She was only five years old, but Louise Devine remembers every detail of her last visit to her father Mickey before he died on hunger-strike. She sat by his bed in the H-Blocks prison hospital with her big brother who was eight.
"There was a horrible smell of rotting flesh as daddy's body broke down," she says. "His organs were collapsing. He was blind so he couldn't see me or my brother. He was told, 'Louise is on your right and Michael is on your left'.
"He held our hands and felt the shape of our faces. I remember his cold, bony hand on my flesh. He could barely talk and mumbled words which I couldn't make out. He drifted in and out of consciousness. His eyes were half open. The last image I have is of the tears streaming down his face as we left."
Louise remembers standing outside waiting for the hospital lift: "If I'd known then what I know now, I'd have run back into that room and begged him to end his hunger-strike. There was a secret British offer which could have saved the lives of the last six men who died.
"It was rejected by the Sinn Fein and IRA leadership outside the jail even though it granted almost all the prisoners' demands. We weren't told about it. Had daddy known, he would have ended his hunger-strike. He was 27 years old and had less than two years left to serve in jail. He had two children whom he worshipped. He had everything to live for. I'm very proud of him, but I feel he died for nothing."
It's 40 years next Wednesday since Bobby Sands died on hunger-strike. Over the next 15 weeks, a further nine men - six IRA and three INLA - would follow him. Mickey Devine from Derry was the last to die after 60 days on hunger-strike.
He was known as 'Red Mickey' because of his bright red hair and left-wing politics. He joined the INLA in 1974. Two years later, he was arrested after an arms raid in Donegal. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail for possession.
Louise, who was 18 months at the time, has no memories of her father before he went to prison. Her parents' marriage broke up when he was there, but she and her brother visited the H-Blocks with her Aunt Margaret.
When her father joined the dirty protest, she was afraid of "this skinny, smelly man with a beard wearing an old army blanket". She says: "I would cry, throw a tantrum and refuse to sit on his knee. I was petrified of him. It made him so sad." Louise says her father did everything possible to reach out to her and her brother Michael. He couldn't buy them presents so he made cartoon hankies. Today, they're her most treasured possessions.
On one, he drew Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, and the Seven Dwarfs. "To Louise and Michael from Daddy," is written on the cloth. Another hankie shows republican prisoners with faces like monkeys. "Looking at them breaks my heart," she says. "Despite all he was suffering, he was still a loving daddy trying to make his kids laugh."
As her father deteriorated on hunger-strike, Louise remembers him lying in bed in agony, covered in bedsores. She climbed on to the mattress to get close to him but Aunt Margaret told her to get down as she'd hurt him. "Then, daddy said in a voice that was so weak we could barely hear, 'She's alright, let her be'. He was just delighted that I was no longer frightened of him. He held me tight, and it made me so happy."
Louise had moments of guilt too: "The screws kept this big bowl of fruit by his bed. We were too poor to have fresh fruit at home so I was always staring at it. There was this big red, shiny apple that I wanted so much. I had the sense not to take it, but I felt bad for longing to."
The Devine children were woken at 8am on August 10 1981 to news that their father was dead. At the wake, Louise tried to climb into his coffin. At the graveside, she was terrified when the INLA fired shots over it. With Michael, she threw red roses on to the coffin.
Louise suffers from severe anxiety which counsellors have linked to childhood trauma: "At this time of year as the hunger-strike anniversary approaches, it gets worse. I find it really hard to cope, I have to go on tablets."
Over the years, she has asked for meetings with key Sinn Fein figures to discuss the British offer that she believes would have saved her father's life. "Nobody has ever met me," she says. "Don't ask me what I think of them because I'll only start to curse and swear."
Richard O'Rawe lives just across the road from Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast where three of the hunger-strikers are buried. Not a week passes that he doesn't visit the republican plot where Bobby Sands, Joe McDonnell, and Kieran Doherty lie. In 1977, he was sentenced to eight years in jail for robbing the Northern Bank in Mallusk for the IRA. He recalls the stench and squalor of the blanket protest when he entered the H-Blocks.
"The food was inedible. We'd be given pasties as hard as rocks. It would break your teeth even trying to eat them," he says.
"We'd throw them into the corner of the cell, and bluebottles would lay their eggs in them, and soon there'd be hundreds of maggots. They infested our hair and beards." He speaks of the hunger-strikers' different personalities. Some were quiet and introspective while Bobby Sands was "the life and soul" of the wing: "He never shut up. His enthusiasm was infectious. For him, every blanketman was a Spartan."
