belonging to Mr Duddy to support this assertion.

However, Mr O'Rawe maintains that his view of events is supported by an interview recorded with Mr Duddy in 2009.

Mr O'Rawe says he told Mr Browne about the Duddy interview and declined a second request for an interview during the filming of the TV3 programme.

He claimed the Adams documentary is "one-sided."

TV3 did not respond to requests for a comment.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: