Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee

Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at
Sun Feb 25 22:13:40 MST 2001


26 February 2001

Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee

Press Relations Officers:
Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at
Dawn-Michele Gould sunryse at

In 1981, ten young men, members of the Irish Republican Army and the
Irish National Liberation Army, and prisoners of war (POWs), died on
hunger strike while incarcerated in the North of Ireland. Ten young
men who had dared to rise up against the occupying forces in their
country, young men whose only hope in life was that, unlike them,
their children could grow up free from oppression of their basic
human rights, free from discrimination in housing, education, health
care and religion, free to live their lives without fear, and free
citizens of a United Ireland. Arrested without evidence, convicted
without trials, and stripped of their political status as POWs, these
men asked for five basic rights - rights which the British occupied
forces could have easily granted - but instead they were left to die,
while the world looked on in horror.

This year, 2001, is the 20th anniversary of the deaths of these brave
young men. They will never be forgotten, not now while we still
struggle for freedom; and not ever, even when justice and freedom are
finally won by the people of Ireland.

Beginning with May 5th, the anniversary of the first death, we ask
you, in the name of human compassion, to remember these men by
participating in a world-wide minute of silence and again on the
anniversary of each subsequent death. We ask all of you who detest
the injustices the British government imposes on the people of the
North of Ireland, and all of you who wish for peace and social
justice for all peoples of the world, to join together in solidarity
and share a minute of silence in their honour.

Let us never forget:

Volunteer Bobby Sands, IRA - died 5 May 1981
Volunteer Francis Hughes, IRA - died 12 May 1981
Volunteer Raymond McCreesh, IRA - died 21 May 1981
Volunteer Patsy O'Hara, INLA - died 21 May 1981
Volunteer Joe McDonnell, IRA - died 8 July 1981
Volunteer Martin Hurson, IRA - died 13 July 1981
Volunteer Kevin Lynch, INLA - died 1 August 1981
Volunteer Kieran Doherty, IRA - died 2 August 1981
Volunteer Thomas McElwee, IRA - died 8 August 1981
Volunteer Michael Devine, INLA - died 20 August 1981

The five demands they died for were:

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;
4. The Right to organize their own educational and recreational
5. The Right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week.

To acknowledge your guaranteed participation in the minute of silence
for each hunger striker please send an email to hscom at

On behalf of all of those who have died in the struggle for Irish
Freedom, the Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee thanks you.

Tony O'Hara
International Coordinator
hscom_2001 at

Danielle Ni Dhighe
Press Relations Officer
nidhighe at

Dawn-Michele Gould
Press Relations Officer
sunryse at

The brother of hunger striker Patsy O'Hara formed the Hunger
Strike Commemoration Committee in 2000 and its membership includes
Irish Republican activists in Ireland, Britain, and North America.


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