Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

27 September 2001 Edition

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THE NUMBER of Blanket men on Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh has been re-established at eight for the first time since Friday 31 July, with 24-year-old Jim Devine from Strabane joining the fast from last Monday.

Of the eight Hunger Strikers, four are in the prison hospital; 25-year-old INLA Volunteer Liam McCloskey from Dungiven and three Belfast Brigade IRA Volunteers.

They are 23-year-old Pat Sheehan, 25-year-old Jackie McMullan and 30-year-old Bernard Fox, who was transferred to the hospital on Thursday week, September 17 after coughing up traces of blood.

On Monday of this week, when he was on his 29th day of Hunger Strike, Bernard Fox was still having difficulty keeping down the recommended daily intake of five or six pints of water.

On Monday, however, when his mother visited him, she nevertheless found him in excellent spirits.

On Wednesday evening of this week, in a dramatic call, Father Denis Faul, champion of demoralisation and defeatism, publicly appealed to the next-of-kin of Liam McCloskey and Bernard Fox to intervene to save their lives - and to get the British off the hook of their intransigence.

After visiting the prison hospital Fr Faul warned that not only Liam McCloskey, but also Bernard Fox, is entering a critical phase of his fast. He warned that Liam McCloskey is going blind; and that Bernard Fox is in danger of suffering kidnet failure due to his inability to hold down sufficient water and that he could suffer consequent brain damage.


Proxy prisoner MP, Owen Carron, visited H-Block Blanketman and Leinster House TD, Paddy Agnew on Wednesday. Paddy expressed his disgust at the attitude of the Dublin government, which at first pretended to be seeking a solution to the Hunger Strike and undermining the relatives of the prisoners.

According to Owen Carron, Paddy Agnew also criticised the SDLP who are now showing their true colours as opponents of the Hunger Strike, and he described John Hume's attack on the National H-Block/Armagh Committee as inhumane. Paddy also expressed great disappointment in the stand taken by the Irish hierarchy.

Owen Caron subsequently pointed out that he personally wished to condemn the prison administration who are now forcing Blanketmen into `closed' visits because they refuse to hold up their top lip for warders.

An Phoblacht, Saturday 26 September 1981

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1