#OTD in 1957 – Birth of Thomas McElwee, Irish political prisoner, who died on the sixty-second day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. The tenth republican to join the hunger strike was twenty-three-year-old IRA Volunteer Thomas McElwee, from Bellaghy in South Derry. He had been imprisoned since December 1976, following a premature explosion in which he lost an eye. He was a first cousin of Francis Hughes, who died after […]

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#OTD in 1980 – British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, stated in the House of Commons: “The government will never concede to political status to the hunger strikers, or to any others convicted of criminal offences in the province.”

The hunger strikes of 1980-81 were a confrontation between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the iron will of Irish republican prisoners in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh, in an attempt to break the British policy of criminalising paramilitary prisoners. The prisoners’ ultimate demand, to be granted a ‘special category status’ that distinguished them from other prisoners, led to […]

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#OTD in 1973 – Eight IRA members (six men, two women – sisters Marian and Dolours Price) are convicted of the London bombings in March 1973 which killed one person and injuring over 200.

Dolours Price and younger sibling Marian were part of a four-strong IRA unit which planted four car bombs outside the Old Bailey courthouse. Two detonated, causing massive damage and injuring more than 200 people, but no-one was killed directly. One man later died of a heart attack he suffered at the time. The IRA Volunteers […]

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#OTD in 1981 – IRA hunger strike called off at Long Kesh Prison.

Ten IRA members died during the hunger strikes. While the IRA did not win immediate concessions, in some ways it was a Pyrrhic victory for Margaret Thatcher’s government. It galvanised support and membership for the IRA and generated huge sympathy for the strikers in the United States where fundraising was a major priority. The death […]

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#OTD in 1983 – Long Kesh Prison Escape | Thirty-eight members of the IRA escaped from the maximum security Long Kesh prison near Lisburn.

Two years after the epic 1981 H-Block Hunger Strike in which ten young republicans died, there was another epic event at Long Kesh that dealt a huge blow to the Thatcher regime in Ireland. This was the escape of thirty-eight IRA prisoners from H-Block 7 on Sunday 25 September 1983. At 2:15pm that day, three […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 25 September:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast day of Saint Finbarr (c. 550-c. 620). He was Bishop of Cork in the 6th century and patron saint for the city and Diocese of Cork. Possibly born near Bandon, and originally named “Lochan,” he is said to have studied in Co Kilkenny where he was renamed […]

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Latest Commissioned Painting of Kieran Doherty

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Kieran went on hunger-strike on Friday, 22nd May, having put his name forward for it long ago, as undaunted and full of fighting spirit as when he roamed free on the streets of Andersonstown. In June 1981, in the Free State general election, Kieran was elected a […]

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#OTD in 1951 – Birth of Volunteer Joe McDonnell, in Lenadoon, Belfast, who died in the 1981 Irish hunger strike.

McDonnell was born on Slate Street in the Falls Road of west Belfast on 14 Sept 1951, and was the fifth of 10 children and went to a nearby Roman Catholic school. In 1970, he married Goretti, and moved into her sister’s house in Lenadoon. There were only two Catholic houses in this predominantly Ulster […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Twenty-seven-year-old Michael “Mickey” Devine, from the Creggan in Derry dies on the 60th day of his hunger strike.

Fuar siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Mickey Devine was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strikers and he was the last of the group to give their lives in order to retain their status as political prisoners. Twenty-seven-year-old Mickey Devine, from the Creggan in Derry city, was the third INLA […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Thomas McElwee, Irish political prisoner, dies on the sixty-second day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. The tenth republican to join the hunger strike was twenty-three-year-old IRA Volunteer Thomas McElwee, from Bellaghy in South Derry. He had been imprisoned since December 1976, following a premature explosion in which he lost an eye. He was a first cousin of Francis Hughes, who died after […]

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