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The Development of the IRA with special regard to the fate of Bobby Sands

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Introduction

The Development of the IRA with special regard to the fate of Bobby Sands Facharbeit von Matthias Wolf, Jgst. 12 Landfermann-Gymnasium, Duisburg Grundkurs Englisch 2 Schuljahr: 2000/2001 The Development of the IRA with special regard to the fate of Bobby Sands Contents: I. Introduction ...................................................................... .......... 3 II. From the beginnings of armed resistance in Ireland to the "Troubles" ...................................................................... . 3 III. The Irish Republican Army since 1969 ................................... 5 IV. Bobby Sands ...................................................................... ......... 6 V. The Hunger Strike ..................................................................... 9 VI. Chances for Peace in Ireland ................................................... 12 VII. Used Literature ...................................................................... ... 15 I. Introduction You cannot write about Ireland without mentioning the Irish troubles. This conflict, whose roots go back many centuries, escalated from 1969 onwards and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) became an important protagonist in these troubles. In this paper I want to give a short outline of the development of the IRA after its split into the so-called "Officials" and "Provisionals" in December 1969 and then describe the fate of a young Irish freedom fighter, Bobby Sands, who died after sixty-five days of hunger-strike in a Northern Irish prison hospital on 5 May 1981. II. From the beginnings of armed resistance in Ireland to "the Troubles"[1][1] Inspired by the Republican ideas of the French Revolution a group of Irish Protestants and Catholics founded the Society of United Irishmen who wanted to abolish the British monarchy in Ireland and replace it by an Irish Republic that should give free and equal status to both religious groups. During the Revolutionary Wars between Britain and France, in 1798, their leader Theobald Wolfe Tone led an army of 15,000 soldiers from France to Ireland in order to support a revolt of Catholic farmworkers against the Royal Irish Constabulary. However, the revolt was put down even before the troops got to Ireland in August 1798 and Tone was arrested and sentenced to death. ...read more.

Middle

The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week. [image006.jpg] Text Box: A Belfast mural painting Bobby became their spokesman and was in constant confrontation with the prison authorities. In the H-Blocks, beatings, long periods in the punishment cells, starvation diets and torture were commonplace and the prison authorities exercised a brutal terror regime to break the prisoners' resistance to criminalisation. V. The Hunger-Strike In April 1978 the IRA prisoners in the H-Blocks of the Maze Prison started a protest against what they called "systematic ill-treatment". They refused to wear prison uniform but wore blankets instead. These blanketmen also refused to go to the toilet or take showers and smeared their cell walls with excreta. Despite these protests the government refused to give in to their demands. On 27 October 1980, seven IRA volunteers, led by Brendan Hughes, began a hunger strike. Although the IRA leadership opposed the strike, they could not ignore the prisoners' wishes. Bobby Sands, who did not take part in this first hunger strike, negotiated with the prison authorities in an attempt to gain Special Category Status for the IRA prisoners and to de-escalate the conflict. However, Bobby's talks with the prison authorities did not lead anywhere near a solution. On the 53rd day of the strike, on 18 December 1980, Brendan Hughes broke off the strike believing a government courier was on his way with a letter meeting the prisoners demands. It did not. In a statement issued one day later, Bobby wrote: [image009.jpg] "We discovered that our good will and flexibility were in vain. It was made abundantly clear during one of my co-operation meetings with prison officials that strict conformity was required, which in essence meant acceptance of criminal status."[14][14] It was in this dead-lock situation that Bobby volunteered to lead a new hunger strike. He realised that this new strike had to be more strategic. ...read more.

Conclusion

5 October 1981, quoted in: "The end of the hunger strike" at: [28]http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/end81.html Erin Clarke and Peter Urban, War in the Streets, Struggle in the Prisons, at: http://www.irsm.org/general/history/beyondthepale.htm IRIS, Vol. 1, No. 2, Nov 1981 (a Sinn F�in publication) at: [29]http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/bios/sands.html Other used websites: http://inac.org/history/strikes.html [30]http://inac.org/history/peace.html http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/5demands.html http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/index.html [31]http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understan ding/default.stm [32]http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ http://www.ireland.com/special/peace/index.htm http://www.larkspirit.com http://wwwvms.utexas.edu/~jdana/irehist.html I declare that I wrote this Facharbeit all by myself and that I only used the sources I stated above. Duisburg, 5 March 2001 _______________________ [33][1] Cf. Oliver Knox, Rebels and Informers: Stirrings of Irish Independence, London 1998, p. 120-124 [34][2] World and Press Special, Northern Ireland - Background to the 'Troubles' and the conflict today, Eilers & Sch�nemann Verlag, Bremen without year. 7 [35][3] Gerry Adams, Falls Memories: A Belfast Life, Belfast 1993, p. 28 [36][4] Ibid. p. 30 [37][5] Grundmann, Schairer, Weinzierl, The conflict in Northern Ireland, M�nchen 1978, p.117 [38][6] Michael Hughes, Ireland divided: the roots of the modern Irish problem, Cardiff 1994, p. 128. [39][7] Details and Enniskillen photo from BBC News [History] at: [40]http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ [41][8] From the Sinn Fein publication IRIS, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1981 at http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/bios/sands.html [42][9] An Phoblacht/Republican News, 4 April 1981 [43][10] From the Sinn Fein publication IRIS, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1981 at http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/bios/sands.html [44][11] Ibid. [45][12] Ibid. [46][13] Five Demands of Irish Republican Prisoners at http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/5demands.html [47][14] From the Sinn Fein publication IRIS, Vol. 1, No. 2, Nov 1981 at http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/bios/sands.html [48][15] Cf. http://www.larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/diary.html [49][16] Cf. Erin Clarke and Peter Urban, War in the Streets, Struggle in the Prisons, at http://www.irsm.org/general/history/beyondthepale.htm [50][17] Cf. IRIS, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1981. [51][18] Ibid. [52][19] Richard Ford, "Prior flies to talks on Maze reforms", Times (London) 5 October 1981, quoted in: "The end of the hunger strike" at [53]http://larkspirit.com/hungerstrikes/end81.html [54][20] Clark Staten, EmergencyNet NEWS Service, Chicago, 14 November 1993, quoted at http://www.emergency.com/ira1193.htm [55][21] Gerry Adams, A Pathway to Peace, Cork 1988 [56][22] Cf. [57]http://inac.org/history/peace.html [58][23] Cf. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding /events/downing_street.stm [59][24] Cf. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding /events/ira_ceasefire.stm [60][25] Cf. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding /events/good_friday.stm [61][26] Cf. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/events/northern_ireland/assembly_elec tions/default.stm [62][27] Cf. Richard English, "Northern Ireland: Peace or Stalemate", in: Hutchinson History Reference Suite, Helicon Publishing Ltd. ...read more.

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