" DON'T LET THEM BREAK YOU , LOVE " .......
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .
The Official Response.
British 'Lord' Gowrie (Deputy Secretary of State for 'Northern Ireland' , with responsibility for prisons , for two years until 1983) stated : " I do accept that there is legitimate concern that no prisoners , especially women , should be treated other than with proper consideration . Neither I nor Jim Prior (present British Secretary of State for 'Northern Ireland') nor any of my officials , would tolerate a system which did not operate under this principle . "
Yet very little consideration is shown to women when they are menstruating , as can be seen from the prisoners' account : " While you are naked you are asked if you have a period and , if you have , you are forced to remove your sanitary protection . A paper bag is provided for your tampoon or towel ; the bag is then opened and the contents examined . Your body is then inspected , and you are told to turn completely round so as no part of your body is left unseen . "
Why wait until the woman is naked before asking if she has her period ? Why not ask this before the strip-search begins ? It is obvious that the whole process is designed to humiliate and degrade the women prisoners and that 'Lord' Gowrie's words are meaningless . The contradiction between 'official' statements and the reality of what the women prisoners go through can be seen from further statements .......
THE HEROIC PRISON STRUGGLE .......
1981 was dominated by the grim and heroic struggle of Republican prisoners for political recognition - which they undoubtedly received from millions all over the world , yet which few governments , least of all London or Dublin , would grant them .
From 'AP/RN' , 31st December 1981 .
By Teresa Kelly .
Mrs Quinn's intervention to save her son , Paddy's life , on July 31st 1981 , was heralded as " ...an example for all Christian mothers.. " by various clerics , increasing the already unbearable pressure on the families of Kevin Lynch and Kieran Doherty . Through public statements , Catholic priest Fr. Denis Faul began to describe the hunger-strike as "...hopeless.. " , accusing Republicans of using the hunger-strike to "...gain control.." . The mask was down .
The Catholic hierarchy's real fear had been , all along , the collapsing of their power base . And if their power rested on British rule , then support British rule they must . Pat McGeown's wife intervened on August 20th 1981 as his condition suddenly worsened . Apart from Brendan McLaughlin , who had voluntarily called off his fast on May 27th 1981 after fourteen days on hunger-strike , after it had become clear he would soon die of a perforated ulcer , now two hunger-strikers had ended their fast through family intervention .
Fr. Denis Faul by then was paying frequent visits to the hunger-strikers' relatives , calling meetings or seeing them individually . On September 4th 1981 , Matt Devlin's family signed for medical intervention : on the 6th September 1981 , Laurence McKeown's family did likewise . On the 26th September 1981 , Liam McCloskey voluntarily ended his hunger-strike after his mother convinced him that she would intervene the minute he became unconscious .......
IN THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN .......
The aspirations of SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY towards socialist respectability are undermined by the continued military operations of the OFFICIAL IRA and that Party's own ideoligical contortions .
From ' MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .
By Vincent Browne.
Bank Levies , SFWP style :
Allied Irish Bank , North Wall , Dublin - £11,000 .
Three armed men entered the bank at 10.14AM ; two jumped over the counter and one of them shouted - " Give us the rent ... " - they got away in a car which was driven by the fourth man . Two of the men involved visited the scene on the following day to point out the location to their girl friends . One of these ladies is a prominent trade unionist today .
Cork CMP Dairies - £10,000 .
This was probably the most embarrassing robbery for Sinn Fein The Workers Party because the people involved were caught and many of them were very well-known members of the Official Movement . Five men , all armed , held up the wages office of the CMP Dairies and took £10,000 ; one of the raiders fired a shot at a wages clerk , a M/S Maura Collins , who failed to comply swiftly enough with their orders : she was hit in the lower back .
The sound of the gunshot alerted three Special Branch men who were investigating a break-in at the rear of the premises . They rushed around to the front and exchanged shots with the raiders - when one of the Branch men produced a machine-gun , the five raiders surrendered .......