President of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams TD will be in The Rose Hotel, Tralee on this Thursday evening September 21st at 7.30pm to launch Ireland’s Hunger for Justice, the story of Ireland’s 22 martyred hunger strikers.
Early in 2017 a committee consisting of Martin Ferris TD, John Buckley, Pól Ó Clúbháin, Seán Ó Braoin, Éamonn deBairéad, Seán Ó Luing, Tadhg Ó Duinneacha came together as the Tomás Ághas Centenary Memorial Committee.
Centenary of Death
The intention was to honour Thomas Ashe, the centenary of whose death falls on September 25th. It was decided that a book would be written to not alone tell the story of Ashe but to remember all who died on hunger strike from the first hunger striker, Thomas Ashe, in 1917 to the last, Mickey Devine, in 1981.
The stories of Ashe, McSwiney and Sands are well known but others like Joseph Whitty of Wexford or Tony D’Arcy of Galway have almost been forgotten.
The book gives a snippet of each of the mens lives and will be the first time that all 22 men have been remembered in the one book.
“What we set out to do was to honour the memory of Lispole native Thomas Ashe, and while we discussed Ashe’s life and death we realised that there were 21 others who also gave their lives on hunger strike from 1917 to 1981,” said Kerry Sinn Féin TD, Martin Ferris.
“We decided to write a short book detailing, as much as possible, the story of each of these brave men. Some died in British jails but others too died in Irish jails and have almost been written out of history.
“I am honoured to have played a small role in bringing this book to print. Hunger strike was sometimes the only option republican prisoners had to use. The suffering and sacrifice of these 22 brave men should never be forgotten.
Thousands of Men and Women
“Neither should the sacrifice of the thousands of men and women who also took part in prison protests throughout the decades.
“They all had the same goal of a free Ireland. Some, like Ashe, died after being force fed while others like Kieran Doherty TD, died after spending 73 excruciating days on hunger strike, we salute them all.
“I’m delighted that Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly will be in Kerry to launch the book, Gerry Kelly who was force fed for over 200 days while on hunger strike will give a description of force feeding.
Hunger Strike Exhibition
“There will also be a hunger strike exhibition which many people will not have seen before. The launch of this book should be great occasion,” said Deputy Ferris.
The event is open to the public and the book will be available to purchase on the night.
Further information from Cathal Foley on 087 62 98 518.
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