04 May 2006

H-Block heroes remembered



By Francesca Ryan

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us25 years ago Bobby Sands made the ultimate sacrifice. He was to be followed by nine courageous comrades, two more of them from West Belfast, Joe McDonnell and Kieran Doherty. Across the city in the coming days a
series of events will mark the stirring contribution that the ten men made to the struggle for justice. To paraphrase Bobby, you can play your part by attending an event, no matter how small.

With the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands upon us, the West Belfast MP Gerry Adams is calling on republicans across the city to attend events organised to mark Bobby's death on hunger strike.

“The fifth of May is a very significant date in West Belfast," said Mr Adams. “Twenty five years ago, Bobby Sands took on the British government and their attempts to criminalise him. Bobby died on hunger strike on this day and for many, this still will be a very emotional time."

Here’s the list of events taking place in various areas of the city over the weekend.


7.30PM: Roddy McCorley's Social Club Production of Aisling Ghéar's Dialann Ocrais/Diary of a Hunger Striker 9PM: Roddy McCorley's Social Club Hunger Strike themed quiz in the Wolfe Tone Room
12 MIDNIGHT: Outside Upper Springfield Development Trust 24 hour fast and vigil organised by Upper Springfield Sinn Féin


2PM-7.30PM: Roddy McCorley's Social Club Hunger Strike Exhibition in Tom Williams Room
5PM-6PM: Black Flag Vigil on the Falls Road, Springfield Road, Andersonstown Road and Stewartstown Road. The gathering points at 5pm are as follows: Falls Road Sinn Féin Centre, Sevastopol Street; Beechmount Avenue/Falls Road junction; Whiterock Road/Falls Road junction; Top of the Monagh Road; Connolly House, Andersonstown Road; Mairead Farrell Sinn Féin Office at the Dairy Farm Centre.
8.30PM: Devenish Complex 24th Annual Bobby Sands Lecture delivered by South African Chief of Police Robert McBride, followed by music from Frances Black and The Scór.


1PM: Balmoral Hotel Talkback focusing on legacy of the hunger strikes. Panellists will include John Finucane, Chris McGimpsey, Toireasa Ní Fhearaiosa and Alan McBride who lost relatives in the Shankill bomb of 1993. 4PM: GAA pitches of St Paul's, Sarsfields and Rossa – Finals of the underage GAA blitz.
5.30PM: Julie Livingstone Memorial, Lenadoon Avenue/Stewartstown Road junction. Wreath-laying ceremony, rally and march, via Lenadoon Avenue, to Roddy McCorley's Social Club.
6.30PM: Roddy McCorley's Social Club. Family and friends of the hunger strikers to lay wreaths at trees dedicated to the 12 hunger strikers in the club's grounds, followed by an oration by Gerry Adams. Entertainment in club afterwards.
8PM: Andersonstown Social Club (PD). Republican activists from the 1980/1981 period talk about their experiences.


1PM: Dairy Farm Complex, Stewartstown Road. March from complex to Twinbrook where Robert McBride will unveil a sculpture dedicated to the hunger strikers. Unveiling of a mural to hunger strikers will also take place. 2PM: Roddy McCorley's Social Club. Discussion entitled The Hunger Strike Period in Lenadoon followed by poetry, readings and songs by the Roddy McCorley's Writers' Group.
3PM: Twinbrook Pitches. Cumann na Fuiseoige take on Dungiven's Kevin Lynch Club in an invitational hurling match.
8PM: Andersonstown Social Club (PD). Event with prominent speakers and entertainment.

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

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