The controversy first raised its head with the 2005 publication of Blanketmen whose author Richard O'Rawe was the press officer for the hundreds of republican prisoners on protest in the H Blocks of the Maze/Long Kesh which led to the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes.
The hunger strikes were arguably the most polarising period in the history of the North's violent political conflict. Many protests in support of the prisoners took took place in the Republic.
|Hunger strike protest march in Dublin in December 1980|
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