Loyalism and The Hunger Strikes

This is a first time contribution from a young girl who is currently  third year student at Ulster University Jordanstown.  She is conducting research for an undergraduate dissertation which forms a significant part of her final degree mark.  She is studying politics and criminology–her dissertation tutor is well known and distinguished writer, Henry Patterson.
This girl has a particular interest in Loyalist thinking around Hunger Strikes.  Not just the 1981 Republican strike but others throughout the conflict.  She would be interested in hearing from anyone in relation to this, and I can pass any details on if you contact this site through the comments section.  Hopefully this student will get the assistance she needs.

I am currently carrying out research into Loyalist and unionist perspectives of the 1981 Hunger strikes.  As you are well aware the main bulk of research regarding the Hunger strikes in 1981 is mainly Republican views with very little attention given to loyalist prisoner’s opinions.

I want to attempt to find out if loyalist prisoners supported the Republican prisoners in their strike. If so then why were the loyalists not striking too? I am aware of Gusty Spence’s hunger strike in the bid to obtain political status, the UDA hunger strike and the other number of protests in order to obtain segregation.


I want to try and unearth (if there are any) differences in opinion between loyalist prisoners inside the prison and loyalist outside the prison. I also want to show the difference in opinion of the working class loyalists and the unionist politicians. While showing the difference in opinion I hope to prove there is a difference between ‘loyalism’ and ‘unionism’.


I would be interested in any personal experiences that people have encountered and none of the information which you would provide me with will be used without full permission. I would greatly appreciate any response from this site and thank you for taking the time to read this.


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