Ap Aug front 2017

1 June 2017 Edition

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Mayo to honour the Hunger Strikers

National Hunger Strike Commemoration - 3pm Sunday 13th August, Ballina, Mayo. Main speaker Gerry Kelly MLA plus many award-winning bands

The 1981 Hunger Strike was a pivotal moment in Irish history which saw republican political prisoners thwart British Government efforts to criminalise the struggle for a free and united Ireland.

Spreag crógacht na Stailceoirí Ocrais daoine ar fud na cruinne a bhfuil dúil sa tsaoirse acu.

Anseo in Éirinn is faoi bhród a chuimhníonn poblachtánaithe ar n-íobairt agus ar a ngaisce. 

Gach bliain, déanann poblachtánaithe ó gach cearn d’Éirinn agus ó thar lear comóradh ar íobair deichniúr fear óga a fuair bás sna H-Blocanna sa Cheis Fhada sa bhliain 1981.

We remember also the sacrifices of Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan who died on hunger strike in England.

It is fitting therefore that this year’s commemoration will be held in Michael's and Frank’s home county of Mayo.

This year’s commemoration will remember also those republicans of earlier generations who died on hunger strike, including Seán McNeela (also from Mayo) and Tony D’arcy from neighbouring County Galway.

Stair Phoblachtánach Mhaigh Eo

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• Michael Davitt

Mayo has a long and proud republican history stretching back to the 1798 Rebellion led by the United Irishmen.

Mayo man and Fenian Michael Davitt led the Land League, which was founded  in Castlebar in 1879, and won back the land for the people from the landlords and stoped evictions.

Mayo played a very significant role in the Tan War, with several notable ambushes of British forces, and subsequently played a part in the Civil War.

Three Mayo republicans died on hunger strike for the rights of political prisoners. 

They were Seán 'Jack' McNeela, who died on 19 April 1940 in Arbour Hill Military Detention Barracks, Dublin, after 55 days on hunger strike; Michael Gaughan, who died on 3 June, 1974, after 64 days on hunger strike in Parkhurst Prison, England; and Frank Stagg, who died on 12 February 1976 after 62 days without food.

“Celebrate their lives”  – Gerry Adams TD

“AM cinniúnach i stair na hÉireann an Stailc Ocrais.

“The 1981 Hunger Strike saw the men and women in the H-Blocks of Long kesh and Armagh Women’s Prison – and the tens of thousands who supported them – thwart British Government efforts to criminalise the struggle for a free and united Ireland.

“The bravery of Bobby and Francie, Raymond, Patsy, Joe, Martin, Kevin, Kieran, Tom and Mickey has inspired freedom-loving people across the globe.

“Is le bród mór a chuimhníonn poblachtanaigh ar an chrógacht agus an íobairt a léirigh siad uilig.

“Every year, republicans from across Ireland and abroad commemorate the sacrifice of the ten young men who died in the H-Blocks in 1981.

“Tá an cion céanna againn ar íobairt Frank Stagg agus Michael Gaughan a thug a mbeatha ar stailc ocrais i Sasana.

“It is fitting that this year’s commemoration will be held in Michael's and Frank’s home county of Mayo.

“At this year’s commemoration we will also remember those republicans of earlier generations who died on hunger strike, including Seán McNeela, also from Mayo, and Tony D’arcy from neighbouring Co Galway.

These freedom fighters – 

these political prisoners – 

were all about the future. 

This is an opportunity to 

remember them all and to 

celebrate their lives.”

Message from Senator Rose Conway Walsh

“I am delighted that Mayo will host the 2017 National Hunger Strike Commemoration.

“Mayo saw three of its own young men – Seán McNeela, Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg – die on hunger strike for their republican beliefs and for the rights of political prisoners.

“Mayo will honour their sacrifice  and those of the men who died  in Long Kesh in 1981, as well  as the memory of Galway man Tony D’arcy, with dignity  and pride.”

Imeachtaí Comórtha

Saturday 3rd June

2pm Leigue Cemetery, Ballina

Wreath-laying ceremony marking 43rd anniversary of the death of Michael Gaughan. 

Main speaker: Senator Rose Conway Walsh 

Sunday 4th June

1pm-7pm Westport Town Hall 

Art and Hunger Strike Exhibition

6pm Guest speaker: Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Exhibition open to public from 1pm

Friday 23rd June

8pm Charlestown Arts Centre

Hunger Strike Exhibition

Guest speaker: Owen Carron, former election agent for Bobby Sands MP

Friday 30th June

8pm Ballina Arts Centre

Screening of '66 Days'

(Film about Bobby Sands’s hunger strike)

Guest speaker: Former Hunger Striker Raymond McCartney MLA 

Friday 7th July

2pm-7pm Cranmore, Sligo

Hunger Strike Exhibition

Saturday 8th July

11am-4.30pm Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo

Hunger Strike Exhibition

Sunday 9th July

2pm-7pm Easkey, Co Sligo

Hunger Strike Exhibition

Friday 14th July

8.30pm Castlebar Library

'Women in Struggle' Exhibition

Former political prisoner Síle Darragh will read an extract from her book John Lennon is Dead, followed by a talk with both Síle and Cllr Mary Clarke on women’s resistance and the legacy of the 1981 Hunger Strikes.

Friday 21st July

8pm Aras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet 

Screening of '66 Days'

Saturday 22nd July

12-6pm Ballaghaderreen Library, Co Roscommon,

Hunger Strike Exhibition & Lecture about William Patrick Partridge

By Prof Conor McNamara, GMIT.

Afterwards a procession will leave Ballaghaderreen Square leading to Partridge’s grave to mark the 100th anniversary of his death.

Saturday 29th July

6pm Raddison HotelGalway City

Galway Remembers the Hunger Strikers – Talk and Presentations

This event will be followed with music by Rebel Hearts @ 9pm.

Tickets available @ €15 each.

Friday 11th August

8pm Great National Hotel, Ballina 

Panel Discussion

Ffeaturing Ruán O’Donnell on the hunger strikes of Seán McNeela, Tony D’Arcy, Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg. Plus Danny Morrison on the 1980/81 Hunger Strikes and a former woman political prisoner on the Armagh Jail struggle 1980/81.

Saturday 12th August

10am-4pm Great National Hotel, Ballina 

'Colonialism and Conflict' workshop

Facilitated by Trademark Belfast

Evening discussion 8pm Including former H-Block prisoner and Palestinian speaker

Organised by Sinn Féin Republican Youth

Function featuring Spirit of Freedom @ 9.30pm

Sunday 13th August

3pm Ballina 

National Hunger Strike Commemoration

Main speaker Gerry Kelly MLA plus many award-winning bands

Friday 21st July, Friday 28th July, and Friday 4th August

Radio documentary

Erris FM will be broadcast Liamy McNally’s three-part radio documentary Dying for the Cause – The Story of the Mayo Hunger Strikers on Friday 21st July, Friday 28th July, and Friday 4th August. 

Other Mayo radio stations will replay the documentary in the run-up to the national commemoration.

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