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Militan IRA Bobby Sands mati

Militan IRA Bobby Sands mati


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Pada 5 Mei 1981, militan Irlandia-Katolik yang dipenjarakan Bobby Sands mati setelah menolak makanan selama 66 hari sebagai protes terhadap perlakuannya sebagai penjenayah dan bukan tahanan politik oleh pihak berkuasa Britain. Kematiannya segera menyebabkan rusuhan meluas di Belfast, ketika militan muda-Katolik Ireland bertempur dengan polis dan tentera British dan memulakan tembakan.

Bobby Sands dilahirkan dalam keluarga Katolik di daerah Protestan Belfast, Ireland Utara, pada tahun 1954. Pada tahun 1972, keganasan sektarian memaksa keluarganya berpindah ke perumahan awam di kawasan Katolik, di mana Sands direkrut oleh Sementara tentera Republik Ireland ( IRA). IRA Sementara, yang dibentuk pada tahun 1969 setelah memutuskan hubungan dengan IRA Rasmi, menganjurkan keganasan dan keganasan sebagai cara untuk memenangkan kemerdekaan bagi Ireland Utara dari Britain. (IRA Sementara, cabang yang dominan, umumnya disebut sebagai IRA.) Setelah merdeka, menurut IRA, Ireland Utara akan disatukan dengan Republik Ireland di sebuah republik Ireland yang sosialis. Pada tahun 1972, Sands ditangkap dan disabitkan kerana mengambil bahagian dalam beberapa rompakan IRA. Kerana dia dihukum karena kegiatan IRA, dia diberi "status kategori khusus" dan dikirim ke penjara yang lebih mirip dengan tahanan kem perang kerana membenarkan kebebasan berpakaian dan kebebasan bergerak di dalam penjara. Dia menghabiskan empat tahun di sana.

Setelah kurang dari setahun kembali di jalanan, Sands ditangkap pada tahun 1977 kerana memiliki senjata di tempat kejadian pengeboman IRA dan dijatuhi hukuman 14 tahun penjara. Kerana pemerintah Inggeris telah membuat kebijakan "kriminalisasi" pengganas Ireland pada tahun 1976, Sands dipenjarakan sebagai penjenayah berbahaya di Penjara Maze di selatan Belfast. Selama beberapa tahun berikutnya, dari selnya di Maze, dia bergabung dengan pengganas IRA yang dipenjarakan lain dalam tunjuk perasaan menuntut pemulihan kebebasan yang sebelumnya mereka nikmati di bawah status kategori khas. Pada tahun 1980, mogok makan berlangsung 53 hari sebelum dibatalkan ketika salah seorang penunjuk perasaan jatuh koma. Sebagai tindak balas, pemerintah Inggeris menawarkan beberapa konsesi kepada para tahanan, tetapi mereka gagal menyerahkan semua yang mereka janjikan dan tunjuk perasaan dilanjutkan. Sands tidak mengambil bahagian langsung dalam mogok 1980, tetapi dia bertindak sebagai pemimpin yang dilantik oleh IRA dan jurucakap tahanan yang memprotes.

Pada 1 Mac 1981 - ulang tahun kelima dasar pengkriminalan British - Bobby Sands melancarkan mogok makan baru. Dia hanya mengambil air dan garam, dan berat badannya turun dari 155 paun menjadi 95 paun. Selepas dua minggu, seorang penunjuk perasaan yang lain mogok, dan enam hari selepas itu, dua lagi. Pada 9 April, di tengah mogok itu, Sands terpilih menjadi kerusi kosong di Parlimen Britain dari Fermanagh dan South Tyrone di Ireland Utara. Parlimen kemudiannya memperkenalkan undang-undang untuk membatalkan kelayakan banduan yang menjalani hukuman penjara kerana memenuhi syarat untuk Parlimen. Pemilihannya dan ketakutan akan keganasan setelah kematiannya menarik perhatian antarabangsa terhadap protes Sands. Pada minggu terakhir hidupnya, Paus John Paul II mengirim utusan peribadi untuk mendesak Sands untuk menghentikan mogok tersebut. Dia menolak. Pada 3 Mei, dia jatuh koma, dan pada awal pagi 5 Mei dia meninggal. Pertempuran berkecamuk selama beberapa hari di Belfast, dan puluhan ribu menghadiri pemakamannya pada 7 Mei.

Setelah kematian Sands, mogok makan terus berlanjutan, dan sembilan lagi lelaki mati sebelum dibatalkan pada 3 Oktober 1981, di bawah tekanan pemimpin Gereja Katolik dan keluarga tahanan. Selepas mogok itu, pentadbiran Perdana Menteri Britain, Margaret Thatcher bersetuju untuk menyerah kepada beberapa tuntutan penunjuk perasaan, termasuk hak untuk memakai pakaian awam dan hak untuk menerima surat dan lawatan. Tawanan juga dibenarkan bergerak lebih bebas dan tidak lagi dikenakan hukuman keras kerana menolak kerja penjara. Namun, pengakuan rasmi terhadap status politik mereka tidak diberikan.

BACA LEBIH LANJUT: Garis Masa IRA: Masalah, Serangan & Gencatan Senjata


Bobby Sands

Editor kami akan menyemak apa yang telah anda kirimkan dan menentukan apakah akan menyemak semula artikel tersebut.

Bobby Sands, nama panggilan dari Robert Gerard Sands, Ireland Roibeard Gearóid Ó Seachnasaigh, (lahir 9 Mac 1954, Rathcoole, Newtownabbey, Ireland Utara - meninggal 5 Mei 1981, HM Prison Maze, dekat Lisburn, Ireland Utara), pegawai Tentera Republik Ireland (IRA) yang menjadi terkenal di dunia pada tahun 1981 ketika dia memulakan mogok lapar yang membawa maut semasa dipenjarakan kerana aktiviti yang berkaitan dengan kempen bersenjata IRA menentang pemerintah Inggeris.

Masa kecil Sands, yang merangkumi beberapa serangan oleh paramiliter kesatuan dan geng Protestan tempatan, menyebabkan keputusannya untuk menjadi sukarelawan untuk IRA pada tahun 1972. Sands ditangkap dua kali, pertama kali kerana memiliki senjata, pada tahun 1972, dan dipenjarakan di Pusat Tahanan Long Kesh sebagai banduan "kategori khas" kerana penglibatannya dengan IRA. Status kategori khas mengakui semacam status politik dan memberikan hak kepada tahanan untuk memakai pakaian mereka sendiri, pergaulan "bebas" dengan tahanan kategori khas lain, hak untuk mengatur aktiviti pendidikan dan rekreasi mereka sendiri, dan akses ke lawatan dan bungkusan sekali seminggu. Semasa di penjara, dia bertemu dengan aktivis IRA terkemuka lain seperti Gerry Adams, dan Sands segera menjadi pegawai komando anggota IRA di Long Kesh. Dia terkenal dengan pengetahuannya yang produktif mengenai pengarang politik kiri, seperti George Jackson, Frantz Fanon, dan Che Guevara, serta beberapa sosialis Ireland, seperti James Connolly, dan mendesak lebih banyak politik sosialis dalam gerakan republik. Semasa direman, dia mengahwini kekasihnya selama beberapa tahun, yang juga ibu kepada anaknya.

Setelah dibebaskan pada bulan April 1976, dia dengan cepat bergabung kembali ke dalam kegiatan republik Ireland, termasuk banyak usaha pengorganisasian masyarakat. Sands dan tiga anggota IRA yang disyaki ditangkap enam bulan kemudian. Dia kemudian disabitkan dengan tuduhan senjata lain dan dijatuhkan hukuman penjara 14 tahun di penjara Maze (sebelumnya Long Kesh).

Namun, ketika menjalani hukuman penjara kedua, Sands mendapati dirinya berada dalam keadaan baru. Pemerintah Britain, melalui kebijakan yang dikenal sebagai "kriminalisasi," telah membatalkan status kategori khas yang diberikan kepada tahanan republik. Kerajaan Inggeris berusaha secara terbuka menggambarkan sebarang kegiatan republik sebagai kegiatan biasa, dan bukan politik, penjenayah namun terus bergantung pada perbicaraan tertutup, bukti rahsia, dan penahanan yang berlanjutan tanpa tuduhan untuk mendapatkan sabitan terhadap anggota IRA yang disyaki.

