Northern Ireland: Ready to Die in the Maze

What it is like to starve to death—and why the I.R.A. men do it

After fasting for 62 days, Tom McElwee, 23, died last weekend, touching off widespread rioting in Belfast that killed two persons. The threat of violence is always present, yet the real battle between the British authorities and the Irish Republican Army is being fought these days not in the streets of Northern Ireland, but in a sprawling, gray brick prison near Belfast known as the Maze. There, one after another, I.R.A. members are starving themselves to death for the...

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