NORTHERN IRELAND: An End to a Dangerous Fast

Thatcher stands firm, and the hunger strike is called off

It was perhaps the best Christmas present that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey and the often warring, always uneasy Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland could have received. Last week, 53 days after they had begun to fast, seven Irish Republican terrorists imprisoned in the gray concrete H-block cells of Belfast's Maze Prison started to eat again. The end to the long hunger strike came as at least one of the prisoners lay near death, an event that authorities feared would inevitably have sparked...

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