#OTD in 1976 – Vice president of Sinn Féin and commander of Cumann na mBan, Máire Drumm, was assassinated by loyalists while recovering in Mater Hospital, Crumlin Road, Belfast.

‘The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day, and die if necessary.’ –Máire Drumm

Máire Drumm was the vice president of Sinn Féin and a commander in Cumann na mBan. She was killed by Ulster loyalists while recovering from an eye operation in Belfast’s Mater Hospital.

Born in Newry, Co Down to a staunchly Irish republican family. Drumm’s mother had been active in the War of Independence and the Civil War. Drumm grew up in the village of Killean, Co Armagh, where she played camogie. She was active in the republican movement after meeting her husband, a republican prisoner, and became involved in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in the 1960s and worked to rehouse Catholics forced from their homes by loyalist intimidation.

She was jailed twice for ‘seditious speeches’. After she was released from HM Prison Armagh, raids on her house by the security forces escalated, her health began to fail and she was admitted to the Belfast’s Mater Hospital.

On this date in 1976, Maíre Drumm was shot dead in her hospital bed in a joint operation by the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association.

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