Some Mother’s Son


Some Mother’s Son (1996)
Director: Terry George
Actors: Helen Mirren, Aidan Gillen, John Lynch
Runtime: 112 min

This is story about the 1981. hunger strike of Irish political prisoners and the events that accompanied it.

One of the main causes of conflict in Northern Ireland was discrimination against Catholics (Irish) by ruling Protestants (British loyalists). In the years of decolonisation, after the Second World War, nationalists saw renewed hope of joining the Republic of Ireland and loyalists saw danger in the additional decline of United Kingdom. Late sixties saw the rise of the human rights movement in Northern Ireland, but also the emerging of various armed organizations. Social turmoil escalated after British government introduced military administration, which lasted from 1969. until 2007.

Throughout this period members of the Irish paramilitary organizations have demanded prison status as prisoners of war, but the British government treated them as ordinary criminals. Around 340 prisoners initially protested by refusing to wear prison uniforms, but in the end, after counter-measures from prison authorities and the escalation of protest, there was a great hunger strike in which died 10 out of 23 hunger strikers. British government, headed by Margaret Thatcher, was determined to break the strike and did not meet the demands of the strikers, however demands were eventually fulfilled some time after the strike ended: 1. The right not to wear a prison uniform; 2. The right not to do prison work; 3. The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organize educational and recreational pursuits; 4. The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week; 5. Full restoration of remission lost through the protest. Based on actual events.

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