01 September 2005



Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail: saoirse@iol.ie
Date: 31 Lúnasa/August 2005
Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom

THE 24th annual hunger strike commemoration took place in Bundoran, Co Donegal on Saturday, August 27.

Led by a National Colour Party and the Dr Arthurs Accordion Band from the Glens of Antrim the parade marched through the town. Other bands taking taking place were the Kevin Lynch Memorial Band from Dungiven, Co Derry and the RSM band from Strabane, Co Tyrone. Many relatives of the hunger strikers took part in the parade.

The parade stopped at the Republican Garden of Remembrance where a wreath was laid by Ruair? Br?igh, President, Republican Sinn F? on behalf of the Bundoran Hunger Strike Committee. The parade then marched to the bridge at the bottom of the town where a rally was held.

Proceedings were chaired by Joe O'Neill, Bundoran, who welcomed all present, especially members of the hunger strike families who took part in the ceremonies. Richard Walsh, Ard Chomhairle member from Dublin, was the first speaker.

He said he was not born until nearly three months after the conclusion of the 1981 H-Block Hunger Strike. "However hearing of the courageous actions taken by these fine men who were willing to endure so much hardship and suffer such terrible deaths has inspired future generations."

He went on to describe the Irish tradition of hunger striking and the story of the 1981 hunger strike and then spoke of the appalling conditions that Republican prisoners were today being held in at Maghabery prison, Co Antrim.

In conclusion he said he would like quote a few words from Vol Bobby Sands:

"We know that we ... can and will achieve the victory that will envelope the future generations with peace and justice, happiness and prosperity and not oppression.

"Indeed we must ensure that we see our present fight right through to the very end and the successful conclusion of the establishment of an Irish Socialist Republic, or indeed "things" most definitely will always remain the same.

"Always the same! if we allow it."

The main speaker was Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President, Republican Sinn Féin who said in the course of his address that Bobby Sands and his comrades as well as two more in England died agonisingly on hunger strike rather than don a British convict uniform.

He went on: "Others may destroy their arms at the behest of the English enemy. They may even take part in the Stormont Administration and join the enemy's armed forces to oppress Irish people, but we who gather here in the name of our dead hunger strikers year after year, have not and will surrender any part of Ireland to British government rule."

Joe O'Neill concluded by calling on all Irish people to resist British rule and continue the struggle for a 32-County Ireland.

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