British government blocked effort by Pope John Paul II to end IRA hunger strike
Catholic World News - December 30, 2011
Newly released documents from the British government archives show that Pope John Paul II was nearly successful in an imprisoned Irish militant to suspend his hunger strike in 1981. But the British government rejected a proposal for negotiations.
Working through an intermediary, Msgr. John Magee—who at the time was a personal secretary to the Pontiff, and later became Bishop of Cloyne—the late Pope persuaded Bobby Sands to end his hunger strike in exchange for talks with a British government official, with priests and other prisoners as witnesses. The government turned down the offer, refusing to negotiate with Sands.
Sands, a leader of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), had begun the hunger strike in an effort to force the British government to recognize him as a political prisoner. British authorities insisted that IRA militants had been jailed strictly for criminal activity. Sands died shortly after the Pope’s attempt to resolve the impasse.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our July expenses ($16,752 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!