Sebagai hasil daripada dasar kriminalisasi, serta penganiayaan fizikal dan verbal yang dilakukan oleh tahanan, banyak tahanan republik melakukan tunjuk perasaan, memuncak mogok makan mereka kurang dari lima tahun kemudian. Dua bentuk protes utama, yang mana kedua Sands turut serta, dikenali sebagai tunjuk perasaan "selimut" dan "kotor", di mana tahanan yang memprotes hanya akan memakai selimut dan bukannya seragam penjara dan enggan mencuci.

Sepanjang masa ini, Sands menjadi sangat popular di kalangan tahanan yang memprotes. Dikenali dengan nama pena "Marcella" (dinamakan adiknya), Sands menyumbang surat kabar Sinn Fein, melayan para tahanan lain dengan kisah-kisah yang dibacakan dan asli (sering diceritakan dalam bahasa Gaelic), dan terus menulis puisi sendiri. Dia juga memfokuskan pada cintanya pada ilmu burung dengan mengesan burung di luar tingkapnya.

Tidak banyak kemajuan yang dapat dilihat setelah lima tahun protes selimut dan kotor, yang menyebabkan keputusan untuk melakukan mogok makan hingga mati. Sands, yang menganjurkan penggunaan mogok makan, segera menjadi sukarelawan dan dipilih untuk memimpin mogok, yang dimulai pada 1 Mac 1981.

Mogok lapar Sands mengumpulkan perhatian nasional dan antarabangsa, serta permintaan orang ramai agar kerajaan Britain mengabulkan tuntutan tahanan. Boleh dikatakan, perkembangan mogok yang paling ketara berlaku ketika Sands memasuki kempen untuk anggota parlimen (MP) untuk daerah Fermanagh dan Tyrone Selatan Ireland Utara. Pada 10 April, setelah 41 hari mogok lapar dan sangat mengejutkan kepimpinan IRA, Sands memenangi kerusi itu dengan lebih daripada 30,000 undi. Pemilihannya menimbulkan gelombang kejutan di seluruh Ireland dan kerajaan Britain. Bagaimanapun, dasar kriminalisasi Inggeris bergantung pada pernyataan mereka bahawa IRA tidak banyak mendapat sokongan masyarakat dan merupakan kumpulan penjenayah yang tidak bertanggungjawab.

Walaupun status politik baru Sands sebagai MP dan tekanan masyarakat meningkat, pemerintah Britain, di bawah pimpinan Perdana Menteri Margaret Thatcher, menolak untuk bergerak sejenak menuju perdamaian. Keadaan Sands terus bertambah buruk dan dia tetap dipenjarakan di wad hospital penjara. Akhirnya, pada 3 Mei, Sands mengalami koma. Keluarganya dipanggil untuk mengunjunginya, dan pada hari Selasa, 5 Mei 1981, setelah 66 hari mogok lapar, Sands meninggal dunia.


Sumbang kepada Parti Sosialis

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Hasil penghematan telah ditunjukkan secara grafik sebagai tekanan perkhidmatan awam untuk mengatasi krisis.

Pemerintah sekarang telah membuat mantra 'berjimat cermat' dan beralih kepada dasar-dasar yang tidak lama dahulu dikecam sebagai sosialis. Tetapi setelah krisis korona, ia akan berusaha membuat kelas pekerja membayarnya, dengan berusaha mendapatkan kembali apa yang telah diberikan.

  • Bahan Parti Sosialis lebih penting daripada sebelumnya, jadi kita dapat terus melaporkan dari pekerja yang memperjuangkan langkah-langkah kesihatan dan keselamatan yang lebih baik, menentang pemberhentian pekerja, untuk tingkat kepegawaian yang mencukupi, dll.
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Tidak dapat tidak, semasa krisis kita tidak dapat menjual Sosialis dan mengumpulkan dana dengan cara yang biasa kita lakukan.

Oleh itu, kami dengan segera meminta semua penonton kami untuk mengklik di sini untuk menyumbang kepada Fighting Fund kami.


Juga oleh Peter Taylor:

Kemajuan politik penting parti itu akhirnya dinobatkan ketika Martin McGuinness, yang pernah menjadi pemimpin IRA paling kuat di pulau Ireland, menjadi timbalan menteri pertama dalam Perhimpunan Ireland Utara, yang berkongsi kuasa dengan musuhnya yang dulu pahit, Ian Paisley. Dengan mengejutkan, McGuinness kemudian makan dengan tali leher dan ekor putih dengan Ratu di Windsor Castle. Dia berbuat demikian, dia memberitahu saya, & quotto mengulurkan tangan persahabatan kepada orang-orang Unionis Utara & quot.

Mogok lapar sangat penting dalam perjalanan luar biasa Sinn Fein, yang menjadikannya sekarang parti politik terbesar di pulau Ireland, berkongsi kuasa di Belfast dan mengetuk pintu di Dublin.

Itu adalah transformasi yang tidak pernah saya impikan akan saya lihat ketika saya membuat liputan kelaparan dari asal-usul mereka hingga klimaks dramatik mereka.

Bagaimana setiausaha Ireland Utara, yang akhirnya menghentikan mogok makan, melihat Sinn Fein & # x27s maju? Saya menemubual James - pada masa itu Tuan - Sebelum dua tahun sebelum dia meninggal dalam usia 89. Saya bertanya kepadanya apakah dia fikir strategi Armalite dan Kotak Surat telah berjaya. Dia sangat jujur.

& quotSaya menjangkakan dengan keuntungan dari pandangan belakang, seseorang harus mengatakan ya. Walaupun tidak menyenangkan, saya & # 39; khuatir ia berjaya. & Quot

Saya menyatakan kepadanya bahawa pemerintah tidak pernah dapat mengakui bahawa keganasan berfungsi, ketika mereka berkuasa.

& quot; Tidak, & quot katanya. & quotIni mengambil masa bertahun-tahun selepas itu, seperti anda & # x27 bertanya sekarang. & quot


"Perdamaian palsu hanya menangguhkan konflik": Temu ramah dengan Danny Morrison dari Bobby Sands Trust

Hari ulang tahun ke-40 kematian Pendekatan Bobby Sands, Politics Today menemubual Danny Morrison, seorang wartawan, pengarang, jurucakap mogok makan IRA dan Setiausaha dari Bobby Sands * Percayalah pada sejarah dan kemajuan perjuangan selama puluhan tahun di Utara Ireland, dan warisan Bobby Sands dari mogok lapar Ireland tahun 1981.

P. Perjuangan Ireland di Ireland Utara ... Anda telah menjadi sebahagian daripada perjuangan. Bolehkah anda memberitahu kami mengenai perkara itu?

Pasti. Saya dilahirkan di Belfast Barat tempat saya masih tinggal. Saya terlibat dalam perjuangan pada tahun 1960-an. Saya telah menjadi aktivis politik dari usia pertengahan remaja ketika saya berminat dengan gerakan anti-perang Perang Vietnam dan kemudian gerakan hak sivil di Amerika Utara. Gerakan itu, bersama dengan gerakan mahasiswa di Eropah pada Mei 1968, memberi kesan yang berpengaruh pada komuniti nasionalis di Utara Ireland.

Kami tidak menyebutnya sebagai ‘Ireland Utara’ kerana kami tidak mengakui kesahihannya, kerana kami menjadi mangsa perpecahan ketika Inggeris memecah belah negara kami dan menyerahkan sebahagian besar wilayah utara. Ketika tentera Inggeris diperkenalkan semula ke Utara Ireland pada tahun 1969, ia menjadi penindas utama kami. Akhirnya, perjuangan bersenjata berkembang, dan bukan untuk pertama kalinya dalam sejarah negara kita yang ditakluki.

