Hunger Strikers

2009 image of the hunger strikers metalwork on the site of the former RUC barracks. The background wall has been repainted in plain white; previously it was painted as a sky with clouds (see 2006 and 2008).

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

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Léana An Dúin

Local female IRA volunteers Laura Crawford, Patricia Black, Bridie Quinn, Mairéad Farrell and a generic female volunteer with assault rifle on manoeuvres in an Irish landscape strewn with standing stones. “Lenadoon Youth 2000”

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

In Aghaidh Impiriúlachas Na Breataine In Éirinn

“I gcomóradh na stailceoirí ocrais a fuair bás i mBloic-H na Céise Fada sa bhiain 1981 agus i ndíl chuimhne ar ár cróga go léir a thug a raibh acu ar stailc ocrais in aghaidh impiriúlachas na Breataine in Éirinn. This memorial stone is erected to commemorate the deaths of 10 republican volunteers who died in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh prison in the cause of Irish freedom. Their supreme sacrifice changed the course of Irish history forever. Their suffering and subsequent deaths showed the inhumane barbarity of a British government in its attempts to deny our people their liberty and rights as a free nation.”

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

Stailc Ocrais

Twelve hunger strikers prior to the 1981 strike are included in this Shaws Road board: on the left: Thomas Ashe, Mountjoy 1917; Michael Fitzgerald, Cork 1920; Terence McSwiney, Brixton 1920; Joseph Murphy, Cork 1920; Joseph Witty, Curragh 1923; Denis Barry, Newbridge 1923; Andrew Sullivan, Newbridge 1923; Tony D’Arcy, Arbour Hill 1940; Jack McNeela, Arbour Hill 1940; Seán McCaughey, Portlaoise 1946; Michael Gaughan, Parkhurst 1974; plus on the right: Frank Stagg, Wakefield 1976.

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

Beechmount Óglaigh

 

The memorial garden in Beechmount Avenue, Belfast, goes beyond commemoration of IRA volunteers. Moving clockwise: dying volunteer, “local men and women and POWs”, hunger strikers, comhaltaí Shinn Féin, proclamation, na hÓglaigh, “innocent people from the area”, “the unsung heroes off [sic] this area”, Sands quote.

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

An Stailc Ocrais

For the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike [stailc ocrais], a prisoner reaches for a lark (the spirit of freedom) bathed in sunbeams like a beatific vision. “Go dtreoraí cuimhne bhur níobairtí agus íobairtí denár dtírghráthóirí náisiún beo bocht chun bua.” [“May the memory of your sacrifices and the sacrifices of our patriots guide a desperate nation to victory.”] The sentence is attributed to Bobby Sands but the source is unknown – please get in touch if you can place it. Andersonstown Road, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

Crowley – Carty – Loughran

“I ndíl chuimhne. In proud and loving memory of Óglach Dermot Crowley, Óglach Patrick Carty, Óglach Sean Loughran, Tyrone Brigade Óglaidh Na hÉireann who died on active service outside Omagh 25th June 1973. Fuair siad bás ar son shaoirse na hÉireann. ‘If you strike at, or imprison, or killus, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst’ – James Connolly.” The three died from a premature bomb explosion. For brief biographies, see An Phoblacht.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

The Hunger Strike Era

A lark (or perhaps a dove) bursts through the ceiling of a H-Block cell lined with the names of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers. “This mural is dedicated to all those who tragically died on the streets of Derry during the hunger strike era. Suimhneas Dé dá nanamacha. 3rd October 2006.”

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Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney