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Hunger Strike of 1981 - Details of Source Material

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Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh, Brendan Lynn, (and Fionnuala McKenna, 1996-2000)
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

This section contains a DRAFT list of some of the source material available on the subject of the Hunger Strikes which took place in the Maze Prison during 1980 and 1981. The list has been compiled from a number of sources. For a fuller list see relevant items listed in the CAIN Bibliography.



Beresford, David. (1987). Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. London: Grafton. ... [2114]

Campbell, Brian., McKeown, Laurence., and O'Hagan, Felim. (eds) (1994). Nor Meekly Serve My Time: The H-Block Struggle of 1976-1981. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications. ... [2371]

Collins, Tom. (1986). The Irish Hunger Strike. Dublin and Belfast: White Island Book Co. ... [2418]

Coogan, Tim. Pat. (1980). On the Blanket: The H-Block Story. Dublin : Ward River Press.

Coogan, Tim. Pat. (1997). On the Blanket: The Inside Story of the IRA Prisoners' 'Dirty' Protest. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart.

Faul, Denis., and Murray, Raymond. (1981). Hunger Strikes: the Search for Solutions. Armagh: The Authors. ... [2856]

Flynn, B. (2011). Pawns in the Game: Irish Hunger Strikes 1912-1981. Cork: The Collins Press. ... [27496] - [Book]

Morrison, Danny. (ed.) (2006). Hunger Strike: Reflections on the 1981 Hunger Strike. Cork: Brandon Books. ... [11191]

Mugarra. (2017). ¬°Recuerda la huelga de hambre! ¬°Destruye los bloques H!, (April 2017), [In Spanish], [PDF; 6019KB]. Euskal Herria: Sare Antifaxista. ... [28580] - [Book]

McKeown, Laurence. (2001) Out of Time: Irish Republican Prisoners Long Kesh 1972-2000. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications.

O'Hearn, D. (2016). Bobby Sands: Nothing but an Unfinished Song, (2nd Edition).. London: Pluto Press. ... [27497] - [Book]

O'Malley, Padraig. (1990). Biting at the Grave: the Irish Hunger Strikes and the Politics of Despair. Belfast: Blackstaff. ... [1490]

O'Rawe, Richard. (2005). Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-block Hunger Strike. Dublin: New Island. ... [10864]

Ross, F. Stuart. (2011). Smashing H-Block: The Popular Campaign against Criminalization and the Irish Hunger Strikes 1976-1982. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ... [17512]

Sands, Bobby. (1983). One Day in My Life. Cork: Mercier Press.. ... [27498] - [Book]

Whalen, L. (2007). Contemporary Irish Republican Prison Writing. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. ... [27499] - [Book]


Journal Articles:

Gould, Donald. (1981) 'The Sands case', The Spectator, 16 June, p.12-14.

Holland, Mary. (1981) 'The Maze dance of death', New Statesman, 7 August, p.2.

McKeever, C. F. Joseph, S. and McCormack, J. (1993) 'Memory of Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants for violent incidents and their explanations for the 1981 hunger strike', Psychological Reports, Vol. 73, No.2, pp.463-466.

Maude, Sir Angus. (1981) 'Ulster after Sands', London News, Vol. 269, June, p.21.

Mulcahy, A. (1995) 'Claims-making and the construction of legitimacy: press coverage of the 1981 Northern Irish hunger strike', Social Problems, Vol. 42, No. 4 (November), pp.449-67.

Robinson, Michael. (1981) 'The H-Block hunger strikers', The Listener, Vol. 106, 17 September, p.292.

Smyth, Jim. (1987) 'Unintentional mobilization: the effect of the 1980-1981 hunger strikes in Ireland', Political Communication and Persuasion, Vol. 4, pp.179-190.

Sweeney, George. (1993) 'Irish hunger strikes and the cult of self-sacrifice', Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 28, No. 3 (July), pp.421-37.

Taylor, Peter. (1981) 'The Provisionals and the hunger strike', The Listener, Vol. 106, 24 (September), pp.322-324.

Wilkinson, Paul. (1982) 'The Provisional IRA: an assessment in the wake of the 1981 Hunger Strike', Government and Opposition, (Summer), pp.140-156.

n.a. (1981) 'Death makes no difference', The Economist, Vol. 279, 2 May, pp.13-14.

n.a. (1981) 'Hope starved in Ulster' The Economist, Vol. 279, 25 April, pp.69-70.

n.a. (1981) 'Queue to be a martyr', The Economist, Vol. 280, 18 July, pp.21-22.

n.a. (1981) 'Why did Sands win?' The Economist, Vol. 279, 18 April, p.14&17.

n.a. (1981) 'The world eyes Ulster and finds it a let-down', The Economist, Vol. 279, 9 May, p.27-28.