T. Oleh itu, anda bermaksud bahawa perjuangan sudah ada di sana.

Ya, sebenarnya, orang Ireland telah menentang pemerintahan Inggeris selama berabad-abad. Dari 1798 dan seterusnya, enam pemberontakan besar berlaku, termasuk Kebangkitan 1916 di Dublin ketika Republik Ireland diisytiharkan. Para pemimpin pemberontakan itu dilaksanakan oleh Inggeris, dan setelah itu, perang gerila bermula, menjelang akhir yang mana pemerintah Inggeris membahagikan rakyat Ireland dan meletakkan perbatasan di sekitar enam daerah di timur laut yang mereka serahkan kepada pro-British Unionists, keturunan orang-orang yang telah menjadi sebahagian daripada penjajahan abad keenam belas.

Walaupun pada awalnya ada perlindungan perundangan dan undang-undang untuk minoriti, Unionists dengan cepat mengambil alih dan jadi kami akhirnya menjadi minoriti buatan di bahagian negara kita yang berpecah ini. Orang-orang kita terpaksa berhijrah dalam jumlah besar ke Amerika dan tempat-tempat lain. Sangat sedikit rumah yang dibina atau industri yang terletak di kawasan miskin tempat kami tinggal.

Kami diserang, ditarik keluar dari rumah kami, dibunuh oleh polis, yang menyebabkan banyak orang percaya bahawa perlawanan pasif tidak lagi berfungsi, dan oleh itu orang beralih ke IRA, yang merupakan organisasi militan tradisional dengan akarnya kembali ke Sejarah Ireland.

Dan setiap kali kami melakukan protes, kami dipukul oleh Unionist paramiliter. Kami diserang, ditarik keluar dari rumah kami, dibunuh oleh polis, yang menyebabkan banyak orang percaya bahawa perlawanan pasif tidak lagi berfungsi, dan oleh itu orang beralih ke IRA, yang merupakan organisasi militan tradisional dengan akarnya kembali ke Sejarah Ireland.

Q. Apa sebenarnya yang mendorong penglibatan aktif anda dalam perjuangan Ireland pada akhir 1960-an?

Walaupun saya seorang pelajar sendiri, saya terlibat secara aktif sejurus selepas pengenalan intern tanpa percubaan oleh British. Saya sebelumnya telah mengambil bahagian dalam mendirikan Radio Free Belfast pada bulan Ogos 1969, yang merupakan stesen radio lanun yang menyiarkan apa yang tidak dilakukan oleh BBC. Pada akhir usia remaja saya ditahan di kem penjara Long Kesh. Ketika saya keluar dari penjara atas salah satu gencatan senjata sesekali yang ditawarkan oleh IRA pada tahun 1975, bukan oleh pemerintah Inggeris dan juga pemerintah Unionis, saya diminta untuk menyunting Berita Republik, yang merupakan makalah mingguan Sinn Féin ** , jadi, saya masuk ke publisiti walaupun saya tidak pernah mempunyai pengalaman. Saya menulis beberapa makalah untuk Sinn Féin. Saya membuat siaran pilihan raya mereka. Kemudian, saya menjadi pengarah publisiti nasional untuk Sinn Féin.

VIDEO: Bobby Sands dikenang oleh rakan penyerang lapar Pat Sheehan

T. Jadi, ini adalah bagaimana kerjaya anda sebagai wartawan telah bermula.

Ya. Semasa kecil, saya sangat berminat dengan sastera dan melihat diri saya menjadi penulis, mungkin melalui kewartawanan. Tetapi saya menumpukan bakat apa pun yang saya miliki ke arah republik dan menyampaikan tujuan republik. Saya berada di penjara pada tahun 1990-an dan menulis dua buah buku. Gencatan senjata IRA dipanggil semasa saya berada di penjara. Semasa saya keluar, saya melakukan beberapa pekerjaan untuk Sinn Féin tetapi memutuskan bahawa sekarang atau tidak pernah menjadi saya untuk menjadi penulis sepenuh masa. Gerry Adams, yang merupakan presiden Sinn Féin menyokong keputusan saya walaupun itu sedikit merugikan jabatan publisiti Sinn Féin. Oleh itu, sejak 20 tahun kebelakangan ini, saya telah menjadi penulis dan editor dan pengulas politik dan budaya.

T. Seiring dengan kerjaya anda sebagai wartawan dan pengarang, anda juga pernah menjadi jurucakap mogok makan IRA danSetiausahaKepercayaan Bobby Sands. Bolehkah anda menerangkan sedikit mengenai perkara itu?

Bobby Sands adalah pemimpin mogok makan tahun 1981 dan dia terpilih ke parlimen Britain semasa dia mogok lapar. Kieran Doherty, seorang tahanan lain, dan seorang penyerang kelaparan, juga terpilih ke parlimen Ireland, tetapi kedua-duanya mati dalam mogok lapar bersama dengan lapan pemuda lain di H-Blok Long Kesh. Saya pernah menjadi jurucakap Bobby Sands ketika dia mencalonkan diri untuk pilihan raya, dan saya pernah mewakilinya dalam siaran politik parti di televisyen dan radio. Setahun selepas mogok makan, saya terpilih menjadi anggota Majlis di Belfast pada tahun 1982, bersama dengan Gerry Adams dan Martin McGuinness.

Q. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan mogok makan 1981?

Kita perlu menekankan bahawa penyerang kelaparan IRA pertama tidak mati pada tahun 1981 tetapi pada tahun 1917. Thomas Ashe, yang telah mengambil bahagian pada tahun 1916 Rising, berkeras untuk tidak diperlakukan sebagai penjenayah yang memakai seragam jenayah dan dipaksa untuk melakukan hukuman berat dan memalukan, tetapi sebagai Tawanan Perang. Jadi, selalu ada tradisi mogok makan jika berlaku ketidakadilan terhadap tahanan.

Kerajaan Britain sedar bahawa republik Ireland tidak akan menerima status jenayah. Mereka tahu bahawa ketika mereka mengenakan syarat-syarat ini pada tahun 1976, menanggalkan tahanan telanjang dan berusaha memaksa mereka memakai pakaian seragam jenayah Britain. Dalam mogok makan sebelumnya pada tahun 1972, kerajaan Britain telah bersetuju untuk mengiktiraf mereka sebagai tahanan politik. Tetapi daripada menggunakan istilah itu, ia mengatakan akan mengiktiraf mereka sebagai "tahanan kategori khas".

Ketika Kieran Nugent ditangkap, mereka menyuruhnya menanggalkan pakaiannya dan memakai seragam jenayah dan dia menolak. Dia kemudian dipukul dan dilemparkan ke dalam sel, dan satu-satunya benda di dalam sel itu adalah selimut. Jadi, Nugent meletakkan selimut untuk membungkus dirinya, dan begitulah cara dia menjatuhkan hukumannya.

Di bawah kategori khas, tahanan dibenarkan memakai pakaian mereka sendiri, menjaga kandang mereka sendiri, membuat tempat tidur mereka sendiri, mencuci pakaian mereka sendiri, dan ada ketenangan di penjara dan ada juga jumlahnya yang kuat. Sudah tentu, tentera Britain terus menyerang Cages setiap beberapa minggu dan menyerang tahanan, tetapi IRA, pada tahap ini, tidak pernah melakukan serangan balas terhadap pegawai penjara.

Setelah beberapa tahun, pemerintah Inggeris menyedari bahawa dunia memandang tahanan ini di Long Kesh, yang mempunyai status POW, sebagai tentera gerila yang sah. Oleh itu, mereka memutuskan untuk mengingkari perjanjian sebelumnya dan memberlakukan polisi kriminalisasi terhadap IRA. IRA kemudian membalas dengan menembak pegawai penjara.

Q Q. Oleh itu, apakah polisi kriminalisasi inilah yang membuka jalan kepada mogok makan 1981?

