The 1943 strip strike.
In the late spring and summer of 1943, there was continued debate within the IRA in A wing of the Belfast Prison (Crumlin Road) over how to challenge prison authorities and mount a suitable protest against conditions within the prison. The successful January 1943 escape (and March escape from Derry Jail) had ended a policy of unofficial recognition of the political status of the prisoners outside D wing. John Graham, as O/C, and others on his staff, like David Fleming, were unhappy with the idea of a hunger strike since they felt it pushed the authorities into a position where they had to make a decision on whether to meet their demands for more humane conditions and recognition of their political status.
David Fleming gives an idea of what the IRA prisoners deemed to be political status: “…political treatment and the option of work, a weekly parcel, a letter and a…
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