June - August
"In another development, the London Sunday Times reported that
a survey of 73 newspapers around the world since Sands began the hunger
strike March 1 showed the world opinion shifting toward the IRA."
"Dr. Martin Abend, the highly popular television commentator with Metromedia television in New York, has authorized the 'Irish People' to announce that he has joined Irish Northern Aid as a non-paid media consultant. Perhaps the most ardent advocate of Irish Republicanism among regular television commentators, Dr. Abend has been advising INA for some time. Much of the success of the hunger strike publicity campaign is directly attributable to his guidance and efforts.
Dr. Abend maintains that of all Irish-American organizations, it is
Irish Northern Aid, with its unqualified support for the aims and objectives
of the Republican Movement, which most closely mirrors his own deeply
"The American television appearance of the 10-year-old daughter of a Northern Ireland hunger striker has aroused the anger of British officials who say it was a publicity stunt.
On ABC TV's 'Good Morning America' program Thursday, young Bernadette McDonnell asked the American people who get President Ronald Reagan to put pressure on British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to settle the fast at Maze Prison outside of Belfast…
London's Daily Express and Daily Mail gave the story splash
coverage Friday. The Daily Mail headlined a centerfold display
'The Propaganda Child,' and printed most of the transcript of the interview."
"To read some of the stories in the newspapers here in America,
you would think the Provos are a gloriousliberation army, fighting to
free the downtrodden masses from the yoke of some barbarous tyranny. In
The Chronicle, for instance, Warren Hinckle has written several columns
in which he implies that the Maze Prison is the place where the Protestants
put Catholics who are nasty to the British. In fact, there are more than
300 Protestant terrorist convicts in the Maze."
"In May, 1981, the Village Voice assigned me the task of reporting on 'Irish Republicanism in New York: Overt & Covert Activities'…As part of this research, I phoned the British Consulate and asked to set up an appointment with Patrick Nixon. British Information Services caught me by surprise. They put me through to Nixon immediately…
The article was due to appear in the Village Voice in early June…In
the middle of June my editor regretfully informed me that although the
article was read and liked by a number of people it had been 'killed'
at the 'highest level.' The highest level is David Schneiderman, the Editor-in-Chief
at the Village Voice. When I attempted to speak to Schneiderman,
he refused to discuss the matter at any length. This was at exactly the
time that Patrick Nixon was requesting Mayor Koch to help suppress any
negative media coverage of Prince Charles's visit to New York. Koch in
effect told Patrick Nixon to get lost. Apparently not so David Schneiderman.
In opinions privately voiced by Voice staffers, Nixon was able
to accomplish his mission of managing the American media (in this case
the Voice) by a quick phone call to Schneiderman sandwiched between
my calls to Nixon regarding the SAS."
"With the advent of a second hunger strike by the men 'on the blanket'
in the H-Blocks of Northern Ireland, American news headlines have been
blazing with stories of Irish violence-real, imagined and threatened.
For more than four years these men, joined by over 30 women Armagh Prison,
have been denied political status, living 24 hours a day with no clothing
but a blanket, no toilet facilities but the floor of their cells, and
no humane privileges but one visit and one parcel a month from home. The
nearly five-year peaceful protest of these conditions condemned by Amnesty
International and the European Court of Human Rights had received little
or no notice in either the American or international press. Thus when
the first hunger strike began in the fall of 1980 little was understood
by people outside of Ireland about the real source of the current 'troubles.'"
"Last evening, I was one of approximately two thousand worshippers who participated in a memorial procession and Requiem Mass for deceased Irish Hunger Striker Kevin Lynch. This Mass was concelebrated by four duly ordained Catholic priests at the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.
Having been there, I was startled to hear your [Mr. Robert Davis of NBC]
11:00 p.m. news reporter telling viewers that approximately two hundred
people attended a "mock" service at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Believe me,
Mr. Davis, there was nothing mock about that Mass, nor about the one which
will be celebrated there tonight for Kieran Doherty, nor about any of
the others which have been celebrated on the same spot for each of the
other deceased Hunger Strikers."
"Irish Northern Aid made headlines in Britain because of the number of places wherein the British flag has been withdrawn in New York, and because of the impact which the daily demonstrations are having in New York.
The story began with a small article in The New Yorker magazine. It was noticed by a reporter for the London Daily Telegraph who made it a front page news item that the British flag had disappeared in New York due to Irish-American pressure and that Consulate employees were feeling the effects of the demonstrations.
The story was then picked up by the BBC and other British media, leading
to a demand by British Lord Carrington for police action against the demonstrators."