Menurut pengaturan baru, jika anda ditangkap kerana disebut sebagai "pelanggaran politik berjadual", iaitu dengan menggunakan perang gerila, perjuangan bersenjata, untuk menggulingkan pemerintah, maka anda tidak akan lagi memiliki kategori khusus. Jadi, ketika Kieran Nugent ditangkap, mereka menyuruhnya menanggalkan pakaiannya dan memakai seragam jenayah dan dia menolak. Dia kemudian dipukul dan dilemparkan ke dalam sel, dan satu-satunya benda di dalam sel itu adalah selimut. Jadi, Nugent meletakkan selimut untuk membungkus dirinya, dan begitulah cara dia menjatuhkan hukumannya.

Pentadbiran penjara meningkatkan hukuman. Apabila tidak membenarkan lelaki keluar dari sel mereka pergi ke tandas tanpa memakai seragam, tahanan masuk ke dalam sel mereka. Apabila mereka tidak dapat membuang sampah, mereka meletakkannya di dinding. Walaupun itu adalah kampanye protes yang besar, itu tidak mengubah British sehingga mogok makan di bawah pimpinan Bobby Sands dimulakan dengan tuntutan yang cukup sederhana. Hak untuk memakai pakaian mereka sendiri, diberi lawatan, menulis dan menerima surat dan sebagainya. Akhirnya, 10 pemuda meninggal dalam jangka masa tujuh bulan, bermula dengan Bobby Sands pada 5 Mei 1981.


Militan IRA Bobby Sands Dies

Pada 5 Mei 1981, militan Irlandia-Katolik yang dipenjarakan Bobby Sands mati setelah menolak makanan selama 66 hari sebagai protes terhadap perlakuannya sebagai penjenayah dan bukan tahanan politik oleh pihak berkuasa Britain. Kematiannya segera menyebabkan rusuhan meluas di Belfast, ketika militan muda-Katolik Ireland bertempur dengan polis dan tentera British dan memulakan tembakan.

Bobby Sands dilahirkan dalam keluarga Katolik di daerah Protestan Belfast, Ireland Utara, pada tahun 1954. Pada tahun 1972, keganasan sektarian memaksa keluarganya berpindah ke perumahan awam di kawasan Katolik, di mana Sands direkrut oleh Sementara tentera Republik Ireland ( IRA). IRA Sementara, yang dibentuk pada tahun 1969 setelah memutuskan hubungan dengan IRA Rasmi, menganjurkan keganasan dan keganasan sebagai cara untuk memenangkan kemerdekaan bagi Ireland Utara dari Britain. (IRA Sementara, cabang dominan, umumnya disebut sebagai IRA.) Setelah merdeka, menurut IRA, Ireland Utara akan disatukan dengan Republik Ireland di sebuah republik Ireland yang sosialis. Pada tahun 1972, Sands ditangkap dan disabitkan kerana mengambil bahagian dalam beberapa rompakan IRA. Kerana dia dihukum karena kegiatan IRA, dia diberi "status kategori khusus" dan dikirim ke penjara yang lebih mirip dengan tahanan kem perang kerana ia membenarkan kebebasan berpakaian dan kebebasan bergerak di dalam penjara. Dia menghabiskan empat tahun di sana.

Setelah kurang dari setahun kembali di jalanan, Sands ditangkap pada tahun 1977 kerana memiliki senjata di tempat kejadian pengeboman IRA dan dijatuhi hukuman 14 tahun penjara. Kerana pemerintah Inggeris telah membuat kebijakan "kriminalisasi" pengganas Ireland pada tahun 1976, Sands dipenjarakan sebagai penjenayah berbahaya di Penjara Maze di selatan Belfast. Selama beberapa tahun berikutnya, dari selnya di Maze, dia bergabung dengan pengganas IRA yang dipenjarakan lain dalam tunjuk perasaan menuntut pemulihan kebebasan yang sebelumnya mereka nikmati di bawah status kategori khas. Pada tahun 1980, mogok makan berlangsung 53 hari sebelum dibatalkan ketika salah seorang penunjuk perasaan jatuh koma. Sebagai tindak balas, pemerintah Inggeris menawarkan beberapa konsesi kepada tahanan, tetapi mereka gagal menyerahkan semua yang telah mereka janjikan dan pr


Ketika nasionalis membakar istana Ireland semasa mogok makan IRA

Sekumpulan empat lelaki menyiram petrol di ruangan utama Killeen Castle di County Meath pada awal pagi pada 16 Mei 1981, untuk menyoroti punca Bobby Sands dan tahanan republik lain di Long Kesh ketika mereka berkempen untuk tahanan politik status. Sands telah meninggal 11 hari sebelumnya, sementara Francis Hughes meninggal pada 12 Mei.

Keempat lelaki itu menghabiskan tujuh gelen petrol di sekitar 100 bilik istana, menghancurkan sebahagian besar bahagian dalam istana.

Baca lebih lanjut

Salah satu daripada empat lelaki yang disabitkan dengan kesalahan itu mengatakan bahawa kumpulan itu telah membakar istana untuk menyoroti keadaan tahanan semasa mogok makan.

Sepuluh tahanan nasionalis mati semasa mogok lapar pada 1981 dalam pertarungan tujuh bulan dengan Perdana Menteri Britain, Margaret Thatcher.

Mogok lapar adalah kemuncak protes selama lima tahun oleh tahanan nasionalis di H-Block Penjara Long Kesh yang terkenal ketika mereka berkempen untuk status kategori khas untuk tahanan paramiliter. Sands dipilih sebagai Ahli Parlimen Britain untuk kawasan Fermanagh dan South Tyrone ketika mogok makan, sementara protes juga terbukti menjadi pendorong yang mengubah Sinn Féin menjadi parti politik arus perdana.

Nasib baik, keluarga Brindley, yang memiliki istana pada masa itu, tidak hadir ketika istana itu dibakar kerana mereka tinggal di rumah pengurus di perkebunan Killeen Castle.

Kebakaran itu pertama kali dikesan oleh Saudara O'Reilly dari Salesian Order of Warrenstown College semasa dia mengunci disko tempatan. O'Reilly pada mulanya menyalah anggap api lampu sorot kerana perkarangan Killeen Castle telah dijadikan acara pada minggu sebelumnya.

Ketika dia menyedari bahawa istana itu terbakar, dia memberi tahu perkhidmatan kecemasan, dengan cepat memberi respons dari pasukan bomba di Drogheda, Navan, Dunshaughlin, Kells, dan Trim. Perkhidmatan kecemasan terkawal pada waktu siang pada 16 Mei, tetapi mereka tidak dapat mencegah kerosakan besar pada bahagian dalam istana.

Baca lebih lanjut

Empat lelaki disabitkan bersalah atas kejadian itu, dengan salah seorang tertuduh mendakwa di mahkamah bahawa dia tidak akan membakar istana jika dia tahu ia dimiliki oleh seorang lelaki Ireland.

Istana ini dibiarkan terbengkalai dan hancur selama bertahun-tahun sehingga dijual pada tahun 1989 dan dipulihkan sepanjang tahun 2000-an.

Hari ini, Killeen Castle adalah rumah bagi padang golf standard kejuaraan, yang menjadi tuan rumah Piala Solheim 2011 antara Eropah dan Amerika Syarikat.

Daftar ke buletin IrishCentral untuk terus mengetahui tentang semua perkara dalam bahasa Ireland!


Sertailah perbincangan

/>Ray Mullan berkata:

Perspektif yang menarik dan sangat baik dalam masa yang sukar dalam sejarah kita.

Tetapi pada pendapat saya, dan dengan segala hormatnya kepada pemuda relatif Jenny McCartney & # 8217, perjalanan (utara) Ireland hari ini sudah ditetapkan pada tahun 1968 ketika sejumlah demonstrasi yang dianjurkan oleh Persatuan Hak Sivil Ireland Utara - memprotes antara rungutan lain maaf keadaan penyediaan perumahan bagi umat Katolik Rom dan sistem pilihan raya yang memberikan undi Katolik sebahagian besarnya tidak berkesan melampaui segelintir borough - secara konsisten disambut dengan kekerasan yang kejam oleh Royal Ulster Constabulary yang bersikap berpengaruh dan keributan umum setia yang menyamar sebagai milisi & # 8220B Istimewa & # 8221.

