February 1981 - New prison hunger strike to begin on 1st March

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A new hunger strike is to begin in the Maze prison on March 1. Although no figure of the number of men to take part has been given, it is believed it will be four and that one of them is from Derry.

The news was given after days of rumour that such an action was contemplated, and it is obvious that a deadlock had been reached between the prisoners’ demands and what the Northern Ireland Office was prepared to give.

The prisoners say that they believe that a hunger strike is the only way open to them to achieve their demands, and they accuse the British government of not wanting a settlement.

Speaking in the House of Commons on the issue, Mr Atkins repeated that political status would not be granted.