Hunger Strike Memorial Event in Coolock
A series of events will take place in Dublin’s Coolock area on Saturday 27 August to remember the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, organised by the local éirígí ciorcal.
The day will commence at 2pm with a public meeting in Le Chéile Community Centre, Donneycarney, which will be addressed by former blanketman Pádraic Mac Coitir from Belfast.
After the meeting there will be a Hunger Strike Memorial GAA challenge match at the Inis Fáil GAA club in Balgriffin. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Inis Fáil club and will be followed by a night of music and song.
Speaking about the events, éirígí spokesperson Ciarán Heaphey said, “This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the 1981 H-Block Hunger Strike, a momentous year in the history of Irish republicanism when ten brave young Volunteers from the IRA and INLA gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.
“The H-Block Hunger Strike was the culmination of an epic prison struggle, a period in which the British government attempted to criminalise the growing resistance to its brutal occupation of the Six Counties.
“For several years prior to the hunger strike, republican prisoners endured blanket and no-wash protests and suffered torture at the hands of the prison regime. Despite these appalling conditions the prisoners refused to bend to the will of the British government and in 1981 ten young men sacrificed their lives rather than be branded criminals by the Thatcher government.
“Writing just days before he died after 73 days on hunger strike, Kieran Doherty who was elected TD for Cavan/Monaghan summed up what was the H-Block prison struggle was about:
“The British and Maggie Thatcher won’t break me or my comrades. We are not criminals, we are Irish Political Prisoners of War and we will win in the end. Defeat is unthinkable after all that has passed. It is not just the 5 demands; the Republican Movement is at stake.”
Heaphey continued, “Thirty years on, the Hunger Strikers continue to inspire and on Saturday 27th August we in the local éirígí ciorcal invite people to participate in an event being held in their memory.
“Join us in honouring the memory of the ten H-Block martyrs.”