Reaksi terhadap perarakan tersebut sangat diharapkan di lingkungan yang diatur oleh Stormont menurut preskripsi perdana menteri pertamanya pada tahun 1934, James Craig, sebagai & # 8220a parlimen protes dan negara yang memprotes & # 8221.

Seorang kanak-kanak berusia enam bulan pada bulan Ogos 1968, saya duduk di bangku rumah Bibi & # 8217 saya dan menyaksikan kumpulan paip memimpin salah satu perarakan hak sivil dari Coalisland ke Dungannon sekitar empat batu jauhnya, di mana ia disambut dengan paparan yang tidak simpatik kekuatan. Dalam setahun, kakak saya harus datang dan membawa abang dan saya dari ladang berdekatan tempat kami bermain kerana kejiranan kami telah kosong pada malam itu. Mereka yang sama dengan RUC dan & # 8220B Specials & # 8221 telah mengancam pengulangan pogrom di & # 821720s ketika & # 8216Taigs & # 8217 seperti kita dipukul keluar dari tempat kerja kita, dan juga rumah kita. Setiap keluarga dengan sebuah kereta telah pergi - yang merupakan setiap keluarga tetapi kami dan satu sama lain.

Saya berpendapat bahawa kita tidak akan pernah mengalami kebangkitan dalam menyokong IRA atau sesungguhnya keganasan paramiliter berikutnya di kedua-dua belah pihak dan tentunya bukan situasi di enam daerah hari ini, jika statet kecil yang masam itu tidak dikonfigurasi dengan jelas untuk memenuhi preskripsi Craig & # 821730-an - dan pertubuhan penunjuk perasaan yang tidak puas hati tidak menyangka mereka dapat melarikan diri tanpa batas dengan kebencian mereka terhadap Papes - dan semua perkara Ireland, dalam hal ini - dan hanya berkelakuan dengan lebih banyak rahmat.

Tunjuk perasaan yang damai itu dengan cepat menjadi huru-hara dan penolong & # 8220the Troubles & # 8221 menyusul. Terima kasih, Stormont, tapi awak sudah lama tidak pergi.

Saya adalah pelajar Fr Denis Faul (atau Dennis the Menace kerana IRA dan para simpatisannya suka menerangkannya) di sekolah sepanjang & # 821770s. Saya ingat dia sangat gemar sebagai orang yang penuh pengetahuan, prinsip keadilan yang kuat dan duri di sisi organisasi. Dia pernah memberitahu kami tentang pendahulu Kardinal ia Fiaich & # 8217, William Conway & muslihat yang tidak berjaya untuk memindahkannya ke Rom - apa sahaja untuk membebaskannya dari kerancakan politik di Norn Iron.

Segala penghargaan kepada ingatannya kerana telah membantu menyelesaikan Hunger Strike tetapi pada usia sembilan belas tahun saya memberikan suara pertama saya untuk Sands kerana beberapa perkara penting yang hilang dari karya McCartney & # 8217 seperti pembunuhan di Derry dan Ballymurphy oleh Tentera British pada tahun 1971, pengenalan tahanan tanpa perbicaraan pada masa Pembunuhan Ballymurphy dan, ya, hakikat bahawa lelaki itu telah meletakkan nyawanya dalam talian.

Dan saya masih memberikan suara saya untuk Sinn Féin.

/>jim payne berkata:

Mungkin N. Ireland boleh menemui dua parti politik yang tidak mahu saling membunuh dan penyokong mereka yang tidak bersalah. Tetapi mungkin penyelesaian itu terlalu masuk akal.

/>Mickey John berkata:

Terima kasih kerana menambah sedikit baki. Sayangnya sebahagian besar komen menggambarkan kekurangan pengetahuan sebenar yang berterusan mengenai tempat kita dibesarkan. Untuk dihentikan setiap hari di jalan-jalan anda sendiri dan diganggu oleh tentera dari negara lain, untuk diganas oleh pembantu tempatan mereka yang tidak berdisiplin dan sering membunuh, untuk diklasifikasikan sebagai kurang daripada seorang warganegara dalam sebuah statet yang secara harfiah didasarkan pada jumlah kepala sektarian & # 8230I tertanya-tanya berapa banyak orang Inggeris yang akan bertahan dengan perkara ini. Sudah tentu banyak perkara telah dilakukan, tetapi seperti yang dikatakan oleh Martin McGuinness (dan tidak ada yang lebih benar daripada di Ireland) & # 8220tidak ada yang mempunyai monopoli penderitaan & # 8221.

STANHOPE CHARLES berkata:

Masalah ini seharusnya dapat diselesaikan pada musim panas tahun 1914, tetapi kerana ketidakpedulian Asquith dan yang lain. Dalam kes Asquith, seperti yang kita ketahui sekarang, dia terlalu sibuk 'menyelinap' ke atas tubuh Venetia Stanley yang sukar untuk menangani masalah Irish / Home Rule dengan apa-apa semangat.
Seperti yang diharapkan, Churchill muda cukup gung-ho setelah ketidakpatuhan di Curragh dan ingin menghantar Tentera Laut Diraja untuk menyerang Belfast agar tunduk. (Tidak akan memakan masa lama).

Malangnya tindakan orang-orang gila Serbia di seberang Eropah membolehkan Asquith yang celaka menangguhkan masalah itu sehingga akhir Perang. Pada waktu itu ribuan Ulstermen telah disembelih di Thiepval, sehingga menjadikan RUU Peraturan Rumah 1914 mustahil.

Penyelesaian pada tahun 1921 agak naif mengharapkan anggota-anggota negara nano Protestan berkelakuan seperti Tuan-tuan sehubungan dengan perlakuan mereka terhadap minoriti Katolik ketika itu *. Walaupun fakta bahawa banyak anggota Stormont Protestant Oligarchy adalah Sekolah Awam & Oxbridge berpendidikan, mereka kemudiannya berperilaku sebagai barbar, sehingga memalukan England yang kekal, yang tetap tidak mengetahui apa yang berlaku dari 1922-68.

Seperti yang dikatakan Cicero "Cui Bono", "Siapa yang mendapat keuntungan"? Baiklah dalam hal ini sekelompok kecil harta tanah / pemilik tanah Protestan utama,
yang telah hidup dengan baik dengan perbelanjaan Inggeris selama satu abad yang lalu. Cukup sudah, kita mesti menyingkirkan tempat itu dengan "semua kemudahan"

/>ianmckinney81 berkata:

Irish republicanism was built on blood and martyrdom from the beginning – each new phase of conflict had an (often pointless) orgy of killing to birth the phoenix of ‘resistance’.

De Valera, fascist that he was, knew full well the appeal to base instincts of a martyr and sent his merry cult to certain death in 1916 not to win a battle but to create a generation of martyred saints for his new nation.

So much was the same in 1848, 1916, 1971, 1981 and on and on and on.

I read often in various forums of the atrocities of the British, the Northern Ireland government (no one ever notes that Craig’s ‘Protestant state’ was a direct reaction to De Valera’s similarly Catholic one), the RUC, the absentee landlords, the paratroop regiment and the rest. One rarely or ever reads of the bigotry of the jolly Irishman to this day towards the ‘hun’ invaders in the North, the utter refusal of Irish republicanism to condemn the carnage of the troubles, the failure of Sinn Fein and the IRA to address the issue of the disappeared, or even to acknowledge the pain of the 2000+ families they bereaved with their squalid unjustifiable campaign. Crucially, one never reads of the ethnic cleansing of the Irish Free State and almost total destruction of the protestant community in the South in the 1920s. The interesting thing about partition is that it came about largely due to the fear of protestants of rule by the Catholic majority in the island of Ireland. And actually, based on the treatment of protestants in the south, they were right to be fearful. Whilst Catholics were no doubt mistreated in the North, their protestant fellow Irish men in the South had it far worse. The statistics are available and are shocking.

Ultimately, all of this has always been about building a nation and the problem for republicans has always been that they refused to countenance a non-gael, non-catholic variety of Irishman. A coalition and understanding was possible, that was demonstrated in 1798, when protestant and Catholic radicals fought side by side in the United Irish men, but since then ‘Irish’ has been ever more narrowly defined. And in tandem with that, having created a handy enemy within (note that 90%+ of protestants were just as poor and exploited as their Catholic neighbours in the 1800s), republicans added the myth of justified violence – “freedom fighting”.

