Those Who Endure The Most

Kieran Doherty’s memorial stone (below) is recreated at the back of the mural of his funeral cortège. “I gcuimhne ar Vol. Kieran Doherty T.D. Briogáid Bhéal Feirste [Ógliagh na hÉireann], of 54 Commedagh Drive. Rugadh 16ú Deireadh Fómhair 1955, elected T.D. for Cavan/Monaghan 11th June 1981, a fuair bás 2ú Lúnasa 1981, after 73 days on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. ‘It is not those who can inflict the most, but those who endure the most, who will conquer in the end’.” (The Terence MacSwiney quote is not included on the painted stone.)

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X08910 X08907 X08908 [X08909] Slemish Dr, Commedagh Dr

Lifford Remembers The Hunger Strikers

“Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann” [they died for Ireland’s freedom] Although it’s the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, this Lifford (Co. Donegal) board includes Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg who died in English prisons in the 1970s.

If you can explain the flag in the centre, please get in touch. The wide shot, below, includes a call to rally for 100% Redress, No Less.

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Their Blood Our Cause Has Sanctified

For the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike, portraits of the deceased ten (plus Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan from the 1970s) were placed on the railings of the Ballymurphy memorial garden. There is a new (compared to 2006 and 2008) set of plaques, erected in 2017:

“A Letter To The 22: You have not gone away, you are in the hearts and on the lips of your people. The old speak of you with knowing tongue. The middle aged, as those who worked beside you. The young men and women with a passion not unlike your own. Your names can be heard on the wind taken from the mouths of men who tend their flocks on Slieve Gullion, Cnoc Phadraig, Glenshane. They echo in the small graveyards in Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Tyrone, Antrim, Derry and Armagh. They are heard among your people at the mass gate on Sunday in the crowd at the hurling game, around the hearth when the bottle is cracked and song is sung. Your image can be seen on the faces of happy smiling children for whose freedom you gave your all. You are in our prayers you have not gone away, you never will. Mise le meas Colm Mac Giolla Bhein 2006. This monument was erected by the Ballymurphy Ex POWs in memory of the 22 hunger strikers who died for the cause of Irish freedom. It was unveiled on the hundredth anniversary of Thomas Ash[e] who was the first republican to die on hunger strike in 1917. He died after five days while being force fed. Thomas Ash[e] an these 21 brave Irish men stood by their beliefs and refused to be criminalised. Fuair siad bás ar son shaoirse na hÉireann. I measc laochra na nGael go raibh siad.”

For the mural, with NHS board, see Pray For Us.

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X08385 [X08383] [X08384] X08382 X08386 X08387 X083088 X08389 Divismore Way

Beechmount Remembers

A new board has been mounted in AMCOMRI Street for the fortieth anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, with photographs from the area in the background, including the Revolution mural at the bottom of Beechmount Avenue in 1996-1997.

“Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.”

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The Next In Line Is Me

Six weeks after the first four deaths, the 1981 hunger strike’s long summer of mourning resumed with the death of Joe McDonnell, who died on July 8th, 1981. The “H” (for “H Blocks”) is on the Falls Road, next to the D company IRA memorial garden.

For the plaque to the left, see The Death Of Sean McCartney. For the mural in the background to the far left, see Cry “Havoc”. For the long ‘mental health’ strips to the right, see Belfast Live.

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Remember The Hunger Strike

The “Do not use” sign – from last year – is Saoaradh (web) reserving a wall in Thames St (on the Falls Road) that has never (to our knowledge) been used by anyone else. As the image above shows, the space is now being used – in part – by a hunger strike 40th anniversary board.

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For A Socialist Republic

“Saoirse go deo.” INLA volunteer Kevin Lynch went on hunger strike 40 years ago yesterday, May 23rd, 1981. He would die 71 days later, on August 1st. His funeral is depicted above, part of a new IRSP/IRSM board commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strikes. The Tricolour (for the IRA) and Starry Plough (for the INLA) are used as blankets on the prison beds. The board is flanked by two other IRSP boards, one against the PSNI (“96% of Divis residents do not support the PSNI – defund, disarm, disband”) and one dedicated to founder Seamus Costello (“He was the only one who truly understood what James Connolly meant when he spoke of his vision of the freedom of the Irish people.” – Nora Connolly at Costello’s funeral) that was previously in Hugo Street.

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An Stailc Ocrais

On this today 40 years ago, Francis Hughes, the second of the 1981 hunger strikers, died after 59 days without food. The flag is flying over Groves Reilly Corner in CNR west Belfast.

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This Image Is Blessed

Faustina Kowalska was a Polish nun who, from age 19 onwards, claimed to have visions of a suffering Jesus, including one at age 26, of Jesus with red and white rays emanating from his heart and issuing instructions to have the vision painted – it appears here on the right. Kowalska died at age 33 in 1938, of tuberculosis, and was canonized in 2000 (WP). The “H Block Martyrs” pursued a vision of a United Ireland, and likewise died young, of starvation; this is the 40th anniversary of their deaths.

Both Kowalska placards are marked “This image is blessed. Please do not remove.” It is not clear if the hunger striker tarp on the left has also been anointed.

At Groves Reilly Corner.

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Comóradh 40 Stailc Ocrais

On Sunday March 22nd, 1981, forty years ago this week, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara joined Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes on hunger strike in Long Kesh/HMP Maze. They would be joined by 19 more prisoners before the strike ended with ten of the 23 meeting their deaths. On March 31st, 1974, Michael Gaughan went on hunger strike in Parkhurst, along with four others, including Frank Stagg. Gaughan died in June as a result of forced feeding; Stagg would die on a later strike, in February 1976.

The board is on the site of the former Andersonstown RUC barracks.

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X07981 X07982 [X07983] X07980 X07984 glen rd