In July 1972,
In January 1975 the Gardiner Committee , which looked at how the
The government accepted the recommendation and on 1 March 1976, the
Secretary of State
By late 1976, the new cellular prison accommodation recommended by
Gardiner was ready to receive its first prisoners. In the week that
Roy Mason took over from
Nugent refused the uniform, saying he was not a criminal but a
political prisoner. He was locked in his cell where he wrapped himself
in the blanket that was on the bed rather than remain naked. This was
the same action taken by old IRA prisoners in the south in the 1940s.
The blanket protest began and soon other prisoners followed his
example. By 1978 nearly 300
The protest culminated in the 1981 hunger strike when ten republican prisoners starved themselves to death. The privileges were gradually phased back in afterwards.
* ^ Kieran McEvoy (2001), Paramilitary imprisonment in Northern Ireland: Resistance, management and release, p.216. Oxford University Press * ^ "The Troubles, 1963 to 1985". * ^ Paramilitary Imprisonment in Northern Ireland: Resistance, Management, and Release: Resistance, Management and Release (Clarendon Studies in Criminology) by Kieran McEvoy (ISBN 978-0198299073 ), page 217 * ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Report of a Committee to consider, in the context of civil liberties and human rights, measures to deal with terrorism in Northern Ireland". cain.ulst.ac.uk. * ^ "Northern Ireland Prison S