That has continued up to the present day and the ongoing continued refusal to acknowledge that the IRA campaign was unjustified.

And it was unjustified. None of it was justified. From 1798 to 1978 and beyond, nothing that happened or was happening in Ireland required the slaughter of civilians or the destruction of their livelihoods.

The only reason it was justified was to continue to build the blood myth that the forebears of republicanism founded. ‘Ireland unfree shall never be at peace’ can be read on a few levels, including that of threat.

And here we are, 105 years from the Easter Rising, 100 years from partition, 25 years from the Good Friday Agreement, and it is the same shite, still the same interminable groundhog day of yousens and themmuns. And it always will be – even if Ireland is ‘free’. Even if the island of Ireland is a single indivisible westphalian nation state.

It will always be thus until republicans admit that protestants can be Irish too, until republicans of all shades conceive of a new Ireland that properly accepts an orange tradition, and until republicans finally and truly disengage from the repulsive notion that a nation needs a blood sacrifice to be whole and redeemed.

/>Riccardo Tomlinson says:

I visited Belfast last year for a weekend. It is appalling how both sides hang on to their grudges and their martyrs after all this time. It’s like a hobby for them and the world has indulged them in it.

They have simply got to move on, for their children’s sake if nothing else.

CHARLES STANHOPE says:

You have to be the right one, GF was an habitual criminal, black, the perfect colour, collect $27 million as you pass Go.

Ms Ashli Babbitt, a ‘veteran’, white, Trump fan, kill with impunity, do not pass Go, but continue onwards to Hell.

Bravo for the Great Republic!

/>Arnold Grutt says:

The idea seems to be that dying for a cause proves it to be true and good. Unfortunately, there is no such discoverable relationship at all.

/>Pauline Ivison says:

What an incredibly shocking and moving story. One can only hope and pray that those two ladies were able to lead happy lives despite such dreadful injuries.

/>G Harris says:

That fateful day that many an erstwhile hopelessly romantic dewy-eyed ‘buy a bullet, kill a Brit’ American long addicted to their nostalgia porn ceased to see their beloved ‘freedom fighters’ as they fondly imagined them to be any longer and finally came to see them for what they really were, little better than the vicious, cold blooded killers that had just ‘landed’ on their own hitherto sanctified doorstep.


A former IRA gunman and hunger striker tells his story

From his hiding place in the hedge Laurence McKeown could clearly hear the conversation between the two bingo women. It was a summer’s night in July 1976, and McKeown had walked a short distance from his parents’ home in the countryside near Randalstown, Co Antrim, to ambush a police vehicle.

“I was lying in a hedge with an M1 Garand rifle – a very slow rifle – with a clip of eight bullets, waiting for the Land Rover. I had been there a couple of other nights, but nothing happened,” McKeown says. “I heard two women passing by, coming from the bingo in the local [Ancient Order of Hibernians] hall. They were having a conversation about the bingo, and I remember thinking, That’s normal life, and you have a chance of being part of that normal life instead you are waiting in this hedge with a rifle for a police Land Rover to come along. It seemed like some form of madness. But that was my choice.”

That night the Royal Ulster Constabulary Land Rover did come along.

McKeown says there is trepidation before an attack. But “once you make the move psychologically, then the fear goes. You are in a different mode, in a militaristic mode.”

As the Land Rover passed, the gunman stepped into the road.

“I aimed between the tail lights and fired off a whole clip. They returned fire from up the road from a long distance, from far enough away not to do any damage.”

Although nobody died in the attack, he says that “one officer was slightly injured when hit by a ricochet bullet”.

McKeown’s solo attack would lead to his conviction and life imprisonment for attempted murder and other offences. He spent 16 years in prison, from 1976 to 1992, and joined the blanket and no-wash protests in the Maze prison in the late 1970s. He also took part in the hunger strike in which Bobby Sands and nine other republican prisoners died in 1981.

If it had been up to him McKeown would have been the 11th fatality. But in the end it wasn’t up to him.

Catholics who kept their heads down

McKeown grew up in a mixed area, where his immediate neighbours were Protestants. “I learned to drive a tractor on the Warwicks’ farm,” he says. “I used to go down to the Todds at Cookstown Junction with my brother to watch The High Chaparral on TV. Mrs Todd was a fantastic cook and baker.”

Laurence was 12 in January 1969, when the People’s Democracy civil-rights march from Belfast to Derry camped overnight near the Ancient Order of Hibernians hall.

“I remember going to Mass that night and seeing all these people with long hair and Afghan coats. I would have preferred to be going with them than to Mass. The next day they headed off and were stopped by protestors at Randalstown. A fellow who previously lived beside us drove his car into the marchers.”

McKeown describes his parents, Margaret and George, as Catholics who generally kept their heads down. His father was a van driver with Standard Telephones and Cables. “I remember him coming back from London one Christmas with annuals like the Victor and Hotspur.”

His first experience of discrimination was as a young boy in the 1960s, when George McKeown “got plans for a house from a Protestant colleague who had built a bungalow. He used the exact same plans, but the council turned down his application on 39 grounds.

“It was the first time I saw my father take a stand. He got a lawyer and appealed. The lawyer pointed out the council had passed the exact same plans a couple of years previously. Suddenly all the objections disappeared apart from three face-saving ones. It was only in later years that I realised it was to do with civil rights.”

Laurence was a bright student with ambitions to be an architect. He went to St Malachy’s College, a prestigious Catholic grammar school in north Belfast, but disliked it and quit to return to local education. “It was very regimented,” he says. “I left before they threw me out.”

His father was upset, complaining that Laurence was wasting an opportunity for a good education. His mother, he says, was more understanding, saying, “Well, if he’s not happy . . . "

McKeown had many verbal tussles with his father growing up, but Margaret McKeown had a quieter, more effective way of making her point. He remembers once as a teenager coming home one night quite drunk. “I got up to go to school in the morning, but there wasn’t a word from her.”

His mother’s clear nonverbal communication of her disappointment was “devastating” and “worse than anything she could have said”.

Later, while he was on the run in the Republic, McKeown’s mother visited him with a priest. “We had one of those bizarre, awkward conversations where we talked about everything other than what was really going on. She never said ‘do this’ or anything else. She wasn’t going to change me.”

Joining the IRA

In his youth McKeown had often heard people singing rebel songs in bars, but he considered that behaviour soft and hypocritical. He believed that something more militant was required.

He’d been going to dances as a teenager in places such as Ardboe, Cookstown and Moneyglass and had got to know one particular IRA member. At the age of 16 McKeown pestered the man to let him join the organisation. “Eventually he said, ‘You can join when you’re 17.’ ”

McKeown’s desire to join the IRA wasn’t the result of extensive political analysis. That would come later. “I suppose it was a very simplistic thing of ‘Brits out’.”

Other experiences, such as being questioned by local Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers at checkpoints, also played a part.

“You were being stopped by people you played football with in Randalstown. They were asking me who I was, where I was from, where I was going, when they knew me well. It was not about where you went to church on Sunday it was about who had the power to carry a rifle and wear a uniform and stop me whenever they wanted to do it, which they did.”

McKeown joined the IRA in 1973.

“I met a man and a woman, and they gave me the usual spiel: that joining the IRA meant you’d likely end up dead or in prison. They were telling me to think carefully. I was getting pissed off with all the talk. I wanted them to just get on with it.

“It was an informal swearing-in. There was no Green Book [of IRA rules] or anything like that. They just said: ‘Watch yourself. If questioned, never say anything.’ It was as simple as that.”

He did not question the morals of his actions. “There was never a point where I thought we were wrong morally, because we did not think too much about it morally. State armies don’t think like that, for that matter. We were going against the state, our church, our teachers. Republicanism was not very popular at the time.”

McKeown was trained in making explosives and using an M1 carbine, a Thompson sub-machine gun, an Armalite rifle and handguns. Much of the schooling was on the shores of Lough Neagh.