O'Rawe was the IRA prisoners' public relations officer. He drafted the statement announcing the start of their fast on March 1, 1981. Twenty years later, he wrote a book 'Blanketman: An untold story of the H-Block hunger-strike' which lifted the lid on events during the fast.
He claimed that, four days before the fifth hunger strike Joe McDonnell died in July, the British made an offer which effectively granted their five demands bar free association. Margaret Thatcher had "blinked first" and compromised on prison uniforms, work, visits, letters and segregation.
O'Rawe says that the IRA's prison leadership accepted the offer but it was rejected by a clandestine committee outside the jail set by up the Army Council. "Men with hearts like lions were let die by people not fit to lace their boots," he says.
Certain Sinn Fein figures were focused on the "rich political harvest" the hunger-strike was bringing and wanted to ensure Owen Carron won the Fermanagh and South Tyrone the following month. Sinn Fein has always strongly denied that an offer existed which could have saved the men's lives and that it prolonged the hunger-strike for electoral gain.
Thomas 'Dixie' Elliott is an ex-IRA prisoner who believes O'Rawe's claims. He came from a mixed marriage in Derry - his father was a Protestant - but joined the Provisionals and was sentenced to 12 years for membership, hijacking, and attempted murder.
For three months in 1979, he was Bobby Sands' cell-mate. "My strongest memories of Bobby are of his singing and story-telling," he says. "People think we sat in our cells singing all these rebel songs. Bobby sang the Bee Gees more than anything else. I can still remember his 'Massachusetts'.
"We used the cell walls as a notepad. Bobby was forever writing poetry or songs there. A Co Antrim prisoner told him about a poteen maker and Bobby wrote 'McIlhatton'. I suggested he write about Derry, and he penned 'Back Home in Derry'. Both songs were later recorded by Christy Moore.
"Bobby was a great motivator on the wing. He asked the men to write poetry to try to keep them occupied. Skill varied hugely, but we were all instructed not to laugh when others read out their poems even if they were rubbish. That didn't always happen."
Two Derry brothers were also in the H-Blocks in 1981. Tony O'Hara (25) was serving five years for possessing a gun and armed robbery; Patsy (23) was doing eight years for possessing a hand grenade.
As children, they'd been on the first civil rights march in Derry in 1968 when police batoned peaceful protesters. Both went onto join the Fianna, the IRA's junior wing. The family pub was later blown up by the Provisionals. Patsy O'Hara was shot by the British Army when he was 14 and interned two years later. On release, he joined the INLA. He became the fourth hunger-striker to die.
"We were in jail together," says Tony O'Hara, "yet in Patsy's 61 days on hunger-strike, I was allowed to see him for just two hours and 15 minutes. A camera was smuggled into the jail and a picture taken of him sitting in his wheelchair. He's holding his head up with his hand as his neck muscles are too weak to do it.
"The photos were published in The Irish Press. The last time I saw Patsy was very hard. His whole body was shutting down and his voice was croaky. The tears welled up inside me but I held them back. I knew if I started to cry, I wouldn't stop and I didn't want the screws to see that."
O'Hara says their mother Peggy was determined that Patsy wouldn't die: "She was dismayed when other mothers didn't take their sons off hunger-strike as they neared death. She told Patsy: 'I don't care about Ireland or the world, I'm going to save you.'
"But then he had a heart attack. As he drifted in and out of consciousness, he whispered, 'I'm sorry mammy we didn't win. Let the fight go on.' She honoured his wish. She sat and stroked his hair as he died."
O'Hara says that when his brother's body was released, it had been violated: "His nose had been broken, his face burnt with cigarettes, and he was covered in bruises." He got out of jail for the funeral. When he was released permanently two months later, he was "full of rage, and wanted a gun to kill people".
His views on 'armed struggle' have since completely changed. He believes "John Hume was right". He thinks dissident republican groups should call a ceasefire. His book, 'The Time Has Come', has just been published.
"I believe Patsy died in vain," O'Hara says. "He died for a socialist republic. Not for a state that, even if the border goes, is run by the likes of Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar, or Mary Lou McDonald - an Ireland where there's poverty, homelessness, and austerity.
"If I could turn the clock back, I'd never have got involved. I think Patsy still would have because he was very stubborn. He's dead almost 40 years but I can still see us as kids. We were a very musical family. We'd sit there on Thursday nights at home watching Top of the Pops, strumming our guitars, not knowing what lay ahead."
Next week: Part two - Suzanne Breen on the 'other' victims of the hunger strike