18 May 2006

Hunger striker to be commemorated

Newry Democrat

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

THE presidents of both Sinn Fein and Republican Sinn Fein will be in Camlough this weekend to commemorate the 25th anniversary of hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.

Gerry Adams and Ruairi O'Bradaigh will visit the village on Sunday to remember Mr McCreesh, who died on May 21, 1981, after 61 days on hunger strike.

Newry and Camlough will host a wide range of exhibitions and lectures over the weekend of May 18 to May 21, culminating in a parade from Newry to Camlough.

The parade will start from Edward Street in Newry and follow a three-mile route to Mr McCreesh's birthplace. An anniversary mass will take place at Carrickcruppen Church at 3pm, after which Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams will give an oration at Mr McCreesh's graveside.

Mr O'Bradaigh, who gave the oration at Mr McCreesh's funeral 25 years ago, will also speak at the graveside.

On Thursday (May 18) an exhibition will open in Shane O'Neill's GAA clubrooms and will run until Sunday evening.

The unveiling of a plaque and mural at Raymond McCreesh House on Friday (May 19) at 7pm will start a weekend of commemorative events in Camlough. This will be followed by a lecture by former prisoners and DVD launch at a marquee ion Shane O'Neill's GAC. The marquee will then host a social night on Saturday with the Bik McFarlane and Cruncher O'Neill band.

Meanwhile, over 60 people gathered in The Square at Rostrevor on Friday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of hunger striker Francis Hughes.

Speaking after the event, Sinn Fein councillor Mick Murphy said: "The large turnout of Republicans determined to commemorate the death of Francis Hughes and his comrades highlights the significance of the 1981 Hunger Strike and the prison protests of that time."

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