By the time of the Land Rover ambush McKeown had been on a number of operations and was a reasonably seasoned Provisional IRA member, on the run.

But he had also become reckless. Not long after the attack the police nabbed him. Bagaimana? “I was at home one Monday morning when I should not have been.”

Interrogation in Belfast

McKeown was questioned at the RUC’s Castlereagh interrogation centre, in Belfast. IRA members weren’t so expertly versed in anti-interrogation techniques at the time. He admitted being involved in bomb attacks and the Land Rover ambush.

“It was more psychological than physical pressure in Castlereagh. They were saying things like, ‘Your parents will be lifted,’ or, ‘Your father works in mixed area: he’ll be targeted by loyalists.’ ”

From August 1976 McKeown was on remand awaiting trial, and in April 1977 he was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of attempted murder and bombing offences. “I refused to recognise the courts,” he says.

In court the judge asked if anybody wished to say anything on his behalf. Margaret McKeown stood up and told the judge: “He is my son. I love him.”

After sentencing McKeown was brought to a central area of one of the so-called “H-blocks” of the Maze prison near Lisburn, Co Antrim.

A “blanket protest” had begun at the prison the previous year, after the British authorities began phasing out “special category” or political-prisoner status for paramilitary inmates. This put republicans on a par with “criminal” prisoners and required them to wear prison uniforms, which they refused to do.

McKeown joined the protest on arrival. He was instructed to strip naked and was offered prison clothes, which he refused.

“I remember the walk down to the very bottom of the wing. I was thinking, What do I do with my hands? If I put my hands over my privates, then it looks like you are embarrassed. At the same time you are not going to march down with your arms swinging. So I just walked down with my arms by my sides.”

The only reading material during the Maze protest was the Bible, which McKeown read from cover to cover. Although he admired the writing, he describes himself as agnostic.

After the blanket protest McKeown participated in the no-wash protest that followed, in March 1978, and in hunger strikes in 1980 and 1981.

‘Living in sh*te in the Maze’

He describes his time in jail as an educational period. “You get rid of the crap that you had learned, or that you had internalised or soaked up over the years,” he says. “You never sat down before to sort out [your] view of the world. You did not have books or TV. All you had was discussion. You learned from one another. Then you started debating.

“We were probably the most irreverent group of republicans. There is no mystical ‘wrap the green flag around me’ when you are living in sh*te. You have to work out what are your values and principles, because you are living in a hellhole. You have to really believe.

“I remember at that time we would get the IRA Christmas message – you know, sometimes you’d have people getting carried away with themselves and saying, ‘The Brits are going to be driven back into the sea.’ And people in the cells would be blowing raspberries out the door and saying, ‘Give your head a shake . . . "

“Part of it was humorous, but it was moving away from romanticism, because you were not living in a romantic situation. It was also a great leveller, because it did not matter who you were, what age you were, what you were in for: you were all the same. All the social norms were gone. You built up a strong bond.”

Even then, McKeown says, there was a sense of a vicious circle about the Troubles. The British army and the RUC realised that they could never totally defeat the IRA, and the IRA was learning that it could not defeat the British. So why continue with violence?

He says now that, although there was a realism about the conflict, he and other republicans believed that the violence would achieve concessions from the British and that republican goals would involve a “long-game struggle”. But he also allows that the violence and the campaign had nearly become a way of life.

‘Our political naivety was stripped away’

McKeown was, in his mid-20s, a much different person from when he joined the IRA, a few years earlier. “By the time the hunger strikes came around, in 1980 and 1981, a lot of our political naivety was stripped away,” he says. “It was a different ball game entirely. It was a lot more realistic, I suppose.”

He has good memories of Bobby Sands, the leader of the IRA prisoners, who began the 1981 hunger strike on March 1st and died 66 days later, on May 5th. “You felt he was one of the lads. He was a good singer, full of energy, always singing and talking and thinking. A bundle of ideas, good humoured.”

Sands was elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in April 1981. There was a sense among the prisoners that his election would be a trigger to resolve the fast. That optimism soon evaporated.

“We realised that if they would let Bobby die, and he was an elected MP, they would be prepared to let others die,” McKeown says. “We had not really thought about that before.”

In embarking on the hunger strike, McKeown says, there was “no long-term vision about how this is going to work out”.

After Sands’s death “even the screws themselves were fairly muted”. “It was a quiet, intense time. People were sitting with their own thoughts. And, in just over two weeks, four people were dead.”

People were dying outside the prison as well. The IRA was responsible for several killings, including RUC officers and British soldiers. During the overall period of the protests – from 1976 to 1981 – 19 prison officers were killed.

At the time, McKeown says, prisoners felt it right that their warders be targeted. “Our view was that this would stop the brutality in jail.”

But he was also struck by how one prison officer in the hospital wing could not understand how Kieran Doherty, the seventh prisoner to die, was “so calm and confident that what he was doing was right”.

“The screw was born-again, and what Kieran was doing contradicted his religious belief. He saw it as suicide. On a human level the screw felt sympathy for the situation. There was humanity there as well.”

McKeown is conscious of the continuing debate about the hunger strikes. Former IRA prisoners such as Richard O’Rawe claim that the strike could have been stopped after six – or even four – deaths but that the republican leadership prolonged it to ensure that Owen Carron won Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the byelection caused by Bobby Sands’s death. McKeown rejects this argument: there was no such conspiracy, he asserts.

He says that he was later told by the makers of a BBC documentary that the then British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, would have made acceptable concessions but that some “top Northern Ireland civil servants threatened to resign if she did, that for them it was a personal battle with the enemy – republicans – and that there would have been a civil service rebellion.”

‘After 40 days your eyesight starts to go’

Laurence McKeown began his fast on June 29th, 1981. His friend Brendan Bik McFarlane, who had taken over as the IRA prisoners’ leader, asked him to rethink his decision, because “you will be most likely dead within the next two months”.

After 21 days McKeown was admitted to the Maze Prison hospital. “After 40 days your eyesight starts to go, you get blurred vision, light gets annoying. Your sense of smell is intensified you can smell water.”

As his fast moved into its 60th day he was anxious to continue drinking – “if you could not keep the water down you were in difficulties. I also tried to walk up and down a bit, because you have this idea that if you lie down you are gone.”

On the 68th day of McKeown’s fast a doctor told him that he was not going to live much longer.

“At that stage you get to a point where, realistically, you know the Brits are not going to do anything. Part of it is that you are resigned to it, part of it is fatalism, maybe part of it is that you are just exhausted.

“It’s not like sitting and thinking you are going to die in the next few hours or days. You are falling asleep and waking up you are still conscious. You are not frightened. It is more of an acceptance. It is not going to be dramatic. You are slipping away.”

McKeown’s father, brother and sister visited and implored him to come off the strike. “My mother was the only one who didn’t.”

On the 69th day of McKeown’s fast, power of attorney switched to his mother. He protested to her that he must be allowed to die. “She said to me: ‘You know what you have to do, and I know what I have to do.’ ”

On the 70th day – September 6th – McKeown fell unconscious. His mother gave instructions that he be fed intravenously. Other families were also intervening, and the overall hunger strike was officially called off on October 3rd.

McKeown was moved to the Royal Victoria Hospital, in Belfast. The first thing he recalls as he regained consciousness was the “female voice” of a nurse, “a soft hand on my shoulder”. In the ward “drips were going into me as quickly as they could”.

As for how he immediately felt, “It was neither happy, delighted nor sad to be alive I knew I existed. What was going to happen next day, what was going to happen next week, I had no idea. Emotionally, psychologically, physically I was exhausted. I was just burnt out.”

The toll on his parents

Margaret McKeown died in 1983, from a brain haemorrhage, at the age of 61. George, who was younger than his wife, died five years later of a heart attack, aged 59. Laurence was allowed to attend both funerals, although another protest at the time made prison authorities reluctant to allow him out for his father’s funeral.

McKeown says that James Mehaffey, the former Church of Ireland bishop of Derry and Raphoe, played a role in persuading the authorities to relent.

He says that the hunger-strike period also took its toll on his parents. His bond with his mother always was strong any differences with his father were long forgiven and forgotten in George’s later years.

From 1987 to 1989 McKeown was in charge of republican-prisoner education at the Maze. He also started a prison magazine, An Glór Gafa/The Captive Voice, and began learning the craft of writing.

In prison he took an Open University degree in sociology. He gained a doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast when he got out. His thesis was called Unrepentant Fenian Bastards.

McKeown was released in 1992. In October Sheena Campbell, a Queen’s law student and prominent Sinn Féin activist, was shot dead at the York Hotel, near the college. “You had to be careful going to Queen’s,” he says.

‘Picking up bits of bodies’

Although he still suffers eye and stomach trouble as a result of his hunger strike, Laurence McKeown is now a playwright and film-maker.

He recently returned from the National Arts Festival in South Africa, where his play about dealing with the past, Those You Pass on the Street, was performed. The play – produced by Kabosh Theatre, Belfast and directed by Paula McFetridge – was also staged at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival, in Rwanda, on the site of the memorial to the victims of genocide, and in west Cork as part of the Fit-up Festival.

The Cold House, an early play that he wrote with his friend Brian Campbell, a fellow former inmate, is about a former IRA prisoner who comes to fix an ex-RUC officer’s boiler. While they were researching the play an intermediary arranged a meeting between McKeown and a senior police officer.

“We had dinner together. It was funny: he was shaking, and we could not quite figure out why he agreed to talk to us. ‘I just see you as criminals’ or ‘terrorists’, he said – I forget which term he used. We said: ‘That’s fine. We just want to hear what is it you would say in such a situation, as we want to faithfully reflect your words in the play.’

“He was talking about IRA bombings and ‘picking up bits of bodies and putting them in plastic bags after what you did’.”

As a teenage member of the Provos McKeown didn’t reflect on the morality of a campaign for a united Ireland in which the IRA killed about 1,800 people. And although the years since then have brought more reflection, he remains convinced that the campaign of violence was justified. The reality, he says, is that once you go down the road of an “armed struggle” it is “very difficult to get out of it”.

McKeown is well aware of the argument that the political settlement we have now could have been achieved without violence. He disagrees. He also says that he is not sure of the value of dealing in philosophical what-ifs when what is real is “what was”.

What he did learn was that “someone getting killed on the British army or RUC side is the same as someone on the IRA side or the loyalist side”. “Everyone has their story. We can tell ours, certainly, and we should tell ours, but there are going to be other stories. And for the RUC man his story was ‘picking up bodies in plastic bags because of what you guys were doing’. That’s his truth.”

By contrast, he recalls that when they performed The Cold House in west Belfast in 2003 the audience wasn’t too happy to see the viewpoint of an RUC officer reflected in the work.

“One woman whose husband was killed by the British army said she wanted to shout from the audience but then thought that ‘if we are serious about the peace process I suppose we have to engage with this’.”

As a playwright McKeown believes that telling and hearing other stories can be cathartic and reconciling. But he wishes that more unionists would meet republicans halfway.

He says that a Protestant acquaintance once told him that some unionists won’t engage with republicans because “they are afraid that they might actually get to like them”.

“I have said to unionists – some of whom still won’t even shake hands with Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness – ‘The person you give so-called loyalty to, the queen, she comes over, meets Martin McGuinness, looks him straight in the eye, smiles, puts her hand out and says, “Hallo, Martin”.’ It’s almost as if she is saying, ‘Look, watch me. This is how you do it.’

“It is common courtesy and humanity. Martin is not going to become a monarchist. She is not going to become an Irish republican, but at least they are saying, ‘I respect where you are coming from.’ It amazes me sometimes that people are so afraid of meeting the other. To me it says more about their own insecurity.”

McKeown disagrees also with the dissident-republican argument that they are just carrying on where the IRA left off. There is no comparison between the conditions that prevailed in 1969 or in 1981 and the situation now, he says.

“I have no problem with people having an argument with Sinn Féin’s position. But to argue that you can bring about a united Ireland by killing some PSNI officer just doesn’t stand up at all.

“To criticise Sinn Féin policy is fine – I would have my own criticisms of policies. That’s the way politics should be. But to actually argue that there is a role today for armed struggle . . . no, I don’t believe that at all.”

McKeown admires the leadership of Adams and McGuinness. “The strength of the whole republican struggle is because we had people there, and still there, who were cause politicians, not career politicians.”

He dismisses the view that it is time for Adams to quit. “Yes, people who are not friends of Sinn Féin are very concerned about Sinn Féin needing a new leadership.”

After his release from prison McKeown continued a relationship with Deirdre, a woman who regularly visited him at the Maze. They have two daughters. Órlaith, who is 17 and studying for her A levels, and Caoilfhionn, who is 19 and about to start university.

After his relationship with Deirdre broke up, in 2002, he entered a second relationship, marrying Michelle in 2012.

Running and laughing in the Maze

Laurence McKeown’s daughters know of his history, although, he says, he does not shove his republicanism “down their throats”. He recalls, when he lived in south Armagh, driving his daughters to school and how, perplexingly, Caoilfhionn, who was seven, began crying. He stopped and asked what was wrong. She said, “Daddy, are the soldiers going to come back and take you to jail?” Her comment was sparked by one of the old British army watchtowers on the south Armagh hills.

Not long afterwards he and Michelle brought the girls to the overgrown site of the former Maze Prison. “I was able to show them that it was not a prison any more. Michelle got a picture of them running and laughing in the yard of the prison hospital with me in the background. I was always struck by the comment that Bobby wrote: Let our revenge be the laughter of our children. What I had was my children laughing in the prison yard.”

McKeown has never again met up with the Todds or the Warwicks, his childhood Protestant neighbours. “All those people were always great neighbours to my family. I don’t know what they thought personally, but if they met my parents there was never any change in their attitude or behaviour to them.”

Though not a man for what-ifs, McKeown occasionally reflects on what might have happened had he not been arrested. “I probably would have been back out on active service I could be dead now.”

There was no pressure to re-engage in IRA operations after his release from the Maze. As well as his writing, he worked with Coiste na nIarchimí, a prisoners’ support group. He resisted attempts to persuade him to become an elected representative for Sinn Féin, preferring to continue his creative work.

McKeown says he never killed anybody when he was in the IRA. He seems calm and thoughtful. Is this because he doesn’t feel anyone’s death on his conscience?

Former IRA members are now in many walks of life. Some entered politics some took up regular work some shifted to the dissident movement. Others took to hard drinking and drugs or became depressed. It was as if their experiences during the Troubles were too difficult to live with.

Recently, in Dublin on business, McKeown met a former blanket protester by a canal. They had been in prison together 40 years ago. “He recognised me immediately. He was a small guy with a big beard he is sort of a dropout at the moment. He came over and threw his arm around me. He was a wee bit embarrassed. He told me, “Sometimes I can’t do it and I need to get away off, and I just sit on a park bench beside the canal, drinking.’

“I said, ‘Well, if it works for you, if you are happy with it, just live in the moment. Don’t be embarrassed.’ ” But the former IRA man also told him that in his own way he was content with his life.

McKeown knows that thousands of people were affected by the Troubles and the violence. But he says that he has no regrets about giving much of his life to republicanism and the IRA.


Kematian dan Warisan

Only days after slipping into a coma, on the morning of May 5, 1981, Sands died from malnutrition due to starvation. He was 27 years old and had refused to eat for 66 days. He&aposd become so fragile over his final weeks, he spent his final days on a water bed to protect his deteriorating and fragile body. At time of his death, Sands was married to Geraldine Noade, with whom he had one son, Gerard.

While loyalists dismissed Sands&aposs death, others were quick to recognize its significance. Over the next seven months, nine other IRA supporters died on a hunger strike. Eventually, the British government gave proper political recognition to the prisoners, many of them earning their release under the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

Sands&apos final days were depicted in the 2008 Steve McQueen film Hunger, with actor Michael Fassbender portraying Sands. 


Tonton videonya: 2017! Doku Vergissmeinnicht - Bobby Sands, IRA-Kämpfer HD (Mungkin 2022).