1 March 1981 marked the end of the dirty protests at the Maze H-Blocks and at the Armagh Women's Jail and the beginning of the Bobby Sands hunger strike.

By ending the 'No Wash No Slop Out Protest', the 411 men in the H-Blocks and 28 women in Armagh Jail, are seeking to highlight their main demands - not to wear prison issue clothing; not to do prison work; and the right to free association.

The prisoners who had been smearing excrement on the their cell walls have asked to be moved to clean cells.

The dirty protest began in the Maze prison in March 1978 and in Armagh Jail in February 1980. By ending the dirty protest prisoners hope to focus attention on the second, new hunger strike lead by Bobby Sands. 

Former commanding officer of the IRA and republican prisoner Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike at the Maze Prison. The 27 year old would be joined by other prisoners over time in an effort to maximise publicity for their campaign. The objective of the hunger strike is for IRA prisoners to achieve political status in prisons in Northern Ireland.

An RTÉ News report by Kevin Healy and Jim Dougal broadcast on 2 March 1981, the day after the hunger strike began.