16 January 2006
IRISH REPUBLICANS UNITE TO COMMEMORATE HUNGER STRIKES
by Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee - Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006 at 6:16 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee
Colm Mistéil, Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners - Chairman
Deirdre Fennessy, Irish Freedom Committee (Chicago Cumann)
TJ O Conchúir, Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
CHICAGO, IL - January 14, 2006
25 Years On –Commemoration Says “We Must Be United!”
Twenty-Five years ago, ten brave men stunned the world by their agonizing deaths on Hunger Strike in Long Kesh jail in Ireland. Seven political prisoners allied to the Irish Republican Army, and three representing the Irish National Liberation Army, sacrificed their lives to expose injustice and brutality in British jails and to restore Political Status to their imprisoned comrades. These ten martyrs, united in cause and principle under different factions of Irish Republicanism, left an unfulfilled legacy of strength in unity to Irish Republicans today.
In 2006, the 25th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes, a diverse group of US-based Irish Republican organizations will unite in homage to the memories of these ten martyrs and to the causes and demands for which they died. These organizations, the Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners, the Chicago Cumann of The Irish Freedom Committee, and The Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America, will join together under the banner of the Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee to stage a series of events in the Chicago area to observe the historic 25th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes. All groups involved are devoted to the pursuit of a United and Sovereign 32 County Socialist Irish Republic, free of British military and administrative rule; and to the support of the families of Irish Republican political prisoners.
The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee will stage several events in the Chicago area in 2006 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikes. Event dates and locations are to be announced shortly, but these will include a benefit Rock and Roll show in April, and a Commemoration Dinner Dance to be hosted in August 2006. A special Testimonial Journal will also be pressed for this historic occasion. All funds raised at the Commemoration will go directly to aid the families of current Irish Republican POWs, some of whom still fight for the Political Status which the ten 1981 Hunger Strikers died for.
In the spirit of Theobald Wolfe Tone, who sought to unite “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter”; in acknowledgement of the leadership of the Easter 1916 Rising, which united disparate Republican forces against the might of Britain’s army; and most especially in the memory of the 1981 hunger strikers, who died united in protest inside the H-Blocks of Long Kesh; The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee will do our part in unity to pay respectful homage to the legacy of ten brave men who sacrificed all for Ireland.
IN TRIBUTE TO THE TEN MARTYRS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES ON HUNGER STRIKE
Vol. Bobby Sands, IRA
Vol. Francis Hughes, IRA
Vol. Patsy O'Hara, INLA
Vol. Raymond McCreesh, IRA
Vol. Joe McDonnell, IRA
Vol. Martin Hurson, IRA
Vol. Kevin Lynch, INLA
Vol. Kieran Doherty, IRA
Vol. Thomas McElwee, IRA
Vol. Michael Devine, INLA
Tiochfaidh ár lá!
For more information and event updates please visit The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee at www.wemustbeunited.com, or email the CHSCC at email@example.com.
The Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners (CGRP) was launched in the summer of 2005 in response to a critical need for support for a group of Irish Republican Political Prisoners on E4 landing at Portlaoise Prison. The Irish Freedom Committee (IFC), formed in 1961, is a Nation-wide organization which has supported anti-Treaty Irish Republican political prisoners and their families for many years and has lead numerous human rights campaigns, speaking tours, film screenings, musical benefits, and public protests on behalf of the prisoners and their families. The Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America (IRSCNA) was founded in 1984 to expand support for the Irish Republican Socialist Movement in Ireland through political forums, press releases, and demonstrations.