PRONI Public Records

proni on cain Northern Ireland public records related to the 1980/81 Hunger Strikes


NAI Public Records

nai on cain Irish public records related to the 1980/81 Hunger Strikes


Ephemeral and Other Publications:

Berry, Steve. (1980) To the bitter climax of death if necessary, the H-block hunger strike and the struggle for political status, London: Produced and distributed for the Socialist Workers Party by Socialists Unlimited.

Collins, Tom. (1983) The centre cannot hold: the British failure in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Bookworks.

Feehan, John M. (1983) Bobby Sands and the tragedy of Northern Ireland, Dublin: Mercier.

Graham, Paul M. (1983) The effects of the fatal hunger strike in the H-blocks, Long Kesh in 1981. Belfast: the author.

Metress, Seamus P. (1983) The Hunger Strike and the final struggle, Toledo: Ohio, Center for Irish-American Studies.

Robinson, Peter. (1981) Self-Inflicted: An exposure of the H-Blocks issues. Belfast: Democratic Unionist Party.

Rutherford, Graham. (1985) The "New York Times" and the Northern Ireland hunger strikes of 1980-1981, Belfast, the author.

Sands, Bobby. (1981) The diary of Bobby Sands: the first seventeen days of Bobby Sands' H-Block hunger strike to the death, Dublin: Sinn Fein Publicity Department.

Sands, Bobby. (n.d. 1981?) Portrait of a hunger striker, [writings from the H-Blocks], produced by the Troops Out Movement (Central London Branch), 1 Broadsheet. [Linen Hall Library]

Sands, Bobby. (1981) Prison Poems. Dublin: Sinn Fein Publicity Department.

Wilson, Andrew J. (1985) The use of the hunger strike as a Republican tactic 1969-1981. Belfast, 1985.

Hunger strike: H-Blocks, Long Kesh, Northern Ireland, Dungannon: A group of Lawyers and Priests for a humanitarian alternative, 1980. (15 pages) [Linen Hall Library]

Text of statement issued by the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace on the Hunger Strike and the protest in the Maze Prison Northern Ireland, Dublin, Irish Commission for Justice and Peace, 1981 [Linen Hall Library]

Transcript of "File on Four", London, Current Affairs Unit, BBC Radio Four, 1981
[Transcript of radio programme examining the 1981 hunger srike, containing interviews with Bernadette McAliskey, John Hume, Ian Paisley, Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison: broadcast on BBC Radio Four 9/9/81] [Linen Hall Library]


Newspaper Articles:

Beresford, D. (1987) 'Secret letters of the IRA', The Guardian, 27 April, p.9.

Beresford, D. (1987) 'A race against death', The Guardian, 29 April, p.9.

Brock, George. (1981) 'The Legacy of Bobby Sands', The Observer, 3 May, p.15.

Cunningham, John. (1981) 'How the IRA manufactured a new martyr', The Guardian, 6 May, p.3.

Cunningham, John. (1981) 'The voice of triumph speaks softly for Sands', The Guardian, 16 May, p.13.

Cunningham, John. (1981) 'Stubborn sterility and death in the Maze', The Guardian, 21 August 1981, p.15.

Elsworth-Jones, Will and Ryder, Chris. (1981) 'Politics of the death-fast', The Sunday Times, 26 April, p.17.

Parry, Gareth. (1981) 'Sands joins long line of hunger strikers', The Guardian, 6 May, p.3.

Utley, T. E.(1981) 'Senseless deaths at the Maze', The Daily Telegraph, 18 May, p.14.

Witherow, John. (1981) 'Why the Irish use Hunger Strikes as a weapon', The Times, 6 May, p.16.



Provos Last Stand? The Hunger Strike, Panorama, BBC, (50 mins), 21 September 1981
[The effects of the Hunger strike on support for the IRA]

H-Block Hunger Strikes and IRA Recruitment, Panorama, BBC, (40 mins), 21 September 1981
[The effects of the hunger strikes on Provisional IRA recruitment and public opinion in N. Ireland]

Hunger Strike; A Hidden History, Timewatch, (50 mins), 13 October 1993


Peter Heathwood Collection of Television Programmes
    Items related to the Hunger Strikes


CAIN list of Movies
    List includes some related to the Hunger Strike



RTE Archives
    Items related to Hunger Strike

BBC Rewind: Ten Chapters of the Northern Ireland Troubles
    Chapter 6: Hunger Strike

    Items on YouTube

The 1981 Hunger Strikes: America Reacts
Presented by the Archives of Irish America, New York University Division of Libraries [Link not working]

Bobby Sands Trust

Camloch 1981 Hunger Strike Committee [Link not working]

Celebration of Resistance Committee 1981-2001 [Link not working]

Hunger Strike 20th Anniversary 1981-2001 [Link not working]

Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee 1981-2001 [Link not working]

The Irish Hunger Strikes: A Commemorative Project


Physical Memorials:

For information on physical memorials in public spaces to the Hunger Strikes use the 'Description / Inscription Search' and search for Hunger